What does a new year mean? A new year can mean all kinds of things: the end of a good thing, going forward without someone we love, losing our job, going back to a school we hate, leaving loved ones behind, doing life alone.

Yeah, that’s the Debbie downer view—the negative Nancy’s outlook. It may be true, but do we have to keep that perspective? I admit I see life with those gloomy glasses more than I should. But what good does it do to have that kind of outlook on tomorrow? ZERO.

A new year can be a new beginning—a fresh start—a time to change for the better (Oh, boy, could I use a fresh start some days.). No, I can’t control everything in my life. I do have plenty of choices, though. So, I’m going to choose to look at tomorrow in possibilities. 

I’m not a new years resolution type of person. Actually, I’ve always failed at the “resolution” thing. But goals … goals are a different animal to me. (See, I’m changing my outlook here 😉 ) Goals can be refined as I go along. I learned a few hundred things in 2017 that I’m applying to my 2018 goals. And these goals range from relationships to health to writing and publishing.

Something I need to keep in mind is life happens and the plans I make for a particular day or week don’t always happen the way I want. So, I HAVE to be able to roll with the punches and be flexible. I’ll seek the advice of my Heavenly Father, alter my plan if need be, take care of what life throws me, and keep going.

What about the failures we want to wash away? I had some failures in 2017. Maybe you did, too. Pssh, who’re we kidding? Of course, we had failures. Every person has failures. Brilliant, successful people have failures. Albert Einstein, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison … they all failed. A LOT. And SO many others have, too. (See, we’re not the only people who fail.) Failure is part of being human. It’s what we do after we fail that counts, after all.

My big failure last year.  Last year I had a goal to write and publish two books in the Regan Stone Series. Instead, I wrote one giant book and planned on splitting the book into a more manageable size for the reader. In this process, I learned I had a couple issues with the story that needed to be fixed AND splitting a book IS NOT EASY. I felt like a total failure and really struggled through revising what is now Kiss Me Already. The final result was a book that I’m proud of—a book that I love, and the only one published in 2017. I failed. But I didn’t quit. The lessons I learned from that failure were invaluable. And I don’t think I would’ve learned those lessons if I hadn’t failed.

We have choices in life. I’m going to take what I’ve learned and move forward with those lessons in mind and continue honoring God in every aspect of my life, including the stories I write. This is my main thing. It’s not new. I try to do this every year. I will have failures this year because that’s life and I am very human. But I’m not going to wallow in my failures. I’m going to choose to learn from them and keep going.