End of Year Ritual: List Your Accomplishments!

December 29, 2011

It’s that magic time again. Do you know what I’m referring to? It’s that mini gap between Christmas and the new year when most are starting to come down from the high of carbs and cocktails to prepare for more of the same on NYE. However you celebrate it, no doubt you view the beginning of 2012 as a most exciting time of hope and happiness, things to do, resolutions to make, a fresh start. I welcome a new year though the reality of getting older is the least exciting part of it but there’s nothing to do to stop the passing of time except to be happy and live your life! There is no future date in which you can allow yourself the “right” to do something, this is your life – this is your time as Snow Patrol so cleverly puts it.

End of Year Ritual: List Your Accomplishments!

Sadly,  some get rather down over a year ending because they feel another year has escaped them, they somehow didn’t manage all they had hoped to, they’re getting older, life is passing them by, etc. Do you feel this way right now? If you have the end of the year blues try to turn things around…  Rather than think about what you didn’t accomplish in 2011, make a list of all that you managed to do this year that you are proud of. In fact, that is my end of year ritual and I think we should share it together on decor8. It can be a real mood booster!

So! In the comments section below we can each write down what we accomplished in 2011. Not what we HOPE to do for 2012, this isn’t a list about resolutions, but what we DID that made THIS year good. It never ceases to amaze me as to how BIG the list really is on paper compared to how it looks in my head (usually a lot smaller as I struggle with my inner critic/over achiever leanings), which is why I always encourage list making to sort things out, peel back layers and to expose the truth.

As 2o11 comes to an end, corks will be popped, wishes will be made and parties will be thrown around the world only this time you will clink your glasses remember all that you wrote down on your list below that made 2011 good for you. It’s important for our self confidence as we march into a new year to end it this way so are you ready to join me with my end of year ritual? Good, I’ll go first in the comments section and hope that you will join me there.

Lots of love to everyone! Kiss! – Holly

(images: holly becker)


  • Reply Tania December 29, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    What a wonderful and positive idea. I do tend to get a bit down on myself toward the end of the year. I spent too much, not caught up at work, out of shape…yadda yadda. I think it is important to reflect on what we did do right!

    My main accomplishment this year was starting my blog. I had the domain parked since 2008 and finally committed and got it going this summer. There are so many mini accomplishments which spun off of it…making a ton of new friends IRL from the blog, learning new skills, discovering a new love of photography and finally feeling less like there was a big huge something missing in my life. As a creative person with a corporate finance job, not having a creative outlet had a significant effect on my happiness and feeling of self.

  • Reply Ariana December 29, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    What a wonderful idea, to provide this forum for sharing our successes. Thank you! What I am most proud of accomplishing this year is holding out for the vision of the life I want to live with my family. My husband lost his job at the beginning of 2011 (we had just moved to Germany for this position) and everything fell apart in that regard. We moved back to the States, lived on unemployment, and did what we had to in order to get by… But he kept applying for jobs, and was offered an even better position in the UK. We moved out here in August, and have settled just in time to celebrate the new year in our own new home. We never gave up on our desire to live in Europe, and we wen through a lot to make it happen. And we grew stronger as a family through the process. I’m proud of that!!

  • Reply caren December 29, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    My 2011 in bullet points….

    -Graduated with a Master’s degree in Psych and social change
    -Started a new career with a new company
    -Bought a new house
    -Made several new friends
    -Traveled to Bali (life list bucket check)
    -Also traveled to Ohio, DC, San Francisco, Vegas, Temecula + many jaunts to the cabin
    -Maintained and progressed in my yoga practice
    -Learned a new skill (photography)
    -Celebrated my third year wedding anniversary
    -Planted a new garden
    -Learned to embrace LA (although still struggle a tad)
    -Cooked more meals than ever before
    -Maintained my weight (within 5lbs) for the last 20 years
    -Hosted several out of town visitors
    -Repainted the office, guest room and guest bath all by myself
    -Gave generously to several of my favorite animal charities
    -Donated pro bono branding services to two local charities
    -Created tons of great memories with all the wonderful people in my life

    Not a bad year at all. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Reply Holly Guertin December 29, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    This year was a great year for me! I graduated college (SCAD) in March, got my first job in April (Lilly Pulitzer Print Designer!!), moved to Pennsylvania to live in the Northeast for the first time in my life, got married in June and have been getting settled ever since. This year has been absolutely incredible and I’m SO thrilled for whatever is to come in 2012!

  • Reply Llamas' valley December 29, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    Two of my dream babies were born in 2011… My son Leonardo and my magazine Llamas’ valley :)

  • Reply Heather B December 29, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    2011 was a bad year for me so I am extra excited and hopeful for 2012. I have never looked forward to the changing of the year more than this year! Despite 2011 being less than stellar, I did accomplish some things that I’m proud of:

    1. I threw three simple yet successful parties
    2. I made some new friends in the new town I live in
    3. Two bedrooms and my kitchen are very nearly finished, after being torn down to the studs
    4. I started my blog
    5. I’ve kept up with my blog
    6. I took BYW
    7. I got a camera and I’m loving learning to use it
    8. I took my daughter into Boston to see the Nutcracker

    Actually, I’m feeling pretty good about that list, thanks for the exercise :-) That is really helpful! May you have a wonderful 2012!

  • Reply decor8 December 29, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    My accomplishments for 2011:
    – Celebrated 10 years of marriage!
    – Continued living car-free
    – Spent time with my mother and old friends in Boston
    – My first book released
    – Book became a best seller
    – Anthropologie and Chronicle Books sponsored my book tour
    – Visited 20 cities in Europe/US and got to meet over a 1,500 decor8 readers in person – woo hoo!
    – Taught 2 Blogging Your Way classes (over 1,000 students) online
    – Taught Blogging Your Way live in Hamburg for the staff of one of Germany’s largest lifestyle magazines
    – Hosted two large blogger events in Berlin and Amsterdam
    – Designed my first shop window around my book
    – Spoke at TCC as a keynote speaker
    – Enjoyed good press from all over the world for Decorate
    – Got into much better shape through diet + daily exercise
    – Continued to learn German, added more words to my vocabulary
    – Took 19 flights in the US/EU
    – Took 10 high speed trains in Germany + the Netherlands
    – Took the Amtrak in the US twice and a crazy bus ride to NYC all a day after a hurricane during my book tour!
    – Continued to make wonderful new friends in Germany that I will bring with me into the new year and beyond (Sandra, Johan, Lutz, Iro, Daniela, Dorit, Igor…)
    – Decorate was published in French and German
    – My book launch was at Liberty London! Eek!
    – My book launch for the German edition was in Berlin at the Soho House
    – Got news that in 2012 it will be published in Danish, Polish and Czech/Slavic
    – Met some online friends in person for the first time and it was wonderful
    – Was a speaker at several high profile London design shows during design week
    – Took the risk of missing a flight and spent a morning in Paris just wandering and having breakfast alone, still made my flight but had a most inspiring wander around

    So that is my list of accomplishments for 2011. There are more that are a bit too personal to share in a public space, so those will go into my journal…

  • Reply pixie December 29, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    1. became a first time home buyer!
    2. read one book a week every week of this year
    3. overcame my fear and got a flu shot :)

  • Reply Abigail Percy@abigail*ryan December 29, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    Awesome idea, Holly! I love this:

    OKAY… professionally we:

    *Had success at the Liberty Open Call in April 2011 and our products landed in the prestigious dept. store shortly after…
    *Won an award at our first trade show, Pulse, for best new exhibitors and have a free stand for 2012’s event.
    *Got some amazing press for a*r, including a front cover feature :) have some more amazing press and features already lined up for 2012.
    * were mentioned in Elle Decoration UK’s Trend Report for 2011/12 (so exciting)
    *re-designed our packaging and are due to revamp our site before the year closes
    *had an overwhelming response to my farewell jewellery sale, which kept me busy for almost 4 months. I am now an officially retired jeweller who can concentrate on our homewares ;)
    *joined twitter (at last!)
    *added some wonderful new stockists to our list
    *launched new products, including a charity teatowel.


    *got a diagnosis for Ryan after a year and a half of not knowing, and worrying!
    *made it to Glasgow and reconnected with friends (it had been too long)
    *travelled to Paris!
    *got ENGAGED on Christmas Day!
    *felt happy and thankful (almost) every day of this year!

    …and those are just the highlights! It’s been a hard year, but also a fantastic one. Focussing on the good really does make the bad slip away…

    Wishing you all the best for 2012 Holly! x

  • Reply Alexis December 29, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    This is the a great idea; I started the year well with a new baby boy, then I did your e-course which was great and I’ve kept up my blog all year, made some lovely new friends via blogging, and in the ‘real’ world too; and just in time for hosting my first Christmas have finished renovating our house. Ah yes, and I appeared on Decor8 in a way too… with the ‘Welcome to London’ card I made you which I spied your ‘Corners of My Home’ post!

    • Reply decor8 December 29, 2011 at 10:03 pm

      @Alexis – I LOVED that card, it’s still there on my cabinet too!!!!

  • Reply Lesley Myrick December 29, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    + Created greeting cards for my Etsy shop
    + Moved to California
    + Started a fulltime and freelance career in a new country
    + Volunteered for 6 weeks with a music ministry
    + Took an indie business course
    + Redesigned my blog
    + Furnished and decorated an apartment on a tight budget with Craigslist/ thrift stores/ Ikea only
    + Made connections with several interior designers in LA by cold calling/emailing (Holly, you’re the reason I’m freelancing at Burnham Design!)
    + Road tripped across the country with my husband

    2011 was a pretty great year. Here’s to starting an awesome 2012! :)

    • Reply decor8 December 29, 2011 at 10:02 pm

      @Lesley – THAT IS AMAZING ABOUT BURNHAM DESIGN! Tell Betsy that I said hello!

  • Reply Annie December 29, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    What a great idea! I love reading all the awesome things people did this year. Throwing my hat into the ring:

    – Got married (and accompanying wedding planning)!
    – Ran two 5ks
    – Won a writing contest
    – Baked my first bread (and second and third)
    – Found a doctor
    – Signed up for super-beginner adult ballet classes
    – Discovered I like martinis
    – Hiked a mountain (okay, it was very small)

    Congrats to everyone for such successful years! Looking forward to hearing about all new adventures in 2012.

  • Reply Ariana December 29, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    @ Holly– I really love that you risked missing your flight for some time wandering around in Paris. And of course that you managed to still get there in time is extra-nice. Good job on both counts!

  • Reply Erin December 29, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    Mildly unrelated, but where is that light fixture from in the picture? I love it!

    • Reply decor8 December 29, 2011 at 11:21 pm

      @Erin – I took the photos at Gail’s cafe in London Chiswick – you’ll have to phone them to inquire, I’m not sure.

  • Reply CT December 29, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    I can’t believe it’s “that time of the year” – the wrap-up time. Crazy how time flies. My accomplishments this year are starting and maintaining my new blog, redecorating the music room/office and putting so many more plans into motion for the next year.

    Congrats to everyone’s accomplishments. I always keep a chilled bottle of champage in the fridge because you never know when you may need to open it in celebration. (I celebrate big and small accomplishments at my house!) I wish everyone many celebrations in 2012.

  • Reply Bettina December 29, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    Hi Holly, great idea to acknowledge what we have achieved in the past 12 months. I had a very busy year and here are my achievements:
    – Graduated from the International School of Colour and Design, Sydney, with a colour design diploma.
    – Started setting up my own business
    – Attended a one week workshop on Interior Illustration
    – Developped my own website
    – Increased social media activities on LinkedIn and Facebook
    – Created my business page on Facebook
    – Started working part-time with a Australian furniture design company
    – Settled my son into a new school
    – Did yoga at least once a week
    My recommendation for 2012: practice yoga as this will help you to achieve your very personal goals!

  • Reply Nuit December 30, 2011 at 12:02 am

    oh Holly what a great idea!!!… My year was pretty great.

    I GOT promoted at work, TOOK my son on several little trips for just the two of us, FOUND love again which is quite the miracle ;), CONTINUED my yoga practice at home everyday at 6am (some days it feels so hard, but I did it!!!), managed to be there for my girlfriends everytime they needed me… I am happy and excited to see what 2012 has in store for me!!!


  • Reply Jessica December 30, 2011 at 12:12 am

    Great idea! Professionally, I started a blog for my business and started to make more time for creative endeavors. Personally, I traveled to Panama, Canada and Hawaii and had plenty of time to explore these beautiful places with my family. Here’s to a wonderful year ahead!

  • Reply Shannon December 30, 2011 at 12:28 am

    This year has been a full one.

    I took a year off and closed a business that wasn’t working.
    I moved into a smaller condo with my family, cutting all of our possessions in half. We also managed to sell our home in a tough housing market.
    I have spent a lot of time adjusting to a new smaller town, the people, and myself.
    But all of this has allowed me to refocus my creative efforts, spend time with my family, and get back in my groove.

    ThanksHolly for reminding us to realize all we’ve accomplished, and not just what we have to do.

  • Reply Rochelle December 30, 2011 at 12:31 am

    Wow, this is a really great thing to do. I have been struggling with sorting myself for 2012 (and where I am going)…looking back has turned out to be a great way to start looking forward.
    So here is my list –

    – Finally and officially shut down my design business (whew – on to bigger and better things)

    – Finished building my last three gardens for clients

    – Achieved my highest ever blog readership for the month of April (only to see it dissipate as I later focussed on other things)

    – Became a fairy godmother for the second time.

    – Met Michelle Obama

    – Wrote a huge (but unsuccessful) federal grant application for my farmers market.

    – Taught both of my kids to snowboard well. (awesome family vacations lie ahead!)

    – Helped build a native american longhouse

    – Began but didn’t finish countless house projects (building a deck, barn
    painting, furniture makeovers, laundry room reno, etc. etc. etc.)

    – Worked to finally get my farmers market to be an official 501c(3) charity

    – Had one of the best vacations ever (road tripping and glamping though 11 National Parks with my little family)

    – Helped my chickens to hatch and keep alive 3 baby chicks!

    – Put on another Kids Farmer for a Day weekend extravaganza

    – Buried my first ‘just mine’ pet (RIP Chuck – you were the best)

    and last but certainly not least (this one was huge!),

    – Launched Leaf Magazine.

  • Reply Rochelle December 30, 2011 at 12:47 am

    Oh — and I forgot one more thing –
    -Began blogging as a columnist for Apartment Therapy (another biggie!)

  • Reply Susan Serra, CKD December 30, 2011 at 12:55 am

    What a great thought to have everyone share in one another’s successes! So much inspiration on this page!

    My 2011 included:

    -launching a new brand, Bornholm Kitchen with my daughter Kelly
    -being a speaker at KBIS, the kitchen and bath industry show
    -attended London design week
    -attended Copenhgen design week
    -guest at major countertop company’s headquarters in Spain
    -served as consultant to a major appliance brands
    -appeared on Martha Stewart radio twice
    -judge for Electrolux kitchen design competition
    -judge for 2011 innovative kitchen and bath products for k+bb magazine
    -attended the IMM Cologne Living Kitchen exhibition in Germany
    -attended Las Vegas and High Point interior design markets
    -launched new brand with my daughter, Scandinavian Made
    -last but not least…..I lost 75 lbs and am buying way too many heels!

    Happy New Year everyone!

  • Reply Janine Fitzpatrick December 30, 2011 at 1:13 am

    1. Completed BYW.
    2. Started a blog.
    3. Completed a thirty day challenge to post every day.
    4. Got my daughter help for her problems understanding maths.
    5. Submitted 4 pieces of writing to outsiders for possible publication.
    6. Made some lovely on-line friends.
    7. Despite my unfinished house hosted a couple of fun-filled lunch for friends.
    8. Hosted Christmas lunch for family.
    9. Improved our family life.
    10. Tried a number of different options in my real-world work & managed to get a pay rise.

  • Reply Laurie Ashbach December 30, 2011 at 1:40 am

    Learned how to use the DSLR camera I received for Christmas.
    Took a trip to Florida to surprise a friend on her birthday.
    Upgraded my Cad Cam for jewelry design. Now I just have to learn the new software!
    Helped all three of my adult children move to new houses in one weekend. Crazy right?
    Designed and created a new jewelry collection called, Uppercase Initials.
    Traveled to Tuscon with my honey for the Gem Show, which was awesome and inspiring.
    Read and discussed Ann Voskamps book, One Thousand Gifts.
    Painted and furnished my new craft room in my daughters old bedroom.
    Took Blogging Your Way in March, learned a ton and took my blog seriously, (in a fun way) and practiced styling photos in the spring.
    Hosted a retreat for 12 up at our resort in northern Minnesota.
    Visited 9 local yarn shops during the Twin Cities Yarn Quest and blogged about it.
    Knitted a lot and finished three scarves, a sweater, 4 hats, and some hearts.
    Cared for my husband during a quadruple bypass, and visited Mayowood in Rochester, MN.
    Planted a real veggie garden and ate what we grew!
    Photographed at the MN Arboretum in June and blogged it.
    Motorcycled all over MN & WI antiquing this summer.
    Swam ½ mile across Elbow Lake twice this summer at the cabin.
    Grew beautiful roses and photographed the gardens.
    Took a photography class along the riverfront of Mpls.
    Had my jewelry collections photographed by a professional.
    Practiced styling photos in the fall because I took Blogging Your Way again in October.
    Attended The Creative Connection and met Leslie and Holly.
    Volunteered at Operation Christmas Child Distribution Center.
    Sold lots of Arise Designs jewelry.
    Almost launched my new website Arise Designs. (That will be on next years list)
    Blogged a lot with purpose, realizing that I published 60 posts this year

    Thanks for that exercise Holly. It really was an amazing year and I am grateful!

  • Reply Nat @ Dear Little House December 30, 2011 at 1:46 am

    Great idea! I’ve been thinking about the huge list of things that I want to get done in 2012, it’s nice to take a moment to think about what I managed to get done in 2012. I think our biggest one must be moving to our new place. It’s an ongoing project, but man did we get it started :)

  • Reply Kathy December 30, 2011 at 1:57 am

    Oh I loooove your idea!! I was feeling all down, but when I started thinking of all my achievements of this 2011, I got that feeling of accomplishment….
    – redid my kitchen and bathroom – in an apartment bought 7 years ago… (finally got the money to do it like I wanted it to be)
    – painted most of my apartment all by myself with excellent results!
    – got myself a beautiful cat, that fills me with joy!
    – started up a new project (too soon to even talk about it, but thrilled)
    – cooked like never before, and learning a lot
    – went back to jogging on a daily basis on the most amazing park in my town
    – just met an uncle of mine I had never even seen… :)

  • Reply Jonica Moore December 30, 2011 at 1:57 am

    this is a great idea! as you mention, i often find myself thinking about all the things that i haven’t done and beating myself up about it. but as i read your post and starting thinking about the things that i did do, i realized that i have done a lot in the past year.

    -joined a gym, and managed to go consistently
    -starting working with a nutritionist/acupuncturist after learning i am pre-diabetic
    -went on a few dates
    -starting working with a business advisor to get guidance on navigating a career change and job searching (interior design/styling)
    -initiated some informational interviews
    -took BYW course (it was awesome by the way!)
    -created a blog (but still getting up the courage to write my first post. i keep thinking about when you said fear is a better feeling than regret)
    -took a fine art drawing class at the Fashion Institute of Technology and registered for more courses in the spring
    -practiced styling and photography
    -joined Twitter (still figuring out), Pinterest, and Instagram
    -got re-acquainted with my Flickr account
    -participated in a webinar about being a professional organizer
    -visited a friend in Portland, OR
    -visited brother in Los Angeles, CA for thanksgiving and went to Disneyland
    -visited mom in Austin, TX for 3 weeks and held a garage sale of things that have been in storage for 9 years!
    -visited Dallas, TX and saw college friends i haven’t seen in 9 years
    -renewed expired passport and skipped across the pond to the UK
    -attended retreat on Fire Island, NY
    -purged my closet and got rid of lots of clothes and shoes
    -wrapped really pretty/crafty christmas gifts, including stamping wrapping paper
    -did LOTS of blog reading and have gotten familiar with a lot of the top design blogs
    -managed to survive financially while making a career change and looking for work
    -left a comment on your blog. :) thanks for all the inspiration that you provide, and not just design related, but also about following your passions and pushing through fear.

    i wish you and thorsten a happy and healthy new year!

  • Reply fenny setiawan December 30, 2011 at 3:04 am

    I am forever thankful for the fruitful year 2011, apart of bitter sweet, honey lemon of life. I have so many great achievement’s list (in my own opinion), but here is the major ones:
    1. Adjusted my life to be a working mom n wife for great and active toddler n hubby
    2. Joined BYW and reactive my blog beginning of this year
    3. Through blogging I am able to meet online some fabulous people and become a good friends (although we never meet face to face)
    4. I did guest blogging in few well known blogs such Bloesem, Simple Hue. And we also become a good friends.
    5. We move to bigger house from studio to 3 bedroom condominium.
    6. I traveled to Europe and State for the first time :).
    7. Continue to strive and have passion at my workplace (and manage to achieve my company KPI).

    For that I thank to God and family for the endless support :). Happy new year to Holly and everyone.

  • Reply Christine December 30, 2011 at 5:21 am

    I love this idea and love your list Holly.
    In 2011 I:

    1) was bridesmaid for my best friend and co-organised a fabulous (if we say so ourselves) hen party
    2) took the big decision, along with my husband, to move to California from the UK
    3) moved to California 3 weeks ago, found a house, and now making it home
    4) was very excited and happy to discover I was pregnant, just a few days after my husband got the job in California. Baby due in April.
    5) learnt to crochet and started a baby blanket
    6) completed a whole year of trying a new craft every week
    7) drove on American roads for the first time; and drove an automatic car

    I think they’re the main highlights :)

  • Reply Beck's Chic Life December 30, 2011 at 5:48 am

    Holly! As usual you are inspiring! Happy New Year! My accomplishments are as follows:
    – Had my first baby! A little girl who is amazing!
    -Quit my dreaded day job to be at home with my little one, and finally follow my dreams of doing something creative and working for myself ;-)
    – Cloth diapered and breast fed my baby for the last 8 months! (TMI??? Sorry!- if you have done either you know this is an accomplishment!)
    -Moved to a new state!

    Thanks for doing this! It is great to focus on what you have done instead of what you didn’t get to! Sending you all Love and Light!

  • Reply T December 30, 2011 at 6:16 am

    I just recently did something similar. I’m moving from L.A. to NYC and was feeling like I didn’t accomplish anything while I was here. I made a list to remind myself of all that I’ve done. So here are my biggies for 2011:

    -Got out of an abusive relationship

    -Found my dream apartment in my dream neighborhood (even though I’m about to move now, I’m so grateful to have had it for a year!)

    -Performed in a successful production that had rave reviews by major publications

    -Won a game show

    -Got a job with the nicest boss I’ve ever had in my life!

    -Started my own business

    -Did a full detox cleanse (after years of “thinking about it”)

    – Finally committed to trusting my instincts and moving to NYC

    Happy New Year, everyone!

  • Reply Jackie December 30, 2011 at 6:17 am


    This is such a wonderful and positive idea. I loved reading everyone’s lists before me. Some of you have done amazing things. My accomplishments are more humble, but it was a very fulfilling year.

    – Started my Home DIY blog, Teal & Lime
    – Took the Blogging Your Way Course (and will continue going over all the great content into the new year)
    – Marveled at my youngest learning to walk and talk
    – Amazed at my oldest learning to read and do math
    – Supported my husband in completing his MBA while working full time
    – Started a new day job that paid significantly more (but will hopefully be short-term to fund starting up my blog and business)

    Thank you for allowing us to share these accomplishments. Happy New Year to you and Thorsten!

  • Reply Punctuation Mark December 30, 2011 at 6:24 am

    this is amazing and such a positive thing to do… on my list I will write down:

    -graduating my masters with a great GPA
    -the trips to see my sister in DC and strengthen my relationship with her kids
    -spending time with my grandmother
    -spending time with my parents
    -attend industry conferences which allowed me to meet important people
    -strengthen a lot of my friendships
    -leaving toxic people behind
    -feeling something for someone
    -getting to know other amazing bloggers
    -getting to meet some of my favorite chefs
    -never turning my back on my friends
    -learning a new laguage

    Happy New Year!!! wish you tons of success for 2012!!!

  • Reply Lisa Humphries December 30, 2011 at 6:54 am

    Holly you are wonderful, this is the perfect way to enter a brand new year with positivity and that warm fuzzy inner love that comes with reflection and acknowledgement of our accomplishments!!
    2011 was another year of learning, growth, JOY and memory making for me:
    – Completed and conquered my first full year as a single Mum, nurturing the kindness, spirit, personality and precious new life of my toddler angel!
    – Fell in love!
    – Travelled to a tropical island paradise all on my own to restore and recharge and return the best person and Mum I could be.
    – Managed a large scale national fundraising campaign and raised a significant amount of money that will directly give the gift of sound and speech to deaf children all over Australia.
    – Was chosen as the Project Leader to bring a beautiful American based charity to Australia in 2012 – DREAM come true!!!
    – Arranged a very special 2nd birthday celebration for my toddler angel, bringing together beautiful family and friends xx
    – Moved into my own space, conquered my fears of renting as a single Mum and set up an oasis in the suburbs for my little bestie and me, and we love it!
    – Wrote the business plan for my very own charity!!
    – Let go of some friendships that were not feeding my soul, and forgave the people who have hurt me so much in the past, love and light to all!
    – Completed the BYW course and was enriched in my soul as a result, thank you Holly and Leslie!!
    – Made some lovely new friends and welcomed the chance to connect with like minded people.
    – Continued with my blogs.
    – Lived an AUTHENTIC year, always reflecting my life values in everything that I did.
    – Continued to live with depression, manage my medication and engage in consistent self care!
    Happy New Year everyone xx

  • Reply Victoria Bennett Beyer December 30, 2011 at 7:03 am

    I was having sort of a bad day, but reading every one else’s comments has really lifted my spirits. It is nice to see such a long list of positives.

    As for my 2011, I did not make a lot of strides in my photography, but:
    – I sold my house in Wyoming and moved to Pittsburgh
    – I was the best friend I could be to the wonderful people on my life
    – I spent a lot of time getting to know my mother-in-law
    – I made post card sets for my shop ( I have wanted to do that for a while)
    – oh, and I spent almost 9 months being pregnant and just had my baby girl this month!

    It isn’t a long list, but I can’t think of a year when I accomplished more. I can’t wait to see what 2012 holds. Happy new year!

  • Reply Theresa December 30, 2011 at 7:40 am

    Thank you SO much for this year end ritual. I so wanted to do a post on new year’s resolutions, but was filling so stuck and experiencing writer’s block. I received this wonderful assignment via tweet and was instantly inspired. You’re amazing! Here we go:

    -A year ago, I was one solid month into blogging with zero readers. BUT, I got a blog off the ground.
    -Two months in, I told my husband and sister about the blog. (Yay, two readers!)
    -Five months in, I attended a one day blogging workshop. In that workshop, I stood up in front of 20 strangers and announced that I had a blog. Afterward, I thought: If I could tell 20 strangers about my blog, I could certainly tell my friends and family! I did and they were enthusiastically supportive.
    -Six months in, I started to get comments. Yay!
    -10 months in and I participated in Blogging Your Way – the best online blogging workshop, ever. And, the best gift I gave myself.
    -Also joined Twitter (finally)
    -12 months in and I conducted a giveaway of Decorate by Holly Becker to thank my new readers for their support. (I would have never had the courage to do a giveaway without BYW.)
    -12.5 months in and I now have the best readers and commenters, and I feel really grateful for my budding community. (Thank you, Holly! You played a huge part.)
    -Also celebrated seven years of marriage, turning 40, and being healthy!!

    Cannot wait for BYW 2.0!
    Happy New Year, Holly!

  • Reply laponka December 30, 2011 at 10:31 am

    Great idea, Holly! Thanks for inspiration- and all wonderful ideas and pictures that you gave me by your blog!

    This year:
    -found a job in the most wonderful cafe
    -visited Sweden again
    -started learning Swedish
    -started my blog about books- and red 51 books in 5 months
    -cooked and baked lots of delicious food
    -attended ?od? Design Festival
    -improved my English a bit
    -was more creative then ever before
    -fell in love
    -sold some jewellery that I made

    Obviously, it was a good year! Have the most amazing 2012!

  • Reply Melanie December 30, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    What a great idea – we should do this all year long, concentrate on achievements I mean. But sometimes so hard to do…
    So here’s my list:
    – gave birth to a beautiful baby boy (wow!)
    – took the BYW course
    – increased my page views every month
    – got to know great people online and offline
    – managed (and survived ;-) life with two kids
    – was featured in Germany’s biggest parents’ magazine ELTERN
    – visited a bloggers event in Berlin
    – improved my photos, even with a point-and-shoot
    – rediscovered my creativity and did some great crafts with my boys
    – was invited to take part in the BRIGITTE Weihnachtsbloggerei
    – wrote my first article for a local parents magazine in Düsseldorf
    – started blogging in English
    – started a twitter account and had great fun with it
    and and and!
    Wow can’t wait for 2012!
    Have a wonderful NYE and a fantastic start into the new year, Holly and everybody else!

  • Reply Fiona Humberstone December 30, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    What an amazing idea! This year hasn’t been great for me in lots of ways, but I know there are some gems in there if I look hard enough. Here goes:
    -Renovated and extended our house into something that is going to be utterly beautiful and hopefully home for life just as soon as we get it all done (and even in its unfinished state I love it already)
    -Took BYW and loved it. Amazing course that I have recommended to friends and clients
    – Thanks to Leslie Shewring discovered a love of photography and styling and realise I have become ok at it
    – Relaunched my blog as Full Bloom
    – Won some AMAZING clients and projects this year and really put my business, Flourish, on the map
    – Launched an online branding masterclass (eeek!) having been so inspired by BYW
    – Took the time to really notice my gorgeous children

    There are lots more springing to mind but you have inspired me to nip off and do a post of my own. Thank you Holly for all your inspiration this year. Here’s to a fabulous 2012

  • Reply Elin December 30, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    I just did this on my blog! Instead of focusing on the goals I didn´t reach I wrote about my achievments this year – a great idea!

    Some of the things I achieved was:
    – I had time to paint, and I sold nearly all of my paintings
    – I was interviewed by a local newspaper
    – I wrote more posts on my blog than last year
    – I took Kelly Rae Roberts e-course and loved it
    – I finally decided to take a break from my day job during 2012 and focus on my creative business. I can´t wait!

  • Reply sue bulmer December 30, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    Hi Holly
    What a great way to end the year, celebratiosn of what we have achieved (I’ve just posted about the very same thing over on my blog too). For me, 2011 has creatively been great
    1. First exhibition
    2. First tea towel range released.
    3. FOund my direction and love the way it is going
    4. Worked with some fantastic and inspirational people
    5. Was accepted to Design Factory, a UK creative business group, which promotes and supports handmade locally and internationally (feel flattered to have been selected there is so much talent!!)
    6. Turned 40 and feel better than ever

    keep the comments coming in, they are so great to read!!

  • Reply Laura Trevey December 30, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    This has been a truly rewarding and fulfilling year for me! I had record sales in my shop, I wrote my first book – smART business (soon available on Apple iBooks) and my Bright Bold and Beautiful blog has soared to new heights – something I never dreamed would happen.

    “Have the courage to follow your heart and your intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.” Steve Jobs

  • Reply Lisa December 30, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    Great idea! So inspiring to read everyone’s accomplishments.

    In 2012:

    -I graduated with a Masters in Women’s Studies and Feminist Research
    -I celebrated my one year wedding anniversary
    -I got a sweet little kitty named Patches
    -I traveled to Toronto, Montreal, and Cape Breton
    -I moved to Halifax, and found a totally kick ass apartment
    -I found work in my field of social services within weeks of moving
    -I gave up eating sugar, and lost 10 pounds

  • Reply Lisa December 30, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    I so appreciate that you suggested looking back at accomplishments of 2011 because all I’ve been doing is looking forward. I actually did a lot that I’m proud of this year.
    In Jan I attended a conference about finding your dreams.
    In April I started a certificate program in Interior Design.
    In May I started my first blog about decorating my condo.
    In October I attended the Blogging Your Way course in which I met fellow bloggers that I still keep in touch with and learned sooo much about blogging.
    For Christmas I got some great books about interior design, but my favorite has been Decorate. I will add a formal review in Amazon, but wanted to let you know how much I love the information, the pictures and the overall layout of your book. You should be very proud!
    So that’s some big accomplishments for 2011. I’m really looking forward to 2012 and have made a list of goals for myself and my family.
    Wishing you and Thorsten a Happy New Year Holly!

  • Reply Splendidlywendy December 30, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    Had a “Small” Amount of Accomplishments, but they were on a GRAND Scale:
    1) Started eating healthier & exercising in February 2011 – Have lost 25 pounds & gained tons of strength and muscle!
    2) Took Holly’s “Blogging Your Way” Course & learned so much & discovered my lifelong passions!!
    3) After the Course, Made a Decision to quit my corporate job in one year (which would have been October 2012) & join my husband’s photography business – WELL, we have been doing so well, I was able to quit my job this week!! So Excited for 2012!
    4) Working on Launching my own Blog (within a week or two) about my new adventures from the corporate environment to self employment – I want to inspire women everywhere that they can do the same!
    2011 was Really Good but looking forward to a Really GREAT 2012!

  • Reply Bonnie McCarthy December 30, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    Many of these are still a work in progress, but I am excited and looking forward to the year ahead!

    I love this idea and really enjoyed reading what others have experienced and accomplished. Here were a few of my milestones and experiences this year:

    Went indoor skydiving!
    Traveled to Alaska!
    Started a blog!
    Keeping a small journal
    Sold my photography!
    Renovated a bathroom (finally!!)
    Flew in a small plane near the top of Mt.McKinley!
    Walked on an iceberg! (yes, Alaska!)
    Was so incredibly grateful for my family
    Secretly cried (joy, pride, terror) when one son entered high school and another entered middle school
    lost a little weight (more to go!)
    Visited several new restaurants (part of the reason there is more weight to lose…)
    Tried to incorporate more joy into each day and walk by faith
    Got a new puppy (Daisy!)

  • Reply melanie December 30, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    thanks, holly, for the opportunity to share here. you, especially, had such a big year! congrats!

    my little list:

    – began blogging again (and it feels great.)
    – finished the Blogging Your Way course (thanks, holly!)
    – had photos featured on Design Mom and Pioneer Woman
    – visited Hawaii for the first time, and managed the flights with two toddlers!
    – picked up a DSLR
    – began learning the guitar
    – completed the Whole30 diet
    – finally made a breakthrough with my fifteen-year-old depression. (i know, whoah – personal. but it’s a big one and impossible for me not to mention.)
    – finished my first illustration project
    – went back to work, albeit freelance-style

    while i’m here, holly, thanks for offering such a great blogging course. it’s been hugely encouraging to watch your site grow over the years, to see you succeed, and then what a great thing to be able to take your course, a course which i found to be extremely informative and inspirational. also, i know you met a million people on your book tour, but i was one of them, and i was so happy for the chance to meet you. thanks so much, and happy new year!

  • Reply Kinga December 30, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    Holly I love this…it’s so easy to get down about the things that didn’t happen that we overlook the things that did…you always manage to change perspectives so gracefully. My big things this year were…

    – planned, plotted and designed items for my etsy shop which I had hoped to launch before Christmas but now I will launch in the new year
    -started my blog in September (it has changed my life)
    -participated in BYW which was a huge highlight for me in 2011…I learned so much and continue be inspired by you, Leslie, and fellow classmates on a daily basis (Thank you!)
    -started a twitter account (lol…never though I would but I’m loving it!)
    -started a baby-photography business to make some extra cash while working full time
    -finished a painting
    -filled three sketchbooks
    -used my silk-screener…a lot!

    Wishing you all the best the new year has to offer and looking forward to BYW 2.0…xo

  • Reply Catherine December 30, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    This is a really fantastic idea thanks Holly. I have taken the time to look back and was suprised how much good there was for me in 2011 as at first glance i was not convinced it was a good vintage year. I was so inspired by your idea i have written a blog post and added your link for others to share .
    Happy new year everyone
    Cat x

  • Reply Shelly Dozier-Mckee December 30, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    What a great way to remember the good in our lives!
    In 2011…
    * started my independent interior design business, ConfettiStyle Interiors
    * opened my Etsy shop, ConfettiStyle Designs
    * celebrated my 20th wedding anniversary
    * continued as a blogger for May Arts Ribbon Company
    * pitched-my-product to the editors of Country Living Magazine
    * gave my bedroom a fantastic makeover, on a budget!
    * vacationed at Disney World
    * did lots of antiquing and thrift shopping
    * continued to build my blog…looking forward to my 2 year anniversary
    * reconnected with old friends
    * handmade my Christmas cards
    And, most of all, enjoyed life!

    Wishing everyone a great 2012!

  • Reply Jenni December 30, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    I’ve really enjoyed reading through all these! What brilliantly bright people :)

    As For Me:

    1. Married My Best Friend:)
    2. Slowly but Surely changed my diet to natural, fresh, raw whole foods
    3. Enrolled in a Graphic Design program..back to school for me!
    4. Styled a Wedding Photo Shoot here in Portland, OR
    5. Gained 1,000 unique visitors on my blog each month…small but oh so loved
    6. Have 15+ weddings under my belt for vintage styling and rentals
    7. Designed/Handmade all my wedding invitations
    8. Sold a few sets of my cards internationally, which was exciting to visualize my art traveling over the oceans.
    9. My cards are officially on the shelves at a few boutiques in Portland.
    10. Completed 2 Art shows this year and did quite well!

    1. To become a home owner
    2. To build a studio for my photography, art and rental styling in our back yard.
    3. New Jarfly Rentals Website (in the works!)
    4. Complete Graphic Design Degree
    5. Design invitation suites that to be sold in local bridal boutiques
    6. Become a Mama
    7. Write that children’s book!
    8. Continue with Whole, Raw food diet
    9. Go to Europe with my husband!
    10. Reach the 3,000 unique visitor mark per month on my blog…

  • Reply Aimee December 30, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    I so needed to do this!
    – illustrated green focused children’s book #2
    – met someone by pure serendipity
    – did my own taxes!
    – grew my freelance client list
    – painted/redecorated home office
    – new car (finally)
    – new Mac/upgraded software
    – new puppy! (also named Mac)
    – painted/redecorated living room
    – online shop (printables) back up and out sold previous years
    – re-branded blog
    – laid out plans for second online shop (knits)
    – created new personal blog for me and me alone!

    Thanks for the prompt Holly! I hope you have an EVEN BETTER 2012!

  • Reply diane hocking December 30, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    Hi Holly, I love your positivity-this is a great idea.

    2011 has been great for me and has been a real turning point in my life. Many ups and downs but definitley more ups! I guess my achievements have been more internal- I have reached an age where I think I get it now! After reading the previous comments I wanted to congratulate you all-so many inspiring achievements. I will be visiting your blogs to find out more about some of you and to inspire me even more!

    – Decided to put my creativity back to use once and for all and stop procrastinating.
    – Started my business in September this year.
    – Started my blog in October this year.
    – Completed the BYW course and was totally engrossed. Loved every minute of it and still read over notes.
    – Cleared my head and am finding more clarity about what I want out of life.
    -Made some great friends via blogging.
    -Started Twitter.
    – Re-decorating my home-just the way I like it.
    – Made my first batch of salted caramel truffles that went down a treat.
    -Changed my way of thinking-see the better in everyone, they all have a story and a reason.
    – See the good in everyday, all the little things I seem to appreciate more as I have learnt to slow down and just -listen-look-feel-think-enjoy!

    Happy New Year to all and may it be a safe and exciting one!

  • Reply Julie the Alkaline Sister December 30, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    Holly I always like to think of one year older as one year much much wiser! I never let me age get me down nor another year passing as like you said it’s another chance for a fresh start. If we are healthy then we must appreciate the opportunity to have this new opportunity before us and never take it for granted that it is before us once again, for there are many who do not have this simple gift of time. On Christmas eve our family and cousins all celebrated our favourite accomplishments for 2011. It always makes our meal together more special to see what everyone, kids and all, felt was of most value for 2011.
    What I see on your list is an explosion of a wonderful spin off from a seed- that you planted and grew- your blog, a book and it’s wonderful blooms! What a tremendous year for you, you’ve made it BIG and it was so authentic! I was thrilled to be a part of it and to get to know you even better! Cheers for an even more fantastic ride for 2012!
    My condensed accomplishment list is;
    -raising 3 wonderful kids that are aware of what a healthy lifestyle is
    -closing the retail chapter of my life after 20 years and leasing my building to two new eco friendly businesses allowing me to pursue my new passion
    -celebrating 25 years of marriage!!
    -continuing with my all time favourite pass time, my health food blog!
    -choosing to return to school to study nutrition to enhance my knowledge!
    -celebrating your book launch in LONDON!!!
    Thank you for the opportunity to get this list out of my head:)
    Hugs hugs and more hugs for you! Mwaah!

  • Reply mosey December 30, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    This is a nice idea… I had to really think about it but suddenly came up with a few noteworthy accomplishments…
    1. Found an apartment to buy & just signed the contract
    2. Convinced my husband to have a baby with me (that sounds weird)
    3. Sold one of our songs to a major french fashion label
    4. Was more social with old friends & new, and threw my first game night
    5. Conquered bouts of anxiety

  • Reply Michaela December 30, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    2011 was such an eventful year for me, both positive and negative, that somehow I really hope for 2012 to be more calm. I went through a lot this year and at the same time I made my professional dreams come true. Here’s my list:

    – i helped my husband through what was probably the worst time of his life. I am so incredibly thankful that he is better and happier now, that I was able to help him to turn his life around. He’s now doing what makes him truly happy and I support it 100%.
    – i started guest blogging and creating guest content for Oh Happy Day, Brooklyn Bride and others during Spring
    – in May i did the big leap: I quit my job as events manager. I am still so very proud of that
    – in June I set up an own business together with an old colleague and friend. It is a dream come true to finally be able to do my work the way I want to, to truly enjoy what i do.
    – we also started our blog and have been featured in so many places. I can’t say how thankful I am for that.
    – spent time with family & friends, visited my family during the summer
    – celebrated my daughter’s 2nd birthday
    – with the help of my husband, my daughter and friends I managed to deal with the sudden and way to early death of my dear dad
    – made lots of plans for our business for 2012

    I’m sure there are more accomplishments, but these are the big ones that come to mind right now. The big events in my life this year were simply so big that they overshadowed all little things a bit.

    Have a very happy new year, Holly!

  • Reply Lauren December 30, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    This is such a lovely idea! I never really take the time to look back at the end of the year (too busy plowing forward, I guess!), but I’m so glad you *made* me, Holly! When I focus on my accomplishments, it’s been a really good year.

    * gathered enough work freelance writing to be able to leave my “day job”
    * participated in my first photography exhibit
    * finally figured out how to say “no,” and turned down a job that I knew wasn’t right for me
    * BYW changed SO much for me, the ripples are still skimming the surface of my pond
    * did a complete blog overhaul: long overdue!
    * took myself off to Charleston, SC (alone!) for a food photography workshop with Helene Dujardin of Plate to Pixel. Pretty much rocked my world!
    * worked hard at nurturing my relationships
    * finally started honing my vision as a writer and a photographer. I’m excited about that.
    * finally managed to order my world so that my work and creative outlets meld, all while affording me the time I feel necessary to care for my family

    It’s funny. We’ve had some ups and downs as a family, but man, it’s been a good year. 2012 looks even better.

    Thank you for so much, Holly. Happy, Happy New Year!

  • Reply Heather Davulcu December 30, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    oh how FUN! How inspiring to read about all of these amazing accomplishments. Thank you Holly for giving us a way to share and connect.
    2011 was a great year-I’m incredibly thankful every single day
    *read & reviewed Kelly Rae Roberts “Flying Lessons”
    *got my first licensing contract-YAY!
    *created two lines of art for licensing
    *got my website launched! Yipee!
    *first biz trip
    *first sprititual retreat
    *met you Holly(!!) in Philly @Anthropologie event-and met Jeanine of Aphro Chic, Jaime from Design Milk, & Kayte from This is love forever-amazing experience-such delightful, friendly, non-snobby women!! so inspiring!
    *attended Alyson B Stanfield social media workshop with Colleen Attara
    *started tweeting!
    *met Grace Bonney from design*sponge @Anthropologie event (connecting with inspirational women in design was a highlight this year!)
    *saw the Alexander McQueen exhibit at the Met for Mother’s Day
    *redecorated my bedroom
    *set up etsy shop
    *submitted & sold two prints at the holdiay art show (sold in the first 2 hours!)
    *celebrated 18 years married to the love of my life
    *went to spin class! love it!!
    *made time to develop wonderful friendships that bless my life
    *enjoyed the thrills of being a mom to two amazing girls
    wow! what a year!
    Happy New Year all you amazing and wonderful women!! XOXO

  • Reply Jazmine December 30, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    – Graduated from my Degree in Textile Design with Distinction! RMIT University, Melbourne.
    – Picked up my blog and kept it going all year.
    – Found love and am the happiest ever!

  • Reply Laura Gaskill December 31, 2011 at 12:02 am

    Such an inspiring way to look at things and a great reminder to look at life as a “cup half full” : ) Wow, you really had an AMAZING year, Holly – and I love reading everyone else’s lists too, super inspiring to see what everyone has been up to (wow, Rochelle – you met Michelle Obama?!)! Here is mine:

    – Watched my baby grow into a little boy – I can’t believe he is a toddler now!

    – Redesigned my website.

    – Attended the Boston Decorate book signing & went to lunch with you, Holly!!

    – Made connections with several local-to-me creative ladies to meet for coffee and now have my first styling gig in the works.

    – Began developing my e-decorating service, launching soon.

    – Became closer with my husband’s sweet family.

    – Started writing a monthly column for Houzz.

    – Connected with a group of other new moms – which will make this winter sooo much more fun than last winter, when I was virtually alone in a new town with a new baby!

    – Maybe most importantly, I learned to let a lot of things go and enjoy life more.

    Happy New Year!! xoxo Laura

  • Reply Diana December 31, 2011 at 12:11 am

    I love this tradition, and I love reading through everyone’s lists! Here’s mine:

    – I started creating seasonal collections of photography
    – I conquered my shyness and went to a few real life events with bloggers (yeah DECORATE signing!) and Etsy admin folks. All were a ton of fun and a great success
    – I was approached by a local gallery, which led to my photographs being displayed in their brand new, non-local space in NYC!
    – And the biggest news – I signed with an art publisher that, so far, I just love working with. That’s a full 2 years ahead of my 10 year plan!

  • Reply Kristin Johnsen December 31, 2011 at 1:45 am

    Thanks, Holly – what a great idea! Thanks to you and Leslie, I have a blog that I’ve mostly kept up with this past year, even while starting a new job in a city away from my home and family! All good things in part because I have met so many great people in the blogging community. I enjoy writing my blog and am proud that even though I was not diligent for some time during the move, that I’m back at it again and truly enjoy the interaction. Thanks again and happy new year to you!!! Kristin

  • Reply Shu @ Page Thirteen December 31, 2011 at 3:00 am

    What a lovely and positive way to celebrate the end of a fulfilling year! Yes, like many, I tend to get all stressed up about the end of a year and the beginning of another. But a couple of weeks ago, I was doing a “look-back” and know without saying that although not everyone might agree with me, I have achieved a lot and experienced so much in 2011!

    This year, I have:
    – rented a place of our own (in a new country, away from home), made it into a comfortable home, and am proud of it!
    – worked hard and consistently on my blog.
    – attended Blogging Your Way e-course by Holly and Leslie and learned soooo much and am slowly applying what I’ve learnt back into my blog (and in my life too!).
    – self-taught new knitting techniques to make cute little plushies!
    – had the courage to attend 2 daunting and intimidating group interviews and walked away with new experiences (though minus the jobs…).

    Thank you Holly for this opportunity to share! Have a great 2012 – Happy New Year!

  • Reply Sophie December 31, 2011 at 3:33 am

    What a lovely idea Holly! Here are my list of achievements/memories. I’ve written a more filled out post on this over on my blog today as well.

    In roughly chronological order:

    *Saw in the New Year in Singapore, three months in to a four month trip round Asia, which was a dream come true!
    *Visited Bali where my partner proposed to me on a secluded beach.
    *Moved into our very first flat together (having always shared previously).
    *Started a new job and met lots of lovely people through this.
    *Completed a 24mile charity night hike, collectively raising £2000 for a cancer care centre.
    *Started my blog, another dream come true, something i’d been meaning to do for several years.
    *Bought my first DSLR camera and began to learn how to use it.
    *Celebrated both my parents 50th birthdays with them – not exactly an achievement by certainly a memorable time.
    *Took the amazing BYW course and started to chat to some amazing bloggers!
    *Learned more about myself as a personality and started to get to grips with what it means to be an introvert and not be ashamed of it.
    *Thought more about my career and long-term goals and aspirations.

    Happy New Year to all! xx

  • Reply colleen attara December 31, 2011 at 5:24 am

    Thank you for this forum Holly! I am so uplifted by you and all the woman who reflected back on their accomplishments in 2011.

    This year (not in order):

    -I finished a 70-foot installation of a colorful city in a new hospital made from all reused signs. It took over a year and a half to make. I was there right on time on my installation date. Eleven days later and it was all up. I did it and I love it!

    -Found a website designer I love and built a website with a shop.

    -bought a fabulous camera (G12).

    -Started a blog.

    -Found additional unique shops to carry my green art.

    -Scheduled classes to teach at my studio.

    -Flung open my studio doors and shouted “come on in” on several occasions.

    -Did many interviews in local newspapers and magazines.

    -Went to lots of artsy social events with my dear artist friend Heather Davalcu…we even shared a glass of wine with you Holly (in Philly). Such fun. Such inspiration.

    -Found out I had melanoma on my foot. Had surgery and then 40 stitches. Bought very high heeled sandals to look at while healing.

    -Celebrated 22 years of marriage to my best friend and the love of my life.

    -Went on several adventures with my husband and two children. Most importantly, I was “present” for each on a daily basis.

    -Went away with my sister for a week long cruise to the islands.

    -Embraced social media.

    -Sold my colorful art to wonderful collectors.

    So excited to see what adventures and gifts 2012 brings! Happy New Year to all!

    xo-Colleen Attara

  • Reply ay lin December 31, 2011 at 5:37 am

    Hello! I just started reading this blog. I love it!

    Here goes my 2011:
    – my baby was born in January and I am in love ever since.
    – renovation of our family resort in Bali is finished in April and is running well.
    – started building my own house in May and its almost finished.

    Happy 2012 Everyone!

  • Reply Madison December 31, 2011 at 6:27 am

    This is a wonderful tradition! I posted my list as a blog post. Here are the highlights:

    – Graduated high school
    – Backpacked around Europe by myself
    – Visited NYC
    – Learned manual photography

    These comments are great to read. There are many great things going on in the world, and it’s nice to be reminded of that!

  • Reply Bernadette December 31, 2011 at 7:47 am

    I have just written a blog post on this.

    In 2011 I:
    * successfully taught my first year of Year 12 Further Maths
    * taught year 8 textiles for the first time ever.
    * completed a number of projects (as shown on my blog)
    * participated in a number of extra curricular activities at school.
    * attended Nuffnang Blogopolis
    * completed the Blogging Your Way eCourse (thank you Holly and Leslie)
    * met other bloggers from Melbourne and around Australia
    * started blogging regularly!

  • Reply Frank December 31, 2011 at 9:54 am

    good idea, especially for someone as casually pesimistic as myself (!). So, what have i done this year? here goes:
    – we had our first wedding anniversary
    – and a lovely belated honeymoon
    – Decorated the living room, bathroom and spare bedroom. sanded down and re-painted our fireplace
    – passed year 1 of my part time masters degree (1 more year to go, motivation willing!!!!)
    – Made home made wine for the first time (still fermenting on the windowsill, 2-3 more months then its time to taste the rocket fuel…)
    – went to a festival
    – bought my first ever box of fireworks and invited friends and their little lad round to let them off in our tiny garden
    – continued to learn more about photography and (hopefully!) progressed a little
    – learnt a lot more about myself

    there we are, small, yet perfectly formed as they say.

  • Reply Inspirationsquelle December 31, 2011 at 10:57 am

    -completed our first year of marriage succesfully
    -travelled to Thailand, Zurich and Washington D.C.
    -passed an important exam
    -found some good new friends
    -furnished our apartment, it now really reflects our style
    -discovered my creativity on a grand scale
    -sold my handmade cards at a local craft fair
    -got more motivation and discipline for studying
    -started my blog in October
    -discovered my love for fleamarkets

  • Reply belinda December 31, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    yes, I love to reflect on the good parts of the year about to end, rather than think about ways to disappoint myself (through guilt at not having crossed them off the list!) with resolutions. The clock is going to tick over to 2010 in about 20 mins here (and clearly, I am partying it up big time….) and so I better hop to it.

    * I gave birth to my 3rd child, Imogen, who is most definitely the highlight by a mile for our year. She’s adorable (even if she doesn’t ever sleep)
    * My husband, Steve, joined our state parliament as a media adviser for one of the new ministers – a big career move into the unknown.
    * Due to Steve’s new job, we upped and moved to Sydney…
    *… and sold our beloved house on the coast because of it. Sad to see it go and leave our friends and all our kids have ever known as home, but happy to see our savings get a huge boost!
    * Managed to survive living in a 2 bedroom apartment with five people!
    * Welcomed two new nieces into the world and many other friends’ babies.
    * Took up sewing again
    * Earned money (if only a little – it’s a start) for some of my crafts!
    * Enjoyed my blog – on and off, if I’m honest – but with the scent of a brand new shiny year getting stronger, I’m feeling inspired again and have a feeling 2012 will be an even better year for it.
    *Think I managed to pin down my style. I think!
    * Feel I’ve got more of an idea as to what I want to do with my career eventually. Even if it is in the “high hopes” department, I can work on ways to get a little bit closer by taking baby steps. As long as I’m enjoying it, that should be the main thing!

    I’m sure there’s lots more, but these were some highlights!

    Happy new year to you Holly – may 2012 be your best year yet, filled with lots of love, luck, happiness and laughter

  • Reply Decor Arts Now December 31, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    Agree with all that this is a very positive idea
    My accomplishments– in no real order
    1. I really did exercise more—- now averaging 4 days/week. Imagine that.
    2. Some how I got chosen as a sponsored blogger at the fall High Point Market. (this is a biggie—my blog is small)
    3. Got my family through my husband’s near fatal illness–(we all, including my husband, are much better for it).
    4, Bundled my oldest child off to college, where he finally admitted that his parents were right when we made him switch high schools!
    5. Helped another son transition successfully from a school for learning disabled children to a main stream high school
    6. Built and decorated an addition to our beach house and love results.
    7. ALMOST (does this count?) had my house published in a national magazine. They said yes, then backed out 7 months later. Trying to put a positive spin on this one….
    8. Finally went to Brimfield Flea Market— a bucket list item.
    There. That did make me feel better. Thanks.

  • Reply Tahni December 31, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    Looking back on 2011 accomplishments gives me strength and confidence for 2012. What a great exercise in thought. Here are a few of mine:

    – Celebrated 24 years of marriage.
    – Found out I was going to be a grandma for a second time.
    – Took hold of a dream and started my design/art business.
    – Got my blog up and running.
    – Started making new friends who share my same passions in life.

    Christopher Robin to Pooh “Promise me you’ll always remember you’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.”

  • Reply China Carnella December 31, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    It feels good to list your accomplishments!

    This year, I was able to:

    -perk up my painting style by taking a brush-up art class
    -learn how to resin-coat my paintings
    -learn how to create faux-encaustic paintings
    -get back into the look of mixed media in my art
    -take a trip across the US to decide where to live
    -move into a fun new place
    -decorate it like a jeannie’s bottle
    -finally put all of my art prints up for sale on Etsy
    -buy Holly’s book!

    Here’s to a great new year for everyone!

  • Reply Angelia December 31, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    I just posted an image of my past year in creative work. My list would include
    Closed a retail business.
    Started my new product/wholesale business.
    Celebrated 23 years married to my best friend.
    Taught my son to drive, just get his license.
    Set up my new studio in my home.
    Started classes in my new studio.
    Made several wardrobe pieces for myself.
    Thanks, to all for the inspiration to keep going.

  • Reply Angelia December 31, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    I just posted an image of my past year in creative work. Thankful for all the inspiration here. My list would include
    Closed a retail business.
    Started my new product/wholesale business.
    Celebrated 23 years married to my best friend.
    Taught my son to drive, just get his license.
    Set up my new studio in my home.
    Started classes in my new studio.
    Made several wardrobe pieces for myself.
    Looking forward to a fresh new start in 2012.

  • Reply Erika December 31, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    The funny thing is the best things that happened to me in 2011 were not really planned in 2010…there are three of them that were really memorable and I will never forget:
    – My first trip by myself to London, during 2 weeks, for studying a week and walking around throught this beautiful city during the other week…I really had a time of my life, and had never been so far away from where I live (Brazil) and alone. I started to planning my trip in February this year, to study in Italy, and the plans changed and made me to London! I felt really proud of myself and everything went well…I want to travel again to Europe in 2013 now :)
    – After 8 years, a very very special friend of mine came to visit me again, he came from US to spend a week here with me. A great surprise, I wasn´t expecting and made me really happy!
    – I was able to see my favorite band (Pearl Jam) playing for the second time in Brazil last November…A BIG birthday gift!
    Of course there was so many plans I did and I had no way to see them coming true, but who knows in 2012?
    I wish you a great 2012 and hope your blog continues to bring me so much inspiration as it did this year :) Thanks!

  • Reply Sarah December 31, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    I think this is such a great idea! I am particularly proud of myself for having finally started my blog. After reading so many blogging books and going through the entire Blogging Your Way course in 2010 without a blog (!), I finally have something that I am proud of, that I believe is a true reflection of myself, and, though it is still a work-in-progress, it is shaping up to be just what I had envisioned! Thank you Holly for the endless inspiration :-) xx
    Blogs are just beginning to really take off in Jamaica and I am so thankful for the positive feedback I have been getting. I thought I would be basically writing to myself, but, I have in fact been nominated for 3 awards in the 2011 Jamaica Blog Awards! I was so surprised and thrilled!
    I want to wish you, the decor8 family and all decor8 readers all the very best for the New Year!!!

  • Reply Chrystina Noel January 1, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    This is awesome – and I love that these comments range from graduated high school to found out I was going to be a grandmother again. This has been great to think back on the year, in 2011 I was able to:

    * Graduate with a BS in Architectural Engineering
    * Accept a job offer before I graduated working with great people
    * Started my blog
    * Started taking pictures again
    * Invited my parents to visit “my place”
    * Held a child under 2 months old
    * Threw my 9th annual Christmas party
    * Arranged Big Spender for the ladies of Naturally Sharp

  • Reply hena tayeb January 2, 2012 at 12:01 am

    A great idea.
    *Celebrated 4years of marriage
    *Baby boy turned one and is now a walking almost talking toddler
    *Made my own website
    *Had my first gallery exhibition
    *Went to Aruba
    *Went back to visit family after 3 years
    and so many other blessings..

  • Reply Terese January 2, 2012 at 11:19 am


    Whilst I’m sure I could list quite a few things, the biggest achievement was becoming a grandmother. Now I know what you are thinking, hang on wouldn’t that be the achievement of the parents. Yes you are right, it is, but it is something special to be a grandparent, so I’m claiming this as my achievement. Beautiful Archie was born in October 2011…T

  • Reply Ursula (room to bloom) January 2, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    What a great idea Holly – I usually get a bit blues-y at the end of the year and this is a really lovely way to reset your mood. I listed some accomplishments on my blog – launching my new children’s design website and starting a blog after following your BYW course were the major ones – I’ve added a link to your post as well as I thought is was so inspiring! Thanks and have a great new year!

  • Reply Jill January 2, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    what a great idea! I’m so impressed by everyone’s list. I had to dig a little, but there were some big things I did. Huzzah!

    – walked 39 miles for breast cancer, and raised $1,900
    – took the kids on their first European trip. Very excited at our success and planning bigger, bolder trips
    – read 47 books
    – finished our new bathroom/bedroom renovation
    – took three photography classes at the International Center for Photography in New York City. Starting to believe I can be a photographer
    – cried on a night time gondola ride in Venice because it was so beautiful
    – survived one semester of two kids in middle school
    – took my kid with severe food allergies abroad — and it was a success! (he lived on pizza and fruit roll ups for two weeks)
    – rebuilt a friendship that had taken a big blow last year. still a work in progress, but I experienced the power of forgiveness
    – met some online friends in real life
    – gave myself a little slack now and again. tried to remember self-love, but again, a work in progress!

    happy new year to all!

  • Reply Kimberly Jones January 2, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    What a wonderful idea Holly! I’m incredibly inspired by reading everyone’s accompishments. It makes me feel like I can achieve all my goals too!
    Here’s my list of happy dreams realized for 2011:
    *Celebrated 29 years of marriage to my high school sweetheart
    *Became a editor for Craft Gossip
    *Selected to be a Prima Ribbonista for the May Arts Design Team
    *Had a project published in an online magazine
    *Visited Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington for the first time
    *Taught my first book arts class at Handmade & Bound in Nashville, TN
    *Made my first coptic bound book
    *Saw the Pacific Ocean for the first time
    *Donated my 20 year collection of magazines!! {This was difficult!}

    I love January and new beginnings, and planning for the year ahead, but what a pleasure to look back at the past year and realize that it was well spent in so many ways! Congratulations to everyone for your accomplishments and best wishes for a happy and successful 2012!

  • Reply Caroline Taylor January 2, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    Congrats on a great year Holly!

    And so many great acheivements listed in all the comments too!

    In 2011 I got involved with a charity & held two collaborative events, faced one of my biggest fears by standing up in front of a room of people to speak, albeit briefly!

    I tried surfing for the first time!

    I booked a trip to SE Asia for 2012 which I’ve always wanted to do.

    And I’m most proud of taking the plunge & launching an online magazine, bringing together lots of an amazing creative people. My biggest hope for 2012 is for this to grow!
    All the best for the new year,
    Caroline x x

  • Reply Lynn January 2, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    my biggest achievement was quitting a job that was killing my soul and now making more money being more creative! also I did the clean program.. going to do that again this year a few times as i felt spectacular after!

  • Reply iHanna January 2, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    Celebrating your accomplishments is something everyone should do! I’ve posted my list to my blog, please come by if you have the time.

    Happy New Creative Year!

  • Reply Anastasia January 4, 2012 at 6:32 am

    *in 2011 I set a goal to reach my 500th Etsy sale and i did it just before the year ended!
    *I kept up with blogging at least 2-3 times a week and had guest bloggers on my blog for the first time. That was fun! I also guest posted on a couple of blogs.
    *I continue to meet some wonderful & inspiring online Creative friends and attended a blog meet up, looking forward to more bloggers gatherings.
    *Joined Pinterest and am loving the inspiration.
    * Did a 30day body bootcamp with Tracy Anderson’s book/DVD – felt amazing and lost inches!!!
    * Went overseas with my husband and boys for a whole month – Summer bliss in Cyprus visiting family and I even went to Dubai and HOng Kong two places I had never been before!

    this was a great idea Holly!

  • Reply alison abbott January 5, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    A little late to the party here-but this being my first New Year ‘online’ it’s been a bit overwhelming reading about everyone’s lofty resolutions for 2012. I think Holly has a much better idea focusing on your accomplishments of 2011! This year for me was all about embracing social media.
    -I started my blog-Green with Renvy
    -Sold the last house my company bought and eco-friendly renovated in one of the worst economies-PHEW!
    -Launched{sort of} my son after college into an apartment
    -Traveled to Italy with family and had the most wonderful time!
    -Attended my 35th reunion and saw some of my nearest and dearest friends
    -Approached and guest posted on several blogs
    -Had a Travel Tour published and made into a podcast
    -Took my first online course BYW-who knew anything online could be so much fun. I think the ripples will last a lifetime.
    -Submitted several articles for publication
    -Attended a Tweet-up {not knowing a soul and barely a tweeter-scary}
    -Met so many friendly and sharing women on line
    -Refrained from purchasing any clothing for a year {glad that one’s over}
    -Was a finalist in the CBS Boston Best Lifestyle Bloggers
    That felt GREAT! I remember during BYW I mentioned the women who wrote the blogs I read were all creative, strong and talented. Well HELLO-look at this list above me. What an amazing group of women! I feel honored to be among all of you. Congratulations for an incredible list of accomplishments and best in 2012!

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