This past weekend I spent a great deal of time in my basement. Things had gotten a bit unruly down there (as things tend to do in basements). And I’ve been putting off dealing with it for some time now, but I really need the space. I wouldn’t be able to pursue a few new goals without it.
What I wanted to do was just plow ahead with my goals. But in reality, I had to go back and undo some things first. I had to deal with the mess before I could move forward. The ol’ “sometimes we have to take a step backwards before taking two steps forward.”
It was a bit daunting at first. There was so much to sort through that I wasn’t sure where to begin. It was tempting to quit before I even began (just turn away slowly, back up the stairs and click the light off…). But I knew that this is where I had to start.
This goes deeper than a New Year’s resolution. And this has less to do with the new year and more to do with the fact I’m involved with some artist coaching that presented the challenge to “begin with the end in mind” at this point in time. In other words, the challenge is to take a look at where you want to be at the end of the year and begin to schedule specific blocks of time to get things accomplished (and with these blocks, the space needed to work).
The real shift for me (as a self proclaimed night owl) was to get myself to bed at a decent hour and to rise earlier. And along with that, I set up my exercise bike for a daily 20 minutes first thing in the morning. (Yes, even before coffee... ~ gasp ~). And of course, it’s hard to use said exercise bike when it’s being used as a clothes rack. (Don’t judge. You know you've done that too…).
I powered through my cleaning frenzy like the Tasmanian Devil, and managed to clear things out. Now a different kind of hard work began.
I’m only a few days into these changes but I’m feeling pretty optimistic. After all, this April will be my 6th year of doing 365 consecutive days of daily art making, so I know that there is a part of me that can be disciplined.
I also think having to put in several hours into cleaning up my basement upped the stakes for me. I not only set up my bike, but I assembled my new easel and rearranged my painting area. At the end of 2017, I want to have put in at roughly 20 minutes of exercise a day, and to have painted at least 24 new (physical / non-digital) paintings (along with my usual work).
Have you ever considered what you want the end of your 2017 to look like? What would be at the top of your end game?