Here we are at the beginning of a new year and I want to wish all of you a healthy and happy one.

This is the time of year that I take some time to assess where I am at and where I want to go in the coming year and forward.  Being very lucky to be part of a great coaching organization, Artists Conference Network, I already have a great framework to help me structure my goals.

But I need to do the work of figuring out what it is I really want.  Part of that is looking back to see where I am and to appreciate what I have accomplished.  I find that is an especially important exercise because artists and those who are self employed don’t have the same benchmarks that those in big organizations have.  Artists don’t usually look at their work as those with a production line, nor do they have clients who they are trying to please.  Not one of us has a boss who will pat us on the back and say “job well done.”

So the first thing I do is review all I have accomplished the past year.  Happily, it is always more than I’ve thought I’d done.

The next task is in a less tangible area.  I ask myself  “what do I want?”  It helps to have my accomplishments in front of me.  I can see what I’ve done and the direction in which it moves me.  I’m also able to see what I haven’t done. These are the things I have avoided doing, probably because I didn’t want to do them anyhow.

Once I honestly determine what I want, not what I think I should do, I ask what I can do to achieve it.  There are a variety of answers to that question and I list as many as I can think of.  As subsets, I list the tasks that need to be done to make that happen.

Refections--appropriate for the way I've been feeling the last couple of days.

Refections–appropriate for the way I’ve been feeling the last couple of days.

From there, I pick what I want to pursue and proceed to structure goals, assignments and timeframes.

The most important part of making this a creative tool is to open one’s mind.  Let yourself roam to the edges of your world and beyond.  The dreams of childhood inspire; seeing yourself soar limitlessly will charge you up and give you the electric power to accomplish.

I believe that seeing the global picture is what is necessary to take your vision to reality.  Reading a blogpost by Chris Brogan, he talks about his three words for 2013.  Picking three words truly is a powerful exercise.  They are three words about what you want to actively change or improve in the coming year.  I’m still working on mine.  I’ll share them next post.  What are your three words?


About karenfriedland

I am a visual artist-- painter, sculptor, photographer-- coloring the world. My travels take me to many places around the world and I love connecting with others at home and on my trips. I am also a teacher (art), business person and creativity and business coach. My website is: I am so glad you have visited my blog!
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