2011~2012: Review, Celebrate, Plan
My New Year’s Eve ritual is to review my goals for the past year, see how things panned out, and make note of the year’s highlights (both in successes and unexpected challenges). Then I take some time to carefully think through my goals for the coming year. Because I am a nerd and a planning freak, I love, love, love this ritual.
Due to an unusually crazy schedule, I haven’t been able to do my annual review until this morning. I’d like to share the process with you. While it is fun to share the successes, it is equally humbling to share the oversights. This will be a long post, broken into two parts, so feel free to skim the boring bits. This post is Review & Celebrate. Next week I’ll follow up with the 2012 planning post.
2011 goals review
Focus on creative practice
- Submit five pieces for publication (almost—hit 4)
- Finish novel, ~80K words/3K words per week Jan-May (no)
- Paint a large format painting (no)
- Create a piece for “nest” Creative Every Day challenge (yes)
- Blog at least one per week @ Studio Mothers (no)
- Maintain Project Life binder all year (yes)
Launch coaching business
- Complete CCA coaching certification (yes)
- Develop business and marketing plan (yes)
- Enact marketing plan (partial)
Focus on personal restoration and spiritual practice
- Sit daily (not daily, but solid for most of the year)
- Daily journaling (90%)
- Read A Year with Rumi every day (yes)
- Read 50 books (yes — on the nose!)
- Create regular time for blog & magazine reading (no)
- Develop strategies to handle stress better (hmmm…..)
- Enjoy social media without it being an interruption (good progress here)
- Stick to the good schedules I have developed (mostly!)
Enjoy family time
- Consciously strengthen relationships with each child (not measurable, but yes)
- Spend more one-on-one time with each child (did not do nearly what I wanted to here)
- Develop “block time” card stack (activities/project deck) (yes, not complete)
- Do at least one art project each week with Aidan and Liam (no — only sporadic)
- Create outdoor living/play space in spring (yes)
- Eat in dining room more regularly (no — dog started peeing in dining room, so I have to keep it gated off, which makes it inconvenient for week-night meals)
Recommit to good health
- Increase intake of raw foods (yes)
- Consume 4-5 green protein smoothies each week (no)
- Take vitamins, minerals, supplements, and iron every day (almost 100%)
- Avoid sugar and wheat (on and off)
- Exercise 3x per week (was derailed by broken foot that took 6 months to heal, but made up for that in the second half of the year by developing regular yoga practice)
Improve financial stability
- Work smarter (day job) to increase billable hours (yes)
- Reduce debt (no — actually increased it instead)
- Set up automatic savings (no)
2011 personal adventures, successes, and challenges
- Broke my foot by falling on my own garage stairs. It took six months until my ortho gave me the all-clear for high-impact exercise.
- Began first class for coaching certification.
- Launched monthly newsletter, The Creative Times.
- Joined RAW New England (Random Art Workshops).
- Published nonfiction essay in Wild Apples journal; read at launch party at Hill-Stead Museum.
- Liam became completely toilet trained, ending 15 total years of diapering!!! (This may have been the highlight of the year, actually.)
- Fabulous trip to Costa Rica with husband.
- Guest blog post at WishStudio.
- Guest blog post at Creative Every Day.
- Article published in Creativity Calling.
- Interviewed by Jamie Ridler for Creative Living with Jamie.
- Began Right-Brain Business Plan e-course.
- Featured at Jennifer Lee’s Right-Brain Business Plan Site.
- Co-led successful workshop (via Minerva Project collaboration).
- Participated in Art Every Day Month.
- Guest blog post at Bliss Habits.
- Husband began 2.5-month stint of unemployment. While this had deleterious effect on financial situation, it was awesome to have him around, and he put in extra time with Aidan and Liam while I worked like a madwoman.
- Signed lease and LLC papers for brick-and-mortar studio!
- Husband received excellent job offer from a company he’s excited about.
- Little Finn joined the family (don’t worry — he’s a kitten, not baby #6!).
- Finished last requirements for coaching certification.
What all these bullet points tell me
2011 was unusually full of personal and professional successes. Working on my certification and launching two new businesses (coaching and Open Studio) added considerably to the to-do list and my general stress level. I had some success in counterbalancing that weight through meditation, yoga practice, journaling lots of reading, and creative work. In the realm of the “self,” I have to say that this year was significant. I didn’t do all of the creative work I’d intended to, but I did a lot of other, wonderful, unexpected things instead.
At the same time, I did not do nearly as much on the family front as I wanted to. I really started missing my kids as the year came to a close — time spent just hanging out a home, nowhere to go, board games and art projects and reading aloud. There wasn’t enough of that. We had too many days when I felt like I was just dragging my younger kids from one thing to the next. I didn’t invest in the extra one-on-one time with each child that was part of my original goals list.
This brings me to my plans for 2012. I’ll get to those in my next post.
In the meantime, what does your overview of 2011 look like? Will you share your top 10 successes?