I offered my first THIRTY-ONE JUST FOR FUN CHALLENGE in 2012. Each year since, I have modified my original post and reposted it. Before I share the modified version, I’d like to thank everyone who has supported my blog throughout the year. I wish you all a very Happy New Year. May the new year bring each of you all that your heart desires.
Now for THIRTY-ONE JUST FOR FUN. . . .
A common question in life coaching is, “What’s the difference between a life coach and a therapist?” The answer goes something like this: Imagine you are driving a car through life with a psychotherapist as your driving instructor. The psychotherapist will spend a lot of time instructing you to look through your rearview mirror at where you have been. A “life coach” driving instructor will encourage you to look out your windshield at where you are going.
A NEGATIVE DRAIN
Today, I am going to swim against the life coaching current and ask you to look back at where you have been. New Year’s resolutions often have roots in the past. We look back, with a certain amount of regret, at what we failed to accomplish in the outgoing year. Focusing on our shortcomings, we resolve to make up for them in the New Year; usually with bigger and better plans than before. Although setting these goals can leave you feeling hopeful, looking back with self-judgment can sap your confidence and drain your spirit.
ENERGIZE YOUR SPIRIT
Instead of looking back at your shortcomings with regret, look back at your successes with confidence and gratitude. Looking back and acknowledging your accomplishments will give you the opportunity to celebrate your successes and energize your spirit as you look forward to your new year.
THIRTY-ONE JUST FOR FUN
Over the next couple of weeks, take some time to reflect on 2015 and list 31 things that you accomplished throughout the year. I hope you will celebrate your successes by coming back and sharing some of your discoveries in the comments section of this post or share them on your own blog. The most important part of this challenge is recognizing the positive, energizing events of 2015. Even if you are unable to list 31 achievements, come back and celebrate with us by bragging a little about your year.
QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU GET STARTED ON YOUR LIST
- How did you grow personally, professionally or as a writer?
- Did you have a positive impact on others?
- What writing skills did you learn or strengthen?
- Did you improve organizational skills?
- Did you find the secret to time management?
- Did you complete any writing challenges?
- Did you join any groups?
- What personal strengths did you gain?
- What goals did you achieve?
- What unplanned accomplishments did you achieve?
- What character qualities did you strengthen?
- Have you improved your communication skills?
- Have you gotten better at saying no to others, to yourself, or to activities that drain you?
- What acts of kindness did you share?
- What special, memory building moment did you have with family, friends, writing groups, by yourself and so on?
- Did you submit any of your writing? If you want to challenge yourself to submit more in 2016 join my Sub Six private manuscript submission support group on Facebook.
- Did any submissions get accepted for publication?
- Did you get any rejections with encouraging notes?
- Did you find a positive way to accept rejections?
For tips on celebrating your achievements see CELEBRATE YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS BIG AND SMALL. Be sure to scroll down to the section about the achievement jar, so you can celebrate all through 2016.
Below I share ten of my thirty-one achievements.
- I started 2015 with my first SCBWI annual winter conference in New York where I met many of my friends in person for the first time, including four out of six of my Penguin Posse critique partners.
- I developed a highly detailed picture book writing course. This was a long and challenging process that I must celebrate by sharing. I consider it a huge achievement. Yay!
- I completed Renee LaTulippe’s fantastic course The Lyrical Language Lab: Punching Up Prose with Poetry
- I attended the excellent SCBWI workshop, Tammi’s Top Picture Book Writing Secrets with Tammi Sauer and Janee Trasler
- I started art classes.
- I completed Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen’s and Kami Kinard’s Kid Lit Summer School: The Plot Thickens
- I helped as many fellow writers as possible with their manuscripts.
- I learned to practice one of my favorite survival skills, which is write from the heart – submit with detachment.
- I completed my 4th 12 X 12 writing challenge and my 5th PiBoIdMo challenge.
- I ended 2015 with a very successful launch of my picture book writing course ART OF ARC: How to Analyze Your Picture Book Manuscript (deepen your understanding of picture books written with a classic arc).
I’m already planning for next year. I recently signed up for the 2016 Big Sur at Cape Cod, Andrea Brown Literary workshop. This is doubly exciting for me because I will be meeting up with some of my Penguin Posse sisters once again.
Best wishes in 2016!