As the clock strikes midnight and you share a kiss with someone you love and possibly some champagne, you vow to make 2016 the best year ever. We all do. It’s the way it works. Every year is resolution time. People commit to getting in shape, spending less time on electronics and more with family, or being less sarcastic and better listeners. There’s a resolution for everyone. Do you make them?
I used to write down changes I wanted to make for the year to come. I don’t call them resolutions anymore. Resolutions are made to be broken — at least in my opinion. The term comes with such expectation, really, so I’ve removed it from my vocabulary as far as the new year is concerned.
I don’t make resolutions. I make lifestyle changes and goals.
2015 was a good year for me. I got in shape — and stayed there. How did I do this? Easy. I exercised every day and altered my eating habits. I’ve never felt better (well, except for my bad back and injured hamstring). I look at myself in the mirror and can’t believe who is staring back at me. A woman with strength, confidence, and a body I never expected to see again. I thank my husband for taking on the challenge with me, BeachBody and Bikini Body Mommy for providing awesome workouts, My Fitness Pal for making tracking my goals easy (I have a love/hate relationship with macros), and Fitbit for making me get off my ass during the day. Really, though, the person I need to thank the most is myself.
No, I’m not being cocky.
The only person whom can commit to a change and make it is yourself. I reached the goals I set. No one did it for me. I set a goal, reached for it, and attained it.
So why am I still disappointed?
On the fitness side, I’m happy as can be. I love sharing my love of fitness with the world and I will continue to do so. If people don’t like it, they can simply not follow me, my blog, or be friends with me on Facebook. That’s fine. Where am I lacking my confidence?
Yes, I said it. I’ll admit, 2015 is shaping up to be an awesome year in regards to my books. I published a book in August, Jay Walking, and somehow I snagged a Book Bub ad, and I’m still reaping the benefits. People are discovering my books and they like them. Well, not all — trust me, I’ve gotten my fair share of bad reviews. The people that love my books and reach out to me — thank you. It makes me happier than you can imagine.
Right now I’m in the middle of revisions for my fourth book, Sparing the Heart, which is set to release in March 2016. That’s the final book of the Pastime Pursuits series (maybe? I think?), and the first of three manuscripts I hope to publish in 2016. That’s right; I plan to publish not one, but two, novels in 2016 along with a holiday novella at the end of the year. The best part? They are ALL written. I only need to revise. Trust me, though, that’s the most frustrating part.
People around me are succeeding in their writing careers beyond their wildest dreams. I’d be lying to you if I said I wasn’t jealous. I don’t want to lie to you. And I won’t. But I will tell you that I’m sincerely so happy for them. I’ve come to know many of these talented authors and I wish them years of continued success. I only hope to join them one day.
Being an author isn’t an easy job. Despite the hardships, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I love to write and share my stories with the world. As long as someone reads them, I’ll write them. And maybe even if no one reads them. I love it too much. Writing is a part of me, an extension of me, it runs through my veins. I need to be doing it.
My main goal in 2016 is to publish the three works I mentioned. The other is to try not to peek at my reviews, and if I do, not let them get me down. It’s funny how in a basket of great reviews the one review stating how much they hated your book sticks out. That’s the one that attaches itself to your heart and breaks it, shreds it apart with a sword like you’re in Game of Thrones. I must stop doing this because that is what brings me down.
My good friend Stephanie started 2015 with a motto:
Head down, keep writing.
I need to adopt that in 2016. I need to live it. Breathe it. Never lose sight of it. My books are living inside me and I’ll write them, send them to beta readers, get feedback, polish them up, and publish them. I must stop stressing myself out with the notes I receive from my beta readers remembering that I don’t need to change every little thing that is suggested. I don’t need to compete and try to release four books if Sally releases the same. I make my own decisions on my writing and no one else.
If I spent time writing instead of comparing myself or worrying about what others think of my writing, I could publish three books every year.
Today is low-key, as most New Year’s celebrations are for me. I’ll read, write, exercise, enjoy a nice steak dinner made by my husband, and fall asleep on the couch well before midnight. Tomorrow, as I start 2016, I start it with a clear head and what will be a daily reminder: Head down, keep writing.