Monday, December 26, 2011

Resolutions...a way to positive change

The New Year is upon us with its promise of positive change and renewed hope.

It is a time for making resolutions; however, I recently heard someone say that she is not making resolutions this year because she did not accomplish last year's.

Do not avoid making resolutions because of past failures. Change is difficult. Our habits develop over long years (often for reasons we are not conscious of) and resist breaking easily. There is a behavioral model that outlines the steps toward changing behavior or habits.

The Stages of Change model was originally developed in the late 1970's and early 1980's by James Prochaska and Carlo DiClemente at the University of Rhode Island when they were studying how smokers were able to give up their habits or addiction.

Here is a much-simplified version:
  • Pre-contemplation: Not seriously thinking about change
  • Contemplation: Aware of consequences of a bad habit and thinking about your problems
  • Preparation: Have made a commitment to change
  • Action: Taking steps to change
  • Maintenance: Avoiding temptation to return to bad habit(s)
  • Relapse: Discouraged but recognize that cessation of a bad habit does not follow a straight path
Consider these stages when making resolutions. Expect to falter along the road to change. Narrow resolutions to one or two. Reward yourself for small steps taken in the direction you want to go.

My list of 2012 resolutions is short: handle my finances better, get fit(ter) and kick start my writing career.

Will you dare to change?

    Monday, December 19, 2011

    Zombie Love

    I am a fan of zombie movies and TV programs: "The Walking Dead," (AMC), "Shaun of the Dead," "28 Days Later," "Zombie Apocalypse," "Dawn of the Dead," "Return of the Living Dead" and countless others.

    Imagine my surprise when a student in one of my writing classes said that he had done maintenance at an Army facility that housed real-live zombies! He was very serious (and seemed to be in his right mind).

    He told me, "Go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website and see for yourself. They have information about zombie attacks."

    Well, I did, and you can, too.

    Likewise, while driving through Vegas one afternoon, I spotted a truck with an official-looking decal that read--"Zombie Response Team."

    Surely, zombies do not exist. What do you think?

    Photo courtesy

    Monday, December 12, 2011

    Book Lovers Alert

    One of TV's great offerings is C-SPAN2's Book TV (, a weekend potpourri of interviews, seminars, and panels with non-fiction authors. Books run the gamut from  history to linguistics to politics.

    From book fair to bookstore appearances, authors read from, talk about, and answer questions about their books. I always find myself jotting down titles that I would like to read:
    • Pox: An American History by Brandeis University historian Michael Willrich
    • The Jersey Sting, A True Story of  Crooked Pols, Money Laundering Rabbis, Black Market Kidneys, and The Informant Who Brought It All Down by New Jersey Star-Ledger investigative reporters Josh Margolin and Ted Sherman
    • What Language Is (And What It Isn't and What It Could Be) by linguist John McWhorter
    • Ten Letters: The Stories Americans Tell Their President by Eli Saslow
    "In-Depth" is a three-hour interview program with viewer call-in and e-mails; few television programs devote that much time to serious discussion. Recent guests have included documentary producer, Michael Moore; novelist, poet, and essayist Ishmael Reed, and Ann Coulter, Fox News commentator and Dems-basher.

    This week's schedule (December 17-18) features Tulane University political science professor Melissa Harris-Perry speaking at Hue-Man Bookstore in Harlem about her book Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America (Sunday, December 18, 10:45 AM, EST)

    Book TV keeps me in touch with major themes in U.S. and world history, politics, media, criminal justice as well as countless other issues and events.

    I'm addicted; I hope you will be too.