In the last days just before the New Year, for what seems like every year, people are clamoring to quickly push aside the year that just was. Many people do this in order to blaze a new path to the year just out of our grasp. I also reflect on my year mostly because my birthday is two days after Christmas and then the year is pretty much over for me.

Love Letter Necklace

So this year I thought. What if you could write a letter to 2011? What would your letter to your life for this year look like? Would it be a I know we had some hard times, but I still love you “The Notebook” kind of letter. Or would you write a Dear John, I hope a bus hits you on your way to the pay phone to call me. Each year we are given a chance to reinvent, redefine, and renew our promise to our businesses and ourselves.

This year I have had some great opportunities. Primarily because of my website: Dbabetta.com (shameless plug). It has afforded me the opportunity to connect with wonderfully talented designers. I have had the luxury of collaborating with awesome editors and guest writers. But most importantly, I have created a platform to springboard my personal brand to a place I can be proud of.

2011 has been good to me. There are some bittersweet personal moments that I am left with, but I would rather focus on the peaks and not stress about the valleys of the year. Each year I strive to continue to learn and grow more than the year before. This year I accomplished just that. I feel I met all my SMART goals. I can check off many of the boxes I’d set out to complete. I read recently people are making fewer resolutions each year. Chris Brogan says he focuses on Three Words each year that will define how he operates for the year. I like it.

Social Media Word Cloud

I am Strategic, and for me every year is like a “choose your own adventure” book. I love thinking of how the pieces will fit together. I believe it is what makes me set goals and go after them with specific intentions. This year I wanted to continue to build my community, therefore, I set personal social media goals for myself, and have reached each of them.

Before you step into the next set of challenges for 2012. Take the next few days and write a letter to your brand and yourself. Decide which letter will work for you. If you write a Dear John letter, be specific about the things that you did not love and why. If you write The Notebook kind of letter, be sure to give details about what parts made you love this year. For example, I set out to become members of three key blogging organizations. I wanted to become a member of Clever Girls Collective, Collective Bias, and International Fashion Bloggers. I defined these goals with intention, so I was not only able to meet it, but was able to exceed it. I was able to add a bonus fourth organization to the mix I joined the Chicago Blogger Network. They all enrich and challenge me in a vastly different ways, and I believe that your goals should be just that defined. Your letter should be extremely detailed, as this will give you direction for the next set of goals for the next year. What I’d like to call, “2012: 366 days of Amazing”.

Notebook with pen and pencil

Task: Write a letter. Will it be Dear John or The Notebook? Leave a comment letting me know which letter you chose and one reason you chose it.

Extra Credit: If you’ve actually written the letter. Seal it in an envelope to open on this date next year. Write your name and the date to be opened on the outside.

Next Steps: Set SMART Goals for 2012