Take Stock of 2010: Did You Reach Your Goals?

It’s the end of 2010, and if you’re like me, you find yourself looking back over the year and evaluating your productivity. If I were to give myself a grade, I’d say C- for actual work accomplished.

I’m results oriented, so although I had detailed to-do lists longer than my legs set end-to-end, I don’t give myself any points for good intentions.

But I did manage to do a few things:

  • Donated copies of my book to libraries
  • Mentored a new Toastmasters member
  • Spoke on an online marketing panel at a regional writer’s organization
  • Interviewed by authors for two book projects (writing, single parenting)
  • Quoted in Dan Poynter’s most recent marketing book
  • Wrote freelance interviews and articles
  • Performed spoken word
  • Freelance edited articles & book manuscripts
  • Taught an in-person memoir class and online agent workshop
  • Hired to create two blogsites
  • Polished a family-feature script for Lifetime
  • Hosted/spoke at a social networking business seminar

Not much accomplished in 365 days. Yes, I’m pretty hard on myself, but I know how much time I had to work with—completely unencumbered by children, a traditional job, or domestic responsibilities (beyond two active dogs and a mellow, supportive spouse), so I can’t use those as excuses.

On a personal level, my accomplishments were even more sparse: I took djembe drum lessons, and joined/participated in book club, drum circle, and crafty-girl Meet-Up groups. Not much, especially for someone who has been a joiner and an education and information junkie for years.

I’m sure I’m not alone. With the economy causing people to lose their jobs and their homes, happiness is at a premium for everyone who is struggling. But now, it’s time to kiss 2010 goodbye and plan for a bright and productive 2011. A fresh start, diving head-first into a New Year brimming with possibilities and plans, optimism and opportunities.

My vision board for 2011. Visualize it and make it happen. That’s my plan. Care to join me?
Take some time on New Year’s Day or on Sunday to map-out what you want in your life for 2011. I turned my vision board into wallpaper for my laptop, so I see it everyday.

My personal theme for 2011: Balance.
I want it. I need it.

Dear Readers, What is your theme for the New Year? Have you created (or will you create) a vision board or list of resolutions to guide and inspire you toward your goals?

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What Did You Do in 2009? Take Stock of Your Accomplishments

For the last week or so, I’ve anxiously anticipated the arrival of 2010. I wanted to leave 2009 far behind. It felt like a wasted year without anything noteworthy to show for those 365 days. Why? I didn’t feel like I accomplished anything I wanted to do. My book, The Break-Up Diet: A Memoir, didn’t become a bestseller and I didn’t get a publishing deal for my next book—the one I still haven’t written yet. So, why wouldn’t I be in a hurry to chalk it up as a loss and move on?

Then I read a tweet on Twitter, posted by one of my fellow writer tweeps who mentioned the importance of taking stock of the year’s accomplishments to help boost your sense of career (or creative) achievement. That got me thinking. Well, I did get a couple nods in two award contests I entered. My book premise did catch the eye of a television producer… Hmmm…lemme see what else I could add to my accomplishments list. So, I pulled up my handy-dandy Google calendar (love love love that thing). Starting in January, I checked each month to see what I did throughout 2009.

And HOLY A.D.D., Calendar Man! I did more than I thought!

My 2009 Accomplishment List:

Worked as Senior Editor for WOW! WomenOnWriting.com, sold partner share in company
Joined Toastmasters, completed Competent Communicator Manual in six months
Completed National Speaker’s Association ProSpeak program
Hired to speak at national writing conference, regional writing organization, and local writing groups
Taught in-person and online workshops
Wrote an ebook “The Hungry Writer’s Guide to Tracking & Capturing a Literary Agent”
Invited to blurb an author’s book
Did bookstore readings and book signings
Took my book on a month-long blog tour
Was profiled in regional writing organization newsletter
Guest blogged and interviewed authors on my blog
Offered a TV series option for my book
Published articles on WOW! and in NSA newsletter
Invited to do radio interview on Playboy radio (chickened out)
Hired to do freelance manuscript analyses
Attended Book Expo America in NYC, met my agent face-to-face
Named one of the “70 Nonfiction Authors to Follow on Twitter” by Mashable
Guest appearance on a publishing industry talk radio show
Exhibited at West Hollywood Book Fair
Attended Miami Book Fair
Made finalist in Foreword Magazine’s 2009 Book of the Year Awards
Received honorable mention in life stories category of Writer’s Digest’s Self-Published Book Awards
Joined a memoir critique group
Guest appearance on West Hollywood cable TV talk show
Took an online workshop about how to write for the Trues
Started two new writing projects: a TV pilot and new memoir
Completed Zumba Instructor Training workshop
Took a week-long vacation to Cancun and a week-long trip to Florida (to scout for a new home)

Whew. It think that’s it. What did I learn from this exercise? Note to self: Enjoy the journey. Embrace the process. Do a little each day and by the end of the year, you’ll have accomplished more than you ever thought you could.


Ok, dear readers, I challenge you to make your own list. Tell me, did you meet your 2009 goals or exceed them? Or, like me, did you just go with the flow, follow your interests, stay open to opportunities, and see what happens?

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