Writing down and celebrating your accomplishments for the year

As I remind you in today's Art Marketing Action newsletter, it’s time to acknowledge everything you have accomplished in the past year. Here’s the challenge I issued . . .

This Thursday, December 20, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon Mountain Time, I’m going to do a short meditation, light a candle, and start celebrating my 2007 accomplishments. Care to join me? If you can’t join me on Thursday, pick a time that works for you, schedule it on your calendar, and show up. You don’t have to do the same spiritual preparation, but devise something that moves you mentally away from your routine and to a place of celebration.

Use the list in the newsletter to prompt your memory. When you want to share your accomplishments, return to this post and leave a comment for all to see.

I do this on a monthly basis with my coach. It helps me take the focus of what I haven't done and recognize that I am moving forward. I think you'll find you have accomplished a lot more than you give yourself credit for.

So . . . what do you want to share with us? What shall we toast to?

Image (c) Shawn Kenney.

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18 thoughts on “Writing down and celebrating your accomplishments for the year”

  1. Thank you, Alyson, for this morning’s newsletter. Last night, I finished up the last of three Holiday Open Studios with my three-woman art group, and woke up this morning thinking of all the things I could have done differently, or better. Having just read the list, I can’t wait to sit down with my group (one of the things I did this year was form that group), and take stock of our year’s accomplishments, together. Thanks for re-directing me today!

  2. I love this “job” that you ask us to do every year! In spite of being very sick for over 5 1/2 months this last year, having to cancel an art festival that I usually do (because I didn’t have enough paintings and felt like crap), I looked back and realized that I had my first out of state workshop in conjunction with a two person show for the month which I had been getting ready for for almost 2 years! I also was excepted in the Pastel Society of America Show in New York City, sold my painting and even had the editor of the New York Art News talk about my painting in the gallery talk! But I think the best accomplishment I made was to stop stressing about stuff and trust that God is the one who works all the problems and details out. We still have to work hard and not be lazy, but ultimately promotion, honor, and money come from Him. I also moved my pastels upstairs into the family room to make a second studio. It’s taken a whole year to test the light and found that the afternoon light in the winter stops my painting about 3:00! Yesterday I spent the day planning a new arrangement, and of course that will mean reorganizing my pastels, but hey, I am getting geared up to start a new year running when I hit the ground! I am so excited!

  3. Alyson, thanks for the wonderful encouragement! Just reading the list in your newsletter gave me a sense of “Good for me!” I’ve taken a lot of chances this past year, with galleries, a new focus to my business, and more. Not everthing has worked out to my liking, and the learning curve has been intense. I’ve definitely experienced the “3 steps forward, 2 steps back” syndrome – more than once. I’m toasting to STILL stepping forward!

  4. Alyson, My greatest accomplishment in 2007 was something I started in 2006 and then kept up. It did not seem all that great when I was doing it, but let me tell you it was. I backed up the contents of my computer on a regular basis. When I sat at the Genius Bar in the Apple store and the Genius told me the hard drive on my year and a half old MacBook Pro was “really most sincerely–dead,” I calmly replied, “I hope my back up works.” He looked at me with astonishment in his eyes. “You backed up?” Listening to folks around me, I have decided that the Genius Bar needs a grief counselor as much as a computer geek. There were a few glitches in the restore. I am still trying to find the lost emails, but everything else is back as it was on November 15. The Filemaker data base of my clients and all my artwork, the photos painstakingly taken and edited in Photoshop, my travel photos, 25 gigs of iTunes, all the course work from ArtBiz, the working copy of my website, and on and on. I could have lost it all and would have had to start over. At this point I intend to get an expert to help me back up even better. I will also add that a two week break from the computer gave me time to rethink the direction of my art career and come up with some interesting creative possibilities. So, it is all good. Happy holidays.

  5. I nearly doubled my sales over last year, exhibited in 4 shows, visited over 30 shows, began my art blog, and for the first time sent a holiday card to my entire mailing list. You’re absolutely right, it’s more impressive than I’d thought! Barbara

  6. I found Alyson and Artbizblog.com!!!! This has been the most important thing that has happened to my career not only this year, but ever. The information that Alyson provides for free day after day has catapulted me to move confidently forward with my art. Today’s topic is just one case in point. I honestly would never have realized all of the things that I’ve accomplished this year if not for her sharing her yearly ritual and thought provoking list. I sincerely thank you Alyson! Happy Holidays everyone Fiona

  7. Alyson B. Stanfield

    Ellen and Melissa: Yes! Good for you! Gay: Thanks for the testimonial. I have my reminders to back up on my calendar, but I sometimes ignore them until they’re past due. it gets backed up, but you reminded me to be diligent. Jean: Yes, I hope you’ll join us and write them all down. Nancy: A very inspirational story. Stopping the stress is HUGE. Barbara: Woo hoo!

  8. That’s exactly what I did this past weekend when we got snowed in! So I’m sorry I won’t be joining you on December 20, but maybe I’ll be with you through a warping of the space-time continuum 🙂

  9. Great idea Alyson! This year I think one of my most successful decisions was to slow down and start taking control of my own art. Putting myself in charge of my own sales has made me happier in the studio. I don’t feel the pressure to focus on quantity but I feel like I can enjoy the process more. This year I also discovered God, which I think has been my most biggest discovery yet!

  10. I love this idea, in fact I was just thinking of something similar the other day – I sometimes get frustrated at the pace things are moving along and I have to remind myself I am also working a full time job so of course they aren’t going to move along quickly! I started writing my list and you know what? It is pretty impressive and I have new ideas in the works for next year! I plan on posting my celebration to my blog at some point soon. Thanks for these little reminders Alyson. Cheers!

  11. Dear Alyson, I began 2007 prefacing each painting with “What if…?” When I placed that query in front of each line of your list it made each idea stand out as direction for a business plan,as in : What if I promoted my art? What if I enhanced my on line presence? What if learned or improved my technical skills, etc.? I was amazed at how many things I did accomplish! 2008 will be prefaced by ” …now I will…! Thought,action,results,not bad for a year.Thanks for your guidance along the way. Helen http://www.helenharrispaintings.com

  12. What a great idea! The more I think about it, the more I’m anticipating doing it. I won’t be able to join you on Thursday, but will have my own “awards party” next week. I applaud you all!

  13. Alyson, Thank you for suggesting this. I find I have really made some strides this year. 1. I closed my bookstore, which gave me more time & energy to pursue my artwork. 2. I finally found the right person to do my website, & it was up & running by the end of January. 3.I got my art published in 2 magazine/journals, one of which is using my art on a regular basis. 4.I applied to a lot of new shows (art fairs) some of which I did. 5. I booked 3 solo shows in alternative spaces–1 is up now, the other 2 are in 2008. 6. I participated in the Mill Valley Paint-Off, which was a real challenge for me–completely “out of the box”. I don’t do “plein air” and I don’t work in public. It was challenging & fun & I met some great people. 7.I joined “Red Umbrellas”–a group of artists who show originals only in various locations in SF. 8.I put my mailing list on a “real” program–I am not totally satisfied with it, but it will be easier to change from this, once I decide what to do with it. 9. I added about 200 people to my mailing list. 10.I discovered Alyson & Art Biz.com & as a result, did the following: 10A. Started a blog 10B. Took Alyson’s “Promote Your Art Class”–it was great! 10C.Got a digital camera (because of the blogging–and am learning how to use it–I love it! 11. Something new in my repetoire–I made an artist book—to be 1st in a series. 12. I did a lot more painting this year. 13.I applied for a grant–another new learning curve. 14. I am in the process of moving my studio to a new place—still in a great location–more space & better in many ways. It wasn’t my choice to move, but, miraculously, this space was available just when I needed it. I attribute it (the manifestation of the space) to all the work I’ve done this year on my art & what I really want to be doing–some of it physical work & much of it being spiritual work. I think that the single best thing I did for my art career this year was BLOGGING–not financially (at least not yet) but I have made so many wonderful connections with people & gotten so much support from other artists….and it’s so much FUN!!!! Thanks again, Alyson–for all the information & support!!! Happy Holidays and may 2008 be your best year yet! Christine http://passionforpainting.blogspot.com

  14. Gay’s comment really made me giggle. I back up too! Though without much of a plan about it – every time I’m heading out on a plane to travel I freak out and back up my folders and settings. (because I have a laptop so always travel with it) But really I just wanted to post a belated thank you Alyson. I sat this week and did my list and was expecting so little from this past year. It felt like a very stagnant year (though in reality my sales improved a lot) but I was so wrong. I actually did a lot of things to push the work and the business but sometimes we easily forget things that may not have seemed to give tangible results at the time. Many of my achievements on my list were networking and relationship-building oriented, egged on by your newsletter. I know that these may take time to germinate, or may lead to unexpected opportunities later on. So a HUGE thank you! Tina.

  15. Hi Alyson, You are right, just thinking up a few things to put on the list was a real ‘thumbs up’ feeling. I am still working on implementing ideas from your workshop (Spencer, Iowa) this past October. (Thanks!) And hey, look there’s another thing I could have put my my list of accomplishments for 2007: “workshop attended” Later, Cooper http://coopkja.blogspot.com

  16. Thanks,Alyson, for such a great exercise. I have a lot of difficulty in celebrating and this analytical approach is the first thing to work for me. It felt great!! It cut into my energy to be always striving to get somewhere and never arriving. A little self acknowlegement went a long way in boosting my stamina.

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Get a transcript of episode 182 of The Art Biz (Rethinking Mailing Lists for Artists) followed by a 3-page worksheet to evaluate the overall health and usage of the 3 types of artist lists.

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