Jan 2, 2017
More on New Year Resolutions—Close Enough! Part 2 on Managing my Resolutions
I decided to take a break from my travel/art adventures to write about New Year’s resolutions, which I hate. Two weeks ago I wrote about why you SHOULDN'T make New Year's resolutions, Link
So, I want this to be a SHORT update on what I’ve done to get ahead of plans for 2017.
As I stated before, it seems to be really important to ME to get ahead of the curve. I love making plans, but I have learned that I have to control them, not they, me. That deadline to START on New Year’s Day has always seemed ridiculous. You plan to start going to the gym, then find out you have to wait 2 weeks to get an appointment to be trained on the equipment, because everyone else in the Universe had the same idea. Everyone. And then by February the bad weather has kicked in, and well, you know….
If you call the gym and make an appointment BEFORE January 1, you are set to go even before the big day. See, no pressure, because YOU took steps that removed the pressure. Maybe you get enough of a routine started that you can keep it up.
I have found that being realistic helps, too. If you want to start going to the gym, fine, but are you really going to go every day? Is that even possible? Would 4 days be more realistic, or 3? Make your goals realistic, like this….
The Beginning of My Painting Career:
By the spring of 2005 I was painting a lot, in addition to teaching full time in the public schools. It occurred to me that if I wanted to get more serious, I had to prove to myself that I had the self-discipline to paint not just when I wanted, but on a regular basis, without prompt or deadline.
So, I asked myself, “What can I do to prove (to myself) that I have the self-discipline to produce art in a regular, sustained manner?”
Paint all summer! That’t it, I would paint every day the entire summer. I decided I would start as soon as school was out. This would also help me determine if this was just a hobby I was playing with, or something I could take to a level of vocation.
How many days of painting would that be? I counted the weeks off in the calendar (8), and figured five paintings a week (allowing for weekends, or a trip). That came to 40 paintings to do. But then, I realized I would need some time for other activities during the summer, so I determined 30 would be a better number, one every other day, roughly. That still didn’t seem like a reasonable number, because during the summer lots of other events come up. So I negotiated with myself for 20. Twenty was doable, and if I could produce 20 paintings from the last week of June to the last week of August, I would take that as an indicator that I could produce paintings on a sustained schedule.
I completed 17. Close enough!
Drink More Water:
I said I was going to drink more water in 2017. I began right after the last blog, and I am up to three 8 oz. bottles a day. I use the small bottle because it SEEMS easier. Eight of those a day is doable, four 16 oz bottles seems much more daunting. Silly, but perception is everything. And, a small bottle is easier to carry with me. I just refill from the faucet.
Will I get to eight of them? Six during the winter seems more likely, increasing during the summer as needed. Close enough, and I’m already halfway there!
I began in May with a short blog about artists needing websites (no, Facebook is not enough), but the blogs grew to 1500 very quickly, which is what ‘research’ suggests is a good number to shoot for. After a few times, I thought that was too much for readers and for me, so I carved back to 1200-1300 words. Below 1000 will make it even more sustainable over a long period of time. My goal for this one was 700-800 but I think it will be closer to 900 by the time I finish it. Close enough!
Painting What I Want to Paint:
I mentioned that one goal I wanted to work on was to paint more for myself. I love having a project in mind, usually one that offers a challenge to me, but having lots of gallery obligations can interfere with focusing on those projects. To that end I have taken back a number of paintings I had in a few gallery spaces. Less worry, less responsibility, less guilt over not fulfilling my obligation to provide art for these locations. I don't know why I feel like this is important, but it has been hanging over my head for a while, so taking care of it feels REALLY good! Clear the way for more ideas and projects that I engineer! I was able to remove those folders from my files (in my kitchen), and it meant LESS TO KEEP TRACK OF!
I have a long list of ideas—if I can get three done this year, I will be thrilled! That will be close enough!
What are some ways you’ve taken control of your goals? What might be your ‘close enough’ parameters?
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