By Joe Sutton for IndieReader
For many of us, the start of a new year inspires us to better ourselves. We set (sometimes unobtainable) goals for the months ahead, hoping to improve and take control of our lives. Unfortunately, sticking to those goals can be difficult after the first few weeks, and by March, the majority of us have gone to back to our old (sloth) ways.
If you have a resolution for this year -- or if you could use an idea for making one -- check out the books below to steer you in the right direction and help keep on track.
Stop the Diet, I Want to Get Off! by Lisa Tillinger Johansen
If you want to lose weight this year, let dietitian Lisa Johansen help. Her book is a no-nonsense guide to healthy eating, which means you can worry less about keeping up on the latest fad diets and instead focus on the tried and true method of maintaining health: eating a good, balanced diet. Johansen keeps a lighthearted tone throughout the book to make the whole process fun, so you won't feel as though you're suffering through a strict program.
Wife for Life by Ramona Zabriskie
You already know that maybe half of all marriages end in divorce these days. Marriage isn't easy, so if you find that your relationship is rocky or volatile, you might be desperate to get back on good footing with your partner this year.
Ramona Zabriskie's guide to a good marriage focuses on building empathy between partners and patching up misunderstandings that might arise over the course of marriage--essentially, you'll be better equipped to make compromises and work as a team thanks to her wise words. This can be helpful not just for married couples, but anyone in a relationship. It's time to patch things up for the new year!
The Four Horsemen of the Investor's Apocalypse by Robert J. Klosterman
I don't know about you, but I sometimes feel a surge of terror before checking my bank balance--money management can be scary! But that doesn't mean it isn't incredibly important to keep on top of finances. This year, consider taking a bit more responsibility and make some smart investments.
Financial adviser Rober Klosterman has plenty of tips and advice to share in this essential read on what to do -- and not to do -- with your savings. Don't expect any get-rich-quick schemes here; Klosterman is up-front on how those don't work. Instead, you'll find real advice on investing. Time to study up!
Improve Your Landscape Photography by Jim Harmer
Jealous of your friends racking up the likes on Instagram? It sounds like you need to turn over a new leaf and brush up on your picturesque sunset-snapping skills. Amateur photographers will find a lot to learn in this guide by Jim Harmer, and his advice isn't just related to landscape photography, despite the title. There's plenty of general photography knowledge you can pick up here, like rules of composition. In fact, Harmer's got a few different published photography how-to guides, so if landscapes aren't your thing, try another of his books instead!
Know Enough: Ethnic Cuisines by Cliff Johnson
Thanks to more and more food programming on TV and "food porn" overtaking social media, it feels like everyone is a foodie. If you're a rather conservative eater, expand your culinary horizon with Cliff Johnson's guide to ethnic cuisine. This isn't a cookbook; instead, it teaches readers about various types of ethnic cuisine as well as the cultural etiquette for consuming it.
Someday you'll be able to recommend dishes at that hip new fusion spot across town to your friends -- but you'll have to start here first!
The Cancer Olympics by Robin McGee
Not interested with any of the resolutions above? That's fine -- perhaps you just need a healthy dose of inspiration. In a heart-wrenching memoir, Robin McGee recounts her personal trials and triumphs since receiving a late-stage colorectal cancer diagnosis. McGee not only battles cancer in her book, but wrestles with government policies as well -- and when things seem particularly bleak, the author finds a rich network of support online.
Tracing the course of McGee's journey, some of her resolve will doubtlessly rub off on you -- either to appreciate your own health or inspire compassion for others' suffering.