When the count goes to zero, when the ball falls, when all the kazoos and horns sound, when the streamers and confetti fly, when man kisses woman, when a cheer goes up, when hugs are all around, and the music starts to play another year will have passed into memory.

It will be time for new beginnings and new goals, new hopes and new expectations. I think I like this part of New Year’s more than anything else. I like the food and the fun, but it’s the new beginning that I look forward to the most.

So here are my top ten new year resolutions. (I plan on keeping at least eight of them!)

10. I want to read 100 books this year. If iron sharpens iron, then my two sources of iron are people and books. On the list, David Copperfield, Captivating, An Army at Dawn, The Greatest Battle, The Brand Gap, The Big Moo, Hood, Scarlet, Phantom, and Across the Face of the World.

9. Clean out the junk in my closets. Some of it I might be able to sell. Might! I don’t know why I keep the rest. I haven’t been in those closets in years.

8. Publish four books. One each quarter. One is already in the works.

7. Eat less sugar. I love candy. I love gummi worms and dots and laffy taffy. But I definitely eat too much.

6. The older I get the more I sit. That’s gonna change. I have thought about somehow attaching a bicycle wheel to my office chair at work. Eight hours a day sitting right there. And then I come home and write until bedtime. That’s too much sitting.

5. Save 20% of my year’s income. That’s hard to do when you are investing in your own business, but a lot of my personal goals in the next five years will need some of those savings.

4. Cut out one of my three alarms. Yes, I have three alarms to wake me up in the morning. One preps me for waking up. One reminds me that I will have to get up soon. And the last one tells me that I am five minutes late.

3. Spend more time with mom, and dad, and my sisters. I love ‘em. And they mean a lot to me.

2. Memorize more verses of the Bible. The Word of God is life. The deeper I get, the richer my life and the more it will overflow to others..

1. Finish Knights’ Ambition. Finish Addicted to Love.

There. I’ve told you my goals. I’ve verbalized them. Now help me stick to them. I’ve made them public, so I can’t go back on them now. I’ve said them and I am propelling myself toward those accomplishments.

And for all of you. I hope this year brings you more laughter than frustration, more peace than turmoil, more joy than sadness. I hope you come up with your own lists and I hope by year’s end that you have checked every goal off.

—SC