New Years Resolutions that Work By Allison Blankenship

"Upside the book"Who would guess that my ambitions were stuck deep inside an old filing cabinet?

While cleaning out files not long ago, I found a copy of my new years resolutions from 1988. Imagine my horror to discover many of those “old” goals looked exactly like the same goals on my current list: save money, lose weight, eat healthy, etc. Had I no new ambitions? And could it be that 20+ years later, I still had not accomplished what I’d desired? How depressing!

It made me realize that many times we go through the routine of setting new resolutions for the year without really being mindful of what we want to accomplish or achieve. That’s why in 2011, I am following 5 strategies to make sure I stay on the path to success.

These are taken from a new book, Upside: How to Zig when Life Zags, coauthored with a wonderful friend, Bonnie Michaels. In 2011, resolve to…

1. Accept that the “not-known” is the new normal. Thanks to technology, our world is changing faster than ever before. While this change means the end of many things familiar, it also brings maximum opportunities. Rather than focus on what isn’t working any more, look for new events or prospects and redesign your goals and resolutions accordingly.

2. Eliminate expectation and entitlement. Almost everyone has hidden expectations that can lead to entitlement, i.e., go to college and get a good job, etc. or “I deserve this because…” When these expectations don’t pan out, it can cause anger, disappointment and even depression. Learn to detach yourself from expectations and approach goals with hope and fortitude instead. Then celebrate small successes as you move toward your achievement to reinforce a positive outlook.

3. Make passion your true power. Many of our goals are “shoulds” or expectations from others and not a passion individually. The fastest way to sabotage yourself is to allow external influences determine your priorities. Instead, try clarifying your personal core values and reworking your version of the “American Dream” to align with what you are passionate about. Then, create a strategic plan to incorporate this passion into your daily life in small doses while you move toward your overall goal or resolution.

4. Master mindfulness. In a crazy-busy world of texting, 24/7 accessibility and one-up competition, taking time out to reflect on how you want to work and live is critical. Becoming more mindful, or aware, of what’s going on around you brings clarity and allows your focus to stay on track. Constantly thinking about the past or future robs you of the present and can sabotage your goals.

5. Develop a community of support. Achieving goals and meeting resolutions are accelerated when we surround ourselves with people of like minds and energy. Sometimes we are unwittingly derailed by our friends and families who are comfortable with our present selves or lifestyles. Changing this focus usually means reaching out to professional groups, mentors or networks like WECAI.

For more ideas on creating sustainable success or mastering life’s unexpected challenges, visit

"allison blankenship" for articles, blogs, videos and a free downloadable book club discussion outline. Upside: How to Zig When Life Zags is available through Barnes & Noble bookstores, online at www.Barnesand or directly through the publisher at

Allison Blankenship is an author, speaker, Life Diva™ and communications strategist. You can reach her through