Can you believe it? In just a few short weeks, we'll be into a new year—and decade. And while I know that this is the time when many folks decide to make resolutions, what I also know is 80 percent of resolutions are left by the wayside come Valentine's Day. That's why, I think it's far more effective to order a fresh journal and jot down some personal affirmations instead. Matter of fact, if you'd like to take positivity a step further, why not host a declarations party with some of your friends?

What exactly is a declarations party? It's simply a time for you and your buddies to get together, toast one another, discuss what you're leaving behind in the old year and what you are declaring will manifest in the new one. And why is doing this so important? Because, making verbal declarations gives us direction, increases our faith and also holds us accountable. Because once we put what we declare out into the atmosphere—especially when it's in front of an audience—we are responsible for what we said. We are compelled to do what we said we would do.

Since we're about to embark upon—whew!—2020, I thought it would be dope to come up with 20 sentences that we all can declare as it relates to four different areas of our lives. Feel free to tweak or amend any that you see. It's not about reciting them verbatim so much as having a guideline for what you want to speak into your life—in this season, stage and phase of it.

Are you ready to make some bold declarations before the New Year arrives? Let's do this then.

When It Comes to Your Job/Career

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"Work to become, not to acquire."—Elbert Hubbard

If Sunday evenings send you into mini panic attacks, if you're not excited or productive at the place where you work, if you can't find one good reason to stay where you currently are other than it pays the bills—these are just a few clear signs that you need to spend some serious time at the top of the year to look for a new job…or career path.

Since you (probably) spend most of your waking hours working, it's important that you position yourself in such a way that you feel challenged, appreciated and inspired. If that means leaving a particular company, totally changing careers or starting a business of your own, so be it. Your time, talents and health and well-being are all far too valuable to remain where you feel dissatisfied and unfulfilled. And so, start aligning yourself with what is better for you by making the following promises to yourself so that you will get into the mental head space to not settle…any longer.

  • "I will not keep working at a place where my gifts and talents aren't being utilized."
  • "I will not invest so much into a job that I don't make time to invest in myself."
  • "I will only remain where I am if it affirms my own personal definition of success."
  • "I will ask for what I want because, closed mouths don't get fed, and all someone can say is 'no'."
  • "I will not stay at a job or on a career path that doesn't make me excited to get out of the bed, at least three days a week. Life is too short and I am too awesome."

When It Comes to Your Relationships

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"A healthy relationship is one where two independent people just make a deal that they will help make the other person the best version of themselves."—Unknown

Wanna know how I know when I'm in a relationship that is right for me, whether it's a personal or professional one? It's non-stressful. It's enjoyable. I learn and grow from it. I feel affirmed and respected. I don't have to second-guess anyone's motives or agendas. Most of all, I feel safe. Very safe. Although I didn't go into 2019 (or 45) thinking that it was going to be a year of so much introspectiveness, personal shifting and relational loss, as I was just telling someone today, the clarity and emotional peace that I now have as a direct result of the relational work that I've done is truly unmatched. I know who my tribe is and who my tribe isn't. I know who can't be trusted and who needs to be kept at arm's length. I also know that anyone who truly loves and appreciates me, they will honor my boundaries as I do the same for them. A lot of this relational self-improvement came from making declarations that are very similar to the ones below.

  • "I will love myself enough to no longer settle for less than what I know I deserve. And if I'm not sure what that is yet, I will be single while I figure it out."
  • "If the relationship, any kind of relationship, is not making me a better person, it's time to let it go."
  • "I will not expect what I am not prepared to give. Also, I will not give out of my lack but out of my overflow. When it comes to others, I will expect the same."
  • "Codependency, fear, control, resentment and unhealthy cyclic behaviors are all beneath me. If my motive is not based on self-love and self-respect, I will not proceed in a relationship—whether it is personal or professional."
  • "In the future, I will not beg for mutuality; I will require it. What I bring to the table is too good to not expect reciprocity in return."

When It Comes to Your Goals

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"If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things."—Albert Einstein

Recently, I had a conversation with a friend of mine who is prone to make unwise decisions when it comes to women. It's like so long as they are crazy and needy, he's all about 'em. As we sat down to discuss what the hell his problem is and how he can avoid going into yet another year of a self-made soap opera, I said to him, "You need to find some other ways to fill up your time." Yes, he has a job—a well-paying one, at that. But what he doesn't have enough of are personal and professional goals.

And just why are goals so important? They give you something to aim for. They keep you focused. They motivate you. They help you to develop healthy habits. Then, once your goals are reached, they strengthen your sense of self-worth while giving you the courage to set even bigger ones. That's why, sentences like the following are so important to speak out into the atmosphere. They help you to set goals and to make personal progress in your life.

  • "I will stop overthinking. I will stop procrastinating. I will stop comparing myself and my path to others. All that these things do is hold me back. That's why, this coming year will be the one when I will move firmly forward with my ambitions and desires—without any reservations or apologies."
  • "I will ask for help when I need it. I will extend a hand when others ask for it too. In both cases, I will make sure that gratitude is the energy that's felt. I will also convey that a sense of entitlement is not tolerated. Help is a gift; it is not a mandate."
  • "I will not be a slave to anyone's blueprint, critique or doubts. These are my goals, my visions and my plans. And, because I am a unique individual, so are the things that I am setting out to do. I trailblaze without any fear because I will embrace rather than run from the new and unexpected."
  • "I will not go into 2021 in the same space that I am entering into 2020. There will be at least 10 short and long-term goals that will be accomplished by this time next year."
  • "I will not compare my goals to others. I will not allow others to belittle mine either. My achievements will be celebrated based on my own standards and expectations. No one else's."

When It Comes to Self-Care

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"Self-care is giving the world the best of you, instead of what's left of you."—Katie Reed

I really wish I had kept the tweet I saw that said something along the lines of, "Why do so many women expect a man to do for them what they don't even know how to do for themselves?" Only someone who applies to that statement would be offended by it because the author of that question is right. Back when I wasn't practicing self-care, there was more of a longing—sometimes to the point of desperation—within me to be taken out on dates, to be pampered and to feel cherished. Now? All that a man's attention can—and should—do is confirm what I already know about—and do for—myself.

Self-care hasn't taught me that I don't need a man; what it has done is reveal to me what I need a man for. I need a man to complement, support and protect all of this goodness that's over here; the goodness that existed well before a man's arrival. You know what taught me that? Self-care did. So did making the following promises to myself.

  • "I will set aside a monthly budget to pamper myself. This goes beyond mani/pedis and hair appointments. This coming year, I will learn the difference between routine maintenance and sheer luxury. I will make it a priority that I have both."
  • "There will be a 24-hour period, once a week, where I make sure to 'unplug' and rest. This is non-negotiable."
  • "I will make sure that my thoughts and actions line up with the kind of love that I strive to have for myself. I will begin each day remembering that since there is only one 'me', that automatically makes me original, rare and incomparable—all qualities that make me a true force in this world."
  • "I will set the standard for how others are to treat me, by how I treat myself. The standard will continue to rise over the next several months."
  • "I will set aside enough money to go on a vacation by this time next year. I need the rest, the reflection and the self-wooing whether I go with a boo, some friends or with the most fabulous person I know—myself."

This right here is more than a self-help article. I can personally attest to the purpose and power that comes from making positive, focused and firm declarations over your life. Make 2020 one of the best ones yet by making some too. It's good seed in good ground. I declare it.

Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:

Forget New Year's Resolutions, Try This Instead

15 Affirmations To Inspire A Happier, More Fulfilled Life

Wake-Up Call: Here's How To Make Your Dreams A Reality

7 Unapologetic Women Share Their Personal Journey To Self-Love

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