By Kate Orr
As each year begins, many people look forward to new possibilities and resolutions. We hope to change our lives for the better, so we set goals to make our dreams a reality. A new year offers new beginnings, whether related to work, interests, relationships, or personal growth.
The problem is, how often are we able to realize the goals we set with such hopeful expectations? We all know how discouraging it is to start something only to lose motivation before our goal is accomplished. A commitment to monthly First Fridays maybe, or deciding to draw every day; what happens when there is a scheduling conflict, or you wake up sick? It’s hard enough to create new habits, and when we don't truly care about something, it's only a matter of time before our motivation to pursue it fizzles out. Progress is rarely linear, and we can’t prevent every obstacle we’ll face.
‘It’s all about balance,’-- True, but tricky. Too much rigidity with our goals can hurt relationships or result in burnout. Too much flexibility and we can lose time or opportunities. Balance is individual. People’s goals and interests are different. Sometimes you have to try something before you know you don’t want to pursue it, and sometimes you’ll be surprised what you end up loving!
So, what’s the key to realistic resolutions? It’s passion and dedication.
As artists and art lovers, although we have our ups and downs, art is a constant in our lives because of our passion for it. It's part of us. Similarly, whatever your goal may be, ask yourself if it's something you truly care about before committing yourself to set it as a goal. Only you can know!
Growing up, I sang with my siblings and practiced piano after school. Since graduating, my practice has become sporadic at best. I still love to play, but since I don’t play often it’s a lot harder than it used to be. With everything else in my life, practicing piano isn’t a priority. Art, however, runs in my veins. After a few days away from my easel, I’m itching to get back. Even during busy seasons when I’m at art shows and connecting with clients more than I am painting, I know I’ll make time for art when I can. With consistency comes progress, and there are few things more rewarding than seeing your own progress!
If your goal is something you care deeply about, that passion will keep you afloat even when there are inevitable bumps in the road. Many times, our dreams end up looking differently than we initially expect, but you'll never hit your target if you don't aim for it. Remember, progress not perfection! Give yourself the grace to progress imperfectly.
You'll be surprised how far passion and dedication can take you! Whether or not things take the path you plan, you are sure to make memories and experiences along the way. The most realistic resolutions are those that align with what you truly care about.