The second part of the review is setting some goals for the next year. While I’ve done resolutions in the past, they never worked for me. Part of the reason was that they were never really well thought out, they were too extreme and too general. I’ve found that setting goals is much more practical for me, as it allows me to put more thought into exactly how I plan on accomplishing them. This part of the annual review is the more exciting of the two, since it gives me a lot to look forward to :) Here’s a few of my favorite goals for this upcoming year:
Set up this new studio of mine (here it is above after a friend helped me shift everything into the new space… currently a big mess) and maintain my current schedule for the whole year. If nothing odd happens, this should not be hard to do as I already have the studio lease signed at least until June, at which point I will either look into moving into a new space or sign for another 6 months. As far as setting the studio up, I am waiting on a few pieces of furniture to get delivered and will be picking up some more things next weekend. By mid-January, I think it will be photogenic enough to share :)
This is probably the one I’m most excited about :) Inspired by my close friend’s decision to head off to Dublin for spring break, I decided that this year I will head back to Europe. My destinations of choice (right now) are Copenhagen, Amsterdam and at the suggestion of a friend, likely Bruges (after I saw a couple images of the city, I was pretty much convinced). I’m going to try a new adult thing this year where I save up for the trip before I take it :) Usually I make rash and impatient decisions and then end up paying them off for much too long, so instead of booking a spring trip, I will head out in the fall. This means I will be cutting back on a lot of everything to make sure I can fund this trip :) I haven’t been to the Netherlands or Denmark yet, but I have been to Brussels, Belgium and it is easily one of my favorite five cities. Besides this trip, I also have a trip booked back to San Francisco in February and am planning two more in-country trips, one to Washington DC and one to possibly Denver and possibly somewhere else :) I won’t have to pay for housing in either San Francisco or DC, and I expect all my flights to be under or close to $200 due to sales and points and such, so I think this will be doable. Also, I vow to get a miles saving travel credit card. I don’t know why I don’t have one yet…
Make this art gig a little more self-sustainable. I’m ok with not making any money off of it, but I would love to spend a little less on it from my own pocket :) This means finding some sort of middle ground between what I do now and what would be practical to sell. I think I will put a little more focus on commissioned work, i.e. artwork that others ask me to create versus artwork that I create and find someone to purchase. I’ve done some portraits in the past for gifts and such, I would love to do more of that. I’d also like to make some more homemade gifts, 1) because they are better than any other gifts and 2) because they are not only fun to make, but also more cost friendly. Above are two I made this Christmas, one a screen printed Moleskine for my little sister and her friend and one a screen printed Starbucks coffee mug for a friend whom I’m trying to convince to move back to Chicago :)
This is the one that I’m most reluctant to commit to, but probably the one that will be most beneficial – I will run another marathon this year. If you recall, I did promise myself between miles 20 and 26.2 that I would never run a marathon again, but at this current moment I will assume that my judgment was just off because I was tired. I know I will regret it at times, but I also know that I felt healthier this year than I ever have because of my marathon training. The one commitment that I had made to run set off numerous other changes in my life, including much healthier eating, simply because that is what I craved and a better sense of what I need to maintain my health. Also, I invested in a lot of running gear and it will not feel good if it just ends up sitting around throughout 2013 :) In between all the running, I’ll also throw in some yoga here and there, which I’ve already been doing anyway.
This year, I will definitely be focusing more on photography, I will be done with my Certificate Program by November or so. At that point, I hope to be comfortable with all my camera settings and have it come easily to me. I will also have to have all the camera essentials by the end of the year, which basically means investing in a speedlight and a remote, since my camera got his first tripod this Christmas :) My other two big goals for the year are to figure out a way to share my photos that works for me and to set up a reliable back up system for all my photos which are very dangerously stored on one external drive. As far as photo sharing, I just want to figure out something easy, whether it is simple like a blog or Flickr (also, something that is not Instagram), or something more complex like a separate website. Right now I’m leaning towards a blog, but perhaps I will change my mind. We’ll see.
I have a few more goals on my list, including volunteering more than I did this year, sticking closer to the budgets I set for myself, and mailing out more than 3 Christmas cards… But I don’t think those need elaborating :) I hope everyone has a great New Year’s Eve tonight!