The Worst New Year Resolutions for Creative People

If you spent the handful of quiet days between the holiday daze and New Year’s celebrations plotting out your goals for the next 365 days, you’re not alone. And if you spent that time panicking that you won’t be able to meet all those goals in the new year, well… you’re also not alone. The problem with resolutions is that sometimes they’re pretty broad, and they’re all about the what and not enough about the how. 

So, what’s the fix? You need to put your resolutions on an attainable, measurable timeline for constant reward, and they need to be specific to you and your creative business. This is not about changing yourself completely overnight, but slowly improving your already awesome self.

Here are five common business resolutions that Patreon creators like you should scratch off your list. And as a bonus, we’ve included actionable and approachable goals to think about instead.

1. Get more members

Increasing the number of members is an excellent goal for the new year, but it’s also a vague one. Make a more focused goal by deciding on an actual number of members you’d like to add to your community, a deadline you’d like to accomplish it by, and create a list of ideas you can use to make it possible. Maybe you’ll try out some new tier benefits or boost your membership with a special offer.

Once you’ve got your plan in place, use a Google Doc to track what’s working and what’s not for more insight into how you can achieve your goal by the deadline. Also, if you have a goal but are feeling lost on how to reach it, our Creator Stories section is a great spot to gather inspiration.

2. Get better with money

Your Patreon is thriving and you’re finally earning a recurring income. But after looking a little closer, you’re partly horrified by unchecked expenses and boxes of receipts that are not organized for tax season. So, you vow to be “better with money in the new year.” But what does that mean?

Take a peek at your finances and pin down a few glaring issues — do you need someone to assist you with your taxes? Is it a daily budget problem? Are you looking to start saving for retirement? Are you interested in increasing your savings?

By picking one singular issue to deal with in the money realm, you’ll be able to go after that goal a lot faster without dealing with the creeping anxiety that comes with going after too much at once. Also, ask your fellow creators for advice on how they approach similar issues and learn what tools they use to stay on top of their finances.

3. Find work/life balance

If you’re hustling every single day and haven’t really slowed down to rest, you may be thinking of adding work/life balance to your resolution list. Good idea! Research shows that taking breaks from work is great for your brain and can boost your creativity. Not to mention it just makes you feel better. But it’s still important to be specific when defining what a good balance looks like or you may forget to carve out time to make it happen.

Start small when adding or removing things from your routine until it feels comfortable. Experiment by taking one day to completely disconnect each week or attend a weekly exercise class. Try setting an Out Of Office on your email and or finally go on that family vacation you keep missing.

4. Get organized

Start slowly. Set up your Patreon release schedule on a project management tool like Trello and use a free tool like Google Sheets to track your new ideas.

Start by setting one organization goal a month. In January, you might tackle your office space, and then, in February, you can finally catch up on your project backlog. Moving slowly may seem counterintuitive, but it will help you avoid feeling overwhelmed while also giving you the satisfaction of completing a goal before moving on to the next one.

5. Connect with more people

Surrounding yourself with a community of like-minded creatives can fuel a lot of creativity within your business and provide support when issues come up. But, if you work from home and online, it can be harder to connect with people organically.

Narrow down your goal and ask yourself which type of individuals you’d like to make up your community. For example, mentors in your field or other Patreon creators you’ve been following are a great place to start. Make a plan to reach out to at least five or more folks throughout the year and make growing your creative circle a priority.

Accountability is key when it comes to achieving your goals so don’t forget to share your resolutions with creators on the same path, or even better, your members!