Why I swapped Resolutions for a 2021 Mantra

How it Started

Progress, not perfection.

2021 Resolutions are actively fading fast for most as we near the end of January, but I am feeling even more charged about my mantra for 2021! Good catch dear reader, I swapped resolution for mantra because I find it to be a more positive focus that is easier to sustain.

Anxiety can crush an artist before they even begin. It’s certainly happened to me on multiple occasions. I truly believe 90% of being an artist is simply having the courage to put your work out to the world and stand by it unapologetically. Art doesn’t need to be pixel perfect. I actually find it more enjoyable when art has a level of whimsy that makes it human, gives it personality.

In an effort to own those beliefs myself, my mantra the past year plus has been ” Progress, not perfection”.

I have always been a perfectionist. Partially because most things I tried came relatively easily to me. Dealing with my new normals after the stroke definitely shifted that and my confidence in myself. Discovering the amount of anxiety I was battling was so revealing and also oddly freeing. Feeling the difference after I started taking something for my anxiety was truly like night and day. Now that I have a good grasp on my anxiety control, and now that 2020 is finally in the dust (well nearly… I still need that Covid Vaccine) I am going full force into 2021 with a focus on developing my interests and keeping the judgement of myself at bay.

“Progress , not perfection” has already been at play in my head for over a year. I think it’s helped a lot, but his year I am adding to it to become “Sustained progress, not perfection.” Since I struggle with going all or nothing, I end up burning out or convince myself to reprioritize into a different focus. This year its going to be about sticking with progress and not going too crazy all at once.

How its going

So far I’ve spent most of my weekends focused on creating art – exploring oil paints and practicing to improve my drawing skills. To further this focus and investment in progress I’ve started taking private lessons with @leahgartner.art. Please check her out! She’s a local Chicago artist that I’ve just fallen completely in love with the personality of her work.

I’ve also been doing Adriene’s latest 30 days of Yoga – Breath. It’s the 25th of January and I’ve done 22, so I’m not perfect, but its moving forward and I’m enjoying my time on the mat. I can certainly identify that the time spent with Adriene has been serving me well.

Did you set New Year’s Resolutions? Does a mantra sound more appealing to you? I would love to know!

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