14 Powerful Strategies More Effective Than Resolutions

Jennifer Brown Banks

"Those who fail to plan, plan to fail."

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The new year is here! And yet, some folks are still stuck in the same ruts, unfulfilling relationships, bad habits and delusions as the year before. And the year before that. And the year before that.

Sound familiar?

The good news is that these negative cycles can indeed be broken.

Word to the wise: change is possible. But, resolutions don‘t work for everyone!

Consider the following:

According to IFLSCIENCE.COM: “Research has shown that about half of all adults make New Year’s resolutions. However, fewer than 10% manage to keep them for more than a few months.”

It goes on further to state: “The most common resolutions are: losing weight, doing more exercise, quitting smoking and saving money.

The main reason that people don’t stick to their resolutions is that they set too many or they’re unrealistic to achieve. They may also be victims of “false hope syndrome”. False hope syndrome is characterized by a person’s unrealistic expectations about the likely speed, amount, ease and consequences of changing their behavior.”

A PARADIGM SHIFT IS NEEDED…

Without an awareness of where you’re going, your strengths and weaknesses, and a good game plan, you’ll still falter. No matter how many resolutions you pledge to honor.

Take for instance my former co-worker "Ella." Even though she’s college educated and capable, she stays broke, hasn’t dated in years, has few friends, and feels that life has dealt her a bad hand.

The reason? She’s completely oblivious to the fact that she often makes poor decisions, holds grudges, won’t take constructive criticism, and says and does things that often piss people off!

Ella refuses to “connect the dots,” see the big picture, or get a clue!

And worse still, is that her self-perception is totally unrealistic.

Are you Ella?

Denial is a dangerous thing. Although it may keep your ego in tact, it’ll keep you from moving forward and realizing greater heights. You’re better than that.

Here are 14 ways to find peace, passion, progress and prosperity in 2021:

1. Get Rooted in Reality

If you keep losing jobs, losing in love, and losing ground, most likely the problem is you. If your problems are the same this year as the year before, it's likely the problem is you. If you're "putting on the pounds," it's not McDonald's or a fast food conspiracy. It's you, dear.

2. Stop Playing the Victim (see # 1)

In other words, kwit yer bellyachin'. And do something.

3. Write Down Realistic Goals and Commit to Them

Impose a deadline. Studies show that people who write their goals down are three times more likely to achieve them.

4. Get Your Financial House in Order

Did you know that your cash flow plays an integral role in all aspects of your life: from your stress level to your general health, from where you live to how you live. Decrease debt, do your homework, and consult a financial planner for greater strides.

5. Get Feedback From Someone You Trust and Admire

Nobody has all the answers in life. That's the great thing about having friends and mentors! In what areas are you lacking? Or how can you take your current skills to a higher level? Seek advice from those whose life habits or level of success shows a proven track record in areas you're trying to master.

Even the Bible informs us that “the wise seek counsel.”

6. Have a Realistic View of Who You are and What You Bring to the Table.

This is particularly helpful in seeking a mate.

7. Learn From Your Former Mistakes

Don't beat yourself up about your mistakes. Reassess, then move on. Remember that "those who fail to learn from the past are destined to repeat it."

8. Watch the Company That You Keep

Be it an intimate relationship or fair-weathered friends, beware of the company that you associate with. Toxic people can be just as damaging as other health risk factors. They also have the power to stunt your growth.

9. Don't Compare or Compete if it doesn’t serve you.

Embrace your uniqueness and value your individual gifts. And give honor to "the creator."

10. Do Periodic "Progress Checks"

Are you where you thought you'd be this year? Or are you at least moving in a forward direction? If not, reassess and revise. Remember that knowledge is power.

11. Love Wisely

In situations where you're not being treated the way you feel you deserve to be, hold out for the "real McCoy." Don't stay in a romantic partnership just because it's comfortable or familiar.

12. Try Something Different

If your current efforts are not working, simply change course. To quote world renowned motivational speaker Les Brown, "If you keep doing what you're doing, you'll keep getting what you getting."

13. Don’t seek to eliminate, strive to moderate.

Let’s face it: many of us have attempted to “swear off” things like chocolate or alcohol or online shopping. Often, without desired results. Here’s why. Our goals are too extreme. This only makes our actions seem more punitive rather than progressive. Instead of vowing to never eat chocolate cake or take a drink this year, why not commit to doing it less or in smaller amounts? This makes things more realistic and achievable. Wouldn’t you agree?

14. Master the Art of Perseverance

It takes courage to change. But, more importantly, it takes perseverance to see things through to the end. Don’t get immediately discouraged if/when you don’t hit your designated targets and deadlines. Establishing good habits can take 18 days or more to form sometimes.

Healthline.com reports that: “It can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days for a person to form a new habit and an average of 66 days for a new behavior to become automatic.

There’s no one-size-fits-all figure, which is why this time frame is so broad; some habits are easier to form than others, and some people may find it easier to develop new behaviors.There’s no right or wrong timeline. The only timeline that matters is the one that works best for you.”

Final Thoughts

In addition to these timely strategies, "resolve" to take advantage of the wealth of information available through self-help books. Here are three books that I recommend for 2021 for personal and professional growth:

THE PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE BY RICK WARREN

THINK AND GROW RICH BY NAPOLEON HILL

SIMPLE ABUNDANCE BY SARAH BAN BREATHNACH

Image credit: Pixabay.com

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Veteran freelance writer, award-winning blogger, thought leader, herbal tea enthusiast. My mission is to entertain, engage and inform readers with articles that are interesting, enriching and diverse.

Chicago, IL
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