#FinishYear 2012 & Reflecting on 2011

“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”
Winston S. Churchill

As 2011 wound down, I became increasingly focused on my failures – consumed with critics and unproductive critiques.

I lost my way.

“I. Am. A. Writer.” choked in my throat and died on my tongue.

My blog stats were tanking.

I dreaded social media, platforms, and networking.

I longed to overthrow the Internet and return to disconnection.

For awhile I lived in this self-possessed, self-obsessed purgatory.

I quit writing.

Let me assure you: the words never stopped but the words had no outlet.

In turn, I paced. I ate. I became anxious. I paced. I ate.

Failure lined me up against a wall and hurled its accusations against me:

You did not lose 40 pounds.

You did not finish Hawkett.

I grew tired of the beat down.

I took some time. Quieted the noise. Returned to the truth. And gave myself grace.

It was there in the quiet that the failures looked less insulting.

In fact, with a gentle nudge of hope, I realized that I had done more in 2011 than ever before. I was changing and growing and evolving.

I made an essential connection in that quiet place.

Writing is my sanity. It won’t stop the critics, but it will keep them at bay. It won’t spare me failures, but it will allow me to find depth and wisdom in the failure.

Writing is my sanity. Writing grounds me. Writing hones my voice. Writing grows strength and etches confidence into my being. Writing gives me a good life. I had nearly convinced myself I liked living the old, familiar way.

Thank God for misery. The words backed up. Backed up like a sewer.

I had a choice, damnit.

Hope nudged me further saying Look at what you have done. Don’t dwell on what didn’t get finished.

Before me I saw the evidence.

Three journals finally completed.

Two more journals began and finished since July.

One worn calendar detailing each day’s goals, endeavors, routines.

Six books of my ideas, thoughts, photos, inspirations, words of mine own, and words of others.

There is one other notebook and it is housing Hawkett.

It’s not complete yet.

I’m okay with that.

The process has been difficult and beautiful.

I am writing my way into Story with Hawkett.

I am writing my way into Story with each journal I etch words into, each journal I create in.

I am writing my way into Story with the tension of conflict – internal and external.

I am writing my way into Story with the one creator.

The process is invaluable. It is creating the Story.


I read 38 books in 2011. My goal was 30.

I’ve always been a reader, but I rediscovered my love of reading.

Words are tasty morsels. Strung together the morsels are a delectable feast.


My weight loss journey became convoluted. I focused on the food and it shows. Seriously. It showed up on my body. Even in this though there is success. I have lost and kept weight off. I have learned better habits. I have gone further than ever before in losing weight.


I’ve written more.

I’ve read more.

I’ve lost more.

And for 2012?

2012 will be a #FinishYear. In 2012, I will be taking baby, actionable steps to continue moving forward. Failures happen. Successes happen. They go hand in hand. I am choosing to learn and embrace both.

What is Finish Year (#FinishYear)?

Finish Year is a community of people online encouraging one another in January and throughout the year to remain resolved and determined to see our goals lived out. Check it out and join in. Don’t allow past failures, lost opportunities define today as ruined. Make a better choice – one choice at a time. Better choices, better decisions will thrust us forward into 2012 and our beautiful Stories.


In 2011, I did more than I’ve ever done before.

I learned the value of hustle.

I learned that writing is my connection.

I learned that there is a great community out there – bigger than each of us.

Thank you for reading my words.

Thank you for taking the time and the energy to comment.

Thank you for helping me live an incredible story.

I am a story with a voice.


My FinishYear Goals:

1) Write daily

2) Tithe faithfully

3) Dine out less, eat in more

4) Move more, sit less



  1. I love this post, mainly because I feel like I have gone through the EXACT same thing! I have come to believe that we have to be in our 30s to really begin growing and changing in lasting ways. 2012 is going to be a great Finish Year!!

  2. I LOVE this post. YOU are so encouraging. You have discovered a great way to focus on the positive. I look forward to 2012; seeing / reading the amazing things it holds for you. This post was a joy to read. Keep up the great work!!

  3. I am so proud of you for “finding a way to start again.” How many times can we do that? “Once More” is always enough.

  4. Love this post. The great part is that you are continuing. Through the doubt and frustration. 38 books is amazing!! And, the weight loss journey is one I know well too. Keep moving forward. My trainer says that “even if you don’t feel like you’re doing enough, you’re still lapping people sitting on the couch!” One day at a time has become a mantra for me. Thanks for your encouraging words, and for always encouraging me on my blog. Looking forward to #FinishYear. Are you going to Quitter again? I would love to meet you!

    1. Wow, Tammy! I would love to meet you too! I am trying to see if I can make it to the Quitter Conference – I hope so! I need the camaraderie of all the Quitters in the same place! Thank you for your kind words – you are doing amazing and I am encouraged by each post that you and fellow Quitters publish! Let’s do #FinishYear!

  5. We have ALL struggled with many of the same issues. Thanks so much for your honesty and authenticity. I hope I can help keep you motivated or inspired, I am thrilled. Keep up the good work..and know it will be a struggle. Little changes over time = big difference in life.

  6. great work! i am so guilty of looking at what i have not done. not accomplished. #FinishYear is for me the celebration of progress. it lifts my eyes and my heart. let’s do this together.

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