Planning for the New Year – Keep it Simple by Reusing your Habits and Systems from Last Year

Planning for 2012

In January of 2011 I spent a couple of weeks planning for the upcoming year.

I had very detailed goals and shared them with my blog readers.

I did have a very successful year, but I feel I over planned. Something simpler would have served my purposes and gotten me back to creating art quicker.

This year I went simple. I spent about 2 hours setting up my new goals spreadsheet with targets for 2012 and writing out a brief outline of the new projects I want to accomplish over the course of the year.

I then went back to making art and teaching my workshops.

Planning didn’t become a big disruptive event this time around.

Reusing Goals – They’re Systems!

Admittedly I leveraged a lot of the work I did last year separating my goals into habits/systems and new projects. Maybe I didn’t over plan. I retract that statement.

Last year I put in the time to create a system of goals that can be reused year after year, which makes my planning much simpler now.

I think of art business habits and systems like washing dishes or doing laundry. Only a lot more fun.

Essentially these are things that you do and then you have to do them all over again some time later. The project doesn’t end because these are things to be done over and over and over again.

Like blogging, writing a studio newsletter and staying in touch with collectors.

New projects are things like art exhibits or creating new workshops to teach. These goals have an end date. The exhibit is over, the book is written, the class is created (and now there is a new system to teach it year after year).

Maintaining and Growing

I’ve found that dividing my goals into these two different categories has made my art business a snap to stay on top of.

Every week I look at my list of systems and make sure I’m staying on top of the recurring tasks. I also select small chunks from the big projects and work on them.

In this way I am both maintaining and growing my career.


Wrap Up

Think big and plan for a fabulous year.

Have you set your goals for 2012? What tips do you have?


Thinking Big about Art

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8 Responses to “Planning for the New Year – Keep it Simple by Reusing your Habits and Systems from Last Year”

  1. Systems and projects… I like the simplicity!

    • Lisa Call says:

      Thanks Barbara – I love simplicity. Anything that frees up my energy for creating art is in my plus column!


  2. Chris says:

    Good advice Lisa, I find when goals are written down, mapped out, etc you keep them in sight and have a better chance of reaching most of all of your goals. I also think keeping track of what worked and didn’t work while trying to attain said goals is helpful, you hopefully won’t make the same mistake 2x. Goal seeting is critical! Thanks Chris

    • Lisa Call says:


      This is a really good point. Review goals periodically is key to staying on track with them. Setting goals and then shoving them away for a year isn’t likely to lead to success. We need to keep the goals fresh and remind ourselves of our intention and guide ourselves to completion.

      I’m a big proponent of monthly retrospectives – what worked, what didn’t work, what do I change – are the main questions to ask to keep headed down the right path.


  3. […] Planning for the New Year – Keep it Simple by Reusing your Habits and Systems from Last Year – Systems and habits are going to be the focus for many of my posts this year. Running an art business doesn’t need to be complicated. […]

    • Lisa Call says:

      What a fabulous song you picked for the year.

      Two thumbs up on your plan for 2012!


  4. […] it took me almost not time at all (about an hour) to write my goals for the year as I rely on systems vs goals to keep things running […]