This year I only have one resolution

And it’s probably not what you think.

Elizabeth Carlton
2 min readJan 4, 2023

After everything we’ve been through over the last few years, it seems foolhardy to look forward to 2023. We’ve grappled with a global pandemic, ever-rising costs of living, and numerous social and political tensions. Tack on the personal challenges we all inevitably face as individuals, and it’s enough to make anyone want to retreat into the wilderness and never come back.

Shouldn’t we be wary of 2023?

Is viewing the new year as a threshold to good things unwise, at best?

As we enter 2023, I want to play devil’s advocate — just for a moment. Because under the shadow of several consecutive, turbulent years, a question has been brewing in my mind:

What if redefining our hopes and pursuing our aspirations are exactly what we need?

Buddhist monk Phap Dung once said, “The future is built with the present moment and how we take care of it. If you are fearful, the future will be fearful. If you are uncooperative, the future will be divisive. This is very important. The future is not something that will come to us; the future is built by us, by how we speak and what we do in the present moment.”

In the spirit of this advice, I’ve challenged myself to live in the present and invest in activities that make me feel alive.

After a years-long hiatus, I’ve returned to creative writing. Following the pull of my muse has led to a few new projects, including a brand-new website and a new book series currently in the works. Between it all, I feel compelled to blog about writing, life, and everything in between.

But these items aren’t goals sitting on a checklist on my desk. I’m not solidifying milestones and setting deadlines on a clearly marked map to success. Success is not what I need right now.

What I need is to live in the moment and reconnect with what matters.

I’m tired of the rat race. I’m tired of the grind. I’m no longer in pursuit of achievements and accolades. I’ve been there and done that. For me, 2023 is about:

  • Creating for the sake of creating, not producing.
  • Writing because I have a voice and something to say, not because I have a quota to fill.
  • Illustrating for the sheer joy of seeing characters come to life on the page, not for marketing or feeding an insatiable audience.
  • Connecting with readers and writers for the sake of human connection, not career advancement.

Growth will inevitably come from these efforts, but that growth is merely the ripples of a life lived.

And that is my sole resolution: to live.



Elizabeth Carlton

Author of The Rogue Trilogy | 16+ years of professional writing experience spanning journalism, SEO, marketing, research and fiction |