Over the last few weeks, I’ve been thinking about goals for 2024. Things I’d like to do this year in addition to the usual work.
I’ll also tell you how last year’s goal went.
Goals for 2024
Last year, I set art-related goals and personal and spiritual goals. That was almost as big a challenge as keeping the goals.
It turned out to be a helpful exercise, though, because I learned what worked and what didn’t. That helped me set goals for 2024.
Here’s my list.
Personal goals are always difficult for me to set. I don’t know why. You would think that goal setting is goal setting and the category wouldn’t make any difference. But is does.
As I write this post, the only thing I can think of for a 2024 goal is to continue walking laps indoors six days a week. I may adjust the length of time upward as the year progresses, but that’s the only adjustment I can foresee.
I also decided to set the goal of maintaining my weight at between 130 and 135 pounds. It took two years to lose 20 pounds and reach this weight range; there’s no sense in letting it go now! I’m pleased to report that that despite the usual (and extra) holiday eating over Christmas and New Year’s Day that I began the year on target. My weight is up a little, but not over 135 pounds!
Finishing Works in Progress
The biggest drawing goal I have for 2024 is finishing the projects I began in 2023. There are a couple of them.
House Lion, which is a portrait of our long-haired white cat, has been staring me down since I set it aside in July 2023. In the months since then, I did think about working on it, but there were always other, higher priority drawing projects in the works.
I also started a horse portrait called Pasture Patriarch. I barely made a start on it before having to set it aside, along with House Lion.
Late in 2023, I started a posthumous portrait of a friend’s dog that I hoped to have finished in time for Christmas. That didn’t happen, either, so it also needs to be finished. In fact, it’s likely to be finished before the other two, since the other two are for my own learning.
One thing I would really like to do in 2024 is at least start a large landscape painting. I have two pieces of Pastelmat to use, one Charcoal Grey and one White. Both are full width (about 27 inches) but only about half height. They would be perfect for a panorama-style landscape.
But I need to find a way to work on such a piece and a place to store it when I’m not working on it. So far, that’s been a huge hurdle to overcome.
Beyond those goals, I’m going to do something different in 2024. Rather than set a specific number of pieces to complete, my goal is five hours of drawing per week. That will not include searching for reference photos or getting ready to draw, but actual, pencils-moving-across paper drawing. That doesn’t sound like much, but if I’m able to meet that goal, I’ll end the year with 260 hours of drawing time. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a lot of drawing.
And if I do put in that kind of drawing time, I will finish at least a few pieces!
I have yet to chose either a key verse or key word for 2024, but I can tell you that I gained more from the key verse last than year than from the word, so I may not bother with the word for this year.
One thing I do plan to do is conduct a study of prayer as portrayed in the Bible. I’ve already started that process, but I don’t expect it to be concluded by the end of the year. In fact, I would be surprised if I did finish it in a year, since I’m keeping a journal as I do my regular reading.
Report on Last Year’s Goals
One personal goal for last year was to go for a walk at least three days a week and work my way up from 1/3 of a mile to 1 mile three times weekly by December 31, 2023.
That did NOT happen.
Ongoing foot problems were less of a problem than expected, but my work schedule and the weather played a role. The summer was very hot, and we have already had some very cold and blustery winter weather.
But, I did walk laps indoors every day, starting with one hour every day but Sunday at the beginning of the year and ending up with 75 minutes a day by the end of the year.
So I did walk more often than intended, but not in the way I intended.
I set two art-related goals for 2023.
1: Do six portraits
2: Explore in-person marketing
Not quite an epic fail on this goal, but close.
I finished two portraits in 2023, one for hire and one for myself, shown below. I was extremely happy with both, but especially with the cat portrait, since I’ve been working on that off-and-on since late 2019. Talk about a long drawing process!
I did explore in-person marketing by visiting the local art gallery and finding out what I needed to do in order to place artwork there for sale. The process is remarkably easy and not very expensive, but somehow, I just never got around to getting the artwork to the gallery. That’s really sad, because all I had to do was take some of it off the walls and deliver it!
Setting a spiritual goal was brand new idea. I chose a key verse (Ephesians 3:20-21) and memorized it.
I also chose a key word for 2023 and it was Freedom. That wasn’t a very helpful goal since I lost track of the word before the year was very old. So you won’t see a key word in the goals for 2024.
My Goals for 2024
I admit that many of my goals for 2024 are going to be a major challenge. But then setting easy goals doesn’t accomplish very much.
I also tend to put urgent things ahead of important things, which is a classic way to fail at keeping goals.
But I’m going to try this year, and I’m making myself accountable to all of you through the monthly studio news reports. Ready, set…
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