New Year, New Goals
I love New Years. I love the feeling of a “reset” or “new start”. A dedicated time to reflect on the past, appreciate your experiences, and set goals for the future. I know folks who use their birthday for this type of person growth work, but the New Years creates that energy of reflection and change throughout our community. In order for me to reflect on my year and start off right on a new one I tend to have a simple formula; reflect, assess/plan, prepare, implement.
Reflection and gratitude are important to understanding your worth and progress. My reflections usually start around Thanksgiving. Here I will start writing lists of experiences and people I am grateful for. Counting your blessings allows you to fill more full of love and appreciation for your life and community. It also helps you recognize what serves your joy. I will also look through my list of goals from the year previous and put them into three categories: Completed, Irrelevant, End Of Year, Next Year. Completed is a mark that indicates that that goal was achieved the year it was set. Irrelevant indicates that this goal no longer serves my vision and I no longer want to pursue it. End of Year informs me that this is something that should be focused on during the last month and a half of the year. Next year means that this goal will move into next years list of aspirations.
Once you have a list of goals that transition into the new year we can assess what other goals you would like to see come to life in the new year. Looking at your trajectory of growth throughout last year will help you direct what needs to happen in the new year. You can weed out the goals that haven’t served you and build on the ones that did. For me, I ditched my art lesson offerings in order to make room for more live painting. Live painting brings me more joy, has more interest since introducing it this past year, and tends to be more lucrative to my business.
Make a list of goals for the new year, ones that you are carrying over from last year and ones that are building on your progress and dreams. Once your goals are listed, think about a few over arching themes that will naturally present themselves. Things like gaining more clients, building on your skills and cultivating a network can all be summed up with something like the word Growth. Where as things like spending more time with friends, creating business partnerships, and meeting new people can be summed up with Community. You can put these themes in a vision board, a word map or some other visual reference that you put up in a spot you see daily. I personally love vision boards that are very image heavy with only a few word blocks. I place this in my studio or bed room so that I see the theme I have set for the year and be reminded of my direction.
After setting a visual reference of your goals, you will need to set a time line of seeing these goals through and makes steps as how to get there. Usually around the last week of December and the first week of January is when I start the work on this. I look at my list of goals and see what can be done realistically by yearly quarter. Goals assigned to the first and second quarter are the goals that are carried over from the previous year and/or the ones that have the clearest vision. The goals with the clearest vision are the ones that you understand how you are going to achieve success. One of my goals this first quarter is bidding on larger murals and having less public paint parties with more guests. I know the steps to achieve these and can easily break them down over the next three month. Goals set for third and fourth quarter do not need to be in as much detail as you will assess all your goals at the end of each quarter.
One new year, new goals preparation I take on the first of second week of January after setting my goals is cleaning out and preparing my studio space. I do a major overhaul to my work space, clearing out clutter and reorganizing so that the tools needed to achieve my goals are the most accessible. After this initial preparation that happens regardless of what my goals are, I start focusing on what prep needs to happen in order to achieve some of my quarter one and quarter two goals. If my quarter two goal is applying to grants for upcoming projects, then I will start preparing by learning how to apply for grants and what kind of grants are out there. Often preparation is a period of researching, and sourcing materials or partners.
A well designed plan is nothing without productive action taken. Once you have your focus, a clear timeline, and a space that promotes success, you must start taking action immediately. Paint, draw, write, make phone calls, set up a meeting. Do what you need to do and don’t think too much about it. If you followed this goal setting action plan you have well thought out goals in place. Just do it. You can assess later if your actions were as efficient or effective as you wanted them to be. You need to take action now. Over thinking and waiting for perfection will be the death of you if you let it. So go out there and kill it in 2019!