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Put Past Resolutions at the Top Of This Year's List

by Lori Woodward on 12/18/2013 7:49:12 AM

Today's post is by Lori Woodward, regular contributing writer for FineArtViews.  Lori is a member of the Putney Painters, an internationally known group of a dozen artists who paint under the direction of Richard Schmid. She has held workshops at Scottsdale Artist School, and has been represented by galleries throughout New England. Lori spoke on art marketing for the Oil Painters of America National Show and convention in 2012. As a writer, she has authored more than 60 articles for American Artist Publications, and she is a co-author of "Watercolor, Step by Step", a Walter Foster Publication.

 

As I took a look at what I accomplished in 2013 and what I want to work on in 2014, I dug up some older New Year Resolution lists. I'm going back about 5 years. It's easy for me to look backward because I've kept journals for over 20 years.

 

I like to read magazines from back to front. I've never really figured out why I do that - it just feels more comfortable turning the pages that way. Likewise, I'm stepping back in time to discover what items show up in my thoughts and on my lists continuously - but things I keep putting on the back burner. In this post, I'm proposing making a list of things that never got done. You can join me if you like by making your own list.

 

The important thing is that your list, whether in your head, iPad or notepad - represents who you are and what you truly want. These wants are not necessarily "shoulds", but things you've dreamed of doing for a long time. Of course, I'm not talking about anything immoral that would hurt others or anything that is irresponsible. Rather, I'm suggesting you list things that you never gave yourself permission or enough focus to get done.

 

OK, so here goes: Make a list of ten or fewer things that you talked or dreamed about doing in the last 5 years - but didn't. If you still want to do them, write them down. Then, narrow that list down to 5 things that still feel important today. My list includes stuff from my personal life and business life. For this exercise, avoid listing new ideas, just look at old lists and eliminate resolutions that no longer fit. You can look at new "wants" later if there's room and desire for them.

 

Below, I'll show a couple of items from my list. Keep in mind that your list may not look anything like mine. The important thing is to keep it relatively short and filled with things that you WANT to do. Again, I'm assuming you're a responsible person and take care of things and people you really need to.

 

My List:

 

Paint a few larger works for entry into national competitions and shows.

Paint old furniture and designs on fabric. (This is entertaining and relaxing.)

Write a series of Ebooks.

Make giclee prints from my best paintings.

 

Then I asked myself these questions for each of the items above... measuring the answers in categories of high, medium, or low.

 

Why do I want to do this?

What is the level of difficulty?

How much time will it take per week/month and for how long?

How much money will it take?

How much income potential?

How much satisfaction will I derive?

How much Emotional Support?

 

Below are the answers to one of the items on my list:

 

Series of Ebooks:


Why - Shares useful info with others while giving me some passive income. Passive income frees up time.

Level of Difficulty: High (it's just not that easy for me)

Time Allocation: High at first, low later (about 10 to 20 hours a week while writing/editing)

Money invested: Low (Very little other than a computer editing program and camera)

Income Potential: Variable (Income depends on how well my ebook sells. Hard to predict)

Satisfaction Level:  High (helps others and I've been wanting this for a long time)

Emotional Support: High (don't know anyone who says this is a bad idea)

 

Now let's look at an item that was a past resolution, but deleted from my current list. I removed it as a "been there, done that" for now. Besides, it keep me from doing the things I truly want to accomplish.

 

Teaching Workshops: (deleted from 2014 list)


Why? Because I'm a good instructor and have ample experience. Brings in extra income.

Level of Difficulty: Medium. (It's not that difficult to create the curriculum, but is difficult to instruct a large group of students)

Time Allocation: Medium (Time goes into designing the workshop, but isn't ongoing)

Money Invested: Varies: (depends on travel requirements)

Income potential: Varies: (depends on school, and number of students registered)

Satisfaction: Medium: (I enjoy it, but it's exhausting)

Emotional Support: Medium to High (depends on whether student feedback is positive)

 

If working through a list like this appeals to you, then go for it - but make sure it's your list, your wants, your situation. You can include non career items, as well, and feel free to add categories to the question list. The whole idea is to clarify how much time, emotional energy and money you will have to devote to get it done. The questions make you think about why you want the potential rewards and what it'll take to "get you there". Keep in mind that you may have to "sacrifice" some of your other wants for a time, so you can find enough time to focus on the most "Wanted" items.

 

Interestingly, doing this exercise made it clear that I can't possibly write ebooks and paint full-time - at the same time. I can do them serially though. Maybe you can juggle better than I.... Let me know if you decide to try this, and if you make any discoveries during the process.

 

 

 

 



 

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Related Posts:

Exchanging GOALS for WANTS

Letting Go... So Something New Can Come In

Looking 30 Years Ahead

Task Management Using Scrum


Topics: Art Business | FineArtViews | Holiday | inspiration | Lori Woodward 

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 11 Comments

Christine Marx
via faso.com
Fantastic post! I love the idea of taking previous year's goals that weren't accomplished and hadn't thought of that. There are a few. Also, you are the ONLY other person I know who reads a magazine from back to front....I've done this for years...don't know why either but can't do it front to back.

Thanks for the inspiration!

Michael Cardosa
via faso.com
Hi Lori,

Always enjoy reading what you have to say!

It's funny, when I have important things to accomplish, whether work or personal, I always make lists so I don't forget. I've never made them for my "art career", just some general ideas of where I would like to be after each year. This year I've stalled. Mostly because I've not painted as often and as diligently as I have the last several years and there are several factors behind that. Some just excuses, some legitimate. I think I remember some old "inspirational" posters that said something to the effect "A goal without a plan is just a wish or a dream" I think a list and what it entails would constitute part of the plan.

I think I'm close enough (are we ever?) to move to the next step in my career and a serious plan (and list) are critical to my making that transition.

Thanks again for your post,

Michael


Lori Woodward
via faso.com
I know what you mean Michael. Just this morning, I read Seth Godin's blog and it resonated with me.
http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2013/12/a-productivity-gap.html

Also, it's fun to take a look at what I did accomplish. After joining a few other artists in a shared studio and having a sales booth at an antique shop, I've probably gotten more paintings done and sold than I have in a good long time.



Sandy Askey-Adams
via faso.com
Hello Lori.. THANK YOU.

LOVE this post Lori. As usual, an enlightning post. I recently did a blog about not re-reading the past chapters of our life...and instead, to start new chapters afresh.
Close that old book once reviewed, and open a new book to experience new happenings and new discoveries.
In the new book, we can discover things we never thought of doing. The book is still about our own life...today and tomorrow. Not yesterday's.

Maybe in the new book of our life, the answers will be found to reach those goals that were not accomplished.
If the last book was missing certain passages and did not have all the answers or inspiration, then find and read a new book that does.

Lori, I love your post because it tells us to step back and review the accomplishments which can help us feel better about ourselves and that is important.
In feeling better, knowing we DID accomplish some things, it will give us the confidence to move forward.

We can start the new year (or new chapters of our life) with positive affirmation.

Your post will follow me around my house and studio. Well, I will be putting in a place where I can refer to it a couple times a week.







Roseann Munger
via faso.com
Good advice, as usual, Lori. I would add the idea that, if you didn't do exactly everything you wanted to accomplish in this past year, make it a priority in the upcoming year. It's not a matter of "not getting it done." It is a matter of reaching for the stars, but only getting part of the way there. It's still good, and those stars are still there waiting to be grabbed.

Ken Dusyn
via faso.com
Well said, Lori. Staying in the moment is what's key here. But we are so habituated to letting our minds wander due to attachment, desire, duality, etc. But thoughts are truly empty, they have no substance. They arise, abide, and then they go. Poof. Until the next though arises. Living in the future creates anxiety (it's not here yet); living in the past can create depression (because it's gone). Living in the "now" is all we have control over. So why not live each moment fully and compassionately. All it takes is a little training of the mind. And as you say, it's done with meditation.

Ken

Becky Joy
via faso.com
THANKS LORI,
A great idea. I can't possibly accomplish all the things I put on my list (I'm a lifelong list maker). This will help me to evaluate what I can carry forward and accomplish and those things that it may be time to drop from the list.

Lori Woodward
via faso.com
Thank you friends! Roseann, I am making the ideas that come to mind often a priority indeed! Becky, I love making lists... Probably more than I enjoy doing what's on them ;-)

Got a new Mac air this year, and am ramping up learning "PAGES" so I can start writing several times a week. That's the one thing that I really want to do, but always put on the back burner each year. Writing doesn't cost me anything but time.


Sandy Askey-Adams
via faso.com
Lori..
What is a Mac air..

I need a new computer and do not know what to get.
One of my resolutions is to get a new computer...this one is too old. It took me forever to get on it this evening.

Thanks again for your great post.
Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays...and a Happy, Healthy New Year to everyone.



Lori Woodward
via faso.com
Sandy, a Mac Air is a very thin Mac laptop. My husband bought it for me. I would have been happy with a PC windows based netbook... Because I'm so used to PC based computers, and because they are inexpensive compared to Apple products. You can get a netbook for around $250 that is very good and portable. The Mac Air cost us $1200.

Just my 2 cents...


Sandy Askey-Adams
via faso.com
Thank you Lori.. Yikes.
Don't know what I will do.
Will let you know. I will celebrate a new computer!! :)










 

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