First Fridays with the Crew - Resolutions for the New Year

The year 2019 is only a few days old, and we’re keen to know what’s on everyone’s to-do list for the 12 months ahead. Are you someone who makes New Year's resolutions or not? If you make them, do you stick to them? The gang’s here to share our thoughts, and would love to hear yours, too.

Avril Tremayne

Sydney New Year fireworks
I used to be very strict about my New Year resolutions. I definitely made them, and I always stuck to them. The key, I found, was to make them achievable – for example, I would have said I'll complete a manuscript (which is generally within my control), rather than I'll have a book published – which is way harder to promise yourself when you’re trying to sell to a publisher! I'm sorry to say that 2018 delivered a few hard kicks to my shins, and with real life getting in the way of the idyll in my head, I didn't achieve most of my list. But that makes me more determined in 2019, which I'm hereby declaring as the year I focus on writing romantic comedy exclusively – the genre that brings me the greatest happiness as a writer. I will finish my current work in progress and do it by the end of April 2019. Moreover, I'll get cracking on my next rom com in May 2019. Whew! It feels good to have that said with all of you as my witnesses!

Angi Morgan
Resolutions haven't been my thing. At least not on New Year's Day. I AM a list maker though. At the end of every year my husband basically takes a two-week vacation. It's not a lot of fun because I normally have a ton of things to do. He is supposed to use the time to finish projects. This year is no different with the exception that we've had a lot of home repairs and renovations. I convinced him to make a list and prioritize it himself. I also convinced him not to delete the items...but to mark through them.
   It surprised me that he'd never done that before. 
   It surprised HIM how good he felt when the list began to shrink. It gave him a sense of accomplishment.
   I have a brand new physical-in-my-hands planner for 2019. I'm fully ready to make my lists each week. Part of that will be going to my gym for me AND getting re-settled in our home.  First thing for me is to get Christmas back in the boxes before Jan 5th.  Wishing everyone a fantastic and healthy 2019 !!

Jacqui Nelson

Yearly, monthly, on the spur of the momentI love to make resolutions or goals. I try to make SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timely) but often (because my natural state when writing is the plodding plotter) the urge to finally fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants takes over and then... Well, then my resolutions become reoccurring ones.   

My biggest reoccurring resolution seems to be: develop a better work/life balance. Yes, not a very SMART goalstarting with not very specific. So this year, my New Year's resolution is: write up a detailed list of my work (writing, blogging, volunteering, etc, etc) and my life (social activities, exercise, sleep, etc, etc) and how/why/when/where I spend time on them...AND then at end of each month (with a glass of wine or a cup of coffee in my hand as a reward), revise my list with whatever I've achieved or learned (or did not achieve or learn) from the previous month. Raising my wine glass/coffee cup to all of you in cheers for a New Year full of happy work and life! 

 Lizbeth Selvig
Like most of my GLIAS sisters I love to make goal lists. And I'm a New Year's Resolution maker from way back. I can't say I'm always successful with every one, but at least I have a roadmap for the year come January 1st. 

This year my first resolution is the absolute most cliche' goal made in the world: to get back in shape and lose weight. I haven't actually had to make this goal in quite a while, but this past year was a disaster in terms of living healthy. So many changes have taken place since my father passed away at the end of 2016 and I completely let myself go. That's ending. I'm usually super active and pretty healthy. That's getting back on track. 

Second, I'm going to figure out how to balance my writing and my personal life. I have a wonderful, close family and two gorgeous grandkids whom I love spending time with. But this all makes me procrastinate on writing, and I'm going to figure out how to create and keep a work/play schedule.  Just like Angi--I have a planner and I'm going to prove I can use it!

Finally, I am going to get three manuscripts done this year. I have them planned--getting them written hinges completely on resolution #2 above!

Resolution…let’s see, what is the definition of this word so freely used prominently this time of year. 1) a firm decision to do or NOT do something. 2) the quality of being determined or resolute. Given this, it means stopping long enough to figure out what it is that comes next. Tools for resolutions: Lists (yes, post-it notes are my extended family, don’t laugh, they keep me on the straight and narrow) and never underestimate the power of a good daily planer or even a calendar! (Remember those?)

In 2018, I went through many “life” changes this past year, enough to make me realize that sometimes the best list can’t hold muster to holding your sleeping grandson for an hour, having lunch with your best friend so she can vent about her day, spending time with a beloved aunt and listen as she tells you stories about your grandparents and their siblings.

You’ve got to enjoy the little things, because one day you’ll realize they were the big things. So…I RESOLVE to be more patient with myself and others, be more appreciative of the precious moment’s life gives us, be more grateful for the family, friends, and the blessings in my life, and yes…to use my creative gifts to hopefully bring a bit of adventure, wonder, and a sense that love will always find a way to my dear readers. 
What’s next? Getting ready for the Booklovers Con readers conference in May 2019. Awaiting the arrival of our second grandchild in June. Deciding on which characters in one of my series is ready for their story to be told. I'm an artist at heart. Every story is a canvas. Every book a painting with words.

What about you? What’s next for you? Whatever it is, I hope it brings you much joy, contentment and satisfaction in the new year!

Here's to all of you making your resolutions and goals and all of you who don't need/want to--have a fantastic 2019 and fill with good times, hard work, smiles and love!

E.E. Burke 

"Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual." ~ Mark Twain

I used to make resolutions every year then look back on them and think about all the things I didn't accomplish, which was, quite frankly, depressing. You've heard the phrase, "the road to hell is paved with good intentions." According to Mark Twain, the road to hell is paved with good resolutions. Like me, he must've paved that road more than a few times to recognize the nature of the asphalt.

Rather than make a list of resolutions, I intend to jot down two things -- first, my BHAG (big hairy ass goal) for 2019.  Something I really want to accomplish, definitely out of reach at the moment but possibly with maximum effort. Then, I'll do what up until now I haven't done, I'll map out a daily routine that could get me there. 

Well established routines are more powerful than resolutions because getting to any goal requires not just "resolve," but also establishing the necessary habits first. I'll give you an example. For the past four months, I've been following a Weight Watchers program. In that time, I've lost 25 lbs. My "goal weight" is still another 25 lbs. away, but I feel more certain that I'll get there and stay there this time because I've focused primarily on establishing habits rather than focusing on "resolutions." I wasn't particularly good over the holiday, but I've kept up the habits (tracking intake and walking) and haven't entirely run off the road. Habits make it easier to stay on track. I'll let you know how it's going and if I manage to avoid that "road to hell."

Are you someone who makes New Year's resolutions or not? If you make them, do you stick to them?


  1. I make 2 of them and always stick to them when i was young i used to make ones like lose weight and other things like that but not anymore mine are more achieveable ones so i like them peggy clayton

    1. Achievable resolutions are the best, Peggy. No use setting ourselves up for failure. The world has enough challenges waiting for us. Thinking about resolutions, often leads me to think about William Ernest Henley's Invictus poem: I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.

    2. It's essential to make them achievable! I learned that the hard way...

  2. I listened to a segment yesterday that said when we fail at resolutions, it's easy to push them aside. She encouraged our "lists" to be labeled INTENTIONS. So when you slip...you feel better about restarting the next day. I LIKE THAT.

  3. I enjoyed reading all of these approaches to goal setting/resolution making/planning etc.
    And for me what I discovered that for most writers, real life can change your goals dramatically and yet, these authors and others have figured out a way to keep on going. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Real life put a very big dent in my goals last year, butthat's something I've learned to accept.