Anyone who knows me well knows that I am not that into the new year. I don’t enjoy the forced parties, the forced kiss at midnight, or making resolutions that I probably won’t keep anyways. I think the key word here is “forced”. Everything feels like a “have to” and not like something that is just generally fun. People go out and spend $100s of dollars in hopes of meeting a special someone or having the best night of their lives, I am just not really into it. I think maybe it’s due to the fact that I am quite the “fly by the seat of my pants” kind of person. I don’t usually make plans early or keep many binders of notes. I don’t organize my emails into folders or make sure all of my DVDs are alphabetized. In fact, it wasn’t until recently that I started keeping an actual “to do” list…and that was only because I have been so busy this last year with work related things that it was easy to forget what was going on in my normal every day life IE…picking up milk on the way home.
So, moral of the story is…I don’t usually come up with “resolutions” to keep or think of the new year as a fresh start. To me, it’s all the same except now I have to remember to write a new date on my checks (which I tend to mess up frequently for the first 3 months of every new year). I did, however, recently find myself wishing that I had written up a little list of goals last year around this time on my blog. Not resolutions, necessarily, just some goals for where I thought I would want to be come January 1, 2012. My guess is that even if I had written these goals, I might have surpassed them completely and/or gone in a totally different direction. I guess that’s why I like to call them goals instead of resolutions. They are just something to strive to achieve, not a promise that I feel I have to keep. It feels less restrictive that way. I need less restrictive…I change direction too frequently. Gotta keep it interesting!
So, back to the point.
I think it’s obvious when I look back at my blog posts from January 2011 that I had no idea where my life was headed back then. I took a little look at my own blog today to see if I could tell what I was “into” around this time last year. It seems I had just opened up The Happenings Workshop on Etsy, just started screen printing, and also just got my new DSLR….and had no idea how to use it yet. Wow. So many different things have happened in the last year. Where should I even start? LOL.
Since the first of the year photography-wise, I not only took a photography class and learned how to use my new camera, I taught myself how to edit photos better, created DeanneMrozPhotography.com, and since June I’ve done over 35 different photo shoots with some very amazing people.
Over the last year, I’ve also taught myself to screen print shirts at home using the Yudu machine which was quite the challenge for me at first, but now I think I’ve finally mastered it! In the last year I did two sets of shirts for large events…probably part of the reason I learned from my mistakes rather quickly.
I think photography and screen printing were definitely my two biggest accomplishments this year. If I had actually written goals for myself for the new year last December, they probably would have revolved around learning photography, learning screen printing, and making more cards for The Happenings Workshop. I wanted nothing more than to make that Etsy store a big thing in 2010.
Little did I know last year, photography would take over my life! Once I got into doing photo sessions, it just lead to more and more of them. There was no time to keep up with The Happenings Workshop and all of the questions about the cards, shipping, etc with all of the other projects I had going on. I recently put the shop “on vacation” because I couldn’t keep up with a 9-5, a photography business, and an Etsy store on top of my household duties, side jobs for family, and jobs for myself. Hopefully at some point I will re-open though!
Enough about last year…ON TO MY 2012 GOALS! Woot. I’ve come to realize that a big part of what I want for myself in the new year is time for what is important to me. So much of my life in the past year has been devoted to helping others, that I feel like I missed out on my own life. My needs and wants in life seem to fall to the wayside when someone calls/emails me at the last minute and needs help. Soooooo that leads me to my FIRST EVER GOAL…
Make sure to put what I want for myself above what other people want from me.
What does this mean? Well, I think to me it means that I need to stop doing what’s best for everyone else and do what’s best for me. So many times in the last year, I had plans with Matt, or I made plans to do something that I personally wanted to do…but I had to put my plans aside because someone contacted me at the last minute and needed a favor. It’s hard, I think, for any creative person to say no when creative opportunities arise. Most of the time, the person on the other end either doesn’t understand how much time things take, or they assume that because it’s a creative job you will be excited to help them out. That’s a common misconception I see. I would MUCH rather spend my free time painting something I want to paint, then painting something I have to paint. It’s just one of those things. This leads me to my next goal.
Focus on one area of interest professionally and let everything else be for fun.
I think last year I was trying to do too many different things. It’s hard for me to not do anything, which is why I have so many hobbies…but when you turn all of your hobbies into different jobs, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Last year, I was doing t-shirts, making web sites, taking photos for people, doing design work, creating new cards for the Happenings Workshop, designing skateboards, painting paintings, and more. A little too ambitious, perhaps. In the last few months, I’ve realized that my passion really lies with doing photography professionally. I don’t want to do so many other things because I would like to focus my attention there and develop that first.
Make more time to do the things I love to do.
Creative people need to do creative things in order to feel like they are living a full life. I love what I do at work, but most of what I do at work is not really what I would call “creative”. That’s why I have always had hobbies or done design work outside of work. Gives me a way to release my creative energy, and that’s when I’m the most happy. When I turned my hobbies into jobs, it made everything in my life something that I had to do for someone else and left no room or time for me to be creative on my own. I used to do so many other things – paint, draw, do crafts – but I have had no time to do these things since I have started doing so many things for others. SO a BIG goal for 2012 is to just take time to do something fun once in a while. Even if that something fun is just sitting on the couch watching a movie with Matt and turning my computer off or cooking a big meal.
Just keep swimming and don’t sweat the small stuff.
I need to be better about re-pinning quotes I like on Pinterest. I forget all the time to pin the ones I like and then later I want to remember it and I can’t…Stink. Either way, my 4th goal for the new year is to keep pushing myself. I heard a quote or read a quote or something recently that really resinated with me. One of my biggest pet peeves is seeing others copy what I’m doing or things I’ve done. It happens here and there, and each time I try not to let it bother me, but sometimes I am so stressed out from working so hard that I get very upset over it. The quote I read said something about how if you are doing your best and what you do is good, people will always copy you. But the last part of it was that by the time that person copies you, you should be doing something new and that the key is to keep changing. I have to agree with this. It’s easy to copy others, but the way you stand out from the crowd is to come up with bigger and better ideas. It’s not an easy goal to constantly be coming up with bigger and better ideas, but I think it’s a necessary part of being successful. You will never get noticed if you just copy others. And, to quote Steve Jobs (yayyy I remembered one!) “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” Love that one.
So basically, to close this rather long post, I think what I want to do in 2012 is to keep things simple and remember to push myself to be a better person in all areas of my life. I learned a lot in 2011, looking forward to doing the same in 2012!
Happy new year everyone!