You may be like me, rushing to plan for next year’s glory. But you also know that I insist on the need to acknowledge our creative accomplishments.
Without this pause to assess our victories, we don’t glean the confidence available in our wins. We overlook our juju and miss that vitality that’s necessary for future projects.
So book some time on your calendar; it’s annual review time.
Pause with me and relish your coups. Here’s one way to gather the juju. Categorize your victories according to the roles you play. List your successes as a:
Original Impulse, Inc. Annual Review 2010
I hesitated to include my own review in this article. I was called a braggart on Facebook recently, and even though I am sure that was a jest, I don’t want to be perceived as bragging.
Still, I try to lead by example. Show, don’t tell. The juju is in the story. So here’s mine. It’s my hope that if I share mine, you’ll post yours on your blog, too. Sharing our victories expands them.
I brought the different parts of me into the office for their annual review: the CEO, the writer, and the artist.
Our mission: love as much as possible, help as many people as possible, and communicate clearly, while having fun and expressing all our gifts. Oh, and make a living, too.
How well are we fulfilling our mission? It’s not easy to gauge love, support, and communication. I can only record the actions I took and trust that the impact has been powerful and loving.
I was stunned when I assessed 2010. Frankly, 2009 was a tough year for me, and I wouldn’t have seen how much better this year was had I not checked in.
The CEO review
The CEO loves planning and results and she is proud of the numbers from 2010. Original Impulse, Inc. saw a 53% increase in gross sales and a 536% increase in net profit. Holy cow! How’d that happen?
When we saw these numbers, the disappointment that we had not earned 100K this year melted away. When I lowered the bar, I saw the bounty right in front of me.
Original Impulse also got a much-needed facelift. It took all year, but these are the following projects I’ve nearly completed:
- New web site and blog
- New business cards
- New e-book covers – coming in January.
- New newsletter template – watch for it next month!
Client victories include books completed, writing habits established, breakthrough insights, launches, and more fully expressed creativity all around.
This year I taught over a hundred students in my workshops – Curious Paris, Rome Photography workshop, Blog Triage, Make Writing a Happy Habit and the Free Write Fling all help people unleash their creative juju.
I also created two courses this year to help make your creating easier.
My video course, Cynthia Morris’s Secrets of Empowered Creativity will make all your creative problems dissolve magically upon watching. Not really, but we can wish, can’t we? Sign up at no cost now.
To make it easier for people to get their words on the page more easily, I shared a four-part e-course, What to Write: A Four-Step Dance to Generate Your Content
Best of all, I’ve got clarity on my next project and how I want to build it. I’ve been incubating this since 2008 and it’s all finally coming together. You’re going to love it! I can’t say much more now but know that I will be hard at work on this to unveil it in early 2011.
The writer review
The writer pulled off a lot of publications this year. Aside from the 24 Impulses articles, I logged 45 blog posts. I also published nine articles on others’ blogs. That’s 78 articles!
Guess which subjects are aligned with the project I’ll be working on next year?
Two articles on Lateral Action:
How to Ask for Feedback – Without It Blowing Up in Your Face
How to Deal with Stinging Criticism
In Art Calendar magazine: The Secret to Writing a Better ‘About’ Page for Your Blog
On Talent Development: Develop Your Creativity By Dealing with ‘Negative’ Emotions
On IAC Voice – International Association of Coaching: Solve Your Clients’ Problems by Getting Surreal
On Artsy Shark: How to Move Through Rejection
Three articles on the popular travel site, BootsnAll:
Enhance Your Travels By Keeping an Illustrated Journal
Play with Words on the Road for More Interesting Travels
The Graceful Return: Don’t Let the End of a Trip Be the End of Your Learning
I don’t feel that I’ve clocked a lot of writing time on my novel, Chasing Sylvia Beach, but I have put a lot of energy into cultivating my juju for this last revision.
To date I have 58 pages under my belt and will be taking a writing retreat during Christmas week to make more progress.
The artist review
The artist in me is truly in charge of us. She’s leading the way inspired by M.C. Richard’s quotation:
“All the arts we practice are apprenticeship. The big art is our lives.”
Still, she did make art:
- Filled two and a half moleskine accordion notebooks
- Is halfway through the daily drawing journal and still going strong
- Made 40 cards for clients and loved ones
- Made Writual Blessings and Journal Juju Blessings
- Produced 70 videos, all available for viewing on YouTube
The videos were the most exciting creative project of the year. It’s so fun to produce these and I have lots of ideas for more in 2011!
I would be nowhere without amazing people who provoke and stoke my creativity.
When I look back at my year, I thank everyone who make life especially juju-licious: my clients, my students, my colleagues, my family and friends, my online creative tribe.
There are always a few people who stand out for me. This year, the following colleagues made me think, challenging me to grow as a writer, artist and businesswoman.
Mark McGuinness of Lateral Action is such a good writer. I learn a lot from his work. I’m determined to meet Mark in person next year in London or elsewhere.
Chris Guillebeau of The Art of Non-Conformity had a huge influence on me this year. I know, I know, I’ve revealed myself as a raving fan, but I can’t help it. I’m attending Chris’s #wds in June in Portland and hope to present a workshop there.
Marcus McAllister I was able to visit Marcus twice at his Paris studio this year. I made two videos of Marcus and my artist got a ton of creative juju from his example. I love his art and my goal is to buy a piece of his when I move into my next home.
James Chartrand of Men with Pens rocked my world. Last year, the highly successful freelance writer came out as a woman, revealing the ever-thriving sexism. As a man, James earned more, had less hassle from clients, and got work more easily.
This story captured me so much that I hired James to do some copywriting for me. I found out that James’s success is less due to gender and more from exceptional service and quality results. My goal for next year is to hire James to write more of my copy.
Tonja Reichley of Moondance Botanicals has kept me in eco-luxury beauty products. Scrubs, mists, soaps, aromatic oils and balms help me celebrate my body and revel in the sensual. This helps after so much computer time. Tonja is a great friend and model for living a beautiful, sacred life.
Alyson Stanfield of Art Biz Coach has been a colleague of mine for years, and this year she’s helped me enormously as my mastermind partner. It’s so fun to teach Blog Triage with her.
**Update: I knew I’d forget someone! Of course, I’d like to mention all the amazing people I know by name, but this is already like a too-long Academy Award speech, so.
Mia and Gerald of Two Hands Paperie in Boulder are like a double rainbow for me. They bought this Boulder favorite earlier this year. I met Gerald in the shop, where the paper, notebooks, cards, pens, inks and other treats make me weak in the knees. I showed Gerald my journal and a new friendship was born. Two Hands hosts my journaling classes in Boulder; visits to the store make me unbelievably giddy.
Before I did this review, I was had no real plans for the end of the year. I knew I’d get some work done on 2011’s two big projects but I had no plans to celebrate.
Now, I’ve got a trip to California booked, thanks to ridiculously low airfare and car rental. I’ll spend the week in quiet time, working on my novel, hiking in the forest and on the coast, and enjoying refreshing space before I dig into 2011.
I celebrate my hard work, my commitments, my great good fortune – juju in action.
Take time to list, acknowledge and celebrate your accomplishments.
Share them with your tribe to expand the glow.
This will give you more confidence than you can dream is possible.
Coaching inquiry/writing prompt:
How will you celebrate your year’s successes?
Share a link to your annual review below.