Read Your Way To An Awesome 2014

When it comes to actually keeping your New Year’s resolutions in 2014, moderation is key. Try these simple tips to tweak—not twerk—your lifestyle for a happier you.

1. “I want to eat healthier.”

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30% of New Year’s resolutions are weight-related. We say, enjoy food in moderation and go ahead and make something you love. Slow down and savor your food and your life. Try Delicious Mediterranean Diet Recipes for the perfect balance between virtuous and indulgent.

2. “I want to reduce the anxiety in my life.”

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Doesn’t everybody? We say, RELAX! Super-offbeat self-help book Lost in the Cosmos by Walker Percy will convince you to make “don’t worry, be happy” your motto.

3. “I want to finish my novel.”

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You are 10 times more likely to fully achieve your resolution if you set a specific goal. We say, choose the one novel, poem, essay, or thesis that’s been nagging at you the most, and get started. Hold yourself accountable and you’re likely to create something wonderful in the process. Writing master John Gardner’s On Becoming a Novelist will point you in the right direction and leave you inspired.

4. “I want to learn how to knit.”

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47% of New Year’s resolutions are self-improvement or education related. We say, follow your passions and they will lead you in the right direction. If you’ve always wanted to learn to knit, now is the perfect time (winter!) to start creating your own amazing clothes and crafts. Download Knitspeak for help with all the lingo.

5. “I want to make time for the people who matter to me.”

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Building nurturing relationships can have a positive impact on your physical and mental health. We say, read a page from You Gotta Have Girlfriends next time you think about blowing off girl’s night to burn the midnight oil at the office. If it doesn’t convince you to readjust your priorities, nothing will.

6. “I want to finally organize the mess I call my apartment.”

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We say, give it the old college try with a little help from our friends: Get Organized is a helpful go-to guide to sorting out your piles of stuff. Just imagine coming home to a clean, welcoming home after a long day. It’s worth the extra effort.

7. “I want more inner peace.”

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We love this one because it covers so many individual resolutions, from “spending more time with family” to “helping other in their dreams.” Only you can say what inner peace means to you, but making self-reflection a priority is always a great first step! So keep feeding your soul any way that works for you. Five Volumes of Spiritual Wisdom is an excellent starting point.

8. “I want to read a book every month.”

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We just can’t think of a resolution that will be more enjoyable to fulfill. We say, don’t pressure yourself to tackle War and Peace right away if you’ve been in a literary slump. Try re-reading an old favorite to ease yourself into the habit. Or, download a few ebooks that you’ve always meant to read so they’re handy when you have a spare moment.

9. “I want to smile more.”

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That’s right: smile! You will be among the 8% who succeed in keeping their New Year’s resolutions. Lawrence Durrell’s A Smile in the Eye’s Mind: An Adventure into the Zen Philosophy is all about creating a joyful spiritual awakening that will keep you smiling no matter what life throws at you. (And smiling makes one more attractive, you know…)

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