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Help for your New Year's resolutions

By Marissa Creamer

Rowan Public Library

A new year stretches before you, a bright, clean slate offering endless possibilities. This is your chance to re-invent yourself or at the very least, to make some improvements to the current model.

If you have made any New Year’s resolutions, you are following a tradition going back to the early Romans. The Romans named the first month of the year after Janus, the Roman god depicted with two faces. Since he was able to look back at the old year and forward to the new, Janus became the symbol for resolutions, and many Romans sought forgiveness from their enemies before the beginning of the New Year.

The Puritans also believed the New Year was a good time for renewal. They tried to make the holiday an occasion for changing the way they lived their lives, and often made vows to overcome their weaknesses, make use of their talents and make themselves useful to others.

Today, our most common New Year’s resolutions are to lose weight, exercise more and stop smoking. We also vow to become more organized, stick to a budget and save more money.

Despite our best intentions, resolutions can be difficult to keep. Experts say it takes about 21 days for a new activity to become a habit and six months for it to become a part of your personality.

No matter what your resolution, Rowan Public Library can probably help you reach your goal. The library has diet books, cookbooks, smoking cessation books and tapes, books about financial management and home organization and exercise videos and DVDs.

If you’re tired of eating rice cakes or counting carbs, you may want to try “The Sonoma Diet” by Connie Guttersen. A Western Hemisphere version of the Mediterranean diet, “The Sonoma Diet” emphasizes fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains, as well as healthy dietary fats, such as olive oil.

The book includes meal plans and enticing recipes, including Seared Tuna with Citrus Relish, Chile Ginger Beef and Asian Vegetable Medley and Baby Greens with Apples, Walnuts and Lemon Vinaigrette.

For additional healthy recipes, try “Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2007.” With a year’s worth of recipes from Cooking Light magazine, this comprehensive volume contains more than 1,000 recipes. With choices such as Chicken Saltimbocca, Banana Cream Pie Smoothie and Chocolate Chip Blondies with Caramel Bourbon Drizzle, you won’t even know you’re on a diet. Also included are more than 100 menu plans for a variety of occasions, including a Taste of Capri Menu and a Dinner by the Fire Menu.”

If your resolution involves becoming more organized, a good source of information is “The Expert’s Guide to Life at Home,” created by Samantha Ettus. Designed to help you enjoy your home life better, the guide brings advice from 100 experts to your fingertips. It is divided into six categories of action: To Nest, To Protect, To Improve, To Beautify, To Relate and To Enjoy.

The advice in this handy reference runs the gamut from how to clean your gutters to how to forgive. Learn the best way to organize your closet from the CEO of California Closets. Sen. Dianne Feinstein offers advice on how to prevent identity theft. Also included is expert advice on how to organize your finances, how to control clutter, how to winterize your home and how to make time for yourself, among many other topics.

You might also enjoy “Christopher Lowell’s Seven Layers of Organization: Unclutter Your Home, Unclutter Your Life” or “The Smart Approach to the Organized Home” by Leslie Clagett.

You can find these titles, as well as the latest issue of magazines such as Health, Cooking Light and Runner’s World, at Rowan Public Library. Stop by and find materials to help you make your New Year’s resolution a reality.

Holiday hours: Today and tomorrow, all libraries will be closed for New Year’s.

Computer classes: Headquarters, 9:15 a.m. — Thursday, Basic Windows. Jan. 11, Basic E-mail; Jan. 18, Digital Books. South, 7 p.m., Jan. 8, Basic Windows; Jan. 23, 11 a.m., Intermediate Word.

History room: Anyone interested in donating a copy or allowing the library to scan photos of local Great Depression photographs should contact Gretchen Witt at 704-216-8232 for more information.

Displays: Headquarters — turtles by Linda Patterson Pridgen and a display by Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. East — Piggy Banks by Faye Hill.

Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second language.

Web site: www.rowanpubliclibrary.org.

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