To All Of the Women Hoping For Big Changes In the New Year

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

Some years are harder than others, both personally and as a society.

For many, 2017 was a tough year. Whether it be some of the major tragedies occurring in the world, stark realities about injustice in our society, or personal turmoil, many women are ready to say farewell to this year and start fresh.

It seems that with the switching of the calendar to a new year, the feeling of a blank slate is a given. For many of us, January 1st is the start of new promises and visions for a brighter year. We’ve got 12 months left to prove to ourselves we can better our lives, find more fulfillment, and uncover joy we were maybe missing in the previous year.

I’ve found that many women are seeking big changes for 2018, which can be an inspiring thing.

Some of us are searching for fulfillment in new careers. Some of us want to get right with our health and our bodies. Some of us crave self-acceptance of who we are.

Some of us are looking for stronger senses of spirituality, of joy, of appreciation. Some of us need to find a new relationship or a new sense of purpose. Some of us are seeking love and a cure to loneliness.

Many of us are looking for big changes in social views, political truths, and cultural values.

In truth, many of us are searching for big changes in some aspect of our lives... the question becomes: How do we make those big changes we are seeking a reality?

When the confetti has settled and the champagne from New Year’s Eve is gone, how to we make sure our midnight vows to ourselves materialize in the coming year? How do we find the strength to clutch tightly to our dreams for 2018 long after we’ve flipped to January on the calendar?

For so many of us, the fear of failure stares us in the face. Any change in life comes with risk, and many of us are so afraid of failure that we don’t even try. For so many women especially, failure feels like the ultimate death of a dream and the ultimate thing to be avoided.

Nonetheless, I’ve come to learn this over the years: Failure isn’t always the riskiest thing in life or the worst possible outcome. Sometimes, it is the status quo that truly threatens our success, our fulfillment, and our true purpose.

A stagnant life can be even less fulfilling than a life full of failure.

So to the women looking for big changes in 2018, whether they be personal, social, or global, I give you this advice:

Find your voice.

Find your courage.

Find your passion.

Above all, don’t settle for the status quo, and don’t settle for another year of the same.

And, when we prepare to say goodbye to 2018, whether you’ve achieved your goals successfully or whether you’ve tried and failed, the key will be that you discovered the bravery to chase your dreams. You found the strength to go after what you wanted, and you were wise enough to recognize when change was needed.That will be the thing you hang your pride on when you leave 2018 behind.

These are the qualities a fulfilling life is built upon. As one of my favorite authors, Jojo Moyes, wrote in one of my favorite books, Me Before You:

You only get one life. It's actually your duty to live it as fully as possible.

My wish for you in 2018 is that you go out and live your life as fully as possible, chase those changes you are seeking, and find a way to support the other women in your life who are also looking for a brighter, better year.

Happy 2018 to you. May you be brave enough to chase those changes you want most of all.

Lindsay Detwiler is a contemporary romance author with Hot Tree Publishing and a high school English teacher. Learn more about her works and her dedication to sweet, genuine love stories by visiting her blog.