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9 Tips to Help You Keep Your New Year’s Resolution

9 Tips to Help You Keep Your New Year's resolution #resolution #new #years
My 2014 resolution was to be more creative. I came across a note I wrote six months in, “just pull out the paints.” Now, four years later, I realize keeping a resolution isn’t that simple. I know my success has been much more specific than that. There are ups and downs to any resolution. There are times when you are into it, and times when you aren’t. Sometimes it’s hard to just “pull out the paints” (or eat a salad, or put on your running shoes, or stay away from sugar, etc.). Here are some of the strategies I’ve used to help me keep my creative resolution.

9 Tips to Help You Keep Your New Year’s Resolution:

  1. Make a “positive” resolution. Your resolution should be about what you are going to do, not what you are not going to do. For example – Eat healthy vs. Stop eating junk.
  2. Research your resolution. Read books, magazines, blogs, or watch videos about your topic. Learning about your topic will motivate you, and help you on your journey.
  3. Tell people about your resolution. The more you tell others what you have resolved to do, the more you’ll feel committed to doing it, and it may help you connect with people with similar goals.
  4. Keep track of your progress. Keep a journal, or a blog about your journey, and include all your struggles and victories. Reread it from time to time to remind yourself how far you’ve come. The blogging community can be very supportive!
  5. Be realistic. Start small. If your resolution is running, you can’t expect to run 3 miles the first day out. And if you do, you’ll probably not want to run the next day! Start small, and build on it.
  6. Spend money. You’ll be more motivated and committed if you spend money. It’s the spending guilt! Buy new healthy snacks, new running sneakers, art supplies, or whatever items support your resolution.
  7. Schedule time. You can’t change your eating, or exercise, or paint, or meditate, if you don’t have time. Make your resolution a priority by scheduling time for it.
  8. Be specific. Although my resolution was to be more creative, on a weekly basis I write a list of specific goals and to do items within that resolution.
  9. Challenge yourself. Over time the same thing gets boring. After you achieve the first level of success, challenge yourself with new goals within your resolution – a new type of exercise, sign up for a race, register for a class, commit to making a new healthy recipe each week, or try another art form. Keep things interesting!

According to statisticbrain.com 41% of Americans usually make New Year’s Resolutions. Only 9.2% felt they were successful in achieving their resolution. I hope my tips help you keep your resolution this year. 🙂

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“Light” by Eileen McKenna - capturing the light when painting in watercolors #coastalart #coastalinteriors


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My Creative Resolution – a year in review.

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As the first anniversary of My Creative Resolution approaches, I decided to look back and see what I worked on this year – what mediums I choose. It was surprising to me that during the first two months I painted with acrylics. I think it was something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I even pulled out old unfinished canvases and finished them!

After two months, I was getting a little bored with my sketchbook and I pulled out my watercolors. Well, that changed everything! I started focusing more and more on watercolor. I had a history and some knowledge with watercolor. I added to that by watching videos and absorbing ideas and techniques from other artists online. I was having fun with it and was more and more liking my results. For too long I was working on crappy paper, but eventually I bought the right stuff!

Eight months in and I decided to paint cards for the swim coaches. To make the cards whimsical I added ink to the cards. When I draw in pencil, I tend to have a scratchy (lots of lines) style. In the past whenever I tried pen and ink I thought I had to draw one perfect deliberate line. (This stressed me out.) This time I scratched away (with the ink pen) and was happy with the results!

After that, I started adding ink to a lot of my watercolors. My favorite, surprising result, was when I took two outtakes and attacked them with a pen. I liked them better than the original painting!

For a long time I wanted to know what my style was – especially when I was trying to illustrate a children’s book. I scoured the internet for the answer – how do you develop/choose a style? Now I know that the answer is simple – time. Take the time to practice and try different things and your style will come out. The longer you work at it, the more it will evolve.

Even though I’ve almost reached the one year mark in My Creative Resolution, I have no intention of stopping! I am so happy with the results – the result of pushing myself to keep at it. I can’t wait to see where this journey will continue to take me, where I’ll be in six months or in another year. My original creative resolution was to draw, paint and create. I left open the possibility that I might be sanding and refinishing furniture, making signs, drawing or painting. BTW there are STILL a few pieces waiting in the garage to be refinished! Maybe in 2015?