Every year, as January 1 gets closer and closer, I scramble to put together a bunch of New Years Resolutions. It's always this half-assed attempt at acting like I'm going to make a difference. I'm pretty sure 99% of the world does the same thing. My downfall? I tend to forget about these goals by the end of January. At least 98% of the world is right there with me, right?
This year, however, that just won't fly. I'm determined to stick to my goals, reflect on my progress on a regular basis, and do one big review at the end of the year. It's not about completing the goal, it's about working toward making a difference in my own life.
For ease, I broke them down into a handful of categories:
In 2012, I will completely redesign my website.
This has been a necessary evil for a long while, but procrastination gets the best of me every time. This will include a full-scale portfolio, a landing page, a better About Me page, and lots more photos. I really want to brand myself with something I love.
In 2012, I will earn at least $5,000 from freelance work.
This particular goal is the first step toward becoming more self-sufficient. I'd like to move away from studio work and move toward freelancing under the McKelden Creative moniker. I've done some smaller projects for clients in the previous few years, but nothing really worthy of being considered freelance. This needs to change.
In 2012, I will completely separate business and personal expenses.
I've needed to do this for a long while. It's just getting too difficult to keep track of and it'll save me a ton of time come tax time! It's just a matter of setting up new bank accounts and remembering to be organized.
In 2012, I will put together a solid contract and proposal template.
I already have a half-assed version I've put together out of necessity, but it's time to get serious.
In 2012, I will utilize and be more transparent on social media sites.
After reading Scott Belsky's Making Ideas Happen, I realized that I hold myself back a lot. And if I don't open up and share more (to a certain point, of course!), I'm never going to really feel like a member of the Design & Development Community. I'm tired of reading from the outskirts. It's time to be involved.
In 2012, I will make a connection with another designer or developer.
Back to that same concept of being involved in the design community. I really only interact with one other designer (the amazing Jessica Rau), so I need to make new connections.
In 2012, I will earn an invitation to Dribbble.
I love love love finding great designs on Dribbble, so I'm sure I would love posting to it, too. It's also a great way for me to be involved with the community.
In 2012, I will write, publish, and promote one new blog each week.
This has been such a difficult concept for me in the past, but when I really break it down, one per week is only 52 for an entire year. That's nothing! Plus, how can I expect to become a participating member of the Community if I don't give something back?
In 2012, I will put together and brand both Facebook and Twitter accounts for my business.
No more of this silly generic template stuff. I need full branding across all accounts. And while I'm at it, I should change that Twitter picture that was taken 2 years and 50 pounds ago!
In 2012, I will attend a design-related event or meeting.
I only live 45 minutes south of Seattle - and there are tons of design-related events that happen up there every month! I just need to find and then commit to them.
In 2012, I will complete a Daily Project.
Last year, I tried to illustrate a different lyric each day. I made it as far as the beginning of August. This year's theme is Make Something Cool Everyday.
In 2012, I will code my first Wordpress theme from scratch.
No more using templates! It's time I started from the very beginning and created my own template, both for personal and business use.
In 2012, I will learn to use my camera really well.
I've had it for almost year and all I know how to do is point and click! I need to know how to do everything!
In 2012, I will Actively seek out new skills.
I love learning and I want to try some new stuff this year, as well as refine the skills I already have. Also on the agenda? Learning in different ways, starting with trying out videos (which I'm usually inclined to never watch).
In 2012, I will head to the ocean every chance I get.
I only live a couple hours from the ocean, but I only manage to get there once a year if I'm lucky. It doesn't even have to be the same place each time! I could head to Ocean Shores, Long Beach, Alki Beach, or a million places in between.
In 2012, I will spend a day in Portland.
Farmers markets, the most amazing giant bookstore, no sales tax, and maybe even an awesome train ride there and back. No reason not to go! This has been a trip in the making for a very long time.
In 2012, I will go camping at Fort Worden.
I missed camping at Fort Worden last year, but this year: family be damned! There is no place in Washington that I love more and an entire week of sleeping in a tent only a short walk from the waves sounds perfect.
In 2012, I will go to PAX.
My brother and I went to the Penny Arcade Expo in 2011, had an amazing time, and have every intention of doing the same thing this year.
In 2012, I will go to Emerald City Comicon.
I haven't been to ECC before, but my amazing friend Becca has agreed to go with me. Fun will be had by all!
In 2012, I will visit friends in Spokane.
Yet another thing I've been putting off forever. I have people that need visiting and 2012 is the year!
In 2012, I will walk 30 miles at the Lakewood Relay For Life.
I made the bet; I can't back down now! Last year, I walked 16 miles. Surely I can almost double that!
In 2012 I will lose 30 pounds.
In 2010, I lost 50 pounds. In 2011, I maintained my lowest weight. It's time to lose more!
In 2012, I will plan out my meals a week at a time.
If I really try, I have this super awesome talent for making dinner and then turning the leftovers into a great lunch the next day. It's just a matter of doing it.
In 2012, I will visit the Puyallup Farmers Market or Tacoma Boys on a regular basis.
I have a weakness for fresh fruits and veggies and I need to actually make an effort to buy them more often! The Farmers Market is only open May through October, but Tacoma Boys offers fresh and local produce year round, so I have no excuse!
In 2012, I will read at least 90 fiction books.
I read 81 fiction novels in 2011. What's 9 more?
In 2012, I will put at least $2,500 in my savings account.
Seriously, why is it so hard for me to save money? It shouldn't be this difficult.
Whew! I really have my work cut out for me, but I'm determined more than ever! Feel free to share your goals for 2012 and how you're going to get there.