Last year, I had a list of resolutions like I do most every year. I've been narrowing them down with more focus year-by-year, but I didn't reach them. I can't decide, am I glad I got closer to those goals by making them or am I disappointed I didn't complete them?
Public accountability (social media) helped, but the year went by like this (in terms of resolutions): first few months were yoga-strong until grad school thesis-writing took over, and then the second half of the year spent traveling, job hunting, working, and some painting, mostly working. What happened?
Why didn't the resolutions work? Push aside motivational quotes like "resolutions don't work unless you do" that tell us "we just aren't working hard enough." Getting off the couch can be the solution in some cases, but for 2015, that wasn't the issue for me. But still, at the end of 2015 I had 37 posts instead of the goal of 50. I can't do the handstand press I was hoping for. I'm still working through the Old Testament in Japanese...
The answer is simple through basic arithmetic.
There are 24 hours in a day, no matter if it's 2014, 2015, or 2016. Yet every year I attempt to ADD more activities. A new year does NOT mean a new amount of time. We are given the same amount, so while I continue to add activities and pursuits, I am limited by the same number of hours. How to fix the problem?
I wanted more and more but I forgot to subtract activities. I didn't notice the literally unrealistic number of hours required to complete these things. I would LOVE to be a master yogi in 1 year, write my thesis + tack on public speaking opportunities, full-time work, travel, blogging and completing 50 paintings, but there are only 52 weeks in a year. I have to break it down to 52.
I've never kept even 1 month of "daily" resolutions, so I know that's not realistic for me. But I can do bigger picture goals. How can I set up my weeks to get to the year-end goal? It's pretty simple- my 1 week, multiplied by 52, will end up being that year. What does your week look like?
2016 Big-Picture Resolutions:
- 50 "Making Monday" blog posts with painting progress and/or food
- involvement in art community through teaching/showing/etc.
- memorize Scripture
- read more Japanese books
This means I must set aside time each week to write and paint. It ALSO means, thank you 2015, I must subtract other activities to fit that new weekly activity in. If writing is 1 day of the week, that's 1 less social activity? 1 less excessively from-scratch dinner? I'm not entirely cutting commitments out, but instead trying to be smarter about when to do what and for how long.
More specifically (getting super practical)-- I made giant skillets of food & roasted tons of veggies: Subtract food-prep for the next couple of days, so I can add in painting + thinking. Yay! Here's the result below:
There it is: SUBTRACT. The 1 word that will help to realistically reach goals in 2016. Coming next: how to identify what to subtract.
Lefty problems: smudged drawing + grey hand...still better with graphite than with charcoal!