This week is my very favorite week of the year. I start looking forward to it around the beginning of December, when the old year starts to wrap up and the new year draws close! The reason for the excitement? New Year’s resolutions! I know that for some people, resolutions are a cliché. Every year, though, I enjoy making a goal list, and always do my best to complete it! Today, I will discuss some tips and inspiration for coming up with goals that stick, and provide you with a free printable goal list.
First, let’s define a goal! A goal is something that you want to achieve. Your goal should have a defined course of action that will allow you to achieve it. Goals are measurable, so at the end of this year, you should be able to say, “OK, I achieved (or did not achieve) this thing I wanted to achieve.”
For about fifteen years, I’ve been making New Year’s resolutions in the form of goal lists. Those years of goal-setting have taught me a few tips, which I hope will be helpful to you!
1. Goals should add enrichment to your life.
As you consider goals, think of how they can add to your overall happiness. For example, let’s say you want to learn calligraphy. Before you write that on your goal list, think about how learning calligraphy will make you happy. Will you use it to address your wedding invitations, which will save a significant amount of money and give you a sense of accomplishment? Or will you use it as a tool to help you decompress after particularly grueling days at the office? Make sure you can name concrete reasons for why you want to achieve your goals, and you’ll be more likely to stay on track!
Related article: A (Happy) Case for Learning Calligraphy
2. Goals should be obtainable.
It’s kind of like what they say about diets: if you go into overhaul mode, you’re destined for failure. Keep that in mind for all of your goals, health-related and otherwise! Celebrate small milestones along the way, and don’t shoot for a dramatic change. For example, let’s say you want to learn how to work with watercolors this year. You’d start with the basics: painting spheres and cones, then move on to easy projects (like watercolor wreaths), and, finally, attempt more advanced projects!
Related articles: Painting with Watercolors for Beginners, Painting with Watercolors for Beginners Part II, Watercolor Holiday Wreath Tutorial, Watercolor Cactus + Quote Artwork Tutorial, Herbal Watercolor Tutorial
3. Be specific.
Instead of resolving to “be more creative”, try challenging yourself to make one creative project per month (for example). General goals aren’t measurable, but you can easily keep track of specific goals — which is always encouraging because you feel a sense of accomplishment as you achieve them!
If the idea of making one creative project per month appeals to you, here are twelve tutorials that you might enjoy making (they’re my favorites)!:
- Simple Twig Watercolor Thank You Card Tutorial
- 3 Speedy Mail Art Tutorials
- Embellished Winter Greeting Card Tutorial
- Watercolor Melt Lettering Tutorial
- Calligraphy Birthday Card Tutorial
- DIY Chalkboard Art Tutorial
- Flourished Calligraphy Medallion Tutorial
- Modern Family Crest Tutorial
- Abstract Bubbles Watercolor Birthday Card Tutorial
- Simple Lettering Art Tutorial
- Retro Floral Thank You Card Tutorial
- Not Your Average Father’s Day Card Tutorial
4. Break large goals into sub-goals.
Let’s say you have a big goal like “start a calligraphy business”. Wow, that goal sounds like a lot! Once you break down the various steps that you need to take to achieve the goal, though, it doesn’t seem so intimidating.
Assuming you already know how to create calligraphy (and if you don’t, then you can always learn), here’s what you might put on your New Year’s resolutions list:
- Read The Calligrapher’s Business Handbook
- Make calligraphy samples (envelopes, place cards, invitations, etc.)
- Take photos of calligraphy samples
- Start an Etsy shop
- Make thoughtful item descriptions for each listing in your shop
- Draft a Terms of Service agreement for clients
Related articles: Pretty much anything tagged “Entrepreneur”!
Inspiration + Questions to Ask Yourself
While goals should always be uniquely yours, it doesn’t hurt to have some goal inspiration! Below, you’ll find some questions that you can ask yourself when coming up with goals.
- What aspects of your life do you want to change? (Examples include your career, emotional wellbeing, physical wellbeing, etc.)
- Imagine it’s December 31, 2019. What specific goals do you hope you can say that you achieved in the past 365 days?
- What happened in 2018 that you didn’t like? How can you avoid having that happen again?
- What are some small things that you can do daily that will make a difference in how you feel? (For me, this is making the bed, keeping my workspace tidy, and wearing a bit of makeup.)
- What are some new skills that you would like to learn? (I can help you learn calligraphy, lettering, and Photoshop!)
- What are some new hobbies that you’d like to pick up?
- What long-term projects would you like to make or get started on? (Examples include working on a sketchbook journal, starting a blog, and/orstarting an eCommerce website or Etsy shop.)
When I was coming up with my own goals for 2019, I enjoyed referencing this LifeHacker article. If you’re looking for ideas, it’s worth skimming!
For the past few years, I’ve offered free printable goal lists to those who wish to use one! This year, I’ve used a simple floral theme and George Style lettering to make this printable. Please feel free to fill in the flowers with watercolor and fill out the middle of the list however you wish! Keeping your goal list in a place where you will see it every day will increase your chances of sticking to your New Year’s resolutions.
I hope that you found this article inspirational! Goal-setting is a passion of mine, so I tend to prattle on about it. 🙂 If you’ve never tried making New Year’s resolutions before, give them a go! You will be surprised at what you are capable of achieving!
Thanks very much for reading, and Happy New Year!