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2016: A Year in Review

December is so close to be over, and so is 2016. And thank goodness for that—is it just me, or has year been supremely sucky for just about everyone??

For me, it seems like I've hit a new speed bump every time I thought I had caught my stride. I said goodbye to my beloved Maxie Cat, my friend I've had for half my life. Quite a few relationships have fallen apart. I'm lucky that I haven't encountered any major setbacks, but I've had a bunch of smaller inconveniences: computer problems, a stolen credit card, break ups and broken hearts, death and illnesses, apartment disasters, unexpected expenses.... You name it, I'm sure I've experienced it this year.

But that doesn't mean this year has been all bad. Two new kitties, Flynn and Anna, have adopted me. I got a new Dallas Comets book published. An amazing friend invited me to see the Pens home opener and banner raising. I've made a lot of business decisions relating to my writing career including some big things for 2017—especially my first reader event in March that I'm really excited about.

My new year's resolutions fizzled out, although they did last longer than I had anticipated! (I think blogging about my adherence to them and progress definitely helped in that department.)

1.) I am significantly more organized than I was this time last year. My office is all set up, my documents and paperwork are filed away, my closets are neater than every before, and my planner is perfectly color-coded.

2.) I didn't consistently hit the gym three times a week, but I probably had more visits this year than last—which of course was good, even if I didn't hit my mark.

3.) I did fail miserably at my goal to release three books in 2016, though; I only got one new release and boxed set out.

So, as I reflect back on the year and look towards the one to come, I realize that I made a mistake when it came to that resolution of mine. I focused on OUTPUT (what I should release) instead of focusing on INPUT (time spent writing). My priorities were wrong, and I felt worse when I realized I wasn't going to meet my goals. I let my readers down, sure, by not giving them the three books I had planned—but I also let myself down, which is never a good feeling.

My two other goals were about effort: making efforts to organize my home and life as well making efforts to get to the gym and spending time on the treadmill. I didn't set a goal to lose X amount of weight; I set a goal to show up.

So I'm reframing my writing goal for 2017. It's not about output, it's about input: instead of expecting a certain number of releases, I'm going to spend a certain amount of time writing.

My goal for 2017 is to spending at least fifteen minutes a day, five days a week, in front of the keyboard. I know that it doesn't sound like a lot, but sometimes fifteen solid minutes of writing can be more productive than an hour staring at a blinking cursor. Plus, I'm planning on a minimum of fifteen minutes—in reality, I'm hoping that it becomes more than that. (I was going to make it fifteen minutes every day, but there will be days where writing is impossible.)

Okay, so that's resolution #1: write fifteen minutes a day, five times a week.

I'm only making one more resolution for the coming year, and that's to focus on my health. I know that sounds very broad; it is. Specifically, I've been having some stomach issues that have gotten worse, and I'm hoping to get them sorted out. Generally, I hope to continue hitting up the gym, making better food choices, and engaging in as much self-care as needed. Because if I've learned anything in 2016, it's that I've got to have my best interests at heart! Otherwise, I'm no good to anyone, including my readers.

That's it! Just two resolutions for this coming year, but they're just as important as last year's. These are simple resolutions, but that's the genius in them! They'll be easily attainable throughout the entire year.

What are your new year's resolutions? If you want to share, leave them in the comments! And whatever they may be, I wish you all the luck in the world when it comes to achieving them!

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