To be honest, I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions. I don’t necessarily think that January attains any special status when it comes to being resolute in my life or being. But I do use the beginning of the year to assess my goals and my schedule—to manage the pace and purpose of my life—and I also take a look back to see how I have stewarded the previous year.
So I thought it would be helpful to artists of faith to compile a short list of common-sense “resolutions” you can incorporate into your new year. And may your 2015 be inspired, purposeful, and prosperous.
Resolution 1: Get Inspired. Make it a point to visit a museum or art gallery. Go to a play or a concert. Read that book that you’ve been meaning to get to. Discover a new musical artist on iTunes. Find some venue you can experience that will inspire you to take your art in a different or deeper direction.
Resolution 2: Get Challenged. Take a music lesson or an art class or acting class. Find a YouTube video that teaches you a new technique. Go to an arts conference (like the upcoming Intersections: Faith & the Arts Conference in northern California). Do something that will challenge you to be a better artist this next year.
Resolution 3: Define some Goals. It’s pretty difficult to get anywhere unless you know where you’re going. Prayerfully define some meaningful and attainable goals for you and your art in 2015. Your goals could include a new CD, a new series of paintings, a new website, or a new way of looking at life. And put some deadlines on your goals as well. (I’ve blogged previously on the importance of deadlines as a means of inspiration.) And as you define these goals, remember that it is not just the goal that is important, it is the journey toward that goal.
Resolution 4: Encourage Others. Make 2015 the year that you become an advocate for other artists of faith. Foster the heart of an encourager, especially when you are around younger artists of faith. Be free with your compliments and with your promotion of others. Not surprisingly, you’ll find that as you advocate for others more, people will advocate for you.
Resolution 5: Become Known. Join a book club, dance troupe, literary group, band or musical group, dinner rounds, or other arts group. Join a safe community where people know you beyond the artist persona you hide behind. Perhaps it’s time that you get out of your solitary art room or bedroom studio. Take a chance and be known—artistically and personally.
Resolution 6: Give Yourself Away. Find a way to use your artistic gifts to serve others. Be a part of a benefit concert or venue. Volunteer in an area where you can serve away from the spotlight. Give away some of your art for free. Offer your artistic gifts to your church. Be kinder. Be less me-centric. There is nothing quite so satisfying as voluntarily giving yourself away to others. Make 2015 not about you.