Happy New Year to you!
Isn't it amazing how the turn of a new year can bring such a feeling of a new start? There's nothing to prevent one approaching every day as its own fresh beginning, of course, but there is something about the start of a new year, and new calendars, that creates a feeling of new possibility. There are some big new things ahead for me, so I am setting some new goals, restating and refining some existing ones, and generally trying to get myself a bit more organized so I'm moving forward with the things I want to, in the ways I want to. Hah. Look at how many times I used the word "new" in that paragraph. You can tell I'm ready to embrace some changes!
We were talking about sketchbooks. You know, you complained that I didn't show you messy sketchbook pages after I'd talked about feeling free to be messy -- and I suppose messiness is in the eye of the beholder. (Now, there's a slogan to print up for a poster!) But you are right, it's the freedom to be messy and not worry about what the outcome looks like that has defined the shift in my attitude about keeping sketchbooks. I used to worry about keeping things looking pretty and artful, and then I'd get panicky and pressured about whether what I was about to do would be GOOD ENOUGH and it'd stall me before I'd even start. Now I try not to worry about it.
But truthfully, I've not touched the sketchbooks much in the weeks since I posted my entry. Holiday events have intervened, which have cut into my sketching time by a fair amount. And I had to switch over from painting to work on the last 12x12 challenge quilt, which meant putting the paints and sketchbooks away to make room for fabric on my worktable. You'll remember my response to the theme "Sweet" inspired by millefiori candy:
I don't think I made any sketches at all for this -- it went from my head to drawing a grid out on newsprint to figure out how it all would fit into the required 12x20 size, and then I started playing with fabric and wonder-under to assemble each of these little candies. I think that for this project, I had that same reaction you described of having the image in my head, and not wanting to take the time to work it out in sketch form because that would take away the fun of doing it in fabric.
But as we head into this new year, I know that both of us have shifted away from art sketchbooks for the moment and are instead sitting with our respective Filofax journals to focus on goals and year-end assessment and planning for the new year. As is evident from your Plan Create Succeed blog, you are far more advanced than I am at goal setting and planning and organizing what you want to achieve into lists and checklists and such. You continue to inspire me, and I continue to learn from you as you talk about how you approach your planning.
My approach to planning and goal-setting has evolved a fair amount over the past year, so I feel good about applying what has worked to the coming year, and continuing to work on using planning tools to help me. Today, I pulled out my list of goals for 2012, and spent some time journaling about how they went, what I achieved, and what I discovered that will affect how I move forward in my progress. I've never done that sort of assessment before but I can see its benefits already.
For one thing, stopping to assess what I HAVE done is a good way to get a handle on the amorphous feeling I often have that I haven't done ENOUGH. I wonder if that's a chronic feeling for people like us who have so many things we want to do -- we feel the things we haven't done (or haven't had time to even try) more keenly than we feel the awareness of what we've accomplished. So, for me, pausing to list what I've done -- even just counting books read, workshops taken, paintings done, quilts made, etc -- made me realize that I've actually done quite a lot. That's encouraging and satisfying.
I had the same surprised pleasure when I sat down early last year to make a list of the unfinished quilts I have in my closet, and discovered that the list wasn't as long as I thought it was. And having them all listed out helped me as I determined which were worthy of finishing and which needed to be abandoned.
My birthday falls on January 31, and although the start of a new calendar year is a significant marker, I've found that using the month of January as a time for reflection and planning and organization has worked well for me. Plus, this year some big life changes are taking place during January, so by the time my birthday comes my living situation will have changed and things in my daily life will feel significantly different. So over the coming weeks, I have lots of planning to do. I'm looking forward to sitting down with my Filofaxes to adjust them for particular purposes, and decorating them to make them more pretty and fun to use, and sorting out goals and projects and task lists. Many of my goals have to do with changing things around my house -- I want to make some changes to use the space differently and more effectively (so, for example, I can have paint stuff set up in one place and still have a free worktable for sewing and art quilting!) So I'm not just setting general goals -- I've launched into envisioning changes around the house, and shopping for the things to make those changes possible. I have a lot I want to accomplish in the coming year!
One of the apps on the Ipad I quite like is called Moodboards, which allows you to create boards combining images and text and graphics for a digital collage. Here's the one I assembled for 1/1/13:
You can see it's about being happy and celebrating cheery, cozy comfort at home.
Now, tell me -- what are your goals for the coming year? And do show me how you've changed your Filofaxes to accomodate them...
By the way, in my email today was an ad for upcoming Potfest pottery festivals -- which brought back a lovely memory of the one we went to together in 2011. What a lovely day that was!