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Goodbye, 2017, and hello, New Year: What are your resolutions?

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Posted: Monday, January 1, 2018 11:00 am

Have you made your New Year’s resolutions yet?

Making promises at the beginning of a new year is an ancient tradition, stretching back to Babylon and ancient Rome. In Babylon, people vowed to return borrowed items and paid off their debts during the new year.

Resolutions aren’t just a feature of the secular new year each Jan. 1.

Knights during the medieval period reaffirmed their commitment to the code of chivalry at the end of each Christmas season, traditionally the Eve of the Epiphany (Twelfth Night) on Jan. 5.

And Jewish people traditionally focus on self-improvement during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the holy days marking the Jewish new year, which are usually in September or early October.

Not everyone makes a New Year’s resolution, but about 44 percent of Americans will join in the yearly tradition in 2018, according to the Marist Institute for Public Opinion.

This year, the most popular resolution is a tie, the institute found. The Marist Poll participants were evenly split between “being a better person” and “losing weight” for their top 2018 resolution. Others wanted to stop smoking or save more money.

“With weight loss tying for the number-one resolution and exercise and healthy eating making the top five, health is top of mind,” said Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute. “And, if the past is any indication, many Americans have a good chance at keeping their promises for at least part of 2018.”

If you haven’t made a resolution yet, there’s still plenty of time. Here are a few ideas for how to get started.

Get healthy

“Losing weight,” “getting fit” and “eating healthier” often top lists of New Year’s resolutions. If you’re planning on focusing on one of these for yourself, there are plenty of resources in Lodi.

Getting fit can be as easy as joining one of the gyms here in Lodi. From large health clubs to locally owned spots, there are lots of options.

Looking for something low impact? Hutchins Street Square has swimming and tai chi classes, and LOEL Senior Center has options that are easier on the joints as well. And Lodi is home to several yoga studios, martial arts centers and other specialty exercise classes, too. Here are a few places to get you started:

Healthy eating is the other side of this resolution, and with Lodi located in the middle of an agricultural area, there are plenty of places to find fresh fruits and vegetables, along with nutrition information.

A good place to start is the Lodi Public Library. They have plenty of books about nutrition, but more importantly they also offer classes and workshops on various health topics. In January, the library will host three nutrition workshops on Wednesday afternoons, covering topics like going lean with protein and making dietary changes. The library also hosts regular workshops hosted by the Master Gardeners on topics such as making your own fruit preserves and growing healthy produce at home.

Sheri’s Sonshine Nutrition Center in Downtown Lodi also hosts nutritional classes, as well as offering free magazines full of recipes and advice each month. Visit www.sheris.com for information and a class schedule.

Other options for learning about healthy eating include Healthy Ways (209-642-4764), Thrive Nutrition (209-625-8010, www.thrivelodi.com) and Brix Health and Wellness Club (209-339-4808). Weight Watchers and Taking Off Pounds Sensibly also have groups in Lodi.

Be sure to read Timaree Hagenburger’s column in today’s Lodi Living for a healthy recipe and nutrition advice. Hagenburger teaches about “food that loves you back” at Cosumnes River College and on California Bountiful TV, and has recipes and resources at her site www.thenutritionprofessor.com.

One last note: When making major changes to your diet or starting a new exercise routine, please check in with your doctor to make sure that you are taking safe and healthy steps forward.

Taking control

A healthier 2018 may not mean more exercise or a healthier diet. It may involve taking control of a chronic illness like diabetes or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or kicking an addiction to cigarettes, alcohol or other drugs.

Adventist Health Lodi Memorial offers a number of support groups, including the Better Breathers Club, Al-Anon: Freedom to Change, Smoking Cessation, The Beat Goes On for cardiac patients, and more. Most of the support groups at the hospital are free. For more information, visit www.adventisthealth.org/lodimemorial or call 209-334-3411.

For the local Alcoholics Anonymous hotline, call 209-339-1201. The 24-hour hotline offers up help with addiction to alcohol including information about local resources and meetings.

There are also several independent support groups in Lodi for those managing illnesses. Day 2 Day Diabetes meets regularly at the Lodi Public Library. For meeting details, call Duane Simpfenderfer at 209-369-1599.

A support group for those with Parkinson’s disease meets regularly at Temple Baptist Church, and is open to anyone with the disease along with their loved ones and caregivers. For more information, call 209-369-1948. CrossFit Lodi hosts a Rock Steady boxing class taught by Sheldon Vicks for Parkinson’s patients and those with similar movement disorders as well. Call 209-333-2000 to find out more.

Loren Kettner coordinates the Low Vision Support Group, which meets monthly at the Vintage, 2145 W. Kettleman Lane in Lodi. Call 209-368-5900 to find out about meetings.

And the National Alliance on Mental Illness has a Connections support group for those dealing with mental health challenges in Stockton, as well as a Family-to-Family group in Lodi for friends and relatives of people with mental illnesses. Visit www.namisanjoaquin.org for information about the Stockton meetings, or call Irene Sherman at 209-368-1469 or Joselyn Spurgeon at 209-369-5936 to find out about the Lodi group.

The Salvation Army and several local churches also offer faith-based addiction recovery programs. If this sounds more helpful for you, ask your pastor to recommend a Celebrate Recovery program.

Many local churches host senior exercise, tai chi, yoga and weight loss classes, too.

Pick up a new hobby

Have you been dying to try something new? Picking up a hobby is a great way to start a new year. A few possibilities:

  • Learn an instrument

Head over to the Music Box or b Sharp School of Music and sign up for lessons. You can rent an instrument to give it a try first, or buy if you’re sure you’ll be committed. For more information, visit www.musicboxlodi.com or www.bsharpschoolofmusic.com.

If you decide to try something like the ukulele, be sure to head over to the Lodi Public Library from 6 to 8 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month; that’s when the Lodi Ukulele Club meets to make happy music together. Wednesday meetings are free and open to the public.

  • Start cycling

Bike Lodi is a community group that advocates for bike tourism in Lodi. To that end, the group regularly hosts group rides. So does the Lodi Bicycle Shop, based in Downtown Lodi on Pine Street. To find out more about cycling in Lodi, visit www.facebook.com/bikelodi/ or www.lodibicycleshop.com.

  • Take up gardening

If you want to get your hands dirty, gardening is a good way to do so. The Master Gardeners have classes at the Lodi Public Library, or more extensive courses for those who want to become Master Gardeners themselves. Find out more at sjmastergardeners.ucanr.edu.

The Lodi Garden Club is another good place for plant devotees to find a community. Call 916-580-8772 to learn about how to join or get info on the next meeting.

  • Start knitting

The name may be LOEL Senior Center, but anyone who wants to can take classes there — including joining the knitting and crochet meetup for all levels at 9:30 a.m. each Friday. For more information, visit www.loelcenter.net.

A two-day knitting workshop is also planned for Monday, Jan. 8 and Friday, Jan. 12 at Hutchins Street Square. Starting at $32, instructor Mary Shaw will show students the basics of the craft. For more information, call 209-333-6742 or visit apm.activecommunities.com/lodipandrhss.

  • Try winemaking

Of course. This is Lodi. If you want to give making your own wine a shot, there’s a great resource available: the Lodi Amateur Vintners Association. The group meets regularly, with activities like winemaking education and mentoring, vendor presentations, wine analysis, amateur competitions and winery visits. For more information, visit www.lavawine.org.

Want to try something not on the list? Head to Google and search for other local activities. There’s plenty to do here in Lodi, from birding to kayaking to art classes to geocaching.

Find a better job

Ready to ditch your old job for something better this year? WorkNet is a good place to start.

Along with listing dozens of local job fairs and hiring notices on their website, WorkNet offers free email for job seekers, typing certification and resources for overhauling a resume. Workshops cover topics like answering difficult interview questions, writing a good cover letter and when interview or application questions are illegal.

The Lodi center is at 631 E. Oak St. For more information, call 209-331-2081.

Looking for some more one-on-one coaching? A job coach volunteer visits the Marian O. Lawrence Library in Galt from 1 to 3 p.m. each Friday to help job seekers. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 800-209-4627. Drop-in visitors are welcome.

Learn new things

Looking to just expand your horizons in general? Hutchins Street Square and the LOEL Senior Center both offer opportunities to learn new skills and make new friends in the process.

The Square offers classes on creative writing, different types of dance and cooking foods from around the world. On top of classes, visitors can enjoy concerts, movie nights and other activities at the Square. LOEL has everything from card games to writing memoirs or computer classes.

For more information, visit www.hutchinsstreetsquare.com and www.loelcenter.net.

San Joaquin Delta College offers the Stockton Institute for Continued Learning, with classes on topics ranging from genealogy and bird watching to the architecture of central Europe and opera appreciation.

Want more ideas for New Year’s resolutions? Be sure to pick up a copy of this month’s Life and Leisure! magazine, which is focused on healthy living in 2018.

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