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New Year's Resolution? No Thanks.

I don’t do annual resolutions. I used to make half-hearted resolutions because everyone asked, “What’s your New Year’s resolution?” but I knew I’d never keep them. How self-defeating is that behavior?

For many years, I resolved to quit smoking. I did eventually quit but it had no connection to a New Year’s resolution. Same for losing weight or making use of a gym membership…those sound good but that kind of motivation never worked for me. Still, I think it’s important to mark the approach of the new year and take personal inventory and so on.

Self-review and assessment has value. I just need a different this one:

“Begin as you mean to go on, and go on as you began, and let the Lord be all in all to you.” ― Charles Haddon Spurgeon, All of Grace

I plan for the new year, especially now that I write full time. Business planning for conferences, reader events, book due dates and other commitments must be planned for or the days and weeks will get lost amid twelve months of chaos and time frittering.

Instead of resolutions, and in addition to business planning, I take the approach of beginning the new year as I “mean to go on.” For instance, I write best in the morning. I like to be at my desk at and ready to do serious writing by 9AM. I write until noon and then decide at that point what to do with the rest of the day. I may write more, or engage in marketing activities, or even personal pastimes. But at 9AM, I must be butt-in-seat and attending to the business of writing.

I stayed on task during the first few months of full time writing. As the deadlines were met and the holidays approached, I’ve fallen away from that schedule. I’ve lost my focus and my momentum. If that doesn’t change, my 2017 business planning will be for naught.

As we approach the end of 2016, I’m trying to ease back into things. By the morning of January 1, at 9AM, I will be in place and writing. Not on Facebook. Not checking email. Not frittering. It will be focus, focus, focus. Because as much fun as it is to play, I have discovered I feel better about myself and my life when I am writing. Writing fiction isn’t easy, but it serves a purpose beyond making a living—perhaps emotional release—because it improves my overall well-being and disposition.

What is your vision for 2017? How do you want to spend your days and energy?

See the path before you and understand the steps that will move you along the journey and begin it. Do it. On day one, be there and be present. Begin the year as you intend to go on ~ to the destination you have in mind ~ and be sure to enjoy each step along the way.

The transition from 2016 to 2017 is especially fun for me. I spent 2016 writing two Women's Fiction novels for Lake Union Publishing ~ a wonderful opportunity for an Indie author.

The first of those novels, The Happiness In Between, is all done and ready to be released on January 31st. A couple of days ago, I received an unexpected shipment of the print version! So exciting and if you haven't pre-ordered your copy, I hope you will! The second book, The Memory of Butterflies, will be released in July 2017, and in between those books, I plan to release a third novel in the Emerald Isle, NC series.

Fun, indeed. And joy. Welcome, 2017.

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