Acknowledge & Celebrate Your 2011 Accomplishments

The end of the year is often accompanied by a tinge of regret. Maybe you didn’t stick to your New Year’s Resolution or accomplish all of your goals.
I’ll bet you did more than you think.
Take time between now and December 31 to write down all you accomplished in 2011.

David Bechtol, Truck Stop - photograph
David Bechtol, Truck Stop. Photograph, 20 x 35 inches. ©The Artist

This is a ritual I’ve implemented for a number of years and shared it with newsletter subscribers each December. People who do this exercise are happy they took the time. Most are amazed by all they got done.
Get a pen and paper or open up a document on your computer and start counting your feats. I’ll be working on mine during the afternoon of December 22 if you care to join me at that time.
Consider accomplishments in these art business areas:

  • Connections
  • Marketing & Business
  • Education & Exploration
  • Recognition

What 2011 accomplishment are you most proud of? Brag! Tell us about it and how you’re celebrating.

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21 thoughts on “Acknowledge & Celebrate Your 2011 Accomplishments”

  1. Wow Alyson….when I started reading your questions and answering them in my head, I realized just how much I DID accomplish in 2011. Taking your classes helped me push to get my mailing list going, postcards sent, shows entered, blog started. It’s really been a busy year. Thanks so much for your support!!
    Looking forward to a wonderful 2012 – Hope you have a lovely Christmas Holiday season and a fabulous New Year!

    1. And you came to a live workshop, Kim. It was very cool to meet you – one of my accomplishments. 😉

  2. Thanks for this reminder. It is so easy to beat ourselves up for all that fell through the crack…yet again, but taking stock like this really illuminates the growth we have indeed experienced. My main accomplishments this year were achieving Signature membership in the Pastel Society of America, being invited as a full member to the Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club (the oldest women’s art group in the country), having a solo exhibition of two bodies of work in one gallery (my nonprofit and my regular work), started to set up a library in an orphanage in Haiti with funds from my nonprofit art (, receiving several awards and new commissions, expanding my audience by showing my art in a home show and art fair. I made several new connections this year with like minded people and have started a new marketing plan which should bring in new clients in 2012.
    On a personal level I ran my first two full marathons in 2011, something I never thought I would do! OK, so maybe I CAN pat myself on the back instead of beating it! Thank you, Alyson, for always being such an eye opener and kick in the butt! All the Best for the New Year!

  3. This is such a good idea! As a pagan, my new year falls at the end of October/beginning of November, which is when I started my business. But I shall start a diary of all my achievements now, so that at the end of my first year in business, I can look back and feel proud. 🙂 I have subscribed to the newsletter THank you! There are loads of really useful tips in there! 🙂

  4. I love this idea Alyson and have done it for the past 3 years when I saw your post then. It really does force us to look through the year and acknowledge the successes and see what needs tweaking and what our focus should be in the coming year. Two new galleries and a healthy sales for me this year….so I am very grateful!

  5. Thanks Alyson. I am a newbie at this whole art thing so there was this part of me that felt like I didn’t do enough. After looking at those questions that you posed I did better than I thought and am looking forward to next year!

  6. Thanks Alyson! It’s good to look back at the positives instead of always looking forward at the incomplete to-do lists. It has been a really great year for me.
    I completed a large installation piece that tells the stories of homeless New Yorkers and it is traveling to 5 churches and synagogues in NYC. I also received my first grant for this project and created a book (now available on Amazon – Temporary Shelter by Heather G. Stoltz) that contains images of all the art in the piece along with selected stories.
    I also helped to bring back the NY chapter of the Women’s Caucus for Art and got married … and much more now that I think of it. So what if I still have a lot to do? I’m going to take your advice and be proud of a good productive year – and look forward to another one!

  7. In 2011 I took heart your ideas about ‘sharing’ my art. As an extension of sharing my artwork-a-day on my blo and Facebook,, I invited about 20 people to contribute their ideas about which of the pieces I produced over the year should appear in my 365 solo show. About 14 people responded and it was really exciting to see their choices. I’ll be sending my helpers a giclée print as thanks.
    To stimulate the show, I announced that everyone who attended the opening would receive a prize draw ticket for three pieces to be raffled at the end of the show. It worked and I got a record attendance at the opening and the tickets were given out in the form of business cards with the 365 photo album address clearly marked on it.
    I continued to share the process of the show on Facebook – including what pieces had been sold – and by adopting the approach of sharing when people came to see the work (having prepared answers to the most likely questions in advance), I overcame my shyness and lack of confidence regarding my work and sold heaps! I also used the technique of offering to take work to people’s homes to see it in situ to stimulate people into buying a second piece.
    I happily transferred ownership of the three prize draw pieces to their new owners on the penultimate day of the show and that was a pleasure in itself. One winner then went on to buy another piece 🙂
    The show closed yesterday and the fact that I sold a piece via Facebook several hours later is proof that there is mileage still to go. I just have to complete my 365 pieces by Dec 31st and I will close the happiest, most productive and exhilarating year I can remember!

  8. Thank you so much, Alyson. It was the first time I have made such a list of and it does feel great. What a good way to review the year. I find the list also a good starting point for making plans for the coming year because it shows me where I might want to focus on in the coming year. I wish you and all fellow artists lots of fun writing and a lovely holiday season.

    1. I’m so glad you did the exercise, Nicolet. We always do more than we think. And it does help us evaluate and plan. For instance, I noticed I didn’t read as many books as I would have liked. I’ll have to fix that in 2012.

  9. I’ve done this for the past 3 or 4 years and I look forward to getting it. It’s a great way to finish up my year (and I plan to share the link in my blog tomorrow – too good to keep to myself!)

    1. Tammy: I’m glad you set aside time for this process. I need to write something on the next step: evaluating/planning for the New Year.

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