Here we are 5 days into the New Year already, and I haven't made any resolutions, nor do I intend to. What I am doing is setting goals. What's the difference? In a way it's just semantics, but playing the semantics game works for me. Ignoring the dictionary definitions, for me a relolution is just a determination to do something, with no plan of action. And we all know what happens to most resolutions. You break them once, and soon they're forgotten. A goal, on the other hand, is all about a plan, about thinking about the baby steps that lead to actually attaining the goal.
The good thing about a goal instead of a resolution is that you don't break a goal. Think of a hockey game. The team sends the puck down the ice. Usually they don't try to make the goal in one big whoosh; they make their way down the ice, sometimes running into obstacles along the way. They shoot. They miss. The goal hasn't gone away; it's still there waiting for another attempt. The team doesn't give up (well, usually). They regroup and make another stab at the goal. And if they don't reach it this time, they have a team meeting, rethink their strategy, and try again the next game. A goal is something you strive towards, keeping the end in sight, but with strategies to get you there.
I wrote up a two page list of goals in every area of my life--health, relationships, home, career, art, etc, and I'm putting steps towards those goals on my calendar each day.
I want to be more creative this year, to make my art a priority. What's the first step? Well, it's really got three smaller steps. First is to reclaim my studio from the clutter that got tossed in during the holidays. At the same time, I am insisting on including a few creative minutes in the studio daily. Otherwise, I could get lost in cleaning and organizing, and easily delay the scary business of creating. However, I haven't set any huge requirements for myself this first month. The idea is to start small, get some confidence, and work towards more. My focus is on building stamina and confidence. In other words--just make something! I'm allowing myself to be imperfect. The third part of my plan for making art a priority is to submit something--a contest entry, a tutorial, a book or article proposal, each month. The first step towards that piece is to decide what this month's submission will be. I've got that on my calendar for completion by Tuesday.
Writing this first blog entry is all part of the plan, too. It's part of becoming more serious about my art career. I'm not insisting on writing an entry daily, but I'm committing to once a week for now. And if I don't make the goal? Maybe it's not the right one, or maybe I just need to have a chat with my inner coach and come back with a new strategy for success.
Happy New Year!