How to not totally suck at new year’s resolutions
*I made cute little inspirational quote cards out of beat 'em up fight announcements and video game death screens and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
NY resolutions tend to get a bad rep. Whether it’s us who suck at them or resolutions just being sucky in general, the jury is still very much out on whether or not making a plan for improvement is best implemented when the clock strikes twelve on the 31st.
I’m a firm believer that everyone wants to be a better version of themselves and very few earth walkers willfully choose to be crumby and crappy as a raison d’être, but bettering yourself is more so a lifelong pursuit than a fresh item to the new year’s to-do list.
But committing to a life of seemingly stern dedication and discipline is a really daunting idea, and one that would have most of us running for the exits and the safety of creature comforts before the oath is even undertaken.
Enter, the resolution.
More of an item on the identity inventory than a crack at Nirvana, we set ourselves little tasks and goals to hone our self-improvement and give us something to work toward.
No? No. That would be great. Instead we just kind of… start self-flagellating because we slipped up and now we’re entirely unable to stick to the lofty tasks we set ourselves and we resign ourselves to the fact that we’re just aimless clumps of primordial goop with feelings and that the world is a deterministic simulation hellhole and just do whatever you like because we’re all going to di-
Just me? Okay.
Anyway, as one of the aforementioned humans that have decided to chance a few stabs at self-improvement, I was thinking that we should really try to reassess our relationship with resolutions and make them work for us, not the other way around.
Break it down before you break down
Okay, so you want to get better at art.
What does that mean, though? What aspect of art would you like to get better at? Are you a novice starting out, or are you looking to improve on a certain aspect of your artistic practice?
‘Getting better at art’ is not only daunting, it’s nebulous. Try to section that pursuit into different pieces so you can set up different stretch goals that give you smaller senses of achievement along the way rather than a super hard to reach end goal.
To share or not to share
Look, there are a variety of reasons to let people in on your resolutions. Sometimes you need accountability, sometimes you need a little motivation and sometimes you’re just excited and want to share your newfound sense of purpose and resolve with someone close to you.
There are pro’s and con’s to both and at the end of the day it’s up to you to decide whether or not you need external input into your goals and if they’ll be helpful or a hindrance.
I think the best way to ascertain which side of the help/ hinder scale the sharing of your resolutions would be is by imagining what an interaction would be like if you were to slip up or miss a date or slack off a little. Would the interaction be helpful, encouraging and uplifting or shameful, hurtful and embarrassing?
I think we know what the best option would be if your imaginary deductions trend to the latter.
I personally can think of nothing worse than uploading a new artwork and someone chiming in to remind me that they don’t see any progress made in terms of my ‘become a master at composition’ goals.
Slip up, not down
First of all, if you’ve set yourself a goal to, say, draw something every day, that is incredible and I wish you the best of luck and envy your drive.
However, if you do find yourself unable to consistently stick to that schedule, don’t freak out. Everything will be okay and you’re still doing a lot better than if you never made these goals in the first place.
Be kind to yourself. Remember, if resolutions weren’t so terribly severe and morally terrifying we’d probably have a much better time trying to achieve them! Cut yourself the same slack you would others and you’re probably good to go ;)
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Let’s think about this. Even something as seemingly innocuous as planning a single page of your comic book a day or drawing one bomb ass piece of art a week is a lifestyle change, and lifestyle changes are hard.
Thus, try to not overcrowd your goal basket and refine your focus a little so you can actually make a decent attempt at it. We tend to shy away from things that are daunting (how profound of me to say) so we should do everything in our power to set up our goals in a way that makes them seem doable and practical.
Also, there is no moral imperative to undertake every goal or resolution you deem important and necessary to your life right at this moment. Start with one, you’ll get to the others eventually. But you have to at least start at some point, sooner rather than later, or else you never will.
Hope this helps! Let us know if we should start some Art Accountability pages so we can make sure we’re all drawing and creating as per the holy decree of the get good manifesto.