Making 2018 My Best Year Yet ~ Sunray Sister

Hello!

In today’s post I am looking back on 2017 and the goals I set for myself, then discussing my ideas for the year ahead! Settle in, it’s a long one…!!!

What are your plans for 2018? What did you achieve last year? Let me know in the comments, or on Instagram or Facebook.

2018 goals blog

I originally wrote a long post about my 2017 business goals at the end of 2016, just a couple of months after starting ‘Sunray Sister’. But a lot changed during 2017, so I felt I needed to re-consider my goals.

In June, I did a mid-year review; I was then able to write a new list of goals in clear categories. Today under each category I have added my reflection of what I achieved (highlighted in pink):


  • Offline:
    • Create more art, whilst being mindful of impact on the environment – use recycled materials, avoid plastic packaging etc.
    • Combine love of collage, paint and drawing to find/define my style – see Alena HennesseyKaren O’Brien and others.
    • Also explore nature/landscape art – see Andy Goldsworthy and Richard Long, also Keri Smith.
    • Absorb inspiration everywhere!

    I created a lot of art in 2017! But didn’t really follow the first three goals above. I still really love the work of all the artists mentioned, but have realised I already have my style, know what materials I want and like to use, and just have to use them and create! It’s that simple. Of course I’m constantly absorbing inspiration! I’m never short of it!

  • Instagram:
    • Post every day – both on my grid (permanent) and in my ‘story’ (temporary).
    • Plan content for whole week in advance – done by Sunday of each week.
    • Focus on art content, with occasional nature related images.
    • Comment on similar posts by people I admire.
    • Reach 300 followers.

    Posted almost every day! From November onwards only missed a couple of days since I started my 365 day art challenge, which also meant my account became entirely focused on art. Also reached 300 followers in December. Still need to comment more on other posts.

  • YouTube:
    • Post every Wednesday.
    • Create videos in advance – uploaded by Sunday of each week. Ultimate aim is to have four videos ready at the start of each month.
    • Focus on art & crafts content, with occasional adventure and lifestyle.
    • Comment on similar videos by people I admire.
    • Reach 3,000 total views across all videos – this is the number which will let me ‘monetize’ my channel once I get to 10,000 views!

    Uploaded 17 videos. Not every Wednesday, and not always made well in advance. But still 17 videos that I’m really proud of. As I’m writing, I have also reached 129 subscribers and a total of 6,282 views across all my videos; inching ever closer to that 10,000 view threshold! Plus it’s really fun to be part of this creative community!

  • Blog:
    • Post every Wednesday and Sunday.
    • Write in advance – ready at least 2 days before post day.
    • Focus on ‘Dear Diary’, ‘Happy Highlights’ and YouTube posts.

The blog has gradually taken a back seat in my mind. At the start of the year I was posting a lot here! As I started YouTube (and realised how much fun it is), the more ‘serious’ article-style blogs faded out, and got replaced with these diary-style, personal reflection posts. These require less research, are more useful to me and I don’t mind if no one reads them!

2017 goals summary (after mid-year review):

  1. Create art to share on Instagram.
  2. Create art to share on YouTube.
  3. Share my journey and behind-the-scenes on WordPress.

I think this summary still resonates with me, and I will take it forward into my 2018 goals.


At the start of last year I also wrote a separate list of personal goals, which I have not yet reviewed:

  • Be vegetarian and try being vegan – I’m now vegan!
  • Walk outside everyday – I’ve been on some awesome adventures.
  • Practice yoga and meditation – practiced yoga on and off.
  • Plan each day – I used a bullet journal, but it’s not quite right for me.
  • Respect chores and create a routine for them – still needs work…
  • Plan meals and prepare in advance – hmmm…
  • De-clutter and become minimalist – not me anymore!
  • Become financially secure and track finances – this needs attention.
  • Practice piano – now and then for fun.
  • Learn cover songs – I learnt a few.
  • Sew clothes from patterns I already own – would still like to do this.
  • Keep a collage journal – Did a few collages last year, will be creating a special mixed media journal soon!
  • Plan special dates with Fraz – lots! Especially now Fraz has a car!

Let’s see where this leaves me now, at the start of 2018. I want to take a more holistic approach, combining my personal and business life, thinking about habits more than goals, and only having a few actual goals.

2018 goals blog (1)

I’m constantly trying to simplify my life and define who I am in neat lists and clear categories. But that doesn’t work! I want to start viewing my work, my life and my values in a wholesome, messy way; where everything is connected.

Instead of cutting things out, I need to realise that these things are all linked. I say I don’t want to sew anymore, or sing anymore, or create any art that requires products in plastic packaging, but these are all just parts of my creativity and parts of my journey, things to learn! I am forever evolving into new versions of myself, and seeing more and more that I like more, not less! I love layers, I love colours, I love texture. And I can still enjoy order and arrangement.


Enough of the fluffy talk, what am I actually going to do in 2018? I’m going to create art. A LOT of art. More art than I’ve ever created before. I’m going to work harder than ever before. My one goal for 2018 is…

To thrive from my art

My art will THRIVE and I will THRIVE from my art! That is my one goal for 2018.

Of course there are many smaller goals that will make this huge goal a reality:

  1. Art products & services
    • Complete 365 day art challenge (end of October)
    • Start other personal projects (small series of paintings to be sold as originals and prints, and/or used as examples for my portfolio)
    • Start a private commission service (doing personalised paintings for individuals)
    • Send personalised work to artists I admire
    • Do live portraits at events/markets
    • Sell prints and other products
    • Create an online portfolio (via this blog) using all of the work above
  2. YouTube videos
    • Upload every week (where possible)
    • Reach total 10,000 views across all videos
    • Gain 500 subscribers
    • Interact with the community
  3. Instagram posts
    • Post every day & use stories
    • Reach 1,000 followers
    • Interact with the community

…and then there are many more habits, mostly daily habits, that will support these goals:

  • Listen to podcasts, read books & articles, watch videos about art & artists
  • Practice yoga & go outside everyday
  • Learn more about nature & try gardening (including looking after house plants!)
  • Use my planner to schedule time
  • Find a part-time job to help save money
  • No new clothes, and try capsule wardrobe system (less decisions)
  • Join a local choir or other club
  • Continue writing pen-pal letters
  • Make a mixed-media sketchbook for collage and experiments

…and many more things too… but the point is that many of these things cross over and weave into each other, bringing me back to my point about taking a holistic view:

  • I practice yoga everyday and want to start more personal projects, so I could paint ten yoga postures, which could also be used as editorial examples to use in an article about the benefits of yoga. Additionally I could film the process of planning this series, or simply painting the pictures, and upload this to my YouTube channel.
  • Another example is studying nature; I could create a portrait series of people with their favourite house plants and what they love about them. And again create some videos to go with this process.
  • I’ve also discovered that people really enjoy pen-pal related videos, so this reinforces my desire to continue writing letters and making cute packages. From this I might decide to design some letter paper and matching envelopes with decorated borders, and maybe stickers too! Or, for another angle, I could create a more conceptual illustration for an article about the recent resurgence of pen-pals.

By taking this whole-picture view, where everything is connected, the path is so much clearer, and the smaller goals and habits give me defined steps along the way.


I found these resources really useful in setting my goals and habits for 2018, I hope they help you too:


That’s all from me for now! Look out for a new YouTube video on my channel this week. Stay creative sisters 🙂

 

Peace and love,

Rachel x

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Published by sunraysister

Mixed media illustrator, maker and writer, in Staffordshire, UK. Passionate about slow living, nature, mindfulness, sustainability and a holistic view of life.

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