My 2012 Goals – Focusing on Systems and Habits

by Lisa Call on January 3, 2012

in Goals and Intention

My 2012 Goals

– Studio Time – 1000 hours
– Sketching throughout the year

– Teach at least 6 online workshop sessions
– Teach 1 in-person workshop
– Give at least 1 in person lecture
– Schedule 1 in-person workshop for 2013

Art Business:
– Finish the year with 1080 or more newsletters subscribers (adding an average of 20 net new subscribers per month)
– Write 156 or more blog posts
– Add 100 or more inspiration posts
– Update social media (twitter, facebook, google+) 4-5 times a week on average
– Photograph & process images for artwork as completed
– New art added to newart list as it is completed
– Complete bookkeeping monthly
– Update contact list monthly
– Update art inventory monthly
– Update exhibit history as needed
Studio newsletter emailed the 3rd Wednesday of each month
– Update front page of website each month
– Hold 1 make an offer auction each month
– Email inbox empty at end of the month
– Update bio
– Update social media bio
– Update resume – midyear
– Update resume – end of year
– Update general artist statement
– Update Structures artist statement
– Update Markings artist statement
– Update home/dream/stillness artist statements, if needed
– Update art quilt informational webpage
– Update quilt national 2011 informational webpage
– Update buying art informational webpage

Make Big Art:
– Write 24 or more blog posts
– Update social media (twitter, facebook) 1 time a week on average

– Additional landscaping – fruit trees, irrigation, front yard areas defined, maybe more fence, maybe gravel on pathways
– New Zealand photo album – get organized and make some progress
– Buy a bike
– Taxes to accountant by end of February or sooner
– Declutter my office, bedroom, kitchen and garage
– Read and listen to 48 books
– Go hiking in the mountains (ie out of Denver) at least 4 times
– Visit galleries and museums at least once a month
– Attend at least 12 theater, dance, opera, music, etc events

– practice yoga an average of 9 times a month
– running/walking/biking an average of 9 times a month
– remove refined sugar and white flour from my diet in January
– do eye exercises daily for a month starting in a month to be determined later
– receive 24 (or more) massages
– receive 12 or more acupuncture treatments

A New Approach to Goals

I’m trying a new approach to goals for 2012. After reflecting on what worked and what didn’t work in 2012, I’ve simplified my goal setting.

What I have shared above are mostly the habits that I have set up for my art business. These are things I do routinely and that I have a system for doing. Or they are things that will become routine in 2012.

I do these things every year so setting my goals for a new year involves deciding how much I want to get done. I already know the task, it’s just a matter of how much I want to get done.

It took me very little time to come up with this list as they are mostly a repeat from last years goals, which I maintain in a spreadsheet.

Why Track?

If these are habits / systems and I know I will do them year after year, why do I bother writing out goals?

The answer is simple – it helps me stay on track. I believe that by measuring and checking back every few days, weeks or months, I stay on track much better than if I just wing it.

The truth is I often lack the discipline to stay focused without this type of accounting. It’s easy to talk myself into another bad TV show on hulu if I don’t pay attention to these numbers.

When I see the numbers adding up for time in my studio or blog posts written, I’m more aware of my actions. This leads to me focusing on the things that I have determined have value. I turn off the computer and get to work.

I also believe that balance occurs over long stretches of time – many months or a year. So tracking these on an annual basis makes sense. I might miss the targeted average a few months in a row but I can make it up in following months.

A year feels about the right length of time to average the effort on the above goals.

New Projects

What you won’t see above are the new projects. This is for a variety of reasons

1) I no longer want to share this information publicly. I need time to incubate and test them before I reveal them to the world.

2) A year is too long of a period of time to map out new projects. I re-prioritize often and projects that are on the top of my list today might be on the bottom in 2 months. I found I wasted a lot of time trying to map out a full year of projects last year. I’d rather spend time doing rather than over planning.

I wrote a short list of potential new projects so I’m not flying completely without a net on this, but I didn’t over think it.

3) One of my words this year is simplicity (I’ll share my other words tomorrow). This method of goal setting directly follows from that intention.

The exception) my new personal projects. I’ve included those in my list above: more landscaping, buying a bike, working on my NZ photo album and decluttering. I’m excited about these goals and wanted to share them and publicly track my progress towards completing them.

Let’s Get Going!

A few short hours to plan and create a new goal tracking spreadsheet for 2012 and I’m off and running ready to execute on the list.

I intend to share my progress on my goals monthly so look for those posts at the end of each month.

Have you shared your 2012 goals? I’d enjoy reading them if you have shared them publicly, please leave a link in the comments if you have.


Gregory January 3, 2012 at 10:03 pm

I’ve been checking your Year-end/New Year posts! It is great to read. I don’t put together nearly as long of list, but do write down my goals for the year, with a few that are “wouldn’t that be great if I…” The one aspect I have found is that once it is written down I can then follow up with writing down what I feel I need to do to actually make it happen.

PS — I am using your 2011 Word for my 2012!

Lisa Call January 4, 2012 at 2:43 pm


I hope that word serves you well. It is certainly one to trust as your artwork is fabulous.

I have some of those “wouldn’t it be great” – sometimes they do happen – like teaching online workshops last year. I’m a firm believer in stretching a bit in setting some of my goals.

Lisa Flowers Ross January 4, 2012 at 7:14 am

Yes, I have reviewed last years goals here ( and starting thinking about new goals for 2012 here (

I think the discussion of goal setting (or not having goals) is very interesting. I think, in the end, people have to find out what works best for themselves.

Lisa Call January 4, 2012 at 2:09 pm

lisa – yes – interesting discussion about goals or not. I think that creating systems (or as the minimalist want to call it “habits”) is a good way to run a business. It’s the mcdonalds way – creating a turn key system. Once a business is systematized it’s much easier to “let go” of goals because it runs itself (like brushing our teeth every morning). That is definitely the direction I’m headed, but I still like spreadsheets :)


Dianne Crumbaker January 6, 2012 at 7:23 am

A hermit at heart, I decided to dive headfirst into a collaborative community project in 2012. The universe approved and sent me an overwhelming amount of support. I had resisted setting specific goals, but you’ve inspired me.


Lisa Call January 14, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Good luck with your community project Dianne – sound great.

Congrats on setting goals – a big leap! If you review them every so often it will help you stay on track.

Glad to have inspired!


Kathy McCreedy January 28, 2012 at 2:23 pm

Your post is beyond inspiring, it is AMAZING!!! I’m absolutely going to sit down and write my goals for the year, even though January is almost over, there’s still eleven months to plan for. And you’re so right, otherwise the time goes by and without goals, it’s just by chance that we accomplish the things that are (supposedly) important to us. Thank you for reminding me how important it is to put down my goals in writing!
I live in Michigan and my son lives in Denver with his fiance, who dances with the Apex Contemporary Dance Theater in Parker, CO… any chance you’ve seen them perform? It’s such a small world, you just never know, right?!? :D
Anyway, belated Happy New Year, your work is amazing, and thank you again for the reminder to set goals!

Lisa Call January 31, 2012 at 9:35 pm


Yes! It is never too late to do planning.

I have never seen Apex but now I must look them up. I love dance and attend as much as possible (I drove to Vail the other night to see Pilobolus – 6 hours of driving in the show over the passes for 1 1/2 hours of dance. So totally worth it)

Good luck with your planning!


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