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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays etc

I would like to wish all my readers, customers, supporters, friends and family a very happy and safe Christmas and Holiday season and a prosperous New Year.

Things have been very hectic this last month and my posts have got fewer and fewer - life has well and truly got away on me and I feel the need to have a clean out and start afresh with 2009. I am taking a weeks break from the NZ Art Guild Management side of things - time out just for me and my kids - and hopefully squeezing in much needed painting (have a gallery owner waiting for some art, exhibition in Jan, and one in Feb, not to mention my big exhibition in Nov) - however this week between will be my "clean slate" and planning week.

Alyson B. Stanfield (art biz coach) wrote this fantastic piece of advice .... (By the way it doesn't just have to apply to artists - extend it out, think laterally and look at your life regardless of what you do)

Tie Up Loose Ends

Seeing January 1 on the calendar is enough to get almost anyone's blood pumping. The thrill of starting fresh! The anticipation of creating new benchmarks and attaining new dreams! Oh, but wait. There's a lot of crap that you need to get rid of --stuff that might get in your way if it doesn't drive you crazy first.

What would it be like if the New Year felt... well... felt truly new?

This week's action was first inspired by a previous edition of Rachelle Disbennett-Lee's 365 Days of Coaching newsletter. She wrote:

"I have what I call a Clean Slate week between Christmas and New Year's. During this week, I clean my office, clean out files and cabinets, set up new files for the New Year and wrap up any loose ends. I also review my business and marketing plans and update them with my new goals for the New Year. And, of course, I make a new prosperity board that pictures what my goals and aspirations are for the New Year. Doing all this helps me start the New Year with a clean slate."

With Rachelle's advice in mind, make this week after Christmas or even the next 10 days just for you. Don't schedule outside appointments. This is your time to get straight with yourself. After you've carved out the time, consider the following as candidates for a good slate-cleaning.

►Task List
What has been on your list for too long? If you're procrastinating, do you really need to do it? If it's not a definite Yes, it's a No. If it is a Yes, take care of it. If you want to put highly productive habits into place,

► Studio
What's broken? What materials aren't being used that you could store or give away? What emits negative energy and stifles your creative juices?

► Filing
This is a biggie! Get those papers off your desk and off the floor and put them into some kind of system that makes sense. Set up files for the New Year. Recycle anything you don't use or could find online.

► Mailing List
Take all of those names and business cards you've been hoarding and add them to your database. This is so important that I'm offering an entire class on building and taking care of your contact list.

► Artwork
Complete a piece you've been neglecting.

► Correspondence
Write your Thank You notes from holiday gifts and send New Year's greetings to those you missed before Christmas. (Or, if you're like me, send New Year's greetings just because it's different from everyone else who sends Christmas cards.)

► Computer
Back up your files and throw out old files you no longer need. Do the same for your Web site.

► Supplies
Inventory your office and art supplies. What do you need to order that you're running low on?

► Personal Space
Tying up loose ends doesn't have to be just for your art biz. Creating a more hospitable personal space will help you run your career smoothly. Clean out cabinets, drawers, and closets. Schedule a home pick-up for anything you no longer need. Donate and recycle.

► Errands
Tackle any after-Christmas returns or supply runs and stock your pantry with staples that make menu-planning easier.
Know This . . .Tying up loose ends will give you a fresh start in the New Year.

Think About This . . . What will it feel like to tie up all the loose ends that you've been tolerating until now?

Do This . . . Tie up loose ends between now and the end of the year. You probably don't have time to take care of everything on this list, so prioritize. Go through each prompt and write down some things you'd like to make happen. Then, look at your list and decide what you'll focus on.

Copyright 2008 Alyson B. Stanfield. Alyson takes the mystery out of marketing your art and making more money as an artist. Visit to get articles just like this one delivered to your inbox.


Christopher said...

What a great list!

Thanks for giving me a template to get my own things in order...

Sophia Elise said...

Great to know that it has helped someone else - have to say my getting things in order is a bit more of a slow drawn out process .... lol