7 Ways Your Library Can Help You Keep Your New Year's Resolution

Your local library can help you achieve your goals for the new year

As another year comes to an end, there is one thing that always returns to everyone’s mind: New Year’s resolutions. Yes, the long-awaited, and sometimes dreaded, time of year when people set their goals and hope they don’t break them. These goals come in all shapes and sizes, some are ambitious while others are small and bite-sized. No matter who you are, setting resolutions can be stressful. Some people have even given up on resolutions altogether because they think the likelihood of following through is slim.

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However, it doesn’t have to be that way. New Year’s resolutions don’t have to be scary. They are completely attainable especially when you have a community supporter in your corner helping you through it.

Your local public library is the perfect advocate for your goals. With all the resources and services available, you’ll find that it is much easier to achieve your goals when you partner with your library. Plus, if you resolve to save money, these services are free. So, consider just one New Year’s resolution this year: visit your local library.

1. Read More, Obviously!

This is a popular goal that ends up on lists each year. Reading seems like an easy task, especially since many of us were avid readers in our youth. When setting this goal, it’s easy to picture those cozy afternoons curled up with a good book, the kind you could get lost in for hours. Therefore, it often ends up as a New Year’s resolution. We’re all just trying to return to those good times and each year we are convinced that it can’t be too difficult to pick up one book, especially when there are 365 days to do so.

However, life gets in the way (and that’s understandable). Therefore, using your local library is one of the best ways to stick to it. For one, library books are completely free which means you aren’t going to have to worry about financial barriers of access. You can pick out anything you’d like and if it’s not available at your library, the staff can help get it to you from another library. In addition, these books can be physical or digital which allows you to read free books on your preferred platform, whether you love the feeling of pages, or want to carry three or four titles conveniently. If you’re still struggling, you can always join your library’s book clubs to hold yourself accountable.

2. Exercise

Exercise is another resolution that many people want to incorporate into their daily lives. This can be a daunting task and ends in lots of gym memberships that aren’t used. The library can help. Fitness programs can be costly, but the library has free collections of fitness books, exercise DVDs and digital resources, and, in some places, even equipment to help make it easy for you to do workouts from home or with friends. There are even fitness classes held at libraries that bring together community members with similar goals and interests into a welcoming environment. No more feeling intimidated by heavy weight lifters at the gym. Libraries are also great resources for people who want to improve their diet and health, offering a range of classes and resources in areas such as cooking, mindfulness, gardening. Libraries also partner with health care providers to make medical care accessible to all.

3. Learn New Skills

The library doesn’t just house knowledge in books and databases but also through staff, events, and classes. The fun part is that there are a large variety of topics to choose from and everyone will find something new to try. Whether you’re interested in learning new languages, baking delicious desserts, or keeping plants alive, you’ll be sure to find these skills reflected in what the library offers.

4. Spend Time with Family

A library is an enriching place for everyone, especially early learners who are eager to be exposed to new things. Family time is something that everyone wants to have more of and setting goals to do so is nothing to be ashamed of. Trips to the library can be a family event where you all take time browsing interesting collections and taking home some favorite reads. Storytimes and other events are great for families to attend together. On that rare day when there isn’t anything going on at the library, you can always use it as an opportunity to sit down, cuddle up, and read books to your little ones.

5. Make Friends

Sometimes, libraries get tacked with stereotypes of being quiet, reserved, and strict places. But that’s not the case at all. If you’re moving to a new town or just wanting to meet more people in your community, the library is a great place to start. This is because people from all walks of life come through the doors of the library, and you never know who might share similar or completely different interests with you. Libraries are community hubs, making it easy to find people through events and programming, or even on the other side of the bookshelf.

6. Reach Career Goals

We all hit points in our life when our careers are our focus. It makes sense that our New Year’s resolutions reflect that. The library is a helpful resource for those who have career goals in mind. One way that they do this is through resume assistance and job advice. There are counselors on hand who can look over your job history and help you highlight your best skills. There are also great resources for those looking to start their own business or build on their existing one. These can be especially helpful for those who aren’t sure where to turn or where to start.

7. Relax and Take Time for Yourself

After the past couple of years, it makes complete sense that some people just want to schedule more self-care time into their routine. Our society is very work-driven, and we often forget to take time for ourselves. If it means penciling it onto our resolutions list, then so be it! The library can offer lots of opportunities for you to relax and unwind. This can look like weekly meditation sessions, books on self-care and mental health, or even chilling out in your favorite chair to enjoy a nice cup of coffee and read. The space is meant for the community, and no one is going to judge you for using it to relax.

Get Your Year Off to a Great Start at the Library

If you haven’t visited the library in a while or haven’t had the chance to sign up for a library card, now is the time. This gives you a jumpstart on all your plans and goals for the year. Use the library’s resources to find a new hobby or plan an exciting trip. The sky’s the limit for your New Year’s resolutions when you get your local library involved. Be sure to add “library trip” to your list of to-dos for the new year.