Breaking In The New Year

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Let’s be frank. 2016 sucked.

I am exhaling a massive sigh of relief as a crisp first day of the new year ends.

Last year I changed jobs twice, fled from an abusive housemate situation, dealt with a massive financial theft that left me struggling, a two-hour frustrating commute to work, and unfortunately ended some friendships that no longer played a positive role in my life. Not to mention all of the cultural and world tragedies that happened. I still can’t believe the outcome of the election. I have been avoiding reading the news since November.

2016 did leave me with some blessings, though. My partner and I moved in together. I found myself integrated into a community which has led me to finding the most important people in my life right now. I got to see Cameron Esposito, Maria Bamford, Tig Notaro, I got to see and meet Rhea Butcher. I volunteered for the Bridgetown and All Jane comedy festivals, which lead to life-changing experiences. And right at the tippy-toe end of the year, my shop exploded. In three weeks, I more than doubled my sales for the entire year. (I’ll touch more on this in a forthcoming post.) Simply, I was beyond shocked. But this huge jump in sales helped motivate me to becoming a small business owner and operator, and has in turn helped motivate me to get my life in order (just a little bit; it is mostly still a perpetuation of chaos).

I’ve never been good at  consistency. I’ve never been good at forming habits that will benefit me. What I am good at is procrastination, avoiding finishing tasks, and finding distractions. And eating cupcakes. I am so good at eating cupcakes, you have no idea.

However, as my business continues to grow and as my interest in blogging continues to manifest itself, I am finding that consistencies and good habits are both absolutely essential for me to function. I’m so used to flying by the seat of my pants without any direction, and trying to stick to these  values has been a struggle. But in the last year, I’ve tried to dedicate myself, and so far it’s paying off. I’m enjoying the feeling of being organized and on top of my game (as much as I can be) with my projects, and my life outside of design.

My resolutions this year are simple.

  1. Produce content. My goal is to triple the stock in my shop by the end of next year, including expanding into cards and apparel. A full year of design, design, design.
  2. Practice. Every time I dedicate time to design and create and illustrate, I learn a new tip or trick or shortcut or process to help my work. This year I look forward to practicing more to hone my skills and my style.
  3. Be consistent. With all things – content, blogging, comedy, and my personal life. The benefits I have reaped from putting just a little more effort into this value has changed my world in the last few months.
  4. Do fun shit. I used to go on road trips every other month. I used to travel alone with my pup to beaches to just spend the day snacking on picnics and reading in the sun. I used to watch shows I liked, read books I loved, and game more. I used to go to friends’ shows and projects more. While I am overwhelmingly excited to have business and creative prospects, I am happiest when rewarding myself for hard work. Doing fun shit is important.
  5. Focus on minimalism. Minimalism is a theme I try to emulate in my work, and it’s something I’d like to try to adopt in other aspects of my life. With my writing, with my comedy, with my style and living.

What do you see for yourself for the coming year?