I’m not usually one for making resolutions, and to be honest I’m not really sure I’ll stick to these. But they’ve been floating around in my head for a little while so perhaps if I commit them to the internet I might be more inclined to take them seriously.
1. Work less, do more
Since September I’ve had the pretty ideal situation of working 3 days a week at a studio and having two days at home for my other projects. The idea was to use my two ‘off’ days to take on selected client work, do personal projects, recharge, exercise, learn new things, go out and discover London… but I was so zonked at the end of last year that I mostly just slobbed around watching daytime TV with the cats.
In 2013 I’d like to get a balance of using my ‘me-days’ productively without getting overwhelmed or exhausted. I’d like to visit at least one new place in London a month, keep up running semi-regularly and work on some hobbies (see resolution 3). I also want to make sure I don’t get overloaded by only taking on client jobs that fulfil at least two of my new criteria checklist: is it worthwhile, does it pay well, will I enjoy it or learn something?
2. Spend more money
This is probably contrary to a lot of people’s resolutions, and I don’t mean to induce envy, but I am ridiculously careful with money. I just don’t really like to spend my hard-earned cash on – well, anything really, and especially not on myself. Honestly, I have a massive internal battle even just to buy a takeaway coffee. It’s quite extreme.
As a result of this I did manage to save a lot of money last year (back to my pre-flat-purchase amounts, even after paying my January tax bill) but I think part of the reason I got so burnt out was that I didn’t invest any time or money into myself. So this year I want to relax a bit and realise it’s OK to treat myself once in a while.
3. Streamline and specialise
I’ve always tended towards the scattergun approach to both my work and hobbies: try something, get averagely good, get bored and make a pivot to something new. This means that I can do a little bit of lots of things, but I’m still not quite sure what my strength or specialism is. I’m starting to get a sense that this isn’t the most productive use of my time, and want to try sticking with the things that I either consider I am best at or that I enjoy the most.
In my work life, I think this means stepping back from illustration and from learning any more code. I actually really enjoy both of those things and find it fulfilling to see myself improving at them, but frankly they both have their specialists who will always be 100 times better than me and I don’t see much value in trying to compete. I feel like I know enough about both to offer my service to the clients who need it, and when I’m out of my depth I’ll collaborate rather than dive in and have a go.
In my hobbies and personal projects I’d like to concentrate on a couple: start sewing my own clothes again (inspired by Kathryn and others), and I’m already completely hooked on the calligraphy kit I got for Christmas. As a small mini-resolution I want to create a new hand-lettered header for my blog every month – I’ve already added January’s, as charmingly wobbly and amateurish as it is. I’d also like to use my blog to write more (as this somewhat wordy post testifies), maybe even the odd opinion piece.