How are you doing with those New Year’s resolutions? Already feeling a bit overwhelmed? Maybe fell off the wagon already? I’ll go on my diet when all these sweets are out of the house. That big work project is hanging over my head; I can’t stop smoking now. I promise that NEXT YEAR I’ll set up a budget for holiday shopping. Any of these sound familiar? Or something similar, I’m sure.
I always get weird looks from people when I tell them that my favorite day of the year is New Years. Not for the sports (although I live with someone to whom those are pretty important.) No, it’s my favorite day of the year because it portends new beginnings, new opportunities, a fresh slate. Possibilities!
Over the years, I’ve gotten pretty good at planning. My job as Director of a performing and multi-discipline arts center required planning out eighteen months to two years. I set up a spreadsheet with upcoming events and tasks in all the major areas: administrative, fund-raising, performing arts, visual arts, educational, special events, etc.
I would check the list every month, update as necessary, and set up my weekly schedule – also in categories. Long term goals were guided by our five year plan and updated as needed.
When I retired a couple of years ago, I decided to put my energy back into painting. I’ve been a professional artist since the early 80’s but had limited time to give when I was working full time (although I never gave it up, always managing to fit in 15 or so hours a week). Now that I didn’t have any excuses for not giving my best, what exactly did I envision for my next stage art career?
The first several months I floundered about. I fooled around, did some art, but not with any real focus. My question to self was, how do I apply everything I’ve learned and practiced for the past couple of decades in the arts business to my art business?
Then in December 2017, I picked up a book from the library that impressed me so much that I had to order my own copy. I’m a business and marketing book junkie, btw, but I was really fired up by this book. It is called The One Thing by Gary Keller.
The One Thing by Gary Keller
The main premise is to focus on one thing. The focusing question is:
What’s the ONE THING I can do
such that by doing it
everything else will be made easier or unnecessary?
There is more in the book to help the reader find and focus on his/her One Thing, but that is the main premise. The author has a number of free downloads on his website but I developed my own.
I usually focus on some personal goals as well as business goals, but inevitably I am too ambitious and can get overwhelmed. Sound familiar to you? Keller emphasizes setting up a set of goals which will cause a domino effect, i.e., do a small thing, which will lead to a bigger thing, until you finally get to your ONE BIG THING. I set weekly, monthly, one-year, five year, and someday goals, all revolving around my one big thing.
The goal I set for the year (which I’m not going to share specifically) revolved around creating and selling a certain amount of artwork. This was one BHAG (big hairy a$$ goal) and beyond anything that I’ve achieved for a very long time. It was a real stretch. The final result? I created and sold more artwork last year than I have in any single year since I had a full-time job. I came within $17 of my big, reach-for-the-stars goal. Yay! What a boost to my confidence. And, all that creating has probably improved my work as well.
So, what’s up for this year? Revised the plan from last year, tweaked a few things….and DOUBLED my goal! Heck, why not?
What are your goals for the year? What is your One Thing? What one thing, such by doing it will help make everything else easier or unnecessary?
If you’re floundering and lack direction, or lack progress, I highly urge you to get this book by Keller. Check it out of the library or snag a copy online. With over 2,500 hundred reviews, you can’t go wrong. As a caveat, I am not affiliated with Gary Keller or his organization in any way. I just really like this book and think you might, too.
The One Thing by Gary Keller
Gary Keller’s website
My personal Word doc for goals one big thing 2019 blank form