Late in December or early in January each year, I sit down with my creative journal and make a list of accomplishments for the year. Here are some of the questions I ask myself:
1. Did I journal every day, even if just for a few minutes? Daily journaling is not only a spiritual practice for me (clears the mind) but it has really helped me improve my writing. It's practice!
2. Did I find or create opportunities to be creative with others? This could be retreats, classes, writing days, etc.
3. Did I create enough accountability structures during the year to keep me focused and rolling on projects or practices? This can be a writing group, creative group, email buddy, course or workshop.
4. Similarly, did I find ways to maintain momentum on my big project(s)? This is particularly important for me because other than the journal, I don't write daily but rather in longer sessions every week or two.
5. Did I balance my creative efforts and use more parts of my brain, spirit, and imagination? (For me, this means did I do visual art as well as writing.)
6. Did I support the creativity of others (coaching, mentoring, hosting, gentle critiquing)?
7. Did I take risks in subject matter, form, or in putting my work out into the world?
8. Did I fill the creative well with reading, movies, museums, nature walks) on a regular basis?
9. Did I try something new?
10. Did I nurture all aspects of my health, through diet, exercise, sleep, social time?
This kind of reflection helps me set a good intention for the next year and acknowledge myself for my efforts. It's also great fun to share lists with other creative folks. It's a way to get great ideas on how to implement some of these things.