As we wave goodbye to 2022 and welcome the new year, it’s natural to reflect on what happened over the last twelve months. Was it a year filled with hardships or miracles, missed opportunities or newly discovered ones? Chances are it was a mixture, a combination of the good and the bad. If you’ve had a harder year than usual, you might be eager to transition into a new year, leaving the difficulties behind, with optimism that 2023 will be better.

My year was certainly a mixture of highs and lows, and I think of 2023 as a new beginning. In fact, I always think of January as a new beginning. A fresh start. A clean slate waiting to be filled with goals, experiences, and successes. I think of what I wish to accomplish, and all the great things I have planned. Do I set new year’s resolutions? Not quite, but I prepare a list of goals to keep me on track and accountable throughout the year.

This year, my list includes both personal and professional goals. I used to mainly focus on the latter, but I’ve reached a point in my life (I believe it’s often referred to as the “sandwich generation”) where I have a son young enough to still need me, but now I also have aging parents who are no longer driving and require my regular assistance. It doesn’t leave me with much time for myself, and so self-care and other important facets of my personal life have gone out the window. I need them back. Or I won’t be able to help anybody.

Whether it’s focusing on myself or others, my intentions overall are to grow as a human. To develop more skills, always learning as I forge my way through this world. We can’t always predict what will happen in the future, and some may even argue that it’s arrogant to think we have any control over it. But I think we do. We’re like the metaphor of a car on a journey to some destination. We control the wheel and can steer toward which direction we want to travel, but obstacles may occasionally pop up to block our path, requiring us to find another route. And there may be times when the car breaks down and we need to find a way to fix it, or get out and walk. We just need to keep moving. Even difficult experiences are wrapped in lessons, and are opportunities for self growth, so I embrace them and do what I can with the gifts God gave me. With that in mind, here are my goals for 2023:

  1. Find a literary agent: This has been a goal of mine for years, and with all my good intentions I kept putting it off for a multitude of reasons. But this year, I’m determined! I’ve actually already started the querying process, sending letters out in search of representation for my horror novel, Code of Reanimation. I received one rejection instantly, which stung a little, but I knew they would be coming. In a sense, it was like ripping off the Band-Aid and getting it over with. My skin is toughened. I’m ready for the process now! I’m waiting with baited breath to hear back from the rest, and even though I know it can take weeks or months, I’m checking my email every ten seconds.
  2. Magazines/Anthologies: I’ve put this off for a bit as I worked on my horror manuscript, but now that I have some extra writing time, I will focus on writing poetry and short articles to submit to online and print magazines, and different author collaborations. It doesn’t hurt to beef up my resume, and I really do love to write, so it’s a win-win.
  3. Editing my WIP: During NaNoWriMo 2022, I wrote a rough draft of a dark fairytale, Goldenhair.  I love this story, and truly think it can be epic with the right attention and love. I will start editing this baby soon!
  4. Publish: If possible, my goal is to publish Code of Reanimation this year. If I get an agent and they help me find a publisher for my book, it might take longer than the year, but that’s something I will take in stride. If in the end I can’t find an agent to work with me, I will go the self-publishing route again. This book will make it into the real world one way or another!
  5. Promotions/Marketing: Whether Code of Reanimation is published or not, I will be marketing all my books via book tours, book signings, Christmas markets, and my favourite, at ThunderCon. You will find all of my planned appearances on my website’s Events page and social media platforms.
  6. Blog and Newsletter: Last year I started a newsletter sharing my monthly blog posts, and I’ve had so much fun with it that I’m determined to keep it going. Stay tuned for new author interviews, guest blog posts, author spotlights, and more. If you’re not signed up for my newsletter yet, you’ll find the subscription form on the main page of my website.
  7. More Boot Camps: My fitness adventures will continue to run regularly throughout the year. Check out my Instagram and Facebook pages for registration dates and information about the different accountability programs I’ll be running. Helping other people reach their goals is almost as satisfying as reaching my own.
  8. Self-care: Alright, here it goes. Let’s talk about how I plan to piece myself back together and keep fortified throughout the year. Massages. Nail appointments. Get my health on track. Limit social media and screen time. Read more. Cut back on sugar. Start attending church more regularly after Covid-19 stifled my routine. Build myself up spiritually through guided readings and workshops. Trips to see friends, and going away with loved ones. And having the best time I could ever dream of.

I look forward to the new year with renewed vigor. It’s like the new year breathes new life into me. It encourages me to reshape my perspectives, and change my course toward a more productive direction, where there are no limits.

I’m sure reality will crash down on me at some point, helping me realize that the calendar changing doesn’t have any effect on my life in actuality, but I will ride the wave of motivation and optimism for the time being and let it flow through me.

If you are feeling a renewed sense of exhilaration, grab onto it as well. Now is a great time to plan ahead for the year, make a dream board for yourself, and let your heart and spirit be filled with hope and optimism. MAKE this an amazing year. Don’t just sit around and expect great things to fall into your lap. Don’t waste a second of it. Embrace it, feel it, and live it!

Happy new year! And don’t forget to keep reading!

💋 Lanie Mores