17 Resolutions in ’17


My 2016 resolutions were “not to weigh less or earn more or score more acceptances from publishers, although I’ll gladly take those things too. I want to direct my energies into the Factory of Happiness. Here are the things I know bring joy for me, because they have always brought me joy, cup overflowing joy, brought to tears joy, and I know by doing them in 2016 I can shut down production in my Factory of Sadness and live fully, every moment.”

I did this. Maybe not consistently and maybe not in every moment, but I am certain that by the end of 2016 I was experiencing more joy than at the start of the year. This in spite of my mom’s cancer and an election, even.

A friend of mine asked me what word I might use to describe 2016 and what 2017 may hold. 2016 was a year of finding and strengthening my voice – it was a year of confidence building and shedding of more anxieties about what people will think and trusting what I ought to do. I found a lot of clarity this year, about career trajectory and finding direction, that have me standing on firmer ground by the end than where I began.

My hope for 2017 is to build on that new confidence and direction, to make time for the sowing of seeds and maybe see some fruit from that work. In that spirit, here are 17 goals for 2017:

  1. Start a new job! On January 9, I can check this one off the list 🙂 I’ll be the Director of Content Marketing at Spire Advertising
  2. Knock the socks off of my new job
  3. Read 30 books. My goal for 2016 was 24 books, and thanks to audiobooks, I finished 28! Yessss.
  4. Plan at least one big trip with my mom
  5. Go on at least one camping trip with my family
  6. Go to six parks in Ohio to hike with the kids
  7. Get away for at least one weekend with Brandon
  8. Celebrate Brandon turning 40
  9. Visit one state I’ve never been to before
  10. Spend time with friends. I realize this doesn’t seem like it should be a goal, but this introvert needs this goal
  11. Take more walks
  12. Retreat to write for a day or night every quarter or so
  13. Attend AWP in DC (yay!)
  14. Write a(nother) book. Sure, why not, I can write a whole book in one year, even if the first one isn’t published. Aim high, baby!
  15. Write ten new poems to weave into a second collection of poems
  16. In 2016 I sought to blog once a week. This didn’t happen, but I did manage 19 here posts here and 25 over on Off the Page. In 2017, I’m aiming to write two times a month here and at least once a month for Off the Page.
  17. Plant a garden

Here’s to so much hope and joy this year, for you and yours. Let’s do this, 2017.

A Look Back:

2016: The Middle Ground
2015: Goals and Resolutions in 2015
2014: Resolution Time!
2013: On the Eve of My Mother’s Surgery
2012: My Thirtieth Year
2011: Harry and Henry
2010: Key West Bound and Lydia-isms
2009: Happy New Year

Published by Sarah M. Wells

Sarah M. Wells is the author of The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Gospels to Help Kids and Parents Love God and Love Others (2022), American Honey: A Field Guide to Resisting Temptation (2021), Between the Heron and the Moss (2020), The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Bible to Help Kids and Parents Engage and Love Scripture (2018), Pruning Burning Bushes (2012), and a chapbook of poems, Acquiesce, winner of the 2008 Starting Gate Award through Finishing Line Press (2009). Sarah's work has been honored with four Pushcart Prize nominations, and her essays have appeared in the notable essays list in the Best American Essays 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018. Sarah is the recipient of a 2018 Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. She resides in Ashland, Ohio with her husband and three children.

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