The coming of January 2024 makes me think about New Year’s Resolutions. They hold the promise that we can shape our lives by declaring our intentions, and then writing them down. Whether this is true and useful, or just a happy fiction, it’s worth knowing how to make an effective resolution.
First, I believe the best resolutions are long-term and big picture, focused on how you want to develop your life and art practice. Effective resolutions shape your behavior. While many think that goals should be focused on specific outcomes, it seems to me that the complexity and chaos of the art world make such planning a lesson in frustration. But when we think on a larger scale, the resulting actions can shape our future.
A good resolution guides your thoughts and actions, helping you develop new habits. One of my favorites for creative people is: “become more visible.” This vow might lead you to attend an art exhibition in a nearby city, or to join a critique group, or become a member of a local nonprofit arts organization. Such a resolution makes you ask yourself, everyday, “how can I become more visible as an artist?”
When resolutions are focused on process (rather than results), they open up new ways of approaching your life and work. One of the best, for creatives and the rest of us, is “discover new sources of inspiration.” Such a resolution puts you in motion. You explore the world around you with an open, positive mindset.
My own New Year’s Resolution, both as a coach and friend, is simple: “talk less, listen longer.”
What about you?
Mary Edwards, Ph.D
Career & Life Coach for Artists
“Left Brain Skills for Right Brained People”
As an artist coach, I bring a unique combination of business knowledge, art world experience, and professional coaching skill to my practice.