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Litchfield MN 55355

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Monday, January 5, 2015

Keeping those resolutions?

by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian

How are those New Year’s resolutions coming along?  No, I’m not trying to make you feel guilty.  I almost never keep mine.  I just want to share some ideas for books and DVDs we have at the library that may help you out.

One of the standard resolutions is losing weight, of course.  One new book we have on the subject is Chia: Aid Weight Loss, Improve Digestion: 75 Recipes by Lauri Boone.  This is part of the Superfoods for Life series.  Chia is a seed that’s trendy now for its high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and protein.  Medical studies question its effectiveness for suppressing appetite, as some claim it can.  But if you have decided chia is something you want to add to your diet, this book can help you find ways to do that. Of course, all I can think is "Ch-ch-ch-chia!"  Those commercials...

According to USA.gov, another popular resolution is to start volunteering.  American Public Media’s Chris Farrell has a new book out called Unretirement: How Baby Boomers are Changing the Way We Think About Work, Community, and the Good Life.  One thing he talks about in the book is volunteer service after retirement.  He also talks about new careers and entrepreneurial ventures.

Some people resolve to go back to school.  The book Confessions of a Scholarship Winner: The Secrets That Helped Me Win $500,000 in Free Money for College by Kristina Ellis may give you some ideas on how you could pay for it.  Ellis was a high school student, so I don’t know whether her tips will help nontraditional students win scholarships.  But she was apparently an average student with above-average motivation for finding a way to pay for college, so it sounds like an intriguing book.

Another common resolution is to eat more healthy food. Eating Wildly: Foraging for Life, Love and the Perfect Meal is a unique take on that.  Author Ava Chin has written about urban foraging for the New York Times.  Chin tells her story of learning to forage for things like wood sorrel and mulberries and finding meaning for life in the experiences.  She also shares recipes for cooking these unusual foods.  This memoir made some best-of lists for the year. 

Managing stress is another popular resolution.  Success Through Stillness: Meditation Made Simple is a new book on meditation that has been a good seller this year.  Author Russell Simmons is an entrepreneur and the co-founder of a major hip-hop record company.  He sees meditation as a essential part of a successful life.

USA.gov says that managing debt is another common resolution.  We don’t have any brand-new books on the topic at our library, although we have some of the standards by Dave Ramsey and Mary Hunt.  If you think about it, using the library can be one step toward reducing your spending.  Rather than buying books and movies, especially those you’ll only read or watch once, you can check them out from the library.  Even if you get a few late fees, they’re not likely to be as much as the cost of buying all of the books and movies you checked out.   It costs ten cents a day if books are late and a dollar a day if movies are.  It’s less than renting movies from Redbox! Using the library can be a way to enrich your life without loading up your credit card.

However you want to improve your life in the coming year, chances are there’s something at the library to help you learn how to do it.  Have a wonderful 2015!