By Christa Protano
As the new year is fast approaching, it’s time to reevaluate our personal goals and make those requisite resolutions. While some may think that resolutions add unnecessary pressure, others revel in the annual practice. Personally, I fall somewhere in the middle. This past year, I think I had five resolutions on my list. Looking back, I know I achieved one: to learn how to play pickleball. I may not have done it until the fall, and it only lasted about five weeks but, hey, I take that as a win. Even if you don’t stick to your goals, experts believe that focusing on self-improvement in January is always a good idea. The key is to choose positive changes that are attainable, make a plan for how to achieve them, and focus on the long term rather than a quick fix. To that end, we’ve gathered some simple activities that you can add to your lifestyle, along with the tools to help keep you on track. Here are four healthy practices to help make 2024 your best year yet.
Engage in Some Form of Physical Exercise
While mental health was top of mind in 2023, many of us are making physical health the priority in the new year. According to a Forbes Health/OnePoll conducted this past fall, Americans are shifting their focus toward fitness in 2024. If you’re someone hoping to improve this area of your life, consider these health and fitness titles. From HIIT workouts to yoga, there is an ultimate fitness guide for every type of exercise. Find out how to perfect your downward dog, planks and more with these wellness guides.
Learn a New Skill
Did you know that January is National Hobby Month? Makes total sense considering the new year is the perfect time to pick up a new skill or revisit an old pastime. If you’re not sure where to begin, we suggest leaning in to some vintage vibes and learning one of the oldest hobbies ever recorded: needlework. Whether it be knitting, crocheting, or embroidery, the act of using needle and textiles to create goods has been practiced for centuries. Get started with one of these crochet or embroidery activity kits.
Add Reading to Your Routine
Is your TBR list a mile long? Then you may want to commit to a reading challenge in 2024. This past year, I completed the Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge by finishing a book each month prompted by the Literary Lifestyle blog. It was a great way to experience books that I missed over the years and had been meaning to read. If you’re a bibliophile like me, Google “reading challenges for 2024” and you will find many. Or, you could start your own challenge on social media and invite your friends to join in the fun. Need help picking a book? Why not start with a classic author? Canterbury Classics is your go-to source for Jane Austen, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Ernest Hemingway, just to name a few.
Spend Time in the Kitchen
Eating healthier is always a popular New Year’s resolution, but to stick to it, you really need to know your way around the kitchen. The right cookbook can help you stay on track—as long as it has easy-to-follow recipes, right? That’s why we love Power Bites. This title features 60 quick and easy recipes for protein-packed snacks and “energy bombs.” All of them are made with the holy trinity of nutrition: protein, carbs, and healthy fats. The book itself is divided into three sections: High Protein, Keto-Friendly, and Low Sugar. Depending on your personal health and fitness goals, you can choose which bites might work best for you. Then, with a little meal prep, you can have a fridge full of healthy snacks to get you through the week.
Looking to expand your culinary expertise? Check out more titles in Thunder Bay’s cookbook collection.