NEIGHBORS : New Habits : A local therapist says that if you stick with your resolution for 21 days, you've got a good chance of succeeding.


So it's Jan. 2 and already you've broken a New Year's resolution or two. An important question enters your head: Is there hope?

Sharon Potter, a Ventura County therapist, says yes, most definitely.

"People can beat themselves up if they want to," she said, "or they can say, ' Today is the beginning of a new year too, so I can remake or re-evaluate (my resolutions).' Maybe they should look at what they really want."

On the other hand, if you have met your resolutions thus far, don't think you're out of the woods.

"It takes 21 days to implement a new habit," Potter said. "If you can keep something going for 21 days, like exercise or diet, you've got a good chance of continuing it. I usually find that by the second week, at about 10 days, people give up."

Potter, who herself has established some specific goals for 1992, is a proponent of New Year's resolutions. "They are real good guidelines to go by," she said. "We need guidelines in our life. . . . We need a path."

Speaking of the new year, with each one comes the need for a new calendar. And there are plenty from which to choose. A walk through the Buenaventura Mall last week provided mind-boggling evidence of this.

Calendar themes ranged from Bo Jackson and Andre Agassi to impressionist Monet. At Waldenbooks, a shelf displayed a calendar titled "Cats and Kittens" and to the right of it a calendar called "Kittens and Cats."

Niccola Hight, manager at B. Dalton Bookseller, said Audubon Society and Sierra Club calendars are popular as usual, but the biggie this year is the "Beverly Hills 90210" calendar, based on the Fox television series. And cat calendars are big at B. Dalton too.

"There have been more cat calendars around last year and this year. People have been asking for them," Hight said. "Maybe cat lovers are coming out of the closet."

The people who answer the phones at the Ventura County Environmental Health Department were busy toward the end of last month.

So what, you say. Well, for these folks it wasn't the holidays that caused the increased workload. It was, they suggest, the Dec. 21 full moon.

"Whenever it's a full moon, or a drastic change in weather, like if it's real windy, we get an abundance of crazy calls," office manager Sam McKinney said. "We call them FMCs--full moon crazies."

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World