You may recall from previous posts that I welcome a chance to reflect and renew my resolve. New Year’s, naturally, is one of those times. Our family is just back from a winter break in the mountains, the kids are back at school today, and my husband and I are also doing our best to return to reality. I don’t like unrealistic or impossible resolutions, but I do have things I’d like to work on in the new year.
1. Toxic relationships need to go! I tend to be very open and friendly with people, but the last several years, I’ve been a little too much so, and it’s hurt me deeply when people have taken advantage of it. I also tend to be the “fixer” – instead of letting the other person uphold their end of the friendship, I go too far out of my way to try to make everything work, even when the other person is being blatantly disrespectful. I still believe in being kind and friendly, and in giving everyone a fair chance. But I’ve also realized that when you devote too much time and energy to toxic people, you are diverting it away from the people in your life who really do deserve your best. My resolve for the new year is to not waste any more energy on people who choose not to show common courtesy and respect, and to instead focus my energy on my family and the people in my life who have proven themselves to be true friends. Even though this means a change in certain relationships and I’ve had a hard time with that in the past, I have grown enough to be sure of where I stand. Closely linked to that is learning to listen to my gut right off the bat instead of excusing bad behavior.
2. Being grateful. This includes the big things like two healthy kids and a good husband, and the small things, like the way my cats are happy to pitterpat around me in the mornings when I’m fixing breakfast and school lunches. Focusing on the things you’re grateful for makes it easier to keep negativity at a distance.
3. Gratitude leads into my next resolve, which is to be very controlling about how I think. The last few years, as I dealt with the above-mentioned toxic friendships, I often found myself in a very dark, sad place. It is hard when someone is making you feel bad to realize that it is still up to YOU to decide to stop the cycle and control your own thoughts and emotions. So, in connection with being grateful, I am also resolving to be more in control of my thoughts and who is allowed to affect my emotions.
4. Of course, I also have some artistic goals, in case you were starting to wonder. I have read many articles about the benefits of focusing on one thing at a time instead of trying to do too much multi-tasking. To that end, I will continue my goal from last year of trying to pare down how many projects I have going at one time. It has been beneficial to focus on finishing things, but I still find myself wanting to start too much at once. But I have made progress!
5. Another resolve, artistically speaking, is to continue to develop a habit of sketching regularly. This not only helps improve drawing skills, but it also makes a visual record of fleeting ideas that I’d forget about if I didn’t draw them immmediately! A note about keeping a sketchbook – don’t be intimidated by your drawing skills! The main point of it is to be able to come back to it later – if you can “read” your drawing a month later, then that’s all that matters!
What are your resolutions for 2015? I hope as you look back at 2014, you can see progress on whatever you worked on last year, and that as you look ahead, you feel the same motivation and positivity that I do!