It's that time of year again!
You've probably seen them, the year-in- review posts;
- the "set your goals for 2017" posts,
- the "don't set goals for 2017" posts,
- the "25 things I did wrong this year" posts,
- the "25 things I did right this year" posts.
It's enough to make a person feel pressured, depressed, stressed, and down-hearted if you weren't already!
The thing is...you don't have to make massive life changes in one short stroke of your pen, or by the bulldozing force of your will. And, you don't have to berate yourself because you didn't end the artistic equivalent of global warming this year. (Hmmm, that's an interesting metaphor!)
It's the little things
One of my favorite podcasters (James Altucher) speaks about his daily practice of being just 1% better in one thing, every day. I like this mindset. There's no pressure to be the absolute best at anything and everything "right now". By the end of each day, week, month, and year, improvements accumulate as you become better as a person, as a friend, as an artist, as a "whatever you want to be."
To be just 1% better in one thing, every day is to show up, to do the small things the best you are able, to be consistent, to improve your foundations. Remember, excellence is built by doing the small things well and consistently.
Set it and forget it combined with a bit of navel gazing.
"A thousand years ago" I gave up goal-setting. OMG, is that success-blasphemy? Umm, could be...but I determined additional self-induced stress was not necessary. (I'm pretty sure this was a byproduct of graduate school.)
Yet, I'm an inveterate list-maker. The process looks like this.
- Write a list of things I want to do. The critical point is "things I want to do."
- Say to self and whatever Greater Force is out there, "Let's do this."
- Stash the list in some soon to be forgotten place.
- Go on my merry way.
Here's what happens. At least 20 years ago, I wrote a list of home improvements. When I found the list, (20 years later) every item had been accomplished. A few years back, I wrote a list to open an online gallery shop, then I stuffed the list into the back of my calendar. On June 30th of that year, I opened the online gallery shop. The next day, July 1st, I flipped the page of my calendar and found the list! (Whoa, there's some sort of mental magic happening!)
Another example? On my list of things I wanted to do was to open a studio/gallery. If you guessed that I'm opening a studio/gallery, you would be correct!
Eeeek, I am opening a studio/gallery! And two days after I signed the lease, I was reminded of the list that included "open a studio/gallery". You'll read more about the studio in the near future.
The benefit, and perhaps the magic, of my list making is items happen in their own time. I don't try to force it. I don't set deadlines. I don't hold myself accountable to anyone but my Self. I just show up every day, do the best I'm capable on any given day, and say "yes" to opportunities.
Bring it home, Bec
Indeed, the point of this post is "life-changing doesn't have to happen in a swell of pressure." Nor does it have to happen "right this moment." Achieving your dreams and excellence can be as easy as improving one thing in your life by 1% a day.
You can find the method that works for you. Find the method that allows you to be content and energized. Find the method that fosters your growth. Find the method that nourishes your excitement. Find the method that moves you forward.
Find the method that encourages you to believe!
And, you will most likely end your year in the spirit of joy, gratitude, and excitement. You'll shine like those twinkly lights on all the Christmas greenery. Well done, you.
Seems like a brilliant way to end your year.
Expect the best. Anything else is an adventure.
Please share on your social media. I welcome your comments in the section below, or over on the Facebook page.