Library Notes: Take baby steps toward your new year’s resolutions

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 31, 2022

By Lyndsey Maloney
Rowan Public Library

New year’s resolutions are set with the best of intentions, but are often some of the hardest promises for people to keep. One reason it can be so hard to stick with a resolution is that the goal is so large that we set ourselves up for failure right from the beginning.

One way to set attainable goals and healthy habits is to set one small goal for yourself each month. For example, if you like cooking, commit to trying a new cooking technique or if you have always wanted to grow a garden, start small with one or two pots in the spring. If you want to read more in general or are looking to add variety to your reading, maybe branch out and try a new author or genre. If you want to learn how to change one poor habit, learn how to by taking tiny baby steps. These small goals are much more attainable and you might find that accomplishing these mini-resolutions will bring a bright spot to your year.

When you set these small goals, you might need some help knowing where to start. Rowan Public Library is here to help. Using the example above of trying a new food or cooking technique, RPL has a wide range of recipe books from different types of foods to how to use that Instant Pot you’ve been afraid to try.

Some of my recent favorites include “Milk Street: Fast and Slow” by Christopher Kimball and “Prep and Rally” by Dini Klein. “Fast and Slow” features a wide range of meals that will appeal to everyone in the family. The best part of this cookbook, though, is that it gives detailed instructions on how to cook the same meal in both an Instant Pot pressure cooker or a slow cooker, allowing the reader to utilize whichever method is best for their family.

“Prep and Rally” is a good cookbook if you, like me, do not like to spend more time cooking when you get home from a long day at work. Klein provides shopping lists and prep guides that allow you to prepare a week’s worth of meals in one hour, allowing you to spend less time deciding what to cook for dinner and more time with your family.

If it’s your reading-related habits you are looking to add variety to, or if you want to find new books and authors similar to your favorites, I want to highlight the NoveList database. This database is free for you to access with your RPL library card. You can search by genre, books similar to your favorite titles or authors, or explore something new. Users from children to adults are sure to find something new to read.

If you are like me and many others, not knowing where to begin, and being worried about burning out, sometimes making big changes is hard. Two books in RPL’s system that help readers focus on taking small steps to make changes are “Tiny Habits” by B.J Fogg, and “52 Small Changes” by Brett Blumenthal. “Tiny Habits” focuses on how to implement sustainable changes to your habits and “52 Small Changes” helps walk readers through how to make one small change a week, proving that making small bite-sized changes help you stick with your goals.

All four RPL Locations have a wide variety of books and resources available related to helping you be on your way with a new or different approach to a craft, hobby, lifestyle or activity. Visit any of the branches or go to to browse our collections or to learn how to use the NoveList database.

Lyndsey Maloney is supervisor of the Rowan Public Library West Branch.

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