There is only one thing shorter than the longevity of a New Year’s resolution, it’s the time it takes the person behind you at a stoplight to honk their horn when the signal light turns green. Well, maybe some resolutions can last longer, but then you have to cozy up to the word commitment. Resolving the pros and cons to that commitment can turn into a resolution in time.
Creative people including the greatest amongst us, start out every year with a beautiful set of plans. Planning to paint more, planning to write more, planning to sculpt more, planning to sing more, and a whole bunch of others. The one that seems to be on everyone’s mind, is marketing their creative talent; especially nowadays. A way to make some money off of their creative efforts seems like a most admirable resolution. But is it the proverbial Catch-22? Marketing your talent can be overwhelming, and often leads to obsessiveness, which in turn detracts from authenticity and originality.
“Time steals from itself, and leaves little
time for error.”
Rod Jones artist
Circumstances rule when it comes to resolutions, it’s solution driven. More creative projects rarely equals more compensation. Unless you create a market, the demand, and that gets back to your use of time. Time well spent? You be the judge. The time that allows you a certain amount of freedom. Freedom from the stress and anxiety of lack, could lighten the load of trying to live up to and fulfill all of your resolutions.
Resolutions in time are filled with great expectations. Which brings us back to that word commitment. This is one of those cases where you don’t know what you don’t know. Effort requires emotional and physical work. There is never a guarantee of success, but conversantley; if you don’t try, you are guaranteed one outcome for sure: a “big fat zero.” To use a very tired cliché, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” You must pick a resolution that you can commit to, with at least a favorable chance it will succeed, and most importantly feel like your efforts were worth the commitment and drive you invested.
There are probably 1001 New Year’s resolutions committed to every year, and you can be sure losing weight is probably number one. But after that, they’re all over the place. There are some very popular ones: exercise more, get organized, live life to the fullest, spend more time with family and friends, read more, and of course, save more money/spend less money.
New Year’s resolutions for creative people? Yes, there actually is a list, just Google it. But rather than me stealing their ideas, I’m going to make some new suggestions. Please note: you most likely will come up with your own list that is applicable to you. I’m just hitting this broadly, and a little bit boldly. There’s no such thing as the perfect New Year’s resolution, every single one of them comes with multiple efforts, in multiple directions, even if the resolution is clearly defined in three words or less. An example, learn Adobe Creative Cloud. On the surface it seems doable. Requires a doable commitment, but it also requires follow thru. You need a place to work where you will be uninterrupted. You will need time, most likely borrowed from something more pleasurable that you might want to be doing instead. Like hanging out with your family. You will need a computer and not just any old computer, it has to be up-to-date and have the power to run the various programs for photography, design, editing and a whole bunch more. Now you could just focus on just one of their many useful programs, and find the one that will make your life easier. The one that may be more applicable to its intended use in your creative life. There’s a whole list of things you’ll need to do just to fulfill this New Year’s resolution commitment.
In my list, there are some resolutions that are easier than others. Many of these are quite easy and don’t require complex and in some cases mundane tasks to achieve they are:
- Wake up earlier and start your day earlier. This will give you more time to be creative and it’s not all that hard to do, well maybe for some it might be especially if you are one of those who likes to spend the night TV watching.
- Eat better. You will have more energy and your brain will function better which will help you achieve originality in your chosen creative efforts.
- Reduce stress. This one may not be so easy but an inexpensive fast and easy solution is to just go for a walk, long or short, it helps reduce the buildup of cortisol, which can make you anxious, irritable and I might add makes you FAT.
- This goes actually better as a follow-up to number one. Get more sleep. We all know how good we feel after a good night’s sleep and that always encourages healthy creative thinking.
- Cut back on the time you spend on social media. I have that problem myself; there’s nothing like connecting with other people and seeing a whole bunch of likes on your posts. But in the big picture, it really doesn’t do much for you unless you are trying to sell something. Maybe when you are ‘social-media-lizing,’ you are releasing some happy brain chemicals like endorphins, but they wear off quickly. Leaving you with a desire to spend most of your day on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and now more and more on LinkedIn and Pinterest. The return on effort is usually minimal and takes away from the time you should be mastering your creativity.
- To your own self be true. What this means is to try and keep positive thoughts inside your head. Outside clutter will junk up your thinking especially if it’s negative and there’s no shortage of that going around these days.
- Make it a resolution to write down your creative inspirations as soon as they pop into your head. You can handwrite them into a journal or a notepad. When it comes to this one, I can be kinda lazy, so I use Google Keep, and I talk it in, so I don’t have to type it in. I once heard a famous writer say that he did not write down his ideas, if one came to him in the middle of the night, he simply resigned himself to the fact that if it’s a good one, it will show up again. I tried this, and with a little practice it does work to some to a degree, but why risk it. You can collect your ideas and review them later, some will be quite good others not so good, but at least you have a starting point when it comes to creative endeavors.
- Avoid, if at all possible negative people. This one speaks for itself if you’re surrounded by people who do not believe in you… you have two choices: remove them from your life, if practical, or don’t share your creative thoughts with them.
- No one can ever really know what you’re thinking. But what you think will invariably bring on your life’s joys. Keep it positive, look for the best in everything you do. It won’t always be your salvation, but it’s a much better way to reduce creative killing anxieties.
- This resolution in time, changes because it needs to be adaptable. Your best intentions may not turn out the way you envision them, but that in itself opens up doors for you to think and explore alternative directions that in almost every case will give you greater creative success and satisfaction.
- Bonus: It seems like every list I see always gives the reader a bonus point to ponder on; so I figured why not give it a try, so here you go. Virtually everyone makes a New Year’s resolution, and just about everyone looks back and realizes that they did not do such a good job sticking to them. Well that’s okay, because you are certainly not alone. If I were to give some advice in this #11 bonus, it would be, “Don’t look back.” In fact, we all have good and bad intentions and the best intentions usually come with some serious commitment and more often than not work clothes, meaning you’re not gonna go dig a ditch in a tuxedo or a wedding dress; but no matter what your attire, you will sweat… and the next day you will have some aches and pains. Commitments are cursed with self-doubts and hard work, that can be more trying than digging a hole in the ground.
The time for us all, to create resolutions accompanied by realistic commitment has no numerological schedule. Every day you are presented with opportunities to express yourself in so many ways. Choose wisely! Time is fleeting. A New Year’s resolution is the beginning of a fresh year, but it should not be the only time you commit to resolutions. If you reminisce on your successes and your failures, you can quickly make adjustments. You can call them my ‘New Day Resolutions’ some you’ll even want to write down others will just get you through the day.
Creative people are lucky. Although I fervently believe everyone is creative, but in this case. Creative people have a way of focusing visually on what they want to achieve. That can be a blessing and forever will be your resolutions in time.
“I resolved my resolutions, only to find out
they begin with no end.”
Rod Jones Artist