I’m not much for New Year’s resolutions; I don’t make them at all. People have good intentions and initially put forth a valiant effort. But we all know as January progresses enthusiasm wanes and efforts diminish. By February, most are chastising themselves for being failures and vowing to be more persistent next year.

I do believe there is value in setting and accomplishing goals: getting into shape, getting out of debt, spending more time with family, returning to school to further one’s education. All can enrich lives, improve health and strengthen relationships. But all are meaningless…unless we first pursue the single most important objective: to create and live in peace and harmony with one another.

I can hear some of you saying, “That would be nice, Janet, but it’s totally unrealistic in today’s world.” Well, my friend, I respectfully disagree. While I may not be able to facilitate world peace, I certainly have the ability to create it within myself and to be an instrument of peace to all whom I encounter. Everything done in anger can be accomplished in peace: conflicts can be resolved calmly; truth can be spoken with words of kindness; relationships can be strengthened by infusing thoughtful behaviors. The Way of Peace requires far less effort and has zero harmful consequences.

However there are things one must do in order to accomplish this:
o Relinquish the need to control others and what is occurring around us (admit it – we all do it - we want things our way).
o Reduce expectations placed on others, ourselves and the world. Unfulfilled expectations lead to disappointment and anger. Accept that which we have no ability or right to dominate.
o Eliminate the need to be right at the expense of another’s “wrongness”. Accept that there are differences and each person’s needs or perceptions are valid.
o Be more accepting of who people are. Allow each to journey through life in their own time and way. Appreciate them with all their imperfections. Treat them with compassion, patience and concern.
o Know that everything that happens in life is a necessary part of one’s journey and absolutely essential for their personal and spiritual growth. This removes resentment, anger, bitterness and jealousy.

While you are contemplating what New Year’s resolutions you will embark upon in 2012, consider first that which is most significant: resolve to be a living example of peace.

Some say when you have your health you have everything but I know healthy people who are miserable. I believe when you have inner peace you have all you’ll ever need. It is possible. I’ve done it. So can you.

“We cannot be a world at peace until we are first a people of peace.” – Janet Pfeiffer

Author's Bio: 

Janet Pfeiffer, internationally known speaker and award-winning author, is one of today’s most highly sought after seminar leaders. and is NJ State Certified in Violence Counseling.

As a leading authority in the field of anger management and conflict resolution, Janet serves as a consultant to such companies as the U.S. Army, U.S. Postal Service, AT&T, Hoffman-LaRoche, Rutgers University, Carnival Cruise Lines, United Way, YWCA, New Jersey Education Association, Care-One, Insurance Restoration Specialists, Learning Annex, William Paterson University Women’s Center, Catholic Community Services, Passaic County Community College, American Business Academy, Bergen County Police and Fire Academy, Cook’s College, Kean University, Rotary, Ocean County College, Kiwanis and more.

Janet received her N.J. State Certification in Domestic Violence Affairs and is a consultant and instructor at a battered women’s shelter.

Janet has spoken at the United Nations, Notre Dame University (for the NACSDC National Conference), has served as committee member and keynote speaker for the YWCA National Week Without Violence Campaign, and is a member of the National Police Suicide Foundation and past board member for the World Addiction Foundation.

She is a former columnist for the Daily Record and hosted her own cable TV and radio shows. Janet has also been a contributing writer to Woman’s World Magazine, Living Solo Magazine, Prime Woman Magazine and N.J. Family. She has recently appeared in Fusion, Alaska Business Monthly and more than 50 other publications.

As an inspirational speaker and private consultant, Janet is a frequent guest on radio and TV and has appeared on CNN, ABC News, The 700 Club, Lifetime, NBC News, Fox, CBS News, The Harvest Show, TruTV, Celebration and more than 100 top radio stations. She appears as a regular guest on WGUN Radio (Relationship Thursdays with DJ Kay and Janet Pfeiffer).

Janet also runs “The Antidote to Anger Group” for court ordered offenders and those with issues of anger. Additionally, she is a member of EAPA, NJAWBO, ISBOG and Visions in Motion Speaker’s Bureau.

Janet's books include: The Secret Side of Anger (endorsed by NY Times best selling author, Dr. Bernie Siegel), 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life, Vol.3 (co -authored with Mark Victor Hanson of Chicken Soup For the Soul), The Seedling’s Journey, The Angel and The Gift, The Orchids of Gateway Lane , Jordan's Promise and Dying To Be Safe: Ultimate Solutions to Violence.

She has been nominated for many prestigious awards including the Russ Berrie "Make a Difference Award", 2010 NJ Governor’s Jefferson Award, and has been presented with SOS "Positive Life Force" and "AOH" awards.

She has achieved recognition as an award winning author, photographer, and race walker. (1994/1995 NJ Gold Medalist; 1994/1995 National Gold, Silver and Bronze Medalist in marathon competition), and is also listed in the "Who's Who in Authors".

In 2001, she founded "Reunion of Hearts", Reconciling and Reconnecting Estranged Families", the nation's first non-profit support group of its kind dedicated to the emotional healing and reuniting of estranged family members.

Janet is a graduate of Englewood Cliffs College (now part of St. Peter’s).