Sunday, January 12, 2014

Forget Resolutions- Choose A Theme Instead!

© Holly DeWolf- Happy Learning Year!


Happy New Year! 

I'm sure by now you've been inundated with reminders to make resolutions, make huge changes in your life while devising a better business plan. Yes, it's January 12th and apparently we're all running behind. 

This year, instead of a long list of resolutions and ideas that may or not may not happen, I'm focusing on a theme instead. 

“Make the best use of what is in your power and take the rest as it happens.” 
-Epictetus

This year's theme: LEARNING! 

Its a simple concept but will require time set aside to give it real focus. The great part: I can add to it as I go along. I'm going to celebrate my strengths and learn so I can earn! 

Here is what I'm panning to do: 

1. Take online classes: signing up for classes is as easy as hitting a button! Sites such as Skillshare offer very quick informative classes on a variety of topics. Here is a great one from Seth Godin: 

The New Business Toolbox: Help Your New Business Do It Right The First Time


2. Read more books: start with a reading list and set up a heaping pile by the bed or the comfiest chair you have. My current reading list: 
2014 Children's Illustrators & Writer's market
Leap Write In
Encyclopedia Of Writing & Illustrating Children's Books
The Power Of Habit

3. Learn to be a better illustrator: like many industries you need to evolve or be left behind. Illustration is no different and will always be on a continual learning curve. Instead of reinventing my wheel, I'm going to focus on my strengths and while adding new ways of working. I have developed skills over the years that I should not have to put away because of new technologies. I'm a creator so I still want to show a human side to my work in an increasing computerized world.  

4. Learn to be a better at business: how we do business changes almost daily. It's a challenge to keep up as well as a challenge to learn it. Since I do not have an agent, I am going try a business coach instead. Coaches discover and help you move past hurdles, blocks, slumps, challenges, they can change your perspective and can help you be the best you can be. There's no shame in asking for help. I'm sure if I put my mind to it I could get to the third dimension but it helps to know the best directions too!  

5. Read more articles: Recently, I learned that abibliophobia means the fear of running out of things to read. Good thing we have the internet to solve that problem. I have set aside Saturdays as my reading articles day. Best advice: set up a list of found articles that you can pour over when you have to time to read them. Even if you only get 1 thing out of an article, you are that further ahead! 

6. Learn about podcasting: This will be a continuation from the chats I do with illustrator/designer Brian Bowes called Creative Coffee. Our caffeinated east meets west collaboration offers ideas, inspiration, and tips. As a creative collaboration, this is turning out to be highly motivating and inspiring. Connecting is good and feels like a gift to help motivate your career!    

7. Learn to hack life more to save time: sites such as Lifehacker, Mental Floss and Instructables are extremely useful. Life moves pretty fast these days so quick tips are definitely welcomed! Just recently, I learned that opening blister packs with a can opener works. Who knew? I will now save time and my fingers.  

8. Learn something different- As much as I love illustration and writing, I also want a life too. This year I'm going to challenge myself on a different level. The first item on my list, learn how to do a handstand! Wish me luck! 

"Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway." - Earl Nightingale 

I wish you a very productive and happy new year! 

What are you planning on learning?