A New Year! A Fresh Start! How many times have you made New Year Resolutions, promising to make changes yet failed to follow through on those resolutions? Why is it so hard to follow through? According to research, 50% of adults in the USA make New Year’s resolutions, but fewer than 10% keep them for more than a few months. Giving up on New Year’s resolutions is often related to three issues: difficulty breaking old habits, focusing on specific outcomes and identifying true purpose. With uncertainty and hardship related to COVID-19, it could be harder than any other time to prioritize your resolutions for 2021. Try setting realistic and achievable goals that will help you form new habits.
In particular, artists struggle because most work in solitude, which means that they create their own incentives and have few cheerleaders to keep them moving forward. With self-made deadlines, it can be hard to follow a schedule. Additionally, because the work is fundamentally creative, any disruption can create a barrier, then the project stalls. Inspiration is key, but it’s not the whole story. To help you accomplish your 2021 resolutions, consider some if not all these resolutions, regardless of how other years have gone.
New Year’s Resolution #1 – Organize & Declutter Your Workspace
Declutter! Research shows that a cluttered studio/workspace can also mean clutter in our minds and, as the mess gets out of hand, your creativity dwindles. Clutter can also lead to physical and even mental health issues. Working in a studio that is disorganized and cluttered is mentally exhausting and creates tension. The more clutter, the harder it is to find what is needed or do what is planned, leading to more stress and unproductive days. Take time to purge. Toss out old canvases, unused materials and create a work area that you look forward to going to every day. You will be more productive and will find your creativity soaring!
New Year’s Resolution #2 – Record Your Ideas
On those sleepless nights or in the shower, some of the best ideas seem to surface. Take those ideas and save them in a journal, on your cell phone, or in a sketchbook. Collect your ideas somewhere where you can access them periodically for review. Be sure to document your ideas and concepts because they will come in handy down the road.
New Year’s Resolution #3 – Set A Schedule
Create a schedule that becomes routine, whether you like to work evenings or early mornings. Whether you choose to start at 3 AM or 11 PM, do it consistently and, remember it is a job (and one you love). That means your 9 to 5 job can be whatever hours you choose. Do it daily, and your creativity will flow naturally. If your studio is in your home, let other family members know your schedule and respect the time you established to work.
New Year’s Resolution #4 – Develop A Plan
The New Year is a great time to plan ways to expand or grow a career. You’ve created a large portfolio, and your studio is overflowing with inventory. Whether you have a few or no representatives selling your work, this is the time to consider ways to grow your career. Find marketing experts, such as an art gallery. Start local and do your due diligence. Remember, finding the right art gallery to represent you means you inquire ahead and make an appointment. Do your due diligence and stick to your plan.
New Year’s Resolution #5 – Focus On What Works
Consistency is important and takes focus. Focus on what you love creating, not on what others think you should do. Remember that even though you might be excited to create new things almost daily, that inconsistency can translate into unpredictability and torpedo a budding career with collectors and art galleries. Find your niche. Focus on what excites you and stick to it! The more consistency and focus, the better your work will become and naturally evolve.
New Year’s Resolution #6 – Create Goals
Look at the bigger picture and your long-term goals. Goals are a great way to hold oneself accountable and don’t be discouraged by failure. Setting goals helps define what we truly want out of a career and in life. Setting goals also helps us prioritize.
Top-level athletes, successful business people, and achievers in all fields set goals. Setting goals gives you long-term vision and short-term motivation. It focuses on your acquisition of knowledge and helps you organize your time and resources to make the most of your time. By setting clearly defined goals, you can measure and take pride in achieving those goals and experience progress in what might previously have seemed a long pointless grind. Goals will also raise your self-confidence as you recognize your own ability and competence in achieving your goals. Try setting two or three new goals for 2021 and write them down!
With more than 15 years of experience representing artists and offering counseling, Sharon Wolff at Hunter-Wolff Gallery offers artists the opportunity to present their work to a broad range of national and international art collectors and buyers. Visit Hunter-Wolff Gallery in Old Colorado City, Colorado Springs, and learn why its artists are successful.
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