6) Learning – what do I want to learn or become better at? It could be a physical activity like a sport or dancing, it could be a skill like cooking or playing an instrument, learning a language or programming code, it could be connected to number one, if it’s to write a book or make films, video games, to be a better public speaker, to be more cultured or sophisticated (knowing how to choose a bottle of wine, for example) or simply to read more. You may want to pursue a degree or go back to school.
7) Service – time is the most valuable possession we have, and many of us, myself included, squander it shamelessly. It is so valuable that to donate one’s time is so much more appreciated than money (although many would argue otherwise). This could be taking a day to visit an orphanage, retirement home, or someone sick or in prison. It could be spent teaching someone something for free, or to volunteer at a soup kitchen, homeless shelter, or even just cleaning your street.
8) Spiritual – I put this at the bottom of the list, but this is by far the most important and the one that will affect the likelihood of achieving all other goals. This involves knowing oneself, facing one’s demons, it could be self-development by attending courses, reading books, talking to a therapist, joining a religion, but in the end, nothing beats simply taking a good look at who you are and moving from there. The aim is to reconnect with yourself, with life, if you are spiritual, it could be to gain enlightenment or to have a connection with a higher power.
These eight categories cover the most important aspects of human life, in my opinion. Since I’m an artist, my legacy work usually involves art work, and this year I feel like I really need to decide if being a visual artist is my focus or if it is just something I will do in my spare time.
And it is critical to keep challenging oneself, to strive for non-stop, ever-increasing improvement, otherwise life gets boring and meaningless. And left to its own, a tree will never stop growing. Humans are the same…for our lifespan, there is no end to the ways in which we can evolve and grow.
So here are some of the things that went well for me in 2014:
- Moved to Barcelona to take up Arts & Cultural Management
- Been living independently for over a year
- Organised and participated in 9to5, a group art exhibition
- Bought my first computer (which I unsuccessfully tried to re-sell a few weeks later)
- Got re-tweeted by Neil Gaiman
And the things that didn’t go well in 2014:
- Did not have a solo show as I had planned
- Did not meet my financial targets, been living month-to-month, and in unhealthy conditions
- Did not do as much important work as I should have
- Did not nurture my relationships as much as I should have
I’ve already started setting my goals for 2015. One is to have enough artworks for a show in Barcelona. Another is to get 2,000 subscribers to this blog by April.
My family back home does the same, but since I’m abroad, we will share our goals with each other through the Net.
If you feel daunted or need encouragement, watch ZeFrank’s An Invocation for Beginners and The Time You Have in Jellybeans:
If you’d like to share your goals/wins/losses this year, feel free to post it in the comments.
Happy New Year everybody!
In Tim Ferris’s The Four-Hour Workweek he includes a dream line planner which to help you come up with the amount of money you would need to make every month in order to achieve your goal and how to achieve it. Chris Gillebeau’s The Art of Non-Conformity explains the concept of legacy work and you can download his annual review template here.