Hi, everybody! I hope you had a lovely holiday break. I love Christmas, and my absolute favorite holiday is coming right up… New Year’s! There’s just something about getting the gift of a whole new year, and I’m always determined to make it my Best Year Ever!

Now, let me tell you… sometimes, that just doesn’t pan out. 2016, for instance, broke my heart several times over, and I’m just proud of myself for avoiding depression in spite of it. Last year around this time, I did a list of the best things about the year, but although there were some good things about 2016, I’m going to skip that this time around and look ahead. (Are you feeling this way, too?)

In the past, I’ve often made a lot of resolutions regarding my work and my writing. Some of them were partly out of my control, which is maybe not the smartest way to make resolutions.

In 2017, I’m looking forward to a couple of big, exciting and difficult career challenges, and I have no idea how they are going to go! At the same time, I feel like it’s going to be very important to not get swallowed up in my work and forget to have fun. In fact, FUN is my keyword for 2017.

I always make 10 resolutions, mostly because of the influence of Jinny S. Ditzier’s book Your Best Year Yet. I’ve never been the kind of person who says, “I think I’ll just see what life has in store for me,” because in my experience, life can’t be trusted to come up with awesomeness for you. You have to go out and make it happen.

Here are my 10 resolutions for 2017, with a little explanation for each one.

 

 

 

1. Go on 52 awesome dates with Mr. Donovan.

Several of my resolutions are ones I’ve made in past years and didn’t quite achieve… but my life was better for it, anyway. This is one of them! There’s nothing that makes me happier than having fun with my darling.

2. Do something fun with a friend or friends in real life once a week.

I’ve always thought of myself as an introvert, but lately I want to see people more!

3. Truly celebrate all the holidays and special days.

This is my parent’s influence! They really get into the holidays. I hate it when days like St. Patrick’s Day, or heck, even Arbor Day, go by without my celebrating it somehow.

Now you can see that if I do these first three things, I’m probably going to have a good time.

4. Capture the fun: share at least 1 Instagram picture every day and write 1 thing down in the Happiness Book every day.

The Instagram goal seems narcissistic, and let me be clear: it absolutely is. It’s also more than that. Like a lot of creative people, I can live a lot in my head, and doing Instagram a lot reminds me to look around at the world and enjoy life more. At the end of the year, I want to put together a book of all of the best memories. (Follow me on Instagram if you want to!)

The Happiness Book is simply a place to record one happy memory every day. I used to do a Happiness Jar, but we are switching to a book because it turns out we really like to save these, and it’s easier to save a book than a bunch of slips of paper.

5. Be active in my local political groups.

I don’t discuss politics on my blog, but I’ll just say two things: 1. not many people get involved on the local or state level, even though it can have a big impact, and 2. no matter what your political beliefs are, taking action is more effective than complaining to your friends, and it also makes you feel better.

6. Do 52 random acts of kindness.

This is another resolution I’ve had before and haven’t quite nailed, but I did a lot of good things anyway.

 

 

 

7. Take a long walk 6 times a week.

The treadmill is fine if the weather is bad. It’s great to get out in nature. But then again, watching Netflix and walking is also great! I’ve even been known to write while doing the treadmill.

8. Complete levels 1 – 5 of Fluenz Spanish.

I’ll skip ahead through 1 and 2 if it’s too easy. Language study also makes your brain sharper for everything else.

9. Post at least 2 blog posts a week, send out 1 newsletter a month, and make 6 youtube videos.

I’m feeling inspired about the newsletter, and the youtube videos will be new for me. Hope you like them! We’ll see how they come out.

10. Achieve new levels of brilliance in my career.

This could be my day-job career, my author career, or both! No matter what happens with circumstances out of my control, I’ll do some good new things.

 

What about you? Have you made some resolutions? Do you hate resolutions? Are you excited about a New Year? Scared? Let me know in the comments!

And no matter what, THANK YOU for reading my blog! I appreciate you every day of the year.