Looking Back over 2016
For Me 2016 was a Pretty Good YearI know that 2016 was a tumultuous year for many in the U.S.A. and was a controversial one politically. However, on a personal level, and an artistic level, it was a pretty good year for me. I have continued taking part in ArtSLAM studio, and have taught a lot of painting classes there, I've also taught one class off site, on my own. The sales of my art has increased considerably, both because of ArtSLAM and because of implementing good SEO strategies for my Etsy Shop. Now, I don't yet know if my art income has been greater than my expenditure for the year, but I believe there is a pretty good chance that it has been, and if so, it will have been the first time since I started trying to sell me art. Even if I didn't actually profit, I know that at the very least, my losses will be far less this year than ever before, but I do believe that I actually profited a little. On a personal level, circumstances that some would see as negative have actually allowed me to grow much closer to my granddaughter than would have normally been possible, so I see it as a positive thing.
There's Always Room for ImprovementAll in all its been a pretty good year. Of course though, there are some areas that could have been better. In the area of my health, I just haven't been diligent in eating healthy and exercising, so I've regained weight that I had previously lost. Along with the weight regain, problems with my ankles and feet have started resurfacing. In addition to that I injured my right arm quite unexpectedly, when all I was doing was tuning a radio! I reached out, tuned the radio, and then, as I was pulling my arm back to my lap, I heard a pop and felt intense pain in my elbow. My arm hasn't been the same since, and according to my chiropractor/physical therapist, I have tennis elbow. With the exercises he gave me for it, it has gotten considerably better, but I still can't straighten my arm fully, and its been over six months since I injured it. Most of the time it doesn't bother me, but if I have to lift something heavy, or extend my arm too far, it hurts. Also, if I paint for hours, like I used to, it starts to ache. As long as I take breaks and stretch the elbow now and then, and as long as I don't try to lift anything with an extended arm, its okay though. Financially, my family really hasn't kept a budget, also we had to have our roof replaced, and we need a new septic system. So our debt is growing. As for the business side of my art, while I've done much better with my etsy shop and with finding ways to earn, I need to get better about keeping my books as I go, so I don't have to do it all at year-end. I also really need to do a better job of keeping up my website and blogs. I also have a lot of new art that has never been uploaded to either site.
Planning Ahead for 2017
Goals for 2017Well, enough looking back. Now for the planning forward part of this post! My goals for 2017 are pretty straight forward responses to the issues I noted above.
- I want to eat healthier and exercise regularly. To that end I plan to once again begin logging my food on MyFitnessPal starting on January 3rd. I've already started walking more regularly because I've started walking a dog for pay. In addition I am going to start slowly adding more walks by walking my own dogs. I'm adding those additional walks slowly because of the problems with my feet and ankles, and because my dogs, especially my elderly dog Spunky, are out of shape and need to slowly work up to regular exercise.
- I want my family to start figuring out a budget to implement, to that end, starting today I'm keeping track of what we spend at the grocery stores, for gasoline, at other stores, and online. That way, we can figure out a starting point, and start trying to make improvements. My goal is to have a budget on paper or computer ready to implement by March. That doesn't mean we won't do anything until March, for January and February we are tracking, so we can figure out where we stand and which areas we might be able to cut back on.
- I want to continue fine-tuning my etsy shop SEO, and I want to get my newer art works uploaded to both my website and my Etsy shop. To that end I am going to try to check each week to see if I need to make any changes to existing listings, or to add a listing. One or two listings a day, either uploading a new one or fine tuning and existing one, and just be consistent in doing something with it at least two times each week.
- I want to start keeping my blogs up. Especially the blog attached to my art website, but also my personal blog. To that end I want to begin posting on each of my blogs at least once a week.
The Ultimate Blog ChallengeTo kick off this blogging year, I have once again joined the Ultimate Blog Challenge. For the next 31 days, I will post something every day. Now, most of the time it will be on my art blog, but I may occasionally post on one of other two blogs instead,which are my personal and weight loss blog, and my devotional blog.
Check out my artwork!