I’m not big on making resolutions for the new year. They just don’t work for me. I get caught up in the excitement of the cultural ritual, but later I feel like I’ve come up with a list of things I feel obligated to do even if it’s not as good an idea as it sounded at the time. Or worse, life throws me for a loop and makes sticking to the resolution nearly impossible, yet I feel like I failed because I’ve broken this promise I made. The act of publicly making those promises to myself means I feel like I’ve broken a promise to other people even though I haven’t.
So no resolutions this year! Instead, I’ve put together a list of the things on my art list that, today, seem most important for me to accomplish over the next year. It’s not a list of promises. It’s a list of priorities. Priorities may change as life changes. I’ll look back at the list a year from now and see how many I can mark off and why I can’t mark off any of the things left undone. They aren’t the only things I intend to accomplish in 2012, but a handful of checkpoints to help me keep track of where I’m going.
Do a fabric design on Spoonflower.
Find out more about how Storybird works.
Make my Zazzle stores connect to each other better visually. There are many good things about not having everything in one store, but I’d really like it to be easier for people who want to see all my stores.
Make progress on a fairly long-term collaborative project that was recently proposed to me.
Finish any three things on my Ideas and Inspiration list.
Put together a calender in time for 2013.
It’s a short list. Nothing on it is something I can sit down and whip out in half an hour, though. I’ve tried to focus on things I have a fair amount of control over… things I can do without being too dependent on luck. It would be easy to say things like “Get 500 more Twitter followers” or “Make 50% more money in art sales than I did in 2011”. When it comes right down to it, though, those aren’t really things I can control. I can’t force people to follow me on Twitter, nor can I force them to buy more of my work. I wouldn’t want to force anyone even if I could. The things on this list are things I can be responsible for. In the case of the collaborative project, I can be responsible for my part in it.
Keep that in mind when you make your own list. (I suspect that, to some degree, we all make a list whether we make it public or not.) Plan for the things you can do. Not the things you just have to hope turn out the way you want them to.
I’ll see you next year!