December is often the month to look back at your year and plan ahead for the next one. In a recent blog, I discussed starting to plan by taking a look back at the good, the bad, and what you learned during the year.
This is the perfect time to evaluate what you learned and look for ways to reframe the challenges that you faced.
What exactly is reframing? It’s a technique to help you look at a belief, situation, person, or even a relationship to change its meaning in your mind. This shift in perspective can make a difference in your interpretation of a situation or belief.
Since we are artists, it’s easy to understand reframing in art terms. Any time we chose a new frame or a border for our work, it changes the look. It’s the same way with our minds.
Questions to ask yourself are:
What are the rules that you believe?
How could you change them to serve you better?
For example, if you believe that artists are not good with money, then it’s likely you won’t be good with money. If you try to create a rule that empowers or serves you better, you’ll see the results. In this example, you might reframe your rule as, “I’m smart enough to easily learn what I need to about money so that I can pursue my art and make a profit.” This puts you in charge of your results.
Here’s another example. What if your belief is that you must do everything in your creative arts business if it’s to be done right? You may recognize your inner control freak in that statement. You might reframe this belief as, “I’m willing to let go of one aspect of my business so I can grow my business. I will put systems in place to track what I let go of. This will make me feel better about letting go.”
I believe what we focus on grows. If you focus on the fact that you can learn about money to grow your creative arts business to be profitable, then you will learn about money and grow your business. If you focus on letting go of total control to build your business with the right team, it will grow. Your paradigm creates your results.
Once you figure out what you need to reframe, celebrate the new paradigms along with all the accomplishments you had during the year.
Gratitude goes hand-in-hand with celebrating. Can you look back with gratitude on the accomplishments that you made this year in your creative arts business? Are you grateful on an ongoing basis, in both your business and your life? If not, it really needs to more than an expression on Thanksgiving Day.
Research has shown the value of gratitude, even in goal setting. A significant finding from a Research Project on Gratitude and Thankfulness conducted by Dr. Robert A. Emmons of the University of California, Davis, with Dr. Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami dealt with goal setting. The study participants were asked to provide a short list of two-month goals. Participants in the “gratitude condition” made more progress towards their goals than did others. Since the participants were students, goals were largely academically or interpersonal related. Prior to the study results, most people believed that gratitude would promote “passivity and complacency” rather than “enhance effortful goal setting.” I think we have all appreciated that gratitude has a positive effect on our general well-being. I think it is great to see the connection to goals.
If you don’t have a regular gratitude practice in place, think about the value of adding one in the new year. You can do this by writing in a gratitude journal or making notations in your calendar. You might try connecting with people on a regular basis to let them know you are grateful for their contribution to your life. This could be by email or regular mail. When you start to look for ways to be grateful and track this, you will definitely notice a change in our life, and that includes your business.
It’s your turn!
What were you grateful for this year? What was your biggest accomplishment this year? How are you going to celebrate this?