I love this time of year and I hope you do too! Hopefully you’ve just had an enjoyable holiday spending quality time with family and friends, creating some interesting works and reflecting on the year that just passed and contemplating what creative goals you could achieve in the New Year. That’s where things get exciting!
I have several rituals that I carry out at this time of year which include:
- writing down the things that I am most grateful for from the year that has just passed
- noting the areas where I have taken risks and pushed outside of my personal comfort zones (which often includes new areas of learning and discovery)
- recording the greatest accomplishments and successes of the year – including the works of art that I am most proud of or excited about
- acknowledging the setbacks, struggles and failures of the year and what I learned from them and
- thinking about what aspirations I want to focus on in the coming year.
I encourage you to take some time over the coming days to think about the year that just passed for you as well and ask yourself some powerful questions to shape the 12 months that lay ahead. It’s a magical time, because we have the opportunity to start afresh.
By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands — your own. –Mark Victor Hansen
While I set goals in several areas of my life including health and fitness, travel, education, financial and more, the realm that I want to focus on here is the visioning and planning of some really sexy creative goals. One of the ways that I approach thinking about this area is to consider:
- the works I want to create
- the concepts I want to explore
- the skills I want to develop, and
- the ways I want to share
To push my thinking I ask myself lots of questions in each of these areas until I come up with something that gets me excited. I have listed a few of the questions that I use to guide my brainstorming below.
Works to Create
What 3 words would I use to describe the works I want to create? What art materials do I want to continue to explore in the coming months? How can I innovate in those areas? Are there new media I’d like to try? How many works do I want to create? Will my works be larger or smaller this year, more controlled or expressive?
Concepts to Explore
What ideas have captured my heart and soul? What am I most curious about? What ideas do I find disturbing or troubling? Are there some old ideas that I need to revisit?
Skills to Develop
What skills could I develop over the coming year that would enhance my artistic practice? What new habits could I form that would enhance my creative process? What habits are holding me back? What are my strongest and weakest skills and how could I improve them both? What workshops or programs do I want to take this year?
Ways to Share
How can I increase my accountability to produce the works I most want to create? What exhibition opportunities interest me this year? How might I share my works online?
Have fun with this exercise and let yourself dream and imagine the possibilities. When you have come up with some ideas that make your heart flutter choose 2 – 3 areas to get started with. At the bottom of this post you will find a 2 page pdf document that you can download and print as a template to collect your thoughts and plans. Filling this out will dramatically increase your odds of moving forward with your goals.
The template includes spaces for you to write out
- a clearly stated exciting goal with a deadline
- your first 3 action steps
- the smaller steps that will lead to your big goal (again with target dates)
- the potential roadblocks you might face and ways to overcome these challenges
- resources to help you along the way
- and finally how you reward yourself along the way!
I am really excited to hear about the goals and intentions you are setting this year, so please leave a comment below when you have had some time to think about your creative and artistic aspirations. By sharing your plans with others in this space you will increase the likelihood of starting to work on them as well. Increased accountability has a way of increasing our efforts.
For example: one of my artistic goals this year is to practice 4 different skill areas over the course of the year – each for a 3 month period. To start the year (January, February, and March) I will be practicing my calligraphy and mark-making daily and sharing these practice works on Instagram. The other skill areas that I will be focusing on in 2017 will include encaustic practice, iphone photography, and mixed media approaches.
One part at a time, one day at a time, we can accomplish any goal we set for ourselves. — Karen Casey
Please share one of your art goals below and share this post with any of your creative friends who could benefit from focusing on their creativity in the coming year.
I wish you all the best as you dream and plan a meaningful and creative 2017!
Happy New Year! Nancy