As memories of Christmas indulgences fade, it is time for the bit I really enjoy – the New Year.
I like nothing better than the feeling of standing at the top of a brand new year, with the months unfolding before me, like bright, white pages of opportunity. I love the sense of possibility and I hate to fill it up with specifics too quickly.
There’s also a chance to pause and glance back at the year that’s finishing. For some, I know it hasn’t been a particularly good year. I’ve certainly known how it feels to say “good-bye and good riddance” to some years. Luckily for me, 2011 was not one of those.
Yesterday I dug out the plan I made twelve months ago. Inspired by Chris Guillebeau of The Art of Non-Conformity fame, last year I put together my most extensive list of goals ever.
The process Chris describes seems very business-inspired to me, and I have to confess I wasn’t entirely committed. He sets very specific, measurable goals even for his personal-life, which feels a bit too concrete and didactic for me.
However, I did find it interesting and helpful to think about all the areas he covers, including the personal. For the sake of the exercise I wrote down some ideas, which meant I had those to refer to yesterday, some twelve months later, and I have to say, it did make interesting reading. Some things I hoped to do were a bit over-optimistic, and I think if I repeat the exercise this year, I’ll know myself better.
If this sort of thing interests you, Chris’ s guide can be found here. I think you’ll find it quite an eye-opener!
Whether I go the full Excel spread sheet (yep, that’s how he does it!) or not, I will certainly be doing a review of my year in relation to my art work. I love to sit down and write out a list of works made, exhibitions, workshops or conferences attended and in recent years, I’ve been able to add works acquired to that.
It’s a great time to update the CV and celebrate the year’s successes. I often feel frustrated by what seems to be very slow progress during the course of the year, so writing up the year in this way is a pleasant surprise.
Then when it’s done, I can turn the page to a fresh new year, and think about my priorities for 2012.
Wishing you a lovely, shiny bright, fresh New Year, with lots of blank spaces to fill in just as you want!