anti-resolutionTwo years ago I wrote a blog post that grabbed the attention and touched the heart of none other than Katie Davis, who is now one of my very best friends. It was titled, 2012 Anti-Resolution Revolution. Katie was so inspired by that post, she created her own special tool to capture her accomplishments throughout the year and evaluate them at the end. She has graciously offered to share this workbook with you – click here for more info.

Here is an excerpt from the original post:

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…  Make more money = I don’t have enough money.  Write more often = I don’t write enough

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..

I didn’t write a similar post in 2013, but I should have. It is CRITICAL to reflect on what you DID accomplish in the previous year. How else can you build from the base you already have? If you don’t take the time to tally up and celebrate what you’ve already accomplished, your resolutions will crumble. You’ll be starting from scratch in every category, and starting from scratch feels scary.

Here is what GOALS (vs. resolutions) look like when crafted this way. Lose weight = What did I do last year to improve my health, and what can I do to continue that progress? Make more money = How much money did I make last year, from which sources, and how can I increase output from those sources and add new ones? Write more often = What did I write this year and how am I going to use that writing in the new year while also writing new stories/articles/books, etc.?

Here’s an example from my own year. All year long, in my head, I lamented how little writing I got done. So much so that by the end of the year I was sure I’d done almost nothing. Yesterday, when I tallied it all up, I was pleasantly to find I’d written far more than I thought I had. I had written full drafts that I’d completely forgotten about. Drafts that I can continue revising and working with this year.

I am a firm believer that it takes far more courage to celebrate and compliment yourself than it does to criticize and berate yourself. So let’s get started.

Here is a list of my major professional accomplishments of 2013. 

In addition to this list, I ran the 12 x 12 challenge all year, wrote new drafts and revised existing ones, and continued to contribute to Katie Davis’ Brain Burps About Books podcast. Whew! I’ll be sure to come back to this whenever I feel discouraged about how much I “don’t get done.” 🙂

Now it’s your turn to make YOUR list!

Categories: 12 x 12, A Shiver of Sharks, A Troop is a Group of Monkeys, Agents, Apps, Authors, Bologna Children's Book Fair, Brain Burps About Books, Children's Books, Crowdfunding, Digital Publishing, ebooks, Florence, Goals, Holidays, How I Got My Agent, Italy, PiBoIdMo, Picture Books, Publishing, Queries, SCBWI, Social Media, Storybook Apps, Travel, Video Idiot Boot Camp, Works in Progress, Writer's Renaissance, Writing · Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,



  1. You’ve had a phenomenal 2013!!! Congrats!!!

  2. Wow — you have achieved immense and exciting things this year, Julie!

    I felt as though I hadn’t achieved much in 2013 — certainly not in the realm of picture books — but when I started listing a few of my accomplishments for my blog, I’d done not too badly. This morning when Katie’s workbook arrived in my inbox, I downloaded it immediately, and I look forward to working (and playing) with it in the year to come. Right now, though, I’m writing!

    All the best for 2014, Julie.

  3. Great post. I believe it is important to take stock of what you have accomplished and where you want to go. Having a goal instead of a resolution is key. A great way to achieve the goal is to have a goal buddy. check out

  4. Stacy S. Jensen

    Love the list and ready for a little revolution in 2014! I think toddler is already beginning that on the first day of the new year! Sigh. Here’s to working while kiddo is asleep! Cheers.

  5. Wow. that’s a tremendous list of accomplishments for 2013! Continued success in 2014, Julie!

  6. You are a rock star, Julie. Congratulations on all your well-deserved successes and accomplishments. Here’s to a great 2014!

  7. For me the best part was your examples of your resolutions based on past achievements–makes so much sense and starts the year on a positive bounce. Congratulations on all your hard-earned successes! May your 2014 end with a list even longer.

  8. You are ROCKING it, Julie! And thank goodness for that Resolution Revolution post or we never would’ve become besties!

  9. That is quite a list. ….I am quite an underachiever. Just kidding. Congratulations, Julie. You are an inspiration…. for underachievers like me…. 🙂 Wait. What?

  10. All that and you sound all geared up for 2014! Here’s to your continued success, Julie!

  11. Julie, my pal. You’ve done a fab job. I am making my list now. Some things like Christopher being better will have to wait until this year? I hope. But I am geared up for 2014. YEAH! 🙂

  12. Way to go! Good idea to reflect more on what we did accomplish!

  13. Julie,
    Wow!!! I wrote a post that mirrors yours today! *crazy*
    I saw everyone writing the New Years Resolutions and I just couldn’t write a list this year. Not even a “I’m not making any resolutions for New Years this year and that all” comment.
    Blogged about it too.
    Impressive list. Keep your chin up and reaching for those stars!

  14. I like this kind of resolution list much better! Much more positive!

  15. How insightful and less depressing to think about goals from a building upon success rather than an overcoming failure perspective! I will have to try that.

    And kudos to you for all the groundbreaking achievements you’ve accomplished! You are truly an inspiration.

  16. You are truly inspirational! Great work 🙂

  17. Julie you rock! Wow, do you ever sleep! Best wishes for more of the same success in the New Year!

  18. Wonderful post and list of accomplishments. You rock! Curious to see what my tally up looks like. Thanks for all that you do. 🙂

  19. Argh..:I’m so sorry, please delete my earlier comment meant for Vivian Kirkfield. So much for trying to reply on iPhone to both your blogs 🙂

  20. Congrats Julie! You are an inspiration and I’m so happy for your accomplishments! Here’s to more good things for 2014. I’m looking forward to my 2nd year of 12×12 🙂

  21. Wow! That is a brilliant list of accomplishments. Go You, Julie! Look forward to continuing with 12×12 in 2014, see you there.

  22. I just did something similar to this. On Dec. 31st, I wrote a post of “looking back on 2013” and the things I had accomplished. The list was MUCH longer than I had expected it to be. (Your challenge gets mentioned too.) Then, on the 1st of January, I wrote a post on my blog of “looking forward” to 2014. I listed the challenges I have joined (again, your challenge gets mentioned) and the anthologies I will be taking submissions for this year. I also have a few personal goals that have to do with editing and revision of current drafts.

    The list looks enormous and as though it will be difficult to accomplish it all, but all I have to do is look back at my accomplishments for 2013 to see that I already managed to do most of it one year, so why not do it all again with a few additions in 2014?

    Some of the challenges I joined are things that working on other challenges will count towards, so it’s not as difficult as it all looks (like the writing 500 words a day challenge – my Chapter Book Challenge writing in March and the Blog Your Book in 30 Days challenge in April, as well as NaNoWriMo in November, etc. will all count towards my 500 a day.) And as for my personal revising and editing, there’s a challenge to help with that too. 🙂

  23. Amazing accomplishments in 2013, Julie!
    Positive breeds positive 😉

  24. WOW, this is a dynamites list of accomplishments when you consider ALL you had going on as well. As soon as I get a computer sorted I shall blog about my achievements and goals… Have been writing and reflecting on these for years. Good luck with all your 2014 goals.

  25. I’m combining my response to this post and your guest post for “Start the Year off Write.”

    After reading your list of accomplishments, I sat down and started listing my own. I had been feeling terrible because I didn’t accomplish “enough” during the last 5 months. (That New Year’s day rejection email didn’t help). But then I started making my list and realized I HAD written far more than I realized. In some cases, I had whole scenes fleshed out that I had forgotten I had written. And boy had I completed lots of “head writing!” I re-read my notebook for my latest WIP and realized I had spent lots of time working out the important aspects of my novel. I also realized I had submitted far more times than I even realized until I checked my spreadsheet.

    So my list isn’t as impressive as yours, but I’m feeling better about what I accomplished last year and what I will accomplish this year.

  26. That was, indeed, a very good year, Julie! Now I’m off to write my on congratulations list! Thanks for the inspiration and all best to you in 2014!!!

  27. Julie, what a fantastic year for you! I’m so glad i found 12 x 12 last year and am looking forward to being a GOLDen Book member this year! Continued success for you in 2014.

    Barb Cairns

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