Two 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.
- Re-launched 12 x 12 picture book writing challenge, this time with a membership fee. Ended up with 500 members!
- Attended O’Reilly Tools of Change Author Revolution Conference
- A TROOP IS A GROUP OF MONKEYS storybook app released and spends five days in the top 100 book apps on the iTunes store.
- Presented about writing storybook apps on a panel at the Association of Writers & Writing Programs in Boston, which was written up by Publisher’s Weekly.
- Learned to make videos by taking Katie Davis’ Video Idiot Boot Camp Class
- Signed with an agent! Erzsi Deak of Hen & Ink
- Featured in Karen Robertson‘s ebook, What is a Book App and Could YOU Create One?
- Presented on a panel about storybook apps at the O’Reilly Tools of Change for Children’s Publishing in Bologna, Italy. Attended the Bologna Book Fair and got to meet in person with Erzsi.
- Attended the London Book Fair
- Ran the first annual Writer’s Renaissance retreat in Florence Italy to great success.
- Launched a Facebook Page and YouTube playlist for Writer’s Renaissance
- Featured on Eric VanRaepenbusch’s Happy Birthday Author blog. Recently discovered that it was one of his top-ten most-viewed posts this year.
- Began my role as Field Guide to 21st Century Publishing with Children’s Book Insider.
- Interviewed by Emma Walton Hamilton as a featured expert for the Children’s Book Hub on the topic of writing storybook apps.
- Presented at the New Jersey SCBWI conference on the topic of writing and publishing storybook apps.
- A SHIVER OF SHARKS storybook app released
- A TROOP IS A GROUP OF MONKEYS is named a Top 50 Best App for Kids by The Guardian.
- Presented at the LA-SCBWI Annual Summer conference three times – twice co-presenting with Sarah Towle on storybook apps and once on the subject of the Author as Entrepreneur.
- Presented at the Rocky Mountain SCBWI conference on the topics of writing storybook apps and the Author as Entrepreneur.
- Held my first-ever book signing at the RMC-SCBWI conference with my advance copies of the print version of A TROOP IS A GROUP OF MONKEYS
- Print version of A TROOP IS A GROUP OF MONKEYS officially releases
- Both the TROOP and SHIVER apps are nominated for the 2013 CYBILS awards in the book app category.
- Conducted my first-ever live school visit as a published author
- Ran my first group coaching initiative – the Crowdfunding Crew.
- Launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the publication of my next book, MY LOVE FOR YOU IS THE SUN, in a hybrid publishing project. The campaign was fully funded within 8 days.
- Featured guest on the Funding the Dream on Kickstarter podcast.
- Participated in PiBoIdMo and came up with 28 new picture book ideas, one of which is already drafted
- Interviewed again by Emma Walton Hamilton as a featured expert for the Children’s Book Hub on the topic of crowdfunding.
- Held a book release party for the print version of TROOP
- A SHIVER OF SHARKS was nominated for a Digital Book Award.
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: A Shiver of Sharks, A Troop is a Group of Monkeys, Agents, Bologna Children's Book Fair, Brain Burps About Books, Children's Book Hub, Children's Book Insider, Children's Books, Crowdfunding, CYBILS, Digital Book Awards, Digital Publishing, ebooks, Emma Walton Hamilton, Erzsi Deak, Florence, Goals, Hen & Ink, How I Got My Agent, Italy, Julie Hedlund, Katie Davis, Kickstarter, Little Bahalia Publishing, London Book Fair, My Love for You is the Sun, New Year's, PiBoIdMo, Podcast, Publishing, Resolutions, SCBWI, Storybook Apps, Travel, Video Idiot Boot Camp, Works in Progress, Writer's Renaissance, Writing