How I Resolve to Make 2016 the Best Year Ever!

How I Resolve to Make 2016 the Best Year Ever!

There’s no time of the year that isn’t a good time to make positive resolutions for our lives. But I can attest—and I expect you can too—there’s just something about January that inspires reflection and resolve.

The Two Best Kinds of Resolutions

Specific Goals

Some years, I have definite goals. Last year, my goal was to take one “alternative day” every week to focus on something I wanted to pursue or enjoy that wasn’t work- or writing-related: learn French, go hiking, clean the house. (And I did pretty darn good up until the mad rush of Storming’s publication at the end of the year.)

Specific goals such as these are actionable resolutions. They have clearly defined rewards standing just beyond clearly defined finish lines. They allow us to set limits for ourselves and brainstorm baby goals to help us reach the big goals one step at a time.

More often than not, these are the only kinds of goals we end up accomplishing. How much less likely is it that we’re going to “lose twenty pounds” than it is that we will “work out three times a week”?

Attitude Goals

Other years, I borrow from my friend Marisa’s repertoire and choose a word or idea to focus on. The idea is to choose a concept that you either want to achieve or perhaps even just meditate on over the course of the year. “Peace,” “compassion,” and “resilience” are all good examples. For me, this year, I’ve chosen the word “fearless”—which I had emblazoned on my 2016 dayplanner.

Fearless 2016 Dayplanner

These word-based goals are more about contemplation and attitude than they are achieving something tangible. As such, they offer far less pressure, combined with the opportunity for greater rewards, since true change must always begin from the inside out.

What Are My Personal Goals for 2016?

Specific Goals

My specific goals are actually pretty much the opposite of what they were last year. Instead of focusing on non-work stuff, I’m geared up for an intense and exciting year with some tight (but, I hope, doable) deadlines and a focus on productivity.

Naturally, most of these goals are writing-related. I want to:

  • Finish first-round edits on my historical-superhero novel Wayfarer. (Tentative deadline: May.)
  • Start and finish the outline for Dreambreaker, the sequel to my portal fantasy Dreamlander. (Tentative deadline: October.)
  • Blast through the 30+ items on my “back-burner” to-do list. (One of those to-dos is a free e-book supplement to Structuring Your Novel, focusing on the “missing pieces” of good structure I wasn’t able to cover in that book.) (Deadline: beginning of March.)
  • Publish a book and workbook on character arcs. (Deadline: beginning of August.)
  • Publish a book (and maybe a workbook—we’ll see) on the generalities of building great characters. (Deadline: beginning of November.)
  • Publish a book on correcting common writing mistakes. (Deadline: the end of December.)

And, yes, I’m probably going to be pulling my hair out in October, wondering what in heaven’s name I could possibly have been thinking. But if I stay on top of it, I think it’s feasible, and right now I’m super-excited about the possibilities! (You can say I told you so later.)

Attitude Goals

I’m excited about my attitude goals for this year as well. I came up with “fearless” pretty early on (in time to put it on my dayplanner roundabout September), and while it’s something I’m still focusing on, I’m also expanding it into a general mindset of unapologetic and aggressive enjoyment of life.

This year I’m not so much about balance as I am about tapping into the stronger parts of my personality, enjoying them, and not being ashamed of them. This is something I feel I’ve gotten away from since childhood and something I’m ready to return to (kind of like that return to “wonder” I talked about over on Helping Writers Become Authors a few weeks ago).

I also want to move away from cynicism. I watched Cameron Crowe’s Jerry Maguire for the first time last year, and the whole “we live in a cynical, cynical world” line touched a chord in me.

jerry maguire tom cruise we live in a cynical cynical world

I admit to sometimes being way too proud of my own cynicism (err, excuse me, realism). This year, I want to find that balance of being aware of the darker parts of life and our world (burying our heads in the sands of false positivism is no better than cynicism), while also embracing the gratitude, hope, and joy God has placed right in front of me every single day.

What Should Your Goals Be This Year?

I admit it: I’m excited about 2016. Maybe more excited about it than any other year in recent history. No special reason. Nothing out of the ordinary happened in 2015; nothing out of the ordinary is on the horizon for 2016. It’s more that every year is exciting, and this year I just feel more primed to notice that excitement and take advantage of it—in ways both tangible and intangible.

What about you? What will you resolve this year? What goals will you accomplish? What attitudes will you focus on?

Here are three things I hope you’ll join me in focusing on in 2016:

  • One thing you can be excited about this year.
  • One thing you can show gratitude for all year long.
  • An attitude word you will claim as your own.

Happy New Year!

Let’s chat! What are your resolutions for 2016? What are you excited for? Grateful for? Tell me in the comments!

Enjoy this post?

MainAvatar-1Want to make sure you never miss a post? Sign up for K.M. Weiland's mailing list to hear all the latest tidbits, get updates about new releases, and receive a free copy of her epic medieval novel Behold the Dawn.


  1. Hello,

    Good to see the resolve in your spirit. We’re routing for you! If last year was a “non-work” year, then you really must be a lion underneath the hood.

    I love that you have definite goals with a deadline. That’s great. You know exactly what you want and have an actionable plan to carry it out.

    Your right. This year will be freakishly awesome. IT’S 2016! I can taste the excitement. Speaking of excitement, I’m excited to read all of my 100+ books and explore the worlds of so many good writers. I’ve always wanted to read more books, but now I have an actionable (really enjoying this word) plan to make it happen.

    I’m grateful for the writing community. Especially those dedicated in assisting other writers learn the craft of writing. What an amazing group.

    Attitude. I would love to be less cynical, but I won’t dwell on that. I have three words that come to mind.

    Actionable- (really enjoying this one) Make everything practical. Baby goals, deadlines etc.

    Patience- Realizing learning the craft is life long forces me to be patient.

    Journey- The most critical part of the journey is to begin. Set the sail and don’t look back. Stay the course and enjoy the ride.



    • K.M. Weiland says:

      2015 was a non-*business* year (as much as such is possible). But fiction definitely still counts as *work,* as far as I’m concerned. :p

      I like “actionable” as well. It’s all about taking good ideas and actually doing something with them.

  2. Hi there. Ambitious isn’t in it!

    I find it difficult to believe you saying you only write 2-hours a day as you said in one of your articles.

    Two novels to sort out and a bunch more of your excellent ‘How To’ books and accompanying workbooks – Fearless is most appropriate.

    What am I excited about? A whole new year to try and get my first novel off the ground.

    Grateful for?
    1. For being alive and still able to enjoy everything around me, and especially my wife of 42 years.
    2.All the wonderful sites to help me with my novel, especially yours, AND the chance to buy your new guides when they’re released

    A word? Perseverance – I spent a year on the first draft, now with your books, I intend to persevere to actually finish a decent copy by year end.

    All the best to you for 2016

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      Two hours of *fiction* writing a day. 😉 The non-fic definitely doesn’t get to take over that time. It gets two hours of its own when it’s in full swing.

  3. Actually I have two things I am most excited about. 1. Making writing a daily, no excuses habit. 2. Make it a speculative fiction reading year.
    My supportive, downright forcing into pursue my dream kind of family.
    Productive, I want to look back at Dec and say this year had been really productive.

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      I did a speculative reading year while working on my first fantasy novel. It was incredibly instructive and helpful. And enjoyable!

  4. Ambitious goals are fun (for me). Even if I don’t manage to meet them, I’ve stretched myself, learned, grown.
    Looking forward to all the goodies!

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      That’s how I look at it. One of my favorite quotes from childhood onward is: “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” I even have it on my favorite coffee mug:

  5. Wow! You have an impressive year planned out! I truly wish you the best in all you seek to accomplish.
    I am enamored with the idea of attitude goals. What a beautiful idea.

    1. I am excited about visiting my college friends in SC this year. I am even more excited to begin searching for an agent for my completed fantasy novel!
    2. I am grateful for my husband all year long. He is my solid supporter and makes me laugh every day.
    3. I claim the word “joyful” for myself, and plan to focus on it, and “praise” all year long.

    Loved, loved this post. Thank you for sharing!

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      Great words–both of them! I believe that joy (which is not the same as happiness) is the key to a successful, wonderful, insightful, rewarding life.

  6. I am excited about this year because I have always dreamed of being a writer, and now I am really doing it — without doubts or fears about whether I can “really do it” or not. I have a work situation that makes it feasible and a clear sense of vocation. All I need is to sit down and do the work. I’m also happier and mentally and physically healthier than I’ve been in a long time, probably because I am no longer trying to fit into what other people think my goals ought to be. There are so many attitude things I could work on, but if I have to choose one, I would say ATTENTION — attention to daily blessings, attention to other people, attention to workings of grace in everything. I am too prone to shutting out excess stimulation, which is partly okay, but I want to be more open to what’s around me.

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      That’s AWESOME! See? I knew 2016 was going to be great. 😀 Good for you for claiming your dreams and putting them in motion.

  7. Lorna G. Poston says:

    One thing I can be excited about? Turning 50. Woohoo! The half-Century mark. Yes! Staying positive! 😀 Sort of. Maybe. :p

  8. Firstly I admire all of your projects you want to get done and wish you the best in completing them.

    For me, my main goal is to complete and market my novel “Yesterday’s Galaxy” for 2017 and expand upon my social media presence.

    I would like to begin writing my historical novel set in Australia in the 1800’s if I feel I’m making good progress with my debut novel and complete the outline for my spy novel.

    I am grateful for a number of things, firstly for discovering such great authors such as yourself, Ben Galley, Jenna Moreci etc , for still having hands and air in my lungs and for people in my life who are supportive of my rather ambitious goals.

    The main attitude I should like to have is remaining positive despite any bumps along the way.

  9. I thought your 2015 was very impressive. I don’t think people realize how difficult it is to write fiction, especially fiction that sells well. Doing so makes you work harder than most people. You have managed to do all the above and then some.

    Actionable resonates with me on many levels. I do have goals floating in my head, but making them actionable will bring them down to earth making them practical. So I feel like I need to rewrite some of this years goals with specificity.

    1. Finish my 2015 NaNoWriMo Frankenstein by August.
    a.) Save enough money for an editor by September. (Not sure how much though)

    2. Complete the 100 book reading challenge finishing 2 books per week. (Storming is pretty awesome by the way).

    3. Slowly master Outlining and Structuring over the entire year along with James Bell’s Plot & Structure.

    4. Research and Outline one other project for NaNoWriMo for 2016 by October. SWEEEETT!! Can’t wait.

    Sorry for reposting. It helps to write it all out!

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      Yay! Awesome to hear you’re enjoying Storming. 🙂

      Your list is fabulous. As for how much editor’s cost, $.01 per word is common for an evaluation and $.03 per word for substantive editing, so it will depend on how long your manuscript (hence part of my desire to cull 80k words from my WIP…).

  10. My goodness, you are very ambitious and organized! 3 books and a bunch of editing and supplemental work. Wow. But considering how industrious you are, I’m sure you’ll accomplish all of it.

    I have one goal in 2016: publish my latest novel. I’ve published shorter pieces, not yet a book. But I’ve spent the last year plus working on it and it will soon be ready to show the world. Because I’ll be facing rejection as I shop for agents, I’ve decided my attitude for 2016 will be “Why Not You?” It’s a reference to what the Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson’s dad said to him before Wilson was a success. I’m taking it on for myself. Why not me?

    Part of my publication goal is getting my “brand” out there. I now have an author’s website and have revived my blog. If you have any thoughts on it, I’d love to hear them.

    Thank you for all of your useful posts on writing. I always read them with great interest. Cheers!

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      Hah. Well, considering I’m *already* behind on what I hoped to do, we’ll see how far I get with all my ambitiousness. 😉

      Your website looks great!

  11. Here are three things I hope you’ll join me in focusing on in 2016:

    One thing you can be excited about this year.
    I’m excited about maybe finishing my novel, the editing process and the potential of publishing it by Dec.

    One thing you can show gratitude for all year long.
    Actually it’s a combination of things. 1.) A day job 2.) a home to live in 3.) My wife

    An attitude word you will claim as your own.
    Authenticity – because I am the genuine article

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      Hear, hear on authenticity. It’s a more difficult path than any of us realize, but it is inherently rewarding.

  12. Something to be excited about? If all goes well, finishing the rough draft and revising my first novel! (Although I reached 50k for nano this year, my manuscript is only about half done.)

    An attitude word? Selfless. With God’s help, I will focus more on others and less on myself.

    Something to by grateful for? My family. Among many, many other things, they helped transcribe my typewritten manuscript so I could validate my wordcount. They didn’t even give me *too* hard of a time about writing my novel on a typewriter. 🙂

    By the way, as a relatively new reader, I wanted to tell you that I love both of your blogs. They are so inspiring, uplifting and helpful.

    Oh, I want that mug! 🙂 I definitely believe in dreaming big and doing your best.

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      Your family is awesome. Transcription is a big chore! Of course, they probably enjoyed reading your book as they went. 😉

  13. Yeah, they really are!

  14. One thing you can be excited about this year.- my NoNaMo book is coming together. Deadline for revision June 1st.
    2 ebooks to revise and prepare to put out there.
    One thing you can show gratitude for all year long.- yoga (which I started a month ago!) which I love!
    An attitude word you will claim as your own.- Yes means Yes, No means NO <- repeat from year ago
    So far it's a great year! Everyone is so motivated on this board Best wishes to all! And to me, too! Thanks KM. You are the best!

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.