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It’s a yearly tradition we all go through where we promise to better ourselves in some fashion over the course of a new year. Some want to improve their physical appearance, some want to be more charitable, some want to volunteer more, and still others want to become involved in their communities. No matter how you see yourself improving this calendar year, Lancaster has ways and places for you to meet and exceed your goals with others doing the same thing. Below is a list of common new year’s resolutions and how Lancaster can help you reach them.

Eat Better

A common refrain for those who’ve recently read In Defense of Food or some other terrifying account of what’s really in processed snacks, “eating better” usually involves including more fruits and veggies in one’s diet and being selective about the source and quality of meats, breads, and pantry items. If you’re looking to turn your diet around Lancaster style, look no further than Lancaster Central Market or your own local farming stands on the side of the roads. Many of the little family stands find it too expensive to get USDA certifications on the “organic” or “non-hormone” status of their meats and fruits, but talk with them and ask about their farming practices. Food takes on a whole different meaning when you know exactly where it came from.

Volunteer more

Lancaster is absolutely brimming with non-profits and financial support for them, as noted by the more than $7 million donated during this year’s Extraordinary Give. No matter where your passions lie, Lancaster has ways you can work with children, at-risk boys, refugees, adults with special needs, English language learners, and homeless citizens. Lancaster is also holding local elections soon, so if you’ve been looking for a way to get involved in local politics, now is the time!

Get more active

No matter how you prefer to get those fitbit steps in, Lancaster has plenty of options. If biking is your thing, The Common Wheel offers weekly community bike rides. SWEAT Lancaster offers group aerobics classes for everyone, no matter the level. For bigger classes and organized sports, try for the YMCA or Spooky Nook Sports Complex.

Read more

If you haven’t explored your local library yet, you’re sorely missing out. The Lancaster County System of Libraries is well-stocked with all of the most recent releases and will send them to the branch nearest you at no charge so you can pick them up with ease. Also, the online resources available from the library system are beyond your wildest dreams. Once you activate your library card, you have access to Overdrive for ebooks and audiobooks and Hoopla for books, music, TV shows, and movies, all on your mobile devices including your phone and tablet. The library system also offers access to databases like Jstor for your research needs.