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January Goal Setting YES or NO???

In January everyone is banging on about resolutions and goal setting for the new year…

Well, I for one won’t be doing either!

For a start we’ve all experienced a rough couple of years, which has been punishing enough; without adding the tyranny of ‘New Years Resolutions’ into the mix. Only to have broken them by the second week, giving you another stick to beat yourself up with?

The same goes for goal setting. Whilst I agree if your not aiming for, or at something, then you might be either very contented with your lot, or lost. But let's not call them goals. Goals imply something that has to be achieved, or completed. Then what?

I much prefer setting some intentions and begin by making small, manageable, achievable shifts in behaviour that lead you gently in the direction of travel that you want to go. Just by increasing your daily effort towards your desired future outcome by 1% every day, then by the end of the year you could look back and be ridiculously surprised and delighted with how much you had progressed.

For example, how many of us, me included have begun the new year wanting to loose weight, and have generally caved in by mid-January? Usually due to placing far too high an expectation on ourselves. Making unrealistic goals about what was actually possible, at the same time making us feel like a failure.

However, if I had settled for a steady weight loss of 1-2lbs a week, then I would have easily achieved my target and probably surpassed it. But no, I put undue pressure on myself to make unachievable goals (although I always believe I can do them at the time!), based on wanting a quick result. And when the scales revealed I hadn’t lost anything that week after considerable effort I did what I always do, and say stuff it!

If you keep doing what you’ve always done,

You will always get what you’ve always got!

And have I learnt anything from my mistakes? – Well yes and no. On the weight loss front it’s a no, I still keep telling myself.

f the same old myths about myself, doing the same things and expecting a better result. The very definition of stupidity. But with a daily 1% shift towards my intention, then maybe this year I’ll make life easier for myself, and I will wear those jeans again.

You might wonder what any of this has to do with making art? The method of increasing your effort by 1% tomorrow, and then the next day increasing your effort again by another 1% applies to everything. This year I would like to double my sales, in order to do that I need to create a cohesive body of work. Which means gathering the materials needed and increase my productive studio time by 1%, the paintings will eventually take care of them-selves. I also need to increase my on-line presence, Facebook, Instagram etc, to build my audience using the same method. Of course unlike weight loss I know that this might not have the same pay off, but the extra effort will result in better paintings, and a bigger audience. Plus the longer you stay in the game the better the chance of eventually winning it!

Here’s to small consistent shifts in behaviour, towards the intention you want for yourself.

With love x

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