Weekly Process Flow and Monthly Check-ins

I find it easy to get overwhelmed by big goals you want to accomplish when you're wrapping up your last year and looking forward to the upcoming year. My strategy this year is to use a weekly process flow to keep me on track. So I set up a weekly template in Evernote to visualize all the moving parts. It helps me to know what I want to accomplish every day. 

As usual, I will be making my daily squares. I have a timer set on my phone for 3 PM to make sure I post my image on Instagram for the day. Each day of the week has another task. On Monday, I will be posting on Instagram about signing up for my weekly Studio Notes to arrive in your email box. I add the link to my sign up form into my profile page on Instagram. On Tuesday, I will make final edits on my weekly Studio Notes and post to my website. On Wednesday, the weekly Studio Notes will get emailed automatically through MailChimp to all my subscribers and I will post on Instagram that my article is available on my website. On Thursday, I will start my draft weekly Studio Notes for the next week. On Friday, I will try to focus on self-care to keep me going. On Saturday, I will add a weekly original small wrapped canvas square art piece based on the current series to my Original Art Shop section of my website for sale. On Sunday, I decide on my favorite daily square of the week and make it available on my Redbubble shop where the Every Day Project is available an every day things. Every month, I will add a 25 day series completed piece to my website for sale in the Original Art Shop.

Day 9 of 2017. Birch Forest series. Color inspiration is from Swedish painter Carl Larsson.

When I read over this, it sounds like a lot all together. But it helps that I've spaced everything out and I know what I want to do each day of the week. I just let the weekly process flow take care of itself.

On a larger scale than a week, I used to do quarterly retreats for two days every three months where I would strategize and think about what has worked well in both my business and personal life and what I would like to do moving forward. I've since realized that three months is too long of a time between these check-ins. So I changed it to a monthly check-in on the first of the month. I am still working out the kinks in this new system.  My inspiration for this new approach came after rereading a Zen Habits post about The Best Goal is No Goal. Something that really struck me is that he still gets a lot done with no goals. He works on things that are the most interesting to him in the moment. Therefore he is the most productive because he's doing what he has the energy and momentum to do right then. I found the same thing when I had planned something three months ago. When I got to actually do it a few months later, my heart wasn't really in it. It seem like there's a lot of letting go of guilt for not accomplishing things. So this year I'm going to do this monthly check-in to be able to change directions if my weekly process is feeling stale or just not very satisfying anymore.

I wonder if I can always feel that initial sense of excitement in a project to match the feelings when you first thought this was such a great idea. This in itself makes it a worthy goal to trust yourself and have no goals. A word of caution. Not to be too harsh, but this does not work well if you are a serial "non-finisher." No goals is not an excuse to abandon ship.  No goals does not mean do only the easy, fun stuff. Sometimes it is not always fun to complete projects and often involves lots of hard work. But if you are 100% excited and committed to the project, all the hard work seems a bit easier and lighter to bear.

It has to be a mature eyes-wide-open decision to follow your interest until it no longer serves you. If and when a project is dropped for a lack of real interest, have confidence that this vacuum will be filled with another exciting (to you!) project.