Which brings us to each year’s communal celebration of the passing of our lifetimes:
New Year’s Eve
So what did you “actually get done” in the past year? How closer are you to a grand goal in life? An assessment is made and then the inevitable Step 2 of the yearly process is engaged, which is often a word for word repeat of last year’s Step 2:
The New Year’s Resolution
There seem to be two main strategies that emerge at this point of facing the New Year, a “brand new morning.” The lone wolf quietly acknowledges goals not yet reached, and is even more secretive in the “new plan.” “I’ll show them,” becomes the new private mantra. It works for some people, but my experience has been that I’m splurging on Star Wars memorabilia by Valentine’s Day.
I’ve found that rather than making secret contracts with myself, a much higher success rate is always achieved as a combination of two other elements.
To a truly worthy vision, maybe even one that cannot be achieved in a year, but in a lifetime, is just the sort of quest that engages the starving soul so much more than the common shaving a few digits off of the weight scale. (I personally implemented the "no cookie left behind" program this holiday season so I might want to think about that one too.) But the truth is, New Year’s comes but once a year. It would seem better to me to go big or not at all. Pick projects of real importance in your life – ones that require the more personal attention and dedication to the better.
Should not be a dirty word in the strategies of personal achievement. It has been my experience that the more genuinely useful support I’ve received from the like-minded (as well as the merely curious) has always gone a long way to keeping my Big Picture from faltering. When the potholes in the road forward begin to resemble archeological digs, as it seems they usually do, there’s nothing more heartening in being able to take it all in stride than a word of admiration, advice or encouragement from a fellow dA community member.
In his book "Outliers" Malcolm Gladwell outlines the 10,000-Hour Rule, the thought being that spending ten thousand hours practicing a particular discipline is necessary for mastery of that skill. He also brings up the importance of support in the from family, friends, and mentors in the ultimates success of an individual. No one achieves the highest summit's of success alone. No one. Even the most unique vision requires the nurture of human camaraderie if it is to be developed to it's fullest potential and efficacy.
I find myself thinking about recent achievements as well as a grand vision currently in formation here at deviantART, and how much the atmosphere of this community – how much dedication to art and artists, and how much they are supported and support each other – and I can’t wait to see where life will take all of us in this new year. A tough statement to put out there, considering the unbearable horrors that have recently rained down in our world from weather catastrophes, classroom atrocities, civil wars and the violence related to a radically altered political landscape around the world. But it’s true. I am still hopeful. I am still ready to rededicate my dreams on New Year’s Eve. I’m not sure I’d be making that statement were I not now ensconced and engaged in the deviantART community. But as Kurt Vonnegut used to say, “So it goes.”
For the Reader
Do you make New Year’s resolutions? If not, why not?
Does a goal achieved with the help and support of friends in any way diminish the power of that achievement, or does it become something made all the more memorable and special because of the participation?
What’s the most farfetched resolution you’ve ever declared?
What is your yearly resolution that has still never been achieved?
Do you think it helps to rededicate oneself to a cause, no matter how large or small, regardless of how many times the attempt has failed?
Can you share with us the personal discipline system that works for you as an artist in bringing your work to a next level?
More specifically do you have any tips for those of us balancing multiple responsibilities along with our creative endeavors?