My resolution for 2017 has taken a full week to formulate. I had some ambitions and some direction in mind already – but it was just pieces. Over the past week I have been thinking deeply about the changes I want to see in my life and the actions I need to take to make them happen.
First, and I wish this for all of you – Good Health. Without it everything else is so much harder.
What can I do to be more healthy – to ensure my health to the largest extent that I can on my own?
Veganism – the research proves that it can be a much healthier diet for most people. I’ve been a vegetarian for almost a decade now, and have dabbled in veganism enough to know that I can do it if I set myself up with the necessities. I’m also cutting alcohol out for the month of January… I might just do it for the whole year.
Exercise – of course! This is the number one resolution for most of the world – lose weight. I’m not fighting a scale – or numbers – or inches – or clothing sizes (which are a total load of shit anyway). I ran a half marathon a few years ago. When I trained for that, I got into the best shape of my adult life, but the most amazing thing was the way it empowered me. If I can learn to/train to run 13.1 miles, I can learn how to do anything. I put my running goals on my personal Facebook page to help push me to do it. When you make goals public, you’re more than likely to get them done.
Posture – because I don’t want to be a hunched-over old-lady someday. Really. I want to make sure that my core is strong to support my back. I find that when I sit at my desk all day, I slouch. When I knit, I bend my head down to see my work better. By being conscious about my posture, I hope I can correct it – and keep myself from having serious issues or arthritis later. Yoga is something I’ll be using to help train my body back into alignment.
Stress – stop worrying so much about everyone else and what they’re doing, or not doing. Politics included – except for the things that really matter to me, then I’ll allow myself to get mad as hell and do what I can to stop it/save it/help my fellow beings and the planet. Yoga. Meditation. Walks.
Second, and this is the hardest thing for me – Resolve. I start so many things that I don’t finish, and I’m not just talking about the ones I have started in the physical dimension. There are so many ideas that I’ve put on paper, and ones that I haven’t, that need to be born. I don’t want to disappear from the face of the earth without getting these parts of me out there.
I’m feeling the artistic drive that I’ve been missing all this time. It’s there – deep in my chest – but I didn’t know it was there… maybe it’s like an engine that just needed the right fuel, or a jump start, to fire up. Now I think I have what it takes to put some honest work out there – just work driven by a deadline, a tight budget, and accessibility to materials and processes.
How am I going to get things done?
Business – I have had photo jobs before, and I had gotten a DBA a long time ago – but the other parts of my life were not in alignment. I’ve had EMT Photographic for a little more than a year and a half. I’ve been working on a portfolio of jobs through the company I do my 40/5 time at. This summer I put myself out there and met other photographers with businesses and landed a nice occasional assistant position, and I even landed a few jobs with a local marketing company. I’m going to take those lessons, and use them ten-fold this year. All of the things that worked, that got me a job, I’ll be refining that part of my approach and land more gigs to build my portfolio. It’s time to turn this business into a full time one.
Photography & Fine Art – My website and local shows and contests will be the driver for this. I entered work into a contest this fall – none of it got chosen. Oh well. There will be another one. I feel a little annoyed by it – but I know how subjective that kind of thing is and maybe next time there will be some judge that connects with one of my photographs. The younger me would be pissed. The older me knows better. I’ll keep submitting – the fees go to causes I care about anyway.
With my website up – I’m driven to create content for it, to shoot more. To take better photos, and take the time to style them, to stage them, to set them up, before I take them. I’m hoping that pushes me into experimenting with lighting set ups and trying some new things – like video.
I’m creating deadlines and plans of action to complete a few projects this year. I’m going to post about them in my blog – creating content will be part of the drive to get them done – but the final products will be something I’m going to be submitting for contests – or to online magazines.
Knitting & Sewing – The Red’s Threads project part of my website will drive this – as well as my enjoyment of creating something – and my need for some new clothes. I’ve got a lot of yarn and fabric and tons of the ideas (the ones that I mentions before that were only on paper or in my head). I have some sewing & knitting skills – but I’d like to improve them and challenge myself.
Lastly, how the hell am I going to get this all accomplished? – Schedule. That is a shit-ton of things to have resolved to do in a year – but it seems like the more I have to do, the more likely I am to get it all done because I had to work on time management and push myself to do it. The one semester in college when I got all A’s was the one when I had a full load + one class, two jobs, and I was the president of a club that meet weekly. That’s how I’m going to do it all!
Find the Time – I’ve found that mornings don’t actually suck if you have something rewarding to do when you get up (and if you have a French press and good coffee). Get up. Get the fuck up. Don’t hit snooze 4 to 9 times depending on how early you actually set your alarm for planning to get up early and then not because you were too damn stupid and lazy and wasted a completely good 3 hours before you had to go to your real job. Right before you go to bed, write a list of what you want to accomplish the next day. That will keep you from thinking about it when you’re trying to sleep. Then, when you wake up, you know what you need to get done.
By putting 2 or 3 hours into the things I want to do every morning, before I go to the 40/5 soul-sucking existence, I feel a strong sense of accomplishment and self-assuredness. Like I can really do all this stuff for myself and still have time for everything else – and I’m moving the ball forward on the life I really want for myself.
I spent the last week trying out my new schedule – getting up early – and I did okay for most of the days. I did something for my business every day – but I also got things done in the morning that made my evenings easier, like prep work in the kitchen or a good workout. By only ever doing business stuff in the morning, I’m finding that I have more personal time with my family in the evening. Its’ helping me avoid the bad feelings I get when I have to do stuff when we could be spending time together.
Going in to work when I get there. As long as it’s not excessive – or too often. If I get in at 9 – great. If I get in at 9:47 – cool, whatever. I still get my work done and I still get my 40/5 in. Then the weekends are where the magic happens. This is where time stretches out and you can get so much more done – and relax too. Knitting on the weekends – watching some TV – taking your mind off shit. That is the purpose in a weekend.
Forgive Yourself & Don’t Over-Do Your Goal Setting – Didn’t get to the gym? You better have been doing something else – and you better get that workout in tomorrow, but forgive yourself for not sticking to the plan and honor yourself by doing better next time. Get over it, stop stressing, but promise yourself that you’ll do it. If it is a goal you really care about you’ll feel passionate about it when you do it and feel guilty about it when you don’t. The goal paired with your resolve will be enough to make it happen.
Don’t set too many goals – but set enough. If you don’t have enough goals, you’re not going anywhere fast. If you have too many goals, you’ll be overwhelmed and might just quit them all. Find the balance between the things you want to change in your life, the things you are driven to do, and the time you have that you can commit to doing those things. Find these balances and you’ll be on to something.
My goals this year are a little complicated – but I’ve been trying to do all of these things for myself for so long now, that I figure I might was well try to accomplish the all at once. They are all related to each other anyway – one goal being half of another goal makes it a lot easier to do. Everything about this, these projects, and my plans, is connected and is all about my one being. I think that someone can go about changing the parts of themselves that they don’t like or are unsatisfied with.
This year, I’ll be proving a lot of things to myself.