Old Habits Don't Die With A New Year

Updated: Feb 4, 2020

It’s a new year, a new decade, and time for a new start, yet we’re at the end of the first month and you’ve barely looked at the list of business and art goals which gave you so much excitement in December. 

Let me take some of the pressure off you by saying “it’s not your fault”. When’s the last time you actually saw someone follow through with their New Year's Resolutions? When’s the last time you saw someone make an entire 180 with their lifestyle or career just because it was a new year? It’s been proven by psychologists, that those who count on their New Year’s Resolutions to jumpstart their year, usually end up failing and fall back into the same old habits. 

If a resolution isn't the answer, what is? 

Simple! Short, tangible, habits attached to a funnel, that represent a larger goal. Your immediate goals shouldn’t be so grandiose that it takes a new year to feel the need to jumpstart change. Rather, focus on adjusting inefficient or unhealthy habits, into productive and positive ones. 

How exactly do you create a funnel and productive daily habits? 

Envision the Larger Picture - Dream big, but keep your goals realistic and achievable by creating micro-goals that pave the way to your big success

Where do you see yourself in the next 3-5 years? 

Think about your lifestyle: Where do you want to be living? What location would be most profitable for your art? Are you best displaying your art in the city? Or can you find a small town just as lucrative? 

Finances: How much money would you like to have in a savings account? Are there any important events coming up in the next three to five years you need to be setting money aside for? 

Business: How many solo shows would you like to have completed by now? How many collectors would you like to have viewing your work? How many followers/email subscribers do you want to have? What part of your business would you like to hand off to someone else (i.e. social media, online presence, overall management, etc.)?  Do you want to become a speaker at events? Is there another part of your business you want to have started?

Month-to-Month Habits:

What would you need to do monthly (at least in the first year) to build yourself up to the three to five year mark?

Networking: How many events would you need to attend to grow your network of galleries and collectors? Do you want to allocate the time to travel, short or long distances, to different towns in search of new inspiration and opportunities? 

Finances: How much/what percentage of money should you be putting away? Start tracking your income and spending habits and make sure enough money is going into your business. 

Business: How many newsletters do you want to send out each month (hint: it should be at least one)? Do you want to set up special events for potential collectors? Who is going to be your mentor you can have coaching calls with on a monthly, or biweekly basis and keep you on track?

After that, write about daily and weekly habits:

What does your week to week/day to day need to look like?

Lifestyle: Do you need to wake up earlier in order to find extra time in your day? Do you need to prepare your food in advance to make sure you have a healthy/stable diet that will provide you with enough energy? Do you want to start listening to motivational content to get yourself in the right mental state? 

Business: What ESSENTIALS of your business do you need professional assistance with (i.e. bio and/or artist statement, website design, portfolio, etc.)? How much time do you want to spend on LinkedIn and other social sites in order to find new events and continue growing your network? Do you have a skill you want to build up and need to set aside 10 to 15 minutes each day for practice?

Most Importantly: How much time do you want to spend on your craft? 

Other Tips To Excel: 

Journal Daily: Journaling does not have to take up a chunk of your time and it can easily be done in the notes section of your phone. Take a few minutes to write down the tasks you have completed for the day and if they align with your long term goals. It’s important that you don't exaggerate. You want to be honest with yourself; if you’re not, it’s only hurting your business. 

Find your averages: Not understanding your averages can be one of the most draining parts of owning a business and being an artist. Understand your statistics and know how many “no’s” it takes for you to get a “yes”. For example: if you know that on average you need to apply for 10 open calls in order to be accepted, it will make the application process much less drawn out. 

Surround yourself with the right people: Motivational speaker, Jim Rohn, once said “we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with”. If you plan to take your goals seriously, you need to take your environment seriously. Take into account if the people you spend the most time with are not only supporting you, but also accomplishing their own goals. 

It’s possible to have a huge spark in your professional and artistic growth within one year’s time, however the overwhelming excitement that the new year brings of “new year, new me” will dull out as quickly as it is sparked. Your mission is to replace habits you know are not doing yourself, or your business, justice with one’s that are going to stimulate change.