Here are my professional goals for 2013. I realize that some of these are slightly vague, but rest assured that I have defined them much more specifically for myself, but I’m not sure I’m willing to share that much information to the internet at large. Here are my six goals for the year:
1. Get one more rejection letter in 2013, than I did in 2012. This ensures that I put myself out there, researching opportunities and sending out applications.*
2. Apply to grad school.*
3. Attend a minimum of 20 openings, not counting my own.
4. Send out 4 newsletters.
5. Spend more time working on my arts practice than I spend at work. This is a tough one. A friend told me about someone she knew who made a point of spending one more hour per week on his practice than he spent at work, so that he had no issues calling himself an artist, first. While this may sound unrealistic, if I can keep my work at an average of 30 hours a week (over 4 days), I think I could do it. I will count anything related to my practice in this: sketchbook/ thinking time (including on the train), supply shopping, research -all kinds, including conceptual, scientific, process (such as electronics, etc), art business, opportunities, etc-, writing applications, studio time, goal setting (ha ha), etc. 30 hours/week is not unrealistic, if I want to keep my practice as my focus. Honestly, I’m probably pretty close to this amount anyway, although keeping track will give me a better idea of where I actually stand. (I blame my BFA for that- it’s almost impossible for me to sit still anymore. That means I’ve been trained, I guess.) Because this one is a tough one, I might have to revise it later on, as I see how it plays out, or adjust my schedule to help it- for example, if I worked from 8-4, instead of 9-5, I’d have an extra hour of potential studio time in the evenings.
6. Expose my work to more/different audiences. This one is also purposely little vague. I do have some ideas for this, but again, I’m not sure I’m willing to share them all at this point.
7. Quit working by 9:30PM every night. This last one is not really a goal, but a reminder to relax and maintain a balance. I can be very busy doing a lot of things, but need to make a point of having down time as well, even if it’s only an hour before bed.
* Notice that the format of these is very specific. Rather than say, “I’m going to have 6 exhibitions in 2013,” which I have absolutely no control over, I present my goal in a form that I DO have control over- sending out a certain number of applications (thus guaranteeing the receipt of rejection letters). Regardless of the amount of exhibitions/ opportunities I get, I am still in control of whether I have reached my goal or not, and anything else is icing on the cake. For the grad school one, it’s “apply to grad school,” not “get into grad school” or “go to grad school,” as I probably don’t have control over that, however, I do have control over whether or not I apply.
The other part of goal setting is being accountable to it, and keeping it easy to track. I will put this list up on the door of my cupboard next to my desk, where I can see it all the time. It’s also important to for me to keep my goals in line with what I want, and what’s realistic for me. Notice that I didn’t list “Make $X in 2013,” or “Sell X pieces of work.” These just don’t apply, or fit in my plan for the year. I’m also making a point of keeping the big picture in mind.
2012 is a tough year to follow, but I’m sure this one will be just as good. Stay tuned!