This year, I’m signing up for the anti-resolution revolution. It is so tempting to start listing all the things one wants to accomplish at the start of a New Year, but in my experience, the process (and thus the result) is flawed.
I believe the reason resolutions often don’t work is because they start from a place of lack, of negativity, of failure. We think about all the things we weren’t happy with in the previous year and set out to “fix” them in the new one. Lose weight = I weigh too much. Save money = I spend too much. Make more money = I don’t have enough money. Spend more time with my kids = I’m not doing enough for my kids. Write more often = I don’t write enough.
If you’ve been reading this blog for any period of time, you know I am all about self-improvement, especially improvement that puts us on a path to self-actualization. There is absolutely nothing wrong with setting goals, and achieving them is even better. However, the goals need to be set on a strong foundation. So I figured, why not start with what I did accomplish this year and set goals from there. Let’s first celebrate success and then determine how to carry that forward into the New Year, rather than berating ourselves for what did not get done. Being zen about it, probably everything got done that was supposed to.
Here is my list of what I consider to be my major professional accomplishments this year
- Completed two picture books. Both are now on submission.
- Was accepted into, and completed, the Rocky Mountain SCBWI mentorship program.
- Drafted a third picture book which is at least halfway to submission-ready
- Completed PiBoIdMo and ended up with 30+ picture book ideas
- Sent 20+ queries over the course of the year
- From those queries, sold one poem and got contracts to write three articles (coming in 2012)
- Entered a picture book in the MeeGenius Children’s Author Challenge and made it to #16 out of 400+ entries
- Learned a TON about online marketing and promotion from the contest.
- Completed four months of group coaching to launch a new project. I am now about halfway through drafting the business plan for that project (more news on that in 2012)
- Formed a LLC to support my writing business and other projects I launch
- Took a two-month course on blogging to build an author platform. I have now gone from a high of 2000 hits per month on my blog to a high of nearly 6000 per month.
- Guest posted on several blogs
- Set up an in-person picture book critique group in Boulder
- Attended a digital publishing conference and the Rocky Mountain SCBWI regional conference
- Last, but not least, launched the 12 x 12 in 2012 challenge to write 12 picture books in 12 months. This is, obviously, one of my major goals for the coming year.
In addition to work accomplishments, three other achievements deserve mention. One is that I ran a personal best in the Bolder Boulder 10K this year and felt great. The race also happened to take place right after I turned 40, which felt even better.
Second, I planned, from start to finish, and then took a six-week trip to Italy with my family for the summer. This trip was the fulfillment of a major dream and life-changing in every possible way. Although my kids are still young, I think it will turn out to be life-changing for them to have had such an experience.
One of the things the trip to Italy inspired me to do is the third achievement I want to mention. I wrote a Bucket List. I saw how rewarding it was to realize even one dream, so I thought I would capture as many more as I could in the hopes of realizing them all. I am trying not be afraid of dreaming big. So perhaps a motto for 2012 is Dream Big or Go Home.
For your further contemplation, here are a few other posts with an alternate take on New Year’s Resolutions
Lynnette Burrows doesn’t let Mrs. Darkside win.
Hayley Lavik is not going to change anything next year.
Prudence MacLeod is going to read books by live authors.
Emma Burcart is going to be kind – to herself.
Jennifer Lewis Oliver has never made a New Year’s Resolution.
Myndi Shafer does have a short list of resolutions, which she made in the Nick of Time.
What is your stance on New Year’s Resolutions? Good thing, bad thing or in-between?Categories: 12 x 12 in 2012, Authors, Birthdays, Children's Books, Family, Goals, Guest Blogging, Health/Fitness, Holidays, Italy, PiBoIdMo, Picture Books, Poetry, Publishing, Queries, SCBWI, Travel, Works in Progress, Writing · Tags: 40th Birthday, Bolder Boulder, Bucket List, Critique Groups, Goals, Holidays, Italy, Julie Hedlund, Marketing, MeeGenius Author Challenge, New Year's, New Year's Eve, PiBoIdMo, Promotion, Resolutions, Rocky Mountain Chapter SCBWI, Writer