Polly’s 20 for 2020 (Year End Accountability Summary)

Polly’s 20 for 2020 (Year End Accountability Summary)
20 for 2020 accountability Summary

My Cup Runneth Over (pastel) by Polly Castor

In this post I’ll examine how I did on my resolutions for 2020. You can see the original aspirational post here. I laugh now to see that I said 2020 “is mostly about hunkering down, getting some more routines solidly in place going forward.” Ha! I had no idea how much hunkering down would be required.

Polly’s 20 for 2020

1. Routinely expand my thought to include more good

I think I’ve done this; it is an attitude and practice that is natural and routine for me now, but one I want to consciously keep pursuing.

2. Do the Christian Science Bible Lesson and read a periodical article everyday

Check! I’ve done this more thoroughly than I could have foreseen or anticipated. It has been a huge blessing and is an established practice for going forward.

3. Do morning pages frequently

(“Morning pages are Julia Cameron’s (author of The Artist’s Way) version of journaling first thing in the morning before the day floods in, giving yourself and your thoughts time and attention to help steer your days and be more conscious of what you think and desire.”)

I’ve done fairly well here, and more way frequently than in the past, but not sure I did it frequently. I’m glad I did as much as I did, and will try to continue at least at my current pace.

4. Write the first draft of a book

This was a whopper, and I started several. When I wrote the resolution, I was thinking of pulling together poems or recipes, but with sequestering in place, I more ambitiously turned to bigger ideas. I’ve written about 30,000 words down on multiple projects, with way more to go. So while I failed meeting this goal, I’m grateful for the effort I did make, and the concentration and clarity I did have, particularly last spring. I hope to not drop the ball on this.

5. Go to the gym at least 5 days a week

Ha! I did this fine during January and February, but did not expect my gym membership to suspend after that because of a pandemic. I have walked or hiked at least this much, though, so feel I kept the spirit of this resolution.

6. Paint at least 5 days a week

I painted a lot this year, but it was more like two days a week for longer stretches. Still, I was prolific, posting 65 new paintings on the blog this year. You can check them out here.

I think about painting even when I’m not doing it so maybe that counts too?

7. Have a one woman art show with PowerPoint talk

Fortunately, I squeezed this one in! My solo show The Fusion of Art and Spirituality opened in January. You can check it out here. Also, I gave a talk on The Spiritual Roots of Abstraction in February. You can check that out here.

Another powerpoint talk for Earth Day was cancelled, as were several workshops I expected to teach. Ironically, the one woman show was due to close after Easter, but since they closed doors in March, it is still there, maybe to enjoy a new opening sometime in the future.

Additionally, in January a winery booked another one woman show for me originally scheduled for this December, which has now been postponed to the horizon.

8. Apply to artist-in-residencies and look into additional online venues to sell my art

Because of COVID I was unable to even go to the artist-in-residencies I already had, and did not apply to others. However, I have been cooking up another exciting outlet for my art which should see the light of day in 2021. There’s a lot more work to go on that, but it is an exciting unfoldment.

Also, between the show and my website PollyCastorArt.com, I am grateful to have sold 10 paintings this year.

9. Write two poems a month

At 31 new original poems by me posted this year, I exceeded this goal of 24. You can check them out here.

10. Go on an “artist’s date” every month

(“This is another Julia Cameron term, meaning: get out of your usual rut and feed your soul. I’m to get out in the world and do or see something inspiring at least monthly, engaging with uncommon good beyond my four walls, either by myself or with others. Special field trips, explorations, museum visits, rambles, discoveries. I usually only get in about four a year, so I’ll be consciously upping my game.”)

Well, this didn’t happen, unless you count a few special rambles this fall (see here and here and here), my daily hikes at Huntington, or a date movie on Netflix.

11. Read at least 52 books

Well, I exceeded that by reading 67. You can check out specifics here.

12. A good new recipe every month

I wildly exceeded the goal here. Instead of 12, I made (and posted) 42 new wonderful recipes this year. Check them out here. Stuck at home, going nowhere, it was a good time to experiment in the kitchen. My skills have catapulted to a new level. and I even started a food based Instagram account, which you can check out here. That was an unexpected outcome.

13. Drink more than 8 cups of water a day

I tried lots of days, but no where near all. My thinking is somewhere else so much of the time, this doesn’t happen routinely yet.

14. Eat extra vegetables

Wow. Did this in spades.

15. Get out in nature every week

Ha! I vastly exceeded this goal. I got out into nature most days! I only missed the terribly inclement ones.

16. Do at least one house project with my husband every month

Well… how about a big unexpected one instead? Check it out here.

17. Go on a vacation with James

Not what we expected, but we did get away in October to Vermont. We went on this great hike, and this wonderful hike, saw this roadside beauty, and visited friends.

18. Do nothing for 15 minutes everyday

Failed. Except maybe four or five occasions all year.

19. Utilize regularly my tracking systems

Check. I like my Way of Life app, and I’ve written a couple sentences everyday in the first year of my 10 year Journal.

 20. Put my shoes away everyday and laugh uproariously at least once a week

I’ve been amazing about creating a new habit of putting my shoes away everyday, which may have been slightly facilitated by going nowhere. And I think I’ve gotten in at least 52 belly laughs.

To summarize:

Exceeded goals: wrote more poems, read more books, created more delicious new recipes, ate more vegetables, got out in nature much more.

Met goals: expanded thought, did lesson and read periodicals daily, some morning pages, one woman show and Powerpoint, new venues for my art, went with James to Vermont, used my tracking systems, put my shoes away, and laughed.

Goals that panned out differently: wrote on unexpected manuscripts, no gym but hiked instead, painted enough but at different times, big house project rather than 12 smaller ones.

Failed Goals: not enough “artist dates,” didn’t drink enough water, not enough of doing nothing.

Those seem like minor failures to me. 2020 was a difficult, unexpected year, but I think that I made plenty of lemonade from those lemons. Here’s to a better year in 2021!

Cast Your Net on the Right Side (mixed media) by Polly Castor

I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.


  1. John gregory 3 years ago

    Reading your goals made me want to nap. Exhausted but Bravo!
    My Grandmother’s sister was a Christian Science reader. My Grandmother read the Bible daily and studied it prior to her prayer practice. I found UNITY.

    Your list has inspired me to get back into painting, cooking, prayer and meditation…I read about two books a year…always shamed by my slow reading….❤️

    • Author
      Polly Castor 3 years ago

      Consider audiobooks!!

  2. Dilys 3 years ago

    Well done, Polly! Happy New Year!
    It’s been a strange year but we’ve looked for the blessings.
    Mine were enjoying the bird song in our garden when the planes stopped in the Spring; trying out many new recipes; reading plenty of books; zooming family and friends regularly- so felt more in touch than usual; regular nature walks; reading the Bible lesson most days with my sister over FaceTime; laughing a great deal; redecorating the dining room; doing quizzes, jigsaw puzzles and playing board games with my husband and enjoying Church services over Zoom.

    • Author
      Polly Castor 3 years ago

      Sounds wonderful and we’ve got a lot of overlap! Happy New Year to you too.

  3. Sue Krevitt 3 years ago

    We have a lil joke in our family about some of us having been, like the Energizer Bunny, given an extra
    wind-up or two, or ten, and then goin’ into our lives and days with Great Gusto and Ambition and Verve!
    But in no waaay do any of us come CLOSE to your accomplishments, Polly. Who WAS your Masked-or-Unmasked
    Winder-Upper!! Hee hee. All in fun. How wonderful that we are all so unique and…wonder-full! I wish you and yours a Most Wild-And-Peacefull-And-Colorfull-And…Full of Everything you love and need and want! And I sure do thank you for inspiring me to be More..Me! The REAL me (the one the Wise One created…not the limited version that seems….. oh this is a huge subject!!!!) Happy 2021 and beyonnnnnd!

    • Author
      Polly Castor 3 years ago

      The real you is already everything!

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