Happy 2021 Y’All!
I’m not sure about you, but I feel good about this year!
The organizer that I am, though, I wasn’t about to leave it up to chance, so I made a point of taking a couple days over the holidays to do some goal-setting. (2020 felt like such an uncertain year so I was craving some structure, even though none of us yet know what 2021 holds.)
I followed the process outlined on Indiehustle.com by Suzanne Lyons, which suggests starting with the 25 to 30-year “obituary” (i.e. highlights of your long and successful life), and growing increasingly granular until you have a month-by-month set of milestones to achieve your main goal.
I found it pretty tough to think of the 25 to 30-year highlights to be honest. I’m still exploring. Plus, I’m not exactly the type who is craving an Oscar win or anything (not that I would ever say no!). After a long while staring at a blank page, I jotted down ‘rich relationships with friends and family’, followed closely by the standard “award-winning filmmaker and artist known for breaking the ‘rules’, carving her own path, and crafting films that really impacted people positively.” (I secretly want to be a rebel…)
The 5-year vision was much easier to create (again, another list), and then the 1-year goals even more so. In terms of my art, this year my goals include:
- Completing my first feature documentary, the smallest steps, and screening it at least once
- Crafting my first media arts piece (with or without funding)
- Pitching a new project to either the CBC or Bell Media Fund (I already have ideas for both), and
- Meeting and working with a new producer and a new cinematographer (hopefully a component of the previous goal)
After setting these 1-year goals, I broke them down into monthly ‘milestones’ – as Lyons says in the article, “These are not the long list of the daily and weekly action plans, it’s more a short list of the essential items that need to happen at each milestone.” As someone who is incredibly detailed-oriented, Lyons’ reminder was necessary, and allowed me to create a simple chart outlining a few tasks for each month. I plan to scratch them out as I achieve them each month (my favourite part of to-do lists!).
One thing I also learned last year through the Arts Network Ottawa mentorship was the usefulness of having an accountability partner. So over the holidays, though I was nervous about doing so, I started to advertise for one! I created a post on a Facebook group called Kinnd, which aims to “revolutionize digital connection by providing a platform that encourages all members to (a) be vulnerable by sharing what you need and (b) by offering freely what you can (for example, knowledge, skills, mentorship, time to hang out etc.) – with one rule ‘no coin allowed.’”
I ended up getting quite a few responses to my post. I couldn’t respond to all of them, but of those I did, a few were eager to set up a meeting to see if we’d work well together as accountability partners. I also got invited to a new co-working group AND I scored a pen pal through the process (for the win! Let’s just hope they can read my writing – cursive baby!).
Overall, I am feeling very positive and prepared for 2021. It might still have some surprising things in store (like the freaking USA coup d’état happening as I type – WTF America???), but here’s hoping it’ll be fairly smooth sailing, at least in terms of my artistic creations!