M. J. Ryan is one of the creators of the Random Acts of Kindness series, which has sold more than one million copies, and the author of The Power of Patience, The Happiness Makeover, and other titles. She founded Conari Press and is currently an executive coach and a popular speaker. In this handy book, she addresses the yearning we all have to change our lives, to get rid of bad habits, to fly on new wings, and to fulfill our dreams. Ryan has divided the material into these sections:
• Preparing to Change
• Getting Into Action
• Keeping Going
• Twelve Tips for Keeping Your Promise to Yourself
• Conscious Self-Creation
Depending upon what survey you look at, approximately 48 percent of us make New Year Resolutions, but only 8 percent succeed. There are many things that go wrong on our path to change, and it takes a great deal of energy, determination, and aspiration to sustain that intention. Ryan lists the Top Ten Resolution Pitfalls (many of which are covered in the book) which include being vague about what you want, not making a serious commitment, trying to go it alone, telling yourself self-limiting rut stories, and turning slip-ups to give-ups.
Ryan perks up the pages of this book with exercises; insights from psychology and cutting-edge brain research; and juicy quotations. Here are a few of the latter:
• "We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand . . . and melting like a snowflake. Let us use it before it's too late."
• "The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement."
• "People become really remarkable when they start thinking they can do things. When they believe in themselves they have the first secret of success."
Norman Vincent Peale
• "When all is said and done, a lot more is said than done."
• "Be like a postage stamp stick to one thing till you get there."
• "Forget past mistakes. Forget failures. Forget everything except what you are going to do now and do it."
Ryan pumps up our will power with practices from 12-step programs; insights from kaisen, a Japanese strategy for change that relies on tiny steps; and ideas on how to help your brain grow new pathways. This Year I Will . . . by M. J. Ryan makes change and transformation doable.