Saturday, January 1, 2022

New-Year, New-Life Resolutions for Writers

by Tim Suddeth @TimSuddeth

Is it really 2022 already? I think many of us are looking forward to a much better year than the past few. As much as I don’t feel ready for a new year, I am ready to see the last one move on out. Hasta la vista, baby.

This time of year, many of us work on making a list of New Year’s resolutions. Some people sneer at that because we all know that we break most of our resolutions before spring.

And that is true. And many of them should be broken or discarded. I still think resolutions can be very helpful for all of us. Making a resolution means you’ve taken the time to consider where you are in your life, where it looks like you’re headed, and if and how you want to change it. Socrates once said that the unexamined life is one that is not worth living.

If life is good and you’re happy, wonderful, just keep sailing down the stream. But to the rest of us who want to make a change: it takes identifying what needs changing, the effort changing will require, and deciding how much you can or are willing to do.

If you never examine who you are, you will never know who you can become.

Let’s look at some characteristics of making a good new-year, new-life resolution for writers.

1) Give the new plan time to work.
One reason yearly resolutions are so often dropped is that change takes time. And work. We often get discouraged when the results of our sacrifices don’t provide the wanted results as we planned. Like when someone gives up their afternoon salted caramel mocha grande, but instead of losing two pounds, they gain three. (Could have been from the 32 oz. Mountain Dew and the Snickers, but I digress.)

It helps to recognize that any improvement is an improvement. And accept that you might have to tweak the plan as you go along.

2) Recognize that your needs and desires may change.
Your life circumstances aren’t the same as they were, or as they will be. You might have a job change, get married or have a change in the family, and/or have a health change.

I have a friend whose daughter may soon be moving because of her job. Any resolutions they make will be subject to change.

We usually see that not fulfilling a resolution as a failure. Which makes me a failure.

And nothing could be farther from the truth.

A resolution is not one of God’s commandments. It’s not written in stone, or even in permanent marker. In fact, we should write all resolutions lightly in pencil. One with a good eraser.

Resolutions are to help us, not to make us feel like losers. If you don’t reach your resolution, it’s okay.

Now, everybody repeat after me, if I don’t reach my resolutions, it is okay.

Resolutions are just to help us stay accountable. (You didn’t have to repeat that part.)

If they make you feel bad about yourself, it’s okay for you to not do them.

3) Make sure it’s your resolution, and not someone else’s.
This works in two ways. First, don’t let someone else tell you what you need to do. (Unless it’s your teacher and you’re in school.) You have to choose to do it.

We have all heard about the kid who had to suffer through a music class or a sports team because their parents didn’t want them to become a quitter. And that’s a good lesson for kids to learn. But it can also mean that the kid will be more reluctant to try anything new.

It’s okay if one of your resolutions is to try something new. And then you learn it isn’t for you. My recent guitar lessons were great and I’m glad I did them. But there are other things in my life I want to do now. Maybe I’ll pick it up again. Maybe not.

It is smart to get wise counsel, but only you can decide if the advice is right for you.

Second, it’s easy to get caught up in a herd mentality and want to follow the crowd. Sometimes that’s fun and it can take you to new places. However, there are times you need to take your own path. Jumping on the latest fad, the latest cool thing you hear at a conference, may not be right for you. Just because a friend achieves something doesn’t mean you’re a failure if you don’t Your friend may have more friends on Tik Tok (what a cool name), or their books might come out more often. But that may not be your journey.

4) Make God a part of your plans.
God, the Creator, has made us all unique with a special plan for our lives. And most of the people I know weren’t born with an owner’s manual. So we can only find out what God has in store for our life by living it.

Which isn’t a bad thing. God told Abraham, Joseph, and Moses what He had planned for their lives beforehand, and they all almost messed it up. Maybe we should just try to walk in His way. That seems hard enough.

How can we know if we are following Jesus?

First, do you want to? Have you made that the priority? Experience has taught me that it isn’t going to just happen. You have to commit to it.

Then, are you seeking His will by praying and searching His word? Jesus said that if we ask anything in His name, He will reveal it to us. I have a mantra that I repeat to myself constantly. He is Daddy, and I am His little child.

Abba knows what I need, and He wants to give what He has already provided to me. Why should I think He might fail?

The start of a new year, a new month, or even a new week are great opportunities to reexamine our lives and where they are headed. Are there changes, additions, corrections we need to make? Are there people we need to reach out to?

I would love to hear how you make your resolutions. I know some of you have yearly retreats. Others just set aside time to get away. If you have suggestions or help, please leave them below.

And thank you for being so faithful in following us this past year. I can’t wait to see what God has planned for us in this new year.


Tim Suddeth is a stay-at-home dad and butler for his wonderful, adult son with autism. He has written numerous blogs posts, short stories, and three novels waiting for publication. He is a frequent attendee at writers’ conferences, including the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference and a member of Word Weavers and ACFW. He lives near Greenville, SC where he shares a house with a bossy Shorky and three too-curious Persians. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, or at


  1. Great January 1st boost Tim - the line that keeps repeating in my brain is: "Resolutions are just to help us stay accountable." ourselves! Great perspective. Happy 2022! :)

  2. Though this wasn't a resolution, we took a week off to travel and just slow down our frantic pace. It was so rewarding we may just do it again.

  3. Tim, thanks for some needed perspective on resolutions for me. I used to regard myself as a failure when I didn't keep my resolution, which is why I don't make resolutions anymore. But when I look at it the way you pointed out: "Resolutions are to help us, not to make us feel like losers. If you don't reach your resolution, it's okay." I can handle it that way.