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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.




  • 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?


13 Comments Post a comment
  1. Not boring at all- thank you for posting! I read all the bits…

    January 13, 2012
  2. Also, will you please post your green protein smoothie recipe?

    January 13, 2012
    • Will do, Deborah! I have two options I’d like to share — will post those next week!

      January 14, 2012
  3. This is a great post! I enjoyed reading about everything. I think you have inspired me to do something similar! Thank you!

    January 13, 2012
    • Thank you, Kathy — would love for you to share here when you do!

      January 14, 2012
  4. Your site is relatively new to me and I’m glad @thienkim sent me this way. :> I didn’t make formal resolutions or goals in 2011, but rather used just one word to guide me throughout the year: Grow. I shared just some of the ways I put one word into action here:

    Congrats on your brick and motar studio! And best wishes for 2012 – I’m loving it so far, hope you are too! :>

    January 13, 2012
    • So nice to see you here, Karen! I love the blog post you shared. Thank you, and Thien Kim as well.

      Yes, the first two weeks of 2012 have been awesome — except that I made a deal with the Universe that I would be a really good person and in return the Universe would withhold the Dreaded Stomach Virus from my home. All I can say is that one of us is in breach of contract, and it isn’t me!! 😦

      January 14, 2012
      • Hi Miranda!

        Thanks so much for stopping in and reading. :>

        Sorry Mr. Stomach Bug hit you. He hitched a ride with my motherinlaw on Christmas Eve and proceeded to visit three out of four of us in the weeks after that, finally vacating at the end of the first week of 2012. He was certainly not invited, but apparently, Mr. Stomach Bug doesn’t understand the concept of an invitation!

        Other than that though, I’m loving the creative vibe of 2012. It’s quite energizing! :>

        January 14, 2012
  5. I really enjoyed reading this! It helps me to organize more myself…and it helps to know that that in the desire to accomplish and expand, we are not alone, which is actually really helpful. Having lived a hectic life, a single parent with 3 children, relying heavily on my artistic abilities as a second income and home business, I am now retired from the regular job and trying to grow a business based on my artistic endeavors that is large enough to support me. SS is a tiny drop in the bucket. So taking the time to look at and think about what I DID accomplish in 2011, instead of entirely focusing on all there is to yet do, was very worthwhile. I did make considerale headway with my etsy shop. The last quarter of the year I exceeded my monthly earning goals. Of course now its “January”!!!
    so slow…
    I am going to do the homework, I too have work at the blog thing, make one to go with the shop, connect more with other blogs, develop more product…etc etc. But I am going to make a nice blueprint to do it by.
    Thank you for sharing Miranda!

    January 14, 2012
    • Thank you for your lovely comment, Lucinda! Your work is a personal inspiration. I can’t wait to see what new “products” emerge in 2012!

      January 14, 2012
      • Thank you so much Miranda! I am a lot more aware now of what I need to foster, encourage and protect that magnificent creative process where by we find ourselves impassioned to express through the talents and gifts which we have. It is no different than the nurturing and caring for the new child, but is the child of our soul.

        January 14, 2012
  6. Great post, Miranda! Congrats on the brick and mortar studio!! 😀

    January 14, 2012
    • Thank you, Christine! I have to say that it’s a very different beast, this whole storefront thing…so much to learn, and so many adventures to have.

      January 14, 2012

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