Jan 15, 2019 10:00AM
by Susan Erhardt
January brings resolutions to do all sorts of things to live a better life. There’s something about turning over a clean page on your calendar that makes you long to live the perfect existence. There are many books that will help nudge you a little closer to just that.
Body Kindness: Transform your Health from the Inside Out, and Never Say Diet Again by Rebecca Scritchfield
Rebecca Scritchfield has a weight-neutral, compassionate and practical approach to health that allows you to make long-lasting changes in your self-care practices. Body Kindness is based on the following four principles: What You Do (the choices you make about food, exercise, sleep, and more), How You Feel (befriending your emotions and standing up to the unhelpful voice in your head), Who You Are (goal-setting based on your personal values), Where You Belong (body-loving support from people and communities that help you create a meaningful life). With mind and body exercises and prompts to help you identify what you really want, Body Kindness helps you let go of things you can’t control and embrace the things you can.
Happier Now: How to Stop Chasing Perfection and Embrace Everyday Moments (Even the Difficult Ones) by Nataly Kogan
Author Nataly Kogan teaches readers how to start finding more joy in everyday moments. She describes how she went from being cynical resistant to the ideas behind self-improvement and studying everything she could on the science of happiness, completely shifting her mindset. You’ll learn five core practices for building your happiness skills, (acceptance, gratitude, intentional kindness, knowing your bigger why, and self-care) along with the scientific research that supports each one.
Specific instructions, exercises, and journaling prompts are designed to help you strengthen your “emotional immune system” so you can endure times are tough and bounce back to happy, sooner.
Make a List: How a Simple Practice Can Change Our Lives and Open our Hearts by Marilyn McEntyre
I am a list maker: there is nothing I like better than a long, skinny pad of paper and a nice rollerball pen. If I arrive at the grocery store without my list, I end up with fourteen boxes of cereal and no milk. This book made me think differently about lists, and how they can be useful for so much more than a trip to the store.
In the book’s first section on why you might make a list, Marilyn McEntyre describes how list-making helps to you to clarify concerns, dispel fears, explore implications or notice what you may have missed. She goes on to discuss how we go about making these lists, with suggestions for making ones than commemorate, ones that open a safe space for anger, or how lists focus the backward glance. The book’s final section is on “play lists”, with lists like “What’s fun after 50,” “What the beach teaches,” and “Why children enchant us.” The author invites the reader to use the lists provided as templates for exploring their own lives. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to make a list!
The Joy of Less: a Minimalist Guide to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify by Francine Jay
When I had to move my dad from a fairly large house to a fairly small apartment, I found the process completely overwhelming. Aside from the stress I felt, I also had tremendous guilt about the things I had to throw away. I immediately went home and starting cleaning out my own house, determined that my children would never have to endure that experience. This book would be very helpful for such a process in your own life. Whether you have a drawer, closet or an entire house to clean out and organize, author Francine Jay takes you through the process step by step. She prompts you to examine why you have collected the things you have and how to decide what items tell your story. She helps you realize that you have no obligation to keep things you don’t treasure just because they have been “in the family” for ages. This book isn’t about getting rid of all of your stuff, but rather about having just enough to make you happy.
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg
One of your resolutions might be to change a habit – either to adopt a new one or to get rid of an undesirable one. This book will help you with your quest. Author Charles Duhigg explains what habits are about, where they come from, how they’re hard-wired into our brains and how they can be enormously powerful. The book offers advice on how to adopt or ditch patterns, complete with inspiring anecdotes about people who have successfully changed their habits.
Susan Erhardt has been a Youth Services Librarian at Kent District Library for 26 years and still loves to dance around with scarves at preschool storytime. When she’s not at the library in her role as “Miss Susan”, she loves to scrapbook, read, travel with her family and walk her Jack Russell Terrier.