Let’s not rush into the New Year…
Have you been rushing through New Year’s resolutions and goal planning this past few weeks?
I have to catch myself sometimes… when everyone around me is rushing around talking about resolutions, it’s easy to start to agree or give a half-hearted answer. A while ago, I flipped my ideas about the new year around and now, since I’m in the planning stages of my 2016, I want to check in with you.
How is your year beginning? Are excited about the coming months — or have you already thrown in the towel on the traditional list of New Year Resolutions that you’re ‘supposed’ to make? What if you’re not supposed to make a list? What if, because of your unique way of thinking you’re instead being sabotaged by following everyone else’s should’s?
February is the New January.
Whatever your 2015 was like, it’s over.
Maybe your 2015 story is that you thrived or that you struggled – whatever it is – you have survived. Others are not here today or this year. to LIVE, to BE. You’ve made it and you have a story yet to write.
The probing questions can seem so big to tackle that you simple never really answer them, which is often why we keep spinning our wheels and never get traction on our big ideas and dreams.However, if you don’t answer them and take the time to really find your reasons and uncover your truth, your dreams will stay as dreams and your to-do list will simply be scribbled busy-work — that’s okay too, no judgement, it’s all a choice.
If you’re up for making a choice that changes everything for you, read on.
One thing that has helped me immensely is Reverse Planning. It got me out of the ‘make resolutions’ planning and on helped me turn some of my wild ideas into reality. One thing I on my list that I did this last year is open a gallery. I’ll share more on that another time, but for now, let me show you the planning process that has helped me most.I call it Reverse Planning. It’s an upside down and backwards way that, as an artist, I love and gives me a whole new perspective on my year ahead. Up for trying it?
Start with gratitude – Look back at 2015 and list all of the things in your life that you’re grateful for. Say out loud what you’re grateful for, the hard lessons, the great moments, don’t skip.
Next, imagine yourself in December 2016 – Where do you see yourself a year from now? With a hot new website? Your art on a day planner or dinner plate? A list of galleries who carry ( and actively sell) your work? Start a festival tour?
- What do I want more of?
- What am I done with?
- What am I committed to?
Write everything down: a brainstorm list, a must do list….Planning is next. Take that list and plan out your year, starting from December 2016 and going BACKWARDS. Breakdown each end result into smaller projects and tasks that will get you to that goal and put them in order – all the way back to February 2016.
>>The way I do it is I use colored sticky notes. I put the big projects that I want to do on one color, then the steps to get there on another color. Then I move the stickies around on a calendar until they make sense, are spread throughout the year and leave plenty of room for spontaneous joy!
Finally, you can’t do it all alone. Trying to do things all on my own has tripped me up many times. WHO can you connect with this year to help you? Who can help keep you accountable, put your plans in motion, be part of a project team? Find your connections and put time for them into your plan.
Mark February 1st as when your official year begins – when your plans and ideas go into real motion.
Look now at January and use the rest of it to get your work spaces in order: Need to clear clutter? Need to set up a creative space? Need a space just for crunching numbers? They don’t have to be big, but making a space for separate activities and can help immensely with focusing and completing a task.
Break it down, get it done.
Whatever your hot buttons are, ease into the foundations this month and begin your big plans in February.