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I have a confession to make as I look back over the past year and my One Word for 2015-Balance blog post. I desperately needed balance and also feel like I failed to achieve it, especially in the last few months with the fevered pitch of launching my debut novel. (Yikes! How’s that for a depressing year in review?)

The good news is that it’s never too late to focus on what matters most. My personal mission statement has been “Faith, Family, and Fiction” with the desire to keep my priorities in that order. With the purposeful and intentional slowing down to spend time worshipping and with family for Christmas, I’m back in balance.

But, if I’m going to keep a balanced approach through 2016 and another book launch, my word for next year is “Focus” and there are five areas that come to mind.

First, I’m going to focus on my faith. In the troubled times ahead (I’ve read the back of the book), I’ll need the solid foundation of knowing God is still on the Throne. While I haven’t been able to attend a women’s Bible study at our church because of the Princess and her schedule, I’m determined to find other resources to absorb during my daily quiet time.

Second, family will demand focused attention as my oldest son graduates from high school and heads off to college. The challenge will be making sure his younger brother doesn’t get neglected in the shuffle and that we can adjust to an emptying nest.

Third, I’m going to focus on fitness. Thanks in part to Christmas gifts, three of us now own Fitbits and it’s my hope that we can use the friendly competition and accountability to spend time together on walks while also improving our health.

Fourth, I intend to focus on writing more fiction. Now that I have a realistic picture of what marketing entails and how to do a book launch, I should be able to get more done in less about of time … leaving more time to pound out the words of more books. In addition to the two stories that will follow my fall release, I have many more ideas and projects clamoring for my mental attention. 2016 may even find me indie publishing a short novel or novella, but first I’ll need focused attention at my computer.

Last, I’m going to focus on our finances. Between a small marketing budget, looming college tuition bills, and dwindling day job projects, I’ve paid particular attention to the bank balance … and picked up a copy of Dave Ramsey’s book to help put our financial house back in order. Getting out of debt and building up a savings account is always a good idea.

Whew. So that’s a lot to focus on in the coming year. What about you? How was your past year and what will you change in 2016?


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