When you read the words New Year’s Resolution, do you feel a chill down your back, the way I do? I have always ignored New Year’s resolutions. In fact, I can’t recall ever making one. However, good friend and prolific writer, Kathleen Kohler creates a list every January of her goals for the year. Goals has a better sound to it, doesn’t it? Her list includes Relationships, Physical, Spiritual, Creative, and Writing—very specific goals followed by steps to achieve them.

I have always considered myself a goal-oriented person, but this is the first time I have delved deeply into the differences between resolutions and goals. I wish you were here to help me!

Journaling is how Kate Lloyd starts her day!

Journaling is how I start my day!

My first goal of the day is to journal, which I just did. Get my thoughts, dreams, even nightmares, out onto the page. Clearing my mind helps my day go better, I highly recommend it to everyone, not just writers. However, for me, writing every day is one of my goals.

Kate Lloyd on her daily walk

I am always rewarded after a walk, even if I have to force myself out the door!

Another goal is to walk daily. Rain or shine. I bought a new plastic raincoat to help me fulfill this goal over the wet winter we often endure in the PNW. I can bundle up underneath it. Another recent goal is to find a new walking partner, since mine moved. I’m working on that and may have found one! Not that I don’t mind walking alone. I’ve gotten some of my best writing ideas that way.

Ten years ago, I set a goal to not eat sugar. Although craving sugar may always be a struggle, for the most part I’ve been successful.

Another of Kate Lloyd's goal is to take a photo on all her walks!

Another goal is to take a photo on all my walks!

In the past I wrote my goals down on 3” by 5” cards. One goal was to find a new writing group. After five years I finally was rewarded! Took a while, but worth the long wait. Also, I wanted a better view, which I achieved in part when we took our oak tree down after it was struck by lightning. Does that count?

This last year I was asked to write a Christmas novella with two other wonderful authors. My goal was to write something unique that would be fun and stretch my boundaries. Yay! An Amish Christmas Kitchen is an EPCA best seller, thanks to readers like you.

To celebrate, I’m giving away a $50. Amazon Gift Card, plus one of my signed books: either An Amish Christmas KitchenStarting from ScratchA Letter from Lancaster County; or one of 3 books from The Legacy of Lancaster County Trilogy — Leaving Lancaster, its sequel, Pennsylvania Patchwork, or Forever Amish; or A Portrait of Marguerite. US and Canada only, winner has three days to respond.