Every year, people declare their new year's resolutions and are determined to make the coming 365 days their best yet. Many think about hitting the gym or getting their finances in order. But as a creative person, you might have different goals. If you’re struggling with what to focus on in 2021, we’ve got new year's resolution ideas that artists, photographers, designers, and crafters can easily adopt.
One of the most important resolutions you make this year is to list and keep track of your goals. Doing this, especially at the beginning of January, will give you a clearer picture of what you want to accomplish. But it’s not enough to just write down a few ideas and leave them be. Make a commitment to revisiting these goals from time to time—whether that’s weekly or monthly—to see how you’re progressing towards them and what needs to change.
Get more new year's resolution ideas for creatives by scrolling down.
Looking for new year's resolution ideas? Scroll down for 13 of our suggestions that are specifically for creative folks!
1. Make a list and keep track of your goals. Studies show that people who write down their goals are more likely to achieve them. But while big dreams are nice, tackling them can also feel overwhelming. Journals like Ink + Volt and the SELF Journal marry daily productivity with long-term plans to help you move towards your goals each day in a manageable way.
2. Make more time for your art. Whether it’s five minutes, an hour, or even more—extra time can lead to more creative projects. Try limiting your time on social media with an app, or better yet, taking a social media break to inspire you to buckle down on a project you’ve been wanting to try.
3. Finish a small project. Everyone has to start somewhere, so even if your resolutions list is full of large-scale projects, try including a small one to start so that you’ll feel encouraged to bring it to completion.
4. Network with creatives IRL. Join a professional networking group or attend events where you’ll be with other like-minded creative souls. (Creative Mornings is a great place to start.) Think networking is scary? Try going with a friend or meeting people online first. Just make sure you branch out while you're there! (This may be harder to do at the moment, due to safety precautions. But once we're back to “normal,” do your best to take that step forward.)
5. Explore a new facet of your field. Is there something in your field that you’ve always wanted to try? Learning a different approach or technique isn’t just fun, but it can be beneficial, too. Once you know it, you could integrate it into your current work and take your portfolio to places you never thought it would go.
6. Make a dedicated space for you to work in. If you’ve got room, do some rearranging and make a space dedicated to creating your artwork. Even so much as having a desk is a great way to get you in the mindset of creation.
7. Attend more galleries, craft markets—anything that’s within your field. Get out of your studio and see what other people are making and doing. If you’re a painter, challenge yourself to attend more gallery shows. For makers, it’s always helpful to attend craft markets to see how other people are marketing their wares. (Both are a great opportunity to network!)
8. Show your work to someone. If you’re an artist that’s starting out, or a student fresh out of school, make it your goal to start showing your work to the world. This can be in person, or on social media platforms like Instagram, Behance, and even Twitter (where many artists are feeling more and more emboldened to share their work).
9. Look for inspiration offline. Scrolling through Instagram can be inspiring, but it can also give you some serious envy of other people’s projects and careers. Put down your phone and tablet, close your laptop and look for inspiration offline—whether that’s in a museum, exploring the urban jungle, or going on a hike. Notice what catches your eye and think about how it can inspire your work.
10. Read more books. In addition to finding inspiration offline, another resolution idea is to read more books. They could complement your creative practice or be totally unrelated to it—who knows, you might glean some knowledge you can use in your work.
11. Join a Facebook group for people in your industry. This is another form of networking, albeit digital, that can help you form meaningful connections from other people in your industry. Facebook has thousands of groups for all types of creatives. My Modern Met even has a few you can join: Art, Design, Photography, and Drawing Club; Creative Marketplace: Buy & Sell Art; and DIY & Crafts: Ideas and Projects.
12. Attend a conference. Conferences can be a financial commitment, but if you can swing them, they are valuable (and fun) opportunities to meet like-minded people, learn the latest techniques, and understand the issues that are affecting your industry. (Like networking IRL, this may be difficult to do in person with the current state of the world, but there are virtual options as alternatives for the time being. And once we're back to “normal,” take advantage of the opportunity to meet like-minded individuals face-to-face.)
13. Be afraid and do it anyway. There are a lot of ways you can talk yourself out of taking that next step in your creative practice. One of the biggest is that “it’s just not the right time.” We hate to break it to you, but there will never be a “right time,” so it’s best to just start. You’ll be glad you did.