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New Year’s Resolutions: The Books to Help!

Each New Year, people embrace resolutions as a way to set goals for themselves. After such an unpredictable year, many have looked to the start of 2021 as a turning point for personal change. The following books can help readers stay on track with their resolutions with relevant resources and inspiring stories.

Just Kids by Patti Smith

Scrolling social media or talking with friends has made one thing clear: we dread the idea of wasting our lives, stuck in monotony, not living to the fullest. This new year, I am vowing to be more present in my life, even if my days are still a monotonous repeat of the last ten months spent at home. Smith’s acclaimed memoir is the book that reminds me to be here and now. Discussing her youth in NYC as a struggling artist with best friend and photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, Smith’s free spirit permeates every word. Even in the dark times, she is grounded and open to new challenges and experiences. Have a read and learn her wonderful lessons.

Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focussed Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport

If there’s one thing that 2020 increased, it was the time that we all spent online. Whether it was a day of Teams meetings or a tipsy Zoom quiz, keeping up with the Twitter news or binge-watching Netflix, I think it’s safe to say that we are digitally exhausted. Cal Newport’s book Digital Minimalism is the Marie Kondo of our digital worlds, teaching us how to declutter our lives and headspace and, ultimately, how we can live “a focussed life in a noisy world”. This book teaches you how to rethink the way you use social media, reprioritise your work/life balance and rediscover the world outside of your screens.

Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh

Finding the silver linings or light-hearted moments in the difficult situations we face can be a much-needed, encouraging outlook for the new year. Solutions and Other Problems is Allie Brosh’s newest hilarious yet heart-wrenching visual memoir. Brosh walks readers through a series of vignettes in signature comic form. From simple, silly moments to the devastating lowest of lows, she explores serious topics like grief, loss, and loneliness through her cheerfully bold artwork. Brosh reflects on her childhood and adult life in a way that cultivates joy and empathy among those who read about her experiences.

The Hairy Bikers’ One Pot Wonders by Si King and Dave Myers

Out with the old… putting food at the top of my New Year’s resolution list is about discovering new and exciting recipes to escape the repetition of the food menu from the previous year. If, like me, you sit down to plan the weekly shop only to find yourself desperately lacking in inspiration then you need to grab a copy of The Hairy Bikers’ One Pot Wonders. Not only are the recipes simple and packed with no-fuss, easy-to-buy ingredients, they can be popped into the same cooking pot, saving time on washing up afterwards! With over 100 tasty recipes to choose from, 2021 is set to be a culinary adventure.

The Self-Love Experiment by Shannon Kaiser

If, like me, 2020 was a year of stress and anxiety and for 2021, your New Year’s resolution is to take a little time for yourself and improve on your self-care, The Self-Love Experiment by Shannon Kaiser is the book for you. A touchingly vulnerable read as Kaiser shares real world experiences, this is the perfect guide for anyone looking to gain the self-confidence they need to reach their goals this year. Incredibly relatable with anecdotes of learning to accept your body and appreciate the parts of yourself you initially saw as unlovable, The Self-Love Experiment teaches us to be kinder to ourselves and prioritise our physical health and mental well-being more than ever. If your resolution this year is to practice more self-care, Shannon Kaiser’s book will undoubtedly place you one step closer to achieving that goal.

Humankind by Rutger Bregman

After a year that placed words like ‘doomscrolling’ firmly into our vocabulary, it would be no surprise if you were searching for a little more optimism in 2021. However difficult that may seem, Humankind is guaranteed to give you a positive outlook on the world. By taking well-known experiments such as the Milgram experiment, and stories that seem to show humanity at its worst, like Lord of the Flies, Bregman forces us to reconsider our darker outlook on the world. Overall, Humankind compels us to create a better world by believing that we are already in a great one. It is a well-researched and comforting read that will have you hanging on to every page.


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