Original Photo: Joshua J. Cotten / Unsplash

Happy New Year!

2019 was a whirlwind. I quit my job to make art full-time, turned thirty, went to Italy, and had my first expo booth! It was all super exciting and incredible experiences!

But a lot of the year was spent in the quiet normalcy of routines that I love — trips to the grocery store, game nights with friends, and watching soccer. (So. Much. Soccer.)

After re-evaluating my personal and professional goals for the future, I spent December building the habits I need to make progress in the right direction. Since I’m not a person who believe in “the hustle” (as I’ve mentioned before), I’d much rather “work smarter than harder.” And in the last few months, I’m realizing that the smart way to work is in small consistent steps forward. In the quiet routine. But part of that also meant redefining consistency.

In the past, if I stopped something no matter how briefly — missed a day of a yoga challenge, didn’t find time for Inktober, for examples — that was the end. I had failed. But it shouldn’t work that way. The real failure is simply not picking back up where I left off. Life is messy and I’ve decided that a 30 day challenge is just as important and helpful and challenging if it’s finished in 35 or 40 or 60 days, or however long it takes. If it’s important to you, it’s just important to keep coming back to it, even if you drift away for a bit.

I’m also giving myself room to start again without feeling like I have to start over completely. When I’m learning something, I don’t unlearn everything if I make a mistake. I use what I’ve learned to keep going. For something like Inktober, if I miss a day of drawing, I don’t feel like I have to re-do the work I’ve already done. But yet, that’s kind of how I approach any other resolution for a new routine or habit. Not helpful.

It seems so obvious when I write it out this way. But for a long time I’ve been terrified of failure. And yet, I simultaneously had a very narrow definition of success. There is plenty I can be afraid of — the learning process shouldn’t be one of them.

So that’s my hope for 2020. I have some modest goals for the year and things I want to get better at or spend my time on. And this year, I will succeed if I just keep moving forward.

My word of the year is: FORWARD.

If you have a word you’ve picked out for 2020 (and feel comfortable sharing) I’d love to hear it!

2 thoughts on “Forward

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