Family Life: Goals for the New Year

2020 at Mustard Seed Sentinel
Credit: Jamie Street

Goals for the New Year

by Diane Burton


Do you make resolutions in January? It seems like a good time. A new year, new beginning, and in this case, a new decade. We’re in the twenties. Again. Does it make you think of flappers, the Charleston, and Phryne Fisher (as in “Miss Fisher’s Mysteries”). Did you see how I went off track there? My mind can jump quicker than Bugs Bunny.


Back to resolutions. I prefer goals. Somehow, goals are easier to follow through on than resolutions (which can easily go by the wayside). I have two parts of my life. I’m sure many of you have more. My family life and my writing life. With my husband’s recent health issues, I’m determined we both need to get healthier. He’s agreeable, which really helps. It’s hard to do it alone.


Here are my goals for this year. Two for my family life and two for writing.


1. Eat Healthier


I have a good reason besides my own health. Hubs had his aortic valve replaced on January 2nd. He continues to be on a low salt diet. So, I’m watching the nutritional labels on the foods I buy. Also, as much as I love salty things (any kind of chips are my downfall), I’m not buying them anymore. Not exactly self-sacrificing since I shouldn’t eat them either. Going along with eating healthier, I’ve resolved to attend Weight Watcher (now WW) meetings more regularly. Tracking what I eat makes me more conscientious.


2. Exercise


This is difficult for me because of lower back pain. But I can walk pushing a grocery cart or my rolling walker. Even though it’s cold out, I don’t mind walking outside. My only concern is falling. My daughter told me about these things you put over your shoes (YaxTrax) to keep you from slipping on snow or ice. Ours arrived yesterday. Am I outside walking? Uh, no. I could, though. Walking would be good for both Hubs and me. If I can’t walk outside, I can always do laps at Meijer’s (mega grocery store). LOL If you know me at all, you know how much I dislike shopping.


3. Publish Three Books


Last year, I released one. Sad. But I can do this. I’m about at the 3/4 mark for a science fiction romance. I’m determined to finish The Spy, an Outer Rim Novel, this spring. I’m 25% into a cozy mystery (the Alex O’Hara series). This book should be finished by the end of the summer. Then I have a short story that I’m turning into a Christmas novella. With those stories in mind, I can accomplish my goal.


4. Marketing


Sometimes I think that’s a 4-letter word. Or a necessary evil. Okay, maybe not that bad. I need to get the word out about my books. To that end, I plan to do more events where I can sell my books (like craft and vendor shows). I need to come up with a better online marketing plan than I’ve had in the past. (That won’t take much. 😊 ) Developing a workable (and affordable) marketing plan will be my goal.


Limiting my goals will make them easier to accomplish. I will break each one down into more specific sub-goals. But I won’t bore you with the details. Do you do that? Take a goal and figure out how you’re going to accomplish it? That helps me. I hope it helps you.

About the Author


Diane Burton at Mustard Seed Sentinel

Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction.


Besides the science fiction romance Switched and Outer Rim series, she is the author of One Red Shoe, a romantic suspense, and the Alex O’Hara PI mystery series.


She is also a contributor to two anthologies: Portals, Volume 2 and How I Met My Husband.



Diane and her husband live in West Michigan. They have two children and five grandchildren.


For more info and excerpts from her books, visit Diane’s website. Connect with Diane online at her blog, on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and on Pinterest. Sign up for Diane’s new release alert.


You can read Diane’s “Family Life” column on the 3rd Wednesday each month here at Mustard Seed Sentinel.


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