Wednesday, January 05, 2011


Several blog writers have chosen a word for the year and as I've thought about this and about resolutions and goals for a brand new year I decided that neither resolutions or a long list of goals have ever worked well for me and probably won't this year either.

Instead I will focus on the positive in a different way, by keeping a list of accomplishments.

Why accomplishments instead of recording what happened each day? Because at the end of the year I rarely can tell you what I accomplished during the year. I simply forget.  And because my memory isn't a steel trap I tend to belittle my achievements when the truth of the matter is that I get a lot done most days, though it's not necessarily art making.

I USE my life, yet if you ask me what I've been doing I have to struggle to tell you. I'll probably say something like, "oh, just some work in the studio", or "got some weeding done in the garden".

One woman I know says, "Oh you, know, just doing what I do". Doesn't that sound a bit arrogant? If people ask what you've been doing it means they're interested, so tell them.  (I'm allowed to rant a bit; it's my blog!)

So this morning I decided to use my little red book, a 2010 daily diary from Moleskine, to record my accomplishments as I finish each task.

Here it is January 5 and I've already forgotten some of the things I did 3 days ago because I didn't write them down upon completion, except that I finished a chenille pilllow, lengthened our Christmas tablecloth, learned to use my mat cutter and cut 4 mats and framed 4 prints.  I didn't add reading, cooking, sweeping, thinking, or TV watching.

Rewards for accomplishment is a good thing but I think that the writing in the red book will be a sort of reward in itself, or maybe after each 10 things I'll ask my husband to pat me on the back and give me an "atta girl". This could be fun.

And maybe next December I'll be able to list 100 things I did in 2011.


  1. Jo, it's a wonderful idea! I am that way too, busy yet it's not so easy to remember what I did last week, or even two days ago.
    I'm wishing you a great year full of achievements!

  2. I love the idea too......I don't like having to ramble back through my journal to find when I did something.....which could have been day before yesterday...hahahaha...

    Happy New and lots of items to list in your red book......

  3. If any of you decide to join me in keeping a list of your accomplishments in 2011 please let me know.

  4. I had to laugh readiing my way through this as this is me too.
    When people ask me what I've been doing I usually panic a little & draw a blank.
    Or I say-I have to look at the calendar- and even that doesn't tell the story. My mind is like a sieve!
    But actually-now that i think about it, I could just say-"look at my blog".

    For me it's a different tack- to have a mission & vision statement & goals. And focus on these - checking up on myself periodically. Reviewing them at the beginning of the new year. I think this is probably different than you're talking about though.

  5. What a great idea Jo! I think I might at least start a studio log, and note blog posts too. What a good idea.

  6. Oh I love this, not being a great goal/resolution kind of gal myself this is a great idea. And I've got to say, I'm interested in knowing what you've learned about mat cutting, especially what you used for backing, thickness? I want to invest in a mat cutter myself but haven't even solved the problem of what thickness a backing should be for mat framing?

  7. I don't do resolutions either...but I like some kind of short term project, which for me this year is working on portrais and personalities. I hope at the end of the year I will have something to show/

  8. If you keep it up and stop belittling yourself you should be able to get a lot more than 100! This blog post, and all the coming great blog content etc, must be on the list! I look forward to a great 2011! :-)

  9. I think you are on the right track-- I tend to think of the bigger goals and accomplishments- which can be daunting- but when you write down the every day accomplishments you realize just how much you really do accomplish-- happy new year.

  10. Jo, I have to tell you that I love this post. I too cannot remember what I did yesterday, let alone this year! One thing I have learned as a result of some tragic events in my life is that it's very important to live for every day and not stock pile it all for the future. You have encouraged me to blog about my own goals for this year. I think it would go something like this, "Make time every day to do a little something that demonstrates how lucky we are, how thankful we are, how grand even simple accomplishments can be."

  11. After receiving my amazing breathtaking Art with Heart book for Cherie Stannard, and enjoying it cover to cover, I want to stop by and thank the artists who contributed. Thank you.

  12. Hi Jo, love this idea! I' starting an accomplishment calendar today. Thanks for the great idea.

  13. This post seems to have hit a chord with several people. The more I think about it the more I like it. Listing accomplishments seems to fit hand in glove with stating one's intentions-goals-resolutions so that at the end of each year you're able to look at a long list of accomplishments and see that you probably ARE making progress on your intentions for the year.


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