Friday, November 4, 2016

Goal Update

In my last post I was thinking about goals.  I had completed most of what I set out to accomplish (professionally) for 2016, but was way underachieving in my drawing goal.

Original drawing goal:
  • Thirty minutes of drawing 3 times per week.  
  • Two completed card drawings per month.
  • One completed comic per month.

I revised my drawing goal and it looks more like this:
  • Thirty minutes of drawing 5 times per week, or a total of 2.5 hours per week.

Why wasn't my first set of goals successful when it was so easy?

Truly, I think the biggest barrier this year has been my health:
In May I began treatment for active chronic Lyme disease.  The illness can be pretty debilitating, but so can the treatment.  Imagine being in the throws of something like the flu and your calendar reminds you that you have the goal to draw for X amount of time or complete X numbers of drawings that day.  It might be something you put off until you feel better.  Imagine if you only feel better a few days a month (if you're lucky).  Yeah, not a lot getting done.

The health issue really made a bunch of smaller barriers into larger ones.  For example:
  • Only being able to draw when I felt well enough.
  • The pressure to complete three works per month, but not feeling well enough to even do enough sketching to come up with anything worth taking to the finish line.

So, my goal revision was an attempt to reduce whatever barriers I could.

I decided that what was most important was for me to actually get drawing!  Yes, I want to complete things and have new images for my cards or new comics to share.  But more importantly, I don't want the pressure of having a finished product to get in my way of just practicing.

So, how have I been doing?

Some weeks are lacking, but most weeks I am able to meet my goal or get close.

What has helped?
  • Taking away the pressure of three completed pieces each month has helped tremendously.  Now, I have no completion goals.  So, there is no pressure to create something "worthy" of being out in the world.  This means I can just play and practice.  This allows for spontaneity and taking risks - and that is when I tend to create things that I want to take to the finish line.  In fact, I've even completed an average of one card and one comic page per month since I removed these as a goals.
  • Allowing the drawing time to get combined if necessary.  Perhaps one day I draw for a few hours, but the rest of the week I'm too ill to even touch my pencils, or all my free time is consumed by medical appointments and driving to and fro.  No problem, I still meet my goal.  I'm still practicing.

I'll keep up with this revised drawing goal the rest of 2016, and do my best.  As I draft my goals for 2017 I'll keep in mind what I've learned.  And just as I've reviewed and adjusted my goals when I wasn't meeting them, I'll do so as my health improves (which I have to believe it will).

The take away: Reviewing and revising my goals actually allowed me to become more productive.  And isn't that... the goal?

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