We all know New Year's resolutions are well-intentioned -- and easy to break. Get this year's resolutions to stick by not making it harder than it has to be. Based on studies of past resolutions, if you've verbalized or written your resolution down, you're already ahead of the game. Your resolution has legs to stand on if you "put it out there," whatever "it" is -- spending less money, exercising more, staying on a diet, volunteering or doing more for others, thinking before you speak, being kinder or watching your temper, starting a hobby or picking up a back-burner project and completing it, decluttering your home or office, or cutting down on drinking, smoking or gambling. One other way to make it stick? Make it through January, and you have a much better chance of success lasting throughout the year.
The Beaufort County Library system has excellent resources to help. If you want to get organized, cut down on the paper piles (my biggest problem), and adopt a simpler life to have time to do more meaningful things, check out the 648.8 section in nonfiction. There, you will find "10-Minute Organizing: 400 Fabulous Tips to Organize Every Room of Your House -- in Spite of your Family!," by Sara L. Hunter; "Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui," by Karen Kingston; "Hoarders" seasons one and two on DVD (to scare you into action); and "Organizing Magic: 40 Days to a Well-Ordered Home and Life," by Sandra Felton.
Perhaps you are wanting to make more time for reading and to get out more. Book clubs are a great way to meet people and develop critical thinking skills. There are a variety of book clubs throughout the county library system, some with themes -- such as mysteries or classics -- and some that read a variety of popular fiction, biographies and memoirs, or nonfiction. You can find out about the options at www.beaufortcountylibrary.org/content/book-club-corner.
If you're seeking to be kinder or to think before you speak, you'll find anger management resources in the 152.4 section of nonfiction, with titles such as "Getting Over Getting Mad: Positive Ways to Manage Anger in Your Most Important Relationships," by Judy Ford; "The Anger Diet: 30 Days to Stress-Free Living," by Brenda Shoshanna; or "60 Second Anger Management: Quick Tips to Handle Explosive Feelings," by Dr. Michael Hershorn.
How about dusting off the sewing machine or getting out the knitting needles? There are all kinds of crafty aids in section 745.5. There, you'll find books and DVDs on quilting, candle making, embroidery, decoy carving, pysanky (egg decorating), scrapbooking, origami, polymer clay crafts, painting and photography, to name a few.
Do you have some DIY projects on your "honey do" list? Take a gander at the 643.7 section for titles like "Popular Mechanics: 500 Simple Home Repair Solutions," by Norman Becker; "The Best of 'Ask This Old House:' 44 Common Household Projects Done Right;" "Black & Decker Complete Home Improvement: with 300 Projects and 2,000 Photos;" and "The Little Book of Quick Fixes for the Home Handywoman," by Bridget Bodoano.
Perhaps you'd like to cook more and eat out less. There are cost- and health-saving benefits to cooking your own meals. Until you become more familiar with quick and easy cookery, it can seem daunting. But we have a slew of things to make it easier for you in the 641.5 section. Tips on using a slow cooker are found in 641.5884. Cooking for beginners is in 641.512. Information on canning and preserving is in 641.4. And if you're really hoping to make things easy, how about microwave cooking? See 641.5882. Quick and easy recipes and make-ahead cooking can be found in 641.555.
Another of our largest sections in nonfiction is on weight loss plans, found in 613.25. "Ten Years Thinner: 6 Weeks to a Leaner, Younger-Looking You!," by Christine Lydon and "Fighting Fat!: How to Beat Heart Disease and Cancer, and Lose Weight: A Practical Guide to Fats, Oils, and Cholesterol," by Kathleen Mayes can be found there. Tips on healthy cooking and organic gardening are in 641.5637. Yoga, Pilates, weight training, power walking, Zumba, and other exercise books and DVDs are found in the 613.71s.
Taking care of yourself goes beyond looking good and eating right. One of our strongest collections is of self-help books, which are in the 158.1 area. There, you'll find information on how to deal with abusive relationships, overcoming the need to be perfect, how to live in the present, discovering your purpose in life and changing things for the better, and mastering the art of manifesting your wishes. We have an abundance of materials on improving whatever your dysfunction may be.
Take advantage of the library's free lectures, craft groups, educational programs, films and storytimes for all ages. You can find a calendar of events at www.beaufortcountylibrary.org/bcl_calendar or stop by the library to pick up our quarterly publication "Free Stuff To Do."
Happy New Year to all -- and may your resolutions be realized in 2015 -- from the staff of your Beaufort County Library.
Brendagael Beasley-Forrest is a catalog librarian for the Beaufort County Library system.