I have read the experiences of many an author. I have concluded that there is no set way to get published. The only commonality I find among all successful authors is that they wrote something and stuck their neck out and gave it to someone else to read.
So, maybe I should par my resolutions down to this.
1. Write something
2. Submit it
Sounds easy enough, but others' experiences tell me that there's a writing demon out there that does his darndest to make sure one or both of those things don't happen. And I'm pretty sure his major weapon is busy-ness. Keep people busy with "important" things, and neither of those two will happen.