Friday, April 27, 2007

Book review: "This Year I Will..."

‘This Year I Will… How to Finally Change a Habit, Keep a Resolution or Make a Dream Come True’ by M.J. Ryan

When was the last time you thought of your New Year’s resolutions? With just eight months left in 2007, there might not be a better time to determine if this is how you want to live the rest of the year.

Books can change lives by inspiring or saying something to you at the right time. “The Year I Will…” shows readers the steps to take if they want to change and how to make that change permanent.

“The human mind is conditioned to make choices that are easy, known or safe,” said author M.J. Ryan. Known to the publishing world as the editor who launched the “random acts of kindness” trend, Ryan said the lack of illumination in her own life inspired her to make a major change. She began practicing the stuff her books preached and went from “a very negative person to one that finds joy in everything, everyday,” she said. “I was 50 years old and had never exercised a day in my life but I realized that if I wanted to be around for the next 10 years and beyond, something had to give.”

Ryan was inspired by medical data which showed that even after life-threatening events, only 10 percent of patients who had suffered from a heart attack made permanent changes. She began to wonder just what it would take to really make people change.

“Fear can only be used as a motivator for the short term,” she noted. “In order to make long-term changes stick you have to have positive incentives.” Ryan breaks the sometime-scary concept of change into three easily digestible sections: preparing to change, getting into action and keeping going. And if readers just need to jump into making these changes, they can skip to the end where she offers “12 tips to keep your promise to yourself.”

Ryan suggests picking just one big goal at a time and working on it until you reach the finish line. Feel inspired? E-mail me at and let me know what you’ve decided to change this year.

Pick up the book at Charlotte Weekly’s display at Joseph-Beth Booksellers at SouthPark