New Year, New You!

“And now let us believe in a long year that is given to us, new, untouched, full of things that have never been.” 
 Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters Of Rainer Maria Rilke

So how are you faring with your New Year's resolutions? Still abstaining from eating dessert as per your resolution? What about your resolution to be more organized this year? And, how about your pledge to exercise more in the new year? Ah, all those wonderful intentions that the new year brings out in most of us!  It is almost de rigueur to make resolutions for the New Year, and most of us have made New Year's resolutions at some time or the other in our lives. After all, why not? We are always seeking the new and the improved: whether it's a new and improved product that will make our grass greener, our floors look as good as new, or our hair shinier, our skin more luminous....  Well, you get the idea!  And, so we strive to improve ourselves. And, what better time than the new year to seek a fresh start?
 “For last year's words belong to last year's language 
And next year's words await another voice.” 
T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets

So resolutely, we declare that in the new year we will eat healthy; exercise more; kick a bad habit, be more organized, be altruistic, etc. By setting goals for the new year, we believe we can then move forward and accomplish our objective.
Even Google tracks theworld's new year's resolutions on an interactive map where you can add your 2013 resolution to the map or see other people's resolution for the new year.

But how many of us actually manage to keep our New Year's resolutions past a few weeks, or a few months, into the new year?  As Mark Twain has so aptly said, " New Year’s Day… now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.” (Letter to Virginia City Territorial Enterprise. Reprinted in The Works of Mark Twain; Early Tales & Sketches, Vol. 1).
Perhaps, we fail to keep those resolutions because they seem too difficult; the rewards are too far in the future and so we lose our motivation. We at MCL can help you stay the course!  Here at the library we have a slew of books that can encourage, enlighten and inspire.  No matter your resolution, we have a book for you.

Serious about changing your behavior then check out Making Habits, Breaking Habits:Why We Do Things, Why We Don't, and How to Make Any Change Stick by Jeremy Dean. The book is eminently readable and will help you understand why even surprisingly easy habits are hard to form. The book is divided into three sections. In section one, the author explains the nature of habits: ways that habits are formed; the length of time it takes to form a habit; and the fact that our habits are not formed in a void. Section two explores habits in our everyday life: our eating habits, working habits, socializing habits, and shopping habits, to name just a few. In clear, jargon-free prose, section three presents us with psychological research on how to break negative habits and make new good ones.

This Year I Will...: How to FinallyChange a Habit, Keep a Resolution, or Make a Dream Come True by M.J. Ryan. This book is for anyone who has made a resolution and failed to keep it! The author offers resourceful strategies and inspirational anecdotes that will motivate you to stick to the promise you have made to yourself. Whether you want to lose weight, quit smoking, get organized, be debt-free or simply learn to enjoy life more, read this book and increase the possibility of attaining your goal.  

Money does not buy you happiness, nor does achievements or anything else "out there." According to Shimoff, we all have a happiness quotient that is partly genetic and partly learned. Shimoff's book offers a practical and holistic approach that will help you attain deep and lasting happiness.    

The Art of Extreme Self-Care : TransformYour Life One Month at a Time and LifeMakeovers : 52 Practical and Inspiring Ways to Improve Your Life One Week at aTime, are two books that are full of practical advice, and resources, written by Cheryl Richardson. The first book contains short, easy to read chapters offering you strategies that will help you change. With chapters titled, "Does that Anger Taste Good?" and "Wake Up!" this book challenges you to change any habit that makes your life problematic. Similarly, Life Makeovers, is chock-a-block with practical advice, proposing  a year-long program designed to help you make life-changing habits. 

And, the last book with which I will end this blog is appropriately titled: Excuses Begone! Howto Change Lifelong, Self-Defeating Thinking Habits by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer. The author provides a catalog of excuses we are all too familiar with: "It will be difficult," "It will take a long time," "It's not my nature, "I'm not smart enough," "I'm too busy," "I'm too old (or not old enough)" and so forth. As per Dyer, only when we become aware of long-held thinking patterns that keep us mired in self-defeating behavior, can we then proceed to change old habits and form new good ones.

Smiles from the threshold of the year to come, 
Whispering 'it will be happier'...” 
Alfred Tennyson, The Foresters: Robin Hood and Maid Marion

- Rina B.


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