Reframing New Year's Resolutions by Emphasizing Values

Reframing New Year's Resolutions by Emphasizing Values

The last time I did a real New Year’s resolution was when I was in 5th grade. I gave up drinking soda for the year, did it, and haven't drunk much soda since. As an adult, new year resolutions feel like weights being tied to my ankles and then having to do all the tasks I usually do with those weights. Something about the way we approach new years resolutions feels outdated and unrealistic to me. They feel like chores instead of opportunities. 

This year, I am making some resolutions but I’m reframing the way I approach them. I’m replacing the word resolution with value. Six things in my life I aim to place more value and importance on in the new year:


1. Keeping work/life boundaries 

I struggle with personal and work boundaries. There's not a clear line between where my work ends and where my personal life starts. Since starting my business, I’ve been terrible at “clocking in” and “clocking out” of my workday.

You’ve heard the joke, you quit your corporate job to start your own business and end up working more in the process. Just because you work for yourself does not mean you have to work 24 hours a day to keep the wheels running. I mean, that’s probably not why you went to work for yourself in the first place - it’s not why I did.

I’ll be setting my working hours, 9am-5pm, and my off hours are 7-9am and 5pm until bed.

Something that’s made the process of clocking out for me easier is working out in the afternoon/early evening. I love to work out right after my workday ends and before my home life begins. It’s a great transition period.

So this year, my goal is to place more value in boundaries with my time.


Artist Jordan McDowell at Desk in Studio with Framed Art on Wall 


2. Nurturing patience 

We’re all conditioned to seek immediate gratification now. But that’s just not how things work.

Running your own business requires you to wear all the hats in the beginning, especially if you’re a one-person show. You will not be great at everything. You will not see results at the end of the day everyday. But this is something that I struggle with. I need to know I’m heading in the direction that will lead me to where I see myself and my business. It’s hard to know that when you doing small day-to-day tasks though.

This year, I aim to be more patient with myself. And I’ll be doing that a few ways.

      1. Being realistic with what I can get done in a day.

        When you overload yourself with all these tasks, and you inevitably don’t get through them, you’re left with a sense of disappointment in yourself. Giving yourself a limited, more realistic amount of tasks to get done in a day will leave you feeling accomplished and that sense of satisfaction.

      2. Checking in with myself at the end of every week.

        What goals did I meet? What goals did I fall short on? Where can I do better to improve? Where am I doing best at? Pat yourself on the back at the end of every week because if you’re consistently showing up then you’re on track for success. 

      3. Checking in with myself at the end of every quarter.

        Here is where patience comes into play. Three months is what I think it takes to see more noticeable changes in life or business. Outcomes become visible at this point. Having to wait three months to get the gratification is trying but a habit I’m determined to make. Review the same way I do week by week but on a more macro scale. 

    3. Getting off the Instagram Hamster Wheel

    I feel SO much pressure to churn out a post every single day, even when I have nothing to say. I don’t want that pressure anymore. I want to show up for my followers and share things when there’s something of value to share, not just because I feel obligated to by the Algorithm gods.

    So the plan for 2022, is to be intentional in this space. Find ways to give back to those who share their attention span with me. To share more about life and art and not sell sell sell.

    It’s difficult, even writing this, to find new ways to provide value but that is the goal for 2022!

    PS. Have an idea, please leave it in the comments!


     Artist Jordan McDowell Instagram Page


    4. Consistency

    Lots of people do words of the year. I’ve never really done one before but I decided to do one for 2022. My word of the year is consistency. And all-in-all, I am pretty consistent when it comes to showing up for my business BUT I get sidetracked a lot.

    I call them pop-up projects. I’ll be deep in one project and another GREAT idea will pop in my head and I drop everything to bring that new idea to life. It’s not sustainable and it always leaves me feeling disappointed because, as I mentioned above, I’m not able to check off my to-do list.

    This year, I’m sticking to my production plan. I’m sticking to it! I’m sticking to it! I’m sticking to it!

    I have my word-of-the-year plastered over my mood board for 2022 on all my computer backgrounds AND my phone.


    5. Prioritizing play 

    At the beginning of working for yourself, you end up working the moment you wake up to when you go to sleep, or at least I have.

    But that’s not why I wanted to work for myself. I wanted to experience freedom and the ability to set my own clock. A clock that would involve exploration and excitement.

    Along with clocking in and out of every workday, I want to fill those off-hours with play again.

    I want to go explore the newish city-ish I’m living in. Take pottery classes, really try to give Swedish lessons ago, find the best-used book store, go thrifting! I want these things to have as much priority in life as my work tasks do.

    It’s important to value these experiences because these are the ones that will create memories.


     Him and Her Art Portraits


    6. Start my balcony garden

    Before I go to sleep, every single night, I watch Gardner’s World. I have a thing for Monty Don. I find him endlessly relaxing and inspiring to listen to. And for years now, I’ve fantasized about having my own garden. But I’ve always lived in a city or an apartment and I’ve never been in a position to do so. Well, I have a decent size balcony now, and dammit I will start sowing seeds in 2022!

    Gardening promotes mindfulness, something that I value and want more of in my life.


     boho chic balcony garden with plants and flowers

    Photo from Musely


    For more on life as an artist, news on collections, and exclusive discounts, join my VIP list here. 



    Leave a comment