(This photo was taken at Lower Calf Creek Falls in the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument area. I chose this picture as representative of my year because it reminds me of adventure, particularly taking adventures with my little Charlotte, visiting places around Las Vegas I’ve never been. It reminds me of how much she’s brought to my life. It reminds me of following my bliss and doing what feels right. That weekend, we drove up to Escalante and stayed during one of the Jewish holidays. I was surprised it was such a tiny town, of only 800 permanent residents. We stayed in a tiny cabin and went on some beautiful hikes. The area is pretty spectacular, and I couldn’t even get close to seeing all I wanted to see. We crossed bear tracks on the way back from this waterfall. Pretty awesome.)
Today I continue with: Process. Before planning for 2017, I’m processing what happened in 2016. I started with processing the good things, and now I’m looking at some of the not so good and places I got stuck. Here goes…
Process (part 2)
- What was time wasted this year? I hate to think of anything as time wasted. In general, I would say I didn’t waste any time this year. I did what was right at the time, and even though I might make different choices if in the same situation today, those were the right choices then. I suppose if anything was wasted, it was probably time spent worrying. And perhaps time spent not working toward my goals when I could have been. I always want to focus on doing the things that bring me joy. I always want to focus on positive movement in the direction I choose. If I’m not doing that, I want to notice and correct course.
- What was money wasted this year? I don’t have any big money regrets from the year. I did spend some money on a business training that I didn’t complete. I wouldn’t call it a waste though, as I plan to complete the training in 2017.
- What was the biggest challenge you faced this year? I’ve really struggled with believing in myself. I have a dream that I want to turn into reality, and believing it’s possible has been incredibly difficult. I have moments of incredible clarity, but those moments so often fade in favor of worry and stress.
- If anything, what would you change about how you handled that challenge? It’s an ongoing challenge, so I have many opportunities to change how I handle it. I’m still working on that dream, still working to believe in my ability to make it happen. What would I change? I would stop worrying…or at least try. I would live more in the present and think about what I can do today to work toward my big goal/dream rather than being concerned about whether or not it happens in the way I hope at some indeterminate time in the future. I would take baby steps each day. I would plan for each week and follow those plans more closely, without allowing myself to get overwhelmed by the big picture. I would meditate more often to work on staying present.
- Are you ending the year with any unfinished business? I don’t believe that I am.
- Are there any outstanding goals you would like to let go of? I’ve been thinking about this one. Last year I had a goal to complete yoga teacher training. My reasons for the goal were two-part: first, I wanted to deepen my practice, and second, I would love to teach yoga at my art retreats (a big future goal), and I think teacher training would help me do that. I didn’t complete the training last year for a number of reasons, and I find myself going back and forth about whether or not I want to pursue the goal in 2017. In some ways, I think it would be a great way to supplement my income and also bring interest to any future art retreats. In other ways, I think maybe I’m not totally sure about what I want to do with the training and it’s not a good financial choice this year. I’m honestly not sure. I’m not ready to let it go, but I’m not 100% committed either. I think perhaps I’ll hold onto the goal but not too tightly — if I do it, I do it, and if not, that’s okay too. Time will tell.
- What was your worst setback in 2016? I don’t feel like I had any big setbacks in 2016. I did have some struggles, but those didn’t set me back. I wanted to be further ahead in selling my art, and I dropped the ball a little on that (mostly due to overwhelm and a lack of confidence), but I haven’t given up. I’m still working on it, one little baby step at a time. And so my progress this year may have been slower than I’d hoped, but that’s okay. I’m still making progress. Also, I need to remind myself that at the beginning of the year, I somehow knew I was asking too much of myself to focus on business. That was part of the theme Create. I wanted to focus on creating art, rather than focus on the business aspect. I only added the business aspect as the year moved forward and I realized it would be difficult to accomplish some long term goals without considering business at all. So, really, I’ve been successful in what I originally set out to do, although it looks slightly different. So, no, I didn’t have any big setbacks.
- Which bad habits or unhealthy patterns did you engage in that you’d like to give up once and for all? Worry. Stress about the future. Doing nothing in the face of overwhelm. Negative thinking and negative self-talk. (This is my shortest answer, and let’s be honest, the most difficult thing to do! Reminder: progress, not perfection.)
- What or whom held you back this year? Did anything make you shrink into yourself or feel defensive about your dreams? Only my own ego. I’ve spent unnecessary time worrying and stressing about what will happen if an art career doesn’t work out. (Answer: nothing; you’ll just move on to the next thing…and yet, worrying about this topic takes up a whole. lot. of. time. Silly, Heather, silly.) I’ve also spent too much time feeling paralyzed by overwhelm, wondering how I’m going to make it all happen. (Answer: take it one day at a time, one step at a time, and stop being so consumed by the big picture!)
- How did you hold yourself back this year? Which beliefs | ideas | excuses stopped you from pushing forward? Here’s a belief that has really held me back: I don’t believe I’m ever going to make much more money than I do now. And to top it off, I don’t believe that I’m capable of making even close to what I make now if I own my own business. And yet, that’s the dream. If I don’t find a way to believe in myself and my ability to make a good living, I’m never going to make it. Simple as that. This mindset needs to change in 2017. Drastically.