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The Worst New Year Resolutions for Creative People

Ahhh, a new year. If you’re anything like us, you spent the end of December reflecting, taking a look back at 365 days of work, relationships, and personal gains and failures. And, you started thinking about what to do differently in the new year. That handful of quiet days between the holiday daze and New Year’s celebrations are incredibly hopeful as you start jotting down all of your goals and dreams for the fresh, blank slate that starts on January 1.

But let’s be honest—the pressure to change habits whether personal or professional can feel like too much.

According to a recent survey, a third of those brave enough to make New Year’s resolutions broke them before February rolled around. Many of them cited having too many things to do or that they didn’t align with the goals anymore.

We’ve all been there. We’ve fallen prey to the all-encompassing “Top 10” resolutions to eat healthier, be on time, be a better person, grow the business, etc.

The problem with those broad resolutions is exactly that — they’re too broad. Specific, tangible, short-term goals are better and have a higher probability of completion.

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

We’ve gathered five common business resolutions that Patreon creators like you should scratch off your list, and we've included actionable and approachable goals to think about instead. Let's dive in.

1. “Get more Patrons...”

Increasing the number of Patrons within your page is an excellent goal for the new year, but it’s also a vague one. Make a more focused patron goal by deciding on an actual number of patrons you’d like to obtain, a deadline you’d like to accomplish it by, and create a list of ideas you can use to make it possible. For example: Maybe you’ll offer more rewards, boost your membership with a special offer, or engage and connect with potential patrons through Reddit. 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 page is thriving and you’re finally supplementing your creative career with its 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 2019,” 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 and overwhelm 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 to rest, you may be thinking of adding work/life balance to your resolution list. Good idea! Avoiding burnout is vital to your creative career; research shows that taking breaks from work is great for your brain, in general, and can also boost your creativity. However, 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 and take baby steps when adding or removing things from your routine until it feels comfortable. For example, experiment by taking one day to completely disconnect each week, or attend a weekly exercise class, maybe cook at least two more meals a week at home, or finally go on that family vacation you keep missing.

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4. “Get organized”

Whether it’s your office or your projects, getting organized can help you grow your creative career even faster. 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. Set one organization goal a month, for example in January you might tackle your office space and, in February, your project backlog. Moving slowly may seem counterintuitive but it will help you avoid the paralyzing impact of being overwhelmed while also giving you the rewarding satisfaction of completing a goal before moving 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 patrons! We can’t wait to see what you accomplish in 2019.

Thinking about starting up an online membership as a resolution? It’s the perfect time to launch a new program as part of your creative career. Sign up for Patreon here.