Thursday, 16 January 2014

Goals for 2014

Well, goodbye forever to the New Year's revolution. Goals for the year; that's the way forward. Creating a list of things that I wanted to achieve at some point within the whole year, or to improve over the course of it, had a much greater impact than I had expected in 2013. Here is my final draft of the much-deliberated list for 2014.

Stay creative - As my number one goal last year, this has had such an impact, but it can't stop here. I know that I have so much further to go and I'm only just beginning to scrape the surface of my creative potential. To highlight it's importance and encourage myself not to give up, I've sat this goal in it's rightful place at the very top of the list.

Be positive - Simply because I've a lot of things to be thankful for, but I find myself moaning far too much.

Be more musical - I have a confession to make; this goal was going to be 'play my bass guitar'. I tweaked it to make it a little broader and easier to achieve. I know that in order to really count this target as met when January comes back around, I need to dust off the bass. But this way, if I fail, I can say 'Well, I kept going to the singing club, so technically I became more musical'. 

Keep a journal - There are two reasons that I want to try keeping a journal this year. First of all, lots of things make me smile day-to-day, but without record they fade into insignificance. Secondly, as a creative outlet. I want to take inspiration from the art journalling workshop that I did and try to make it visually interesting. My hope is that this will ease me into the next goal, which is...

Make art - I don't do this because I'm lazy. I don't do this because I'm scared of  ending up with something that a five-year old could have done better. I don't do this because I don't feel inspired and don't know where to start. But none of those excuses are really good enough.

Go on holiday - It's been a while since I got away and I need to make it happen this year. Preferably Italy. 

Read some books (& finish 1984) - As a child I loved reading. For a short while this was so true that I even wanted to be an author. Sometime in my teens, I lost interest. Books didn't grab me anymore. How or when I can't decide, but somewhere along the line reading stopped being a joy and became a chore. Despite this, at some point in my teenage years I made a mental note that at sometime in my life I would like to read George Orwell's 1984. When I read his Animal Farm for work purposes a few years ago, I read with an enthusiasm that had been missing for so long. 'Afterwards, I'll read 1984' I had thought. I dove in, with the wide-eyed excitement of my youth temporarily returned, only to find it quickly disappear within the complicated web of Chapter 1. I gave up on reading once more. During this year I found cause to give 1984 another go. I'm determined to finish it this time, but also to find other books and perhaps become able to consider myself a reader once again. 

Finish decorating - It's been nearly a year since I moved in and I can't quite believe how many simple decorative touches I still haven't sorted. 

Actively persue my interest in cooking - Cooking can be just as creative as art, and in many ways I have the same sort of relationship with it. It totally frustrates me when I experiment and it goes wrong, but when it turns out great you just can't beat that feeling. This year I want to learn things about food and challenge myself to take more risks in the kitchen. 

Pray more - When I look back on 2013, I am in no doubt that so many of the possitive changes are a result of growing closer to and having been greatly blessed by a loving God. I feel that he is very present in my situation, but yet my prayers are sparse. I know that if this year is to be as fruitful as the last, it'll need to be a result of talking to my God and listening to what he has to say. 

Here goes...

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Goals for 2013 Reviewed

• Be creative and artistic - This was my number one goal for the entire year, and I actually did pretty well with it. I have made a conscious effort not to repress my creativity all year long. I may not have accomplished all that I could have, but I've made the first steps and begun to dip back into some old creative habits. I stopped acting about 8 years ago, having enjoyed nothing more until then. This year I started acting again. I also forced myself (that's no exaggeration) to turn up, absolutely terrified, to a singing club. I'm still incredibly nervous and I do sound awful, but that's not the point. I attend frequently. I keep taking lots of photos. I doodle more. There's still a way to go, but the key thing is I've begun to remind myself that there are some things which I really enjoy doing once I've pushed myself a little. 

• Move out - This happened right at the start of the year, and I can't articulate well enough even to my closest friends the extent to which it has improved my life. I am absolutely in love with this little place that I have all to myself. 

• Do at least one blog challenge - I surprised myself here. I did two month-long photo challenges. It drove me mad, but it felt good to make it through. 

• Make or customise at least one garment or accessory - A few days ago I was genuinely considering trying to make a dress in one day so that I would not fail to meet this target. Not having planned for it, I didn't have enough of any suitable fabric. It probably wouldn't have happened if I did. Fact is; I forgot about this one, then I remembered and couldn't be bothered. 

• Be punctual - Sometimes I can be stupidly optimistic. Enough said. 

• Plan outfits in advance - See above.

• Make friend dates - I have managed to make a suitable effort to have 'friend dates' this year. It's paid off. 

• Harden up - I'm not sure that 'hard' is the right word here. I think what I meant is that I wanted to be a little more thick-skinned and less 'emotional'. I feel inclined to count this as a target that has been met. I don't feel less emotion, but I am less emotional, if that makes sense. I am perhaps a little wiser. Though not quite wise enough to explain it. 

• Have proper me time - I have done this too, having my own space has made it much more achievable. Girly films with wine and chocolate, candlelit baths, hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows. Lots of time has been spent on the sofa!  

I may have scored a failure hat-trick, but 6 out of 9 isn't too bad. Regardless of how many items I can tick off my list, this New Year's Eve I was able to look back on the year as one that I am proud of. That's good enough for me. 

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