Friday, June 19, 2009

Daily Practice - Sunflower from Life

Boy! Wasn't I surprised when my muse brought me a sunflower to paint this morning! I must say it's a nice change from all the greys and lavenders and pinky golds I've been painting lately. But it would seem she had an ulterior motive in bringing me the sunflower.

It was to remind me that the summer solstice is nearly here! Sunday, in fact, is the actual day. If you've read this blog very long you know I'm big on goal setting, on challenging myself to constantly stretch, to reach for the next level.

This weekend, I will make some time to sit down and evaluate how I'm doing so far this year. I do this on each of the four solstices as a nice way to divide up the year. I look to see whether each goal is being met, has been met, why or why not, whether it's still relevant and what I may need to add, change, or delete. One recent goal I've added is to start painting at least one competition level painting each month. When I started the year, my focus was on building an online store. I wasn't thinking about competing, but in May, that changed.

When I first started with my goal setting, I would set big lofty goals like "Paint." Ummm, okay. Of course, it didn't really matter what my goals were that I so carefully wrote out as I stuck them in my day organizer, in the very back, and I didn't look at them again until December. No surprise, but I seldom met my goals. Now, my goals are broken down into steps. Some are daily, some weekly, and some are monthly or longer, but always broken down into steps. They are posted in my day organizer and my wall calendar where I can see them. At the end of each week, I do a review of my week to see if I'm on track and if not, why and what needs to be changed or adjusted.

This may seem counterintuitive to a creative life, but this allows my left brain and right brain to play together nicely. Having goals gives my left brain something to keep track of, something to strive for, boundaries to play within, and quantifiable measures. It gives my right brain the freedom to be creative, to create, to strive, to play all within a task oriented setting.

So now I ask you: do you set goals? when did you look at them last? Perhaps Sunday would be a good time to review them?

7 comments:

  1. Great way to goal-set. I used to do it with New year's resolutions and when I looked back I had done some and of course lots that I didn't, so, I handled that the best way I could.....I quit doing it! lol

    LOVE that sunflower in all it's daisy-like glory!!

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  2. ...what a great tradition! Using the solstices to review where you are in life, goals, etc. My brother is a very good goal setter. He writes them down and evaluates them from time to time. I'm sort of wishy washy with my goals. They are always floating around in my mind and therefore some fade into the jumble of the everyday. Some are quite clear (Matty and my blog are well tended), but others...

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  3. Love the sunflower Laura and what a good idea to keep in check how your goals are being met or need adjustment, like everyone else a huge life changing goal is announced at New Year and within a month it wanes and then is left on the back burner, I may well take a leaf out of your book to keep things up together.

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  4. It is a sunflower time of year. I set goals just like you. I figure out where I want to go and then just chip away at it by steps. Thanks for the encouraging words about the summer solstice (June 21.

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  5. Just catching up...hey I like the 'ugly duckling' piece. Great composition. And yes it is nice to get to play with new colours.

    You are preaching to the converted here sister! :-) I am a goal setting queen and I am the most organized person I know. You are right, it keeps the left and right parts of the brain happy - definitely part of a creative life! I hope your evaluation this weekend of what you have accomplished gives you big smiles!!!

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  6. I'm afraid my goal setting is similar to your early goal setting which you have now moved beyond.... that is, "Paint"! I may have to drag out the beret and smock ;-)

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  7. I like how you've broken down your goals. I, too, have the "Paint" mantra in mind, thinking that if I was in the studio at that time, surely something would come of it! Thanks for the tips on creating weekly goals.

    By the way, what was it that made you switch from "online store" painting to competition painting?

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