Hello, how are you? 

As we approach the end of this very eventful and challenging year, plus the reflection in preparation of the workshops coming in early January, I wanted to touch base on something that hit me this week, and it’s all about habits. 

Surviving the year

This all stemmed from doing my prep work for the ‘Best Year Yet’ workshops. This prep work is so important in enabling you to create the future you want, and why reflecting back on 2020 and the years previous to this is essential. It wasn’t until I stopped to do this and started writing things down that some things hit me. 

This year has been tough for everyone and all for different reasons. It’s been a strange old year. However, I realised that over the past few years I have come so far and achieved so much, but this year I have only seen my sister once, I don’t feel like I’ve spent enough time with my children and I haven’t been able to see my nans. It all hit me and I just needed to have a good cry. And I did. 

After my cry, I had a studio session with my Hub members. I wasn’t really feeling up to it, but I went and it was the best thing I did. It made me feel so much better and after speaking to other people, it turned out a lot of people were feeling the same way.

So, I wanted to talk about it today in the hope I can make some of you feel a little better. 

Reading

For example, when I have been reflecting back I realised that I hadn’t read a single book this year. Not one. I love reading and I always have a book on the go but all of a sudden it just hit me. I haven’t read a single book. Now, to some that may seem insignificant, but to me it is. Reading is my downtime and the time where I switch off from everything, and I’ve not been doing this! 

Now through the reflection process it all started to click. This year, well it’s been different. I have had the kids at home, I’ve had to homeschool the children and our whole routine, once they returned to school changed. Pre Covid, I would do the school run and go and pick the kids up. I would always get there early as parking is a nightmare. It was whilst I sat and waited for the kids to come out that I read. Maybe half an hour each day, but it was my time, to myself.

Lockdown happened and I didn’t get the chance to read. Even now, you have a set pick-up time and you are in and out as fast as possible and I have never found another time to pick up a book and read. 

Just that one small change in the day has kicked a habit of many years and it took until this week to notice it. It got me thinking that this has probably happened to you this year. What one thing have you stopped doing this year that you miss?

Embracing change

The Best Year Yet workshops are going to embrace the change that we’ve seen this year and in our lives, and I am so excited for them to begin.

  • This is how I have to live…
  • I have had to stop doing these things…
  • I miss doing these things…. 
  • That was actually really important to me!

Anything that you do that brings up the above, you need to be thinking, how am I going to bring them back into 2021? It’s completely doable and we can plan and get started with this in January.

Reflecting on 2021

Now when I am looking back on this, I notice that there have been lots of things that I would usually do but I haven’t managed to do them this year. It’s been such a strange year and in some areas I have had a lot of success and I’ve really loved certain parts. 

I’ve got to spend more time with my kids. I have got really involved inside the Hub membership this year. I have got my teeth into planning, how to make things easier and simpler. I’ve invested in a search future which is going to be rolled out really soon. I’ve just had time to think. So in that sense, the pandemic hasn’t been too bad. Without it I wouldn’t have been able to have got really deep inside the Hub and stuck in! 

On the flip side, there have been sacrifices. I haven’t read, I can deal with that but time with some of my nearest and dearest has been limited because of the pandemic. I have only seen my nana once this year and that is painful to think about. It’s the special times together that have been missed. 

However, it’s completely out of my control and we don’t know what is around the corner, so we need to plan to be adaptable and still have the power to change our plans.

Habits 

So think about it, what has slipped away from you this year? Things that are important to you that you would like to carry forward or start doing in 2021. Perhaps there are things that you want to leave behind, that you don’t like doing and want to stop? Make a note of them in your prep work so you plan your year around this. It’s such a powerful exercise and you start to become really self-aware. 

Workshop details:

So if you are wondering what this workshop is about that I’ve mentioned, here are the details:

  • It’s a free online workshop starting on 7th January and running for two weeks. 
  • I will help you take steps towards making art your living and I will share stories from artists that I’ve helped over the past months and years.
  • The workshops will cover how to get clear on what you want from your life, art and finances. How to make a plan that works, as well as designing your own life and make a living from art. 

I have released the prep work as I know people are busy, so it gives you plenty of time to make a start on it. If you are wanting to join in and make a start on the prep work for our ‘Make 2021 Best Year Yet’ workshop, sign up here: https://uas.unitedartspace.org/byy2021/ 

Merry Christmas!

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas. If it’s going to be one that is a little different, perhaps you are by yourself or it’s just a sad time of the year, remember that we’re all here for you. You can find us over on Facebook either in our membership area or The Virtual Art Studio – remember you are not alone! 

Much love,
Michelle x.