Thursday, January 1, 2009

Goals versus Resolutions

“If your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to it!” ~Jonathan Winters

New year, new beginnings, new resolutions.
I, for one, make it a point NOT to make resolutions! I’d just as soon not disappoint myself somewhere during the year when the realization comes that I couldn’t be farther from that list of resolutions. Instead, I create goals and I avoid setting those goals at the start of a new year. Goals, for me are on going. They occur throughout the year.
There is such a difference in the definition of the two: resolution: great determination, a mental pledge, something one intends to do. Goal: an objective. A goal is an observable and measurable end result having one or more objectives to be achieved within a more or less fixed time frame (from
One of my on going goals is to take a minimum of one workshop a year to learn something new. I usually get two in. Perhaps try out a new technique. Or two. Or three. No limit, really! I seem to seek out things that require leaving my comfort zone such as putting on a major art show last year. These goals often caused me a good deal of anxiety and stress, but the end result is worthwhile in the achievement itself.
So, what kinds of goals have you set out for this go-around (see, I didn't say, "year")? If you are comfortable with the ‘status quo’ how can you expect to grow? Well, assuming that one would want to grow. But, growth comes with leaving that comfort zone. How often do you do that?
In art school, every single one of my instructors asked that we keep a journal. Journaling that involved written and visual entries. At first, I questioned the value of doing this. I could never think of enough things to write down and resisted complying with the assignment. I now understand the value of writing and its role in the creative process. Since then, as an artist, I’ve tried to do journaling on my own be it a visual one or written one. I can’t tell you how many journals I have started only to abandon it, buy another blank journal, start it and then abandon that one too. The pattern repeated itself for YEARS. I felt like an utter failure. This journaling thing didn't seem to be happening for me.
And then, one day in March 2006, a friend of mine was excited about a blog she started and sent me the link to her blog. Prior to that, I never even heard of a blog. What’s blog? In a nutshell, it’s an on line web journal. But, heck, it really is a LOT more than that! This got me to look at a couple of other blogs by artists and before I knew it, I decided to give it a try. I had no idea what I was doing. I launched my first blog and even though it was baby steps, I felt quite thrilled at being able to do so. For me, blogging gave me the medium I needed to achieve the written and visual journaling process that I had struggled with for so long. Writing is a great way to jump start the creative energy within our right brain, so it compliments the visual creative process. An added bonus is all the other wonderful artists I’ve met through blogging and their willingness to share tips, techniques, experiences within the community. Not to mention the vast source of inspiration! And, all the collaborative projects that are available should you decide to participate. By the way, this blogging community that you have access to is global!
But, I haven’t even scratched the tip of the iceberg as to the benefits of blogging and “why blog”? Since this post is way longer than I would like it to be, check out Jessica’s answer to this question here. Or, Leau’s insight here. Or, Robin Laws answer here (and her call to other artist’s for collaboration).
And last, but not least, let me leave with the link that qualifies as a big finale to this from my friend, Debi Jone’s post in regards to giving yourself “Wings for the New Year”.
I hope that even if you don’t get around anytime too soon in establishing goals for yourself, that you would at least give yourself wings for the New Year to fly on.

1 comment:

Alan Mitchell said...

Well said, better than I could ever. Love the idea of setting your goals and then working in a way you can measure to reach them.