New Year’s Day. The beginning of a new year. It’s a time when many embrace resolutions and positive changes in their lives. Those who know me understand that I am not one for making resolutions at the start of any new year, because I believe that every day is an opportunity for positive change in my life, not just the beginning of a new year.   However, if you are inclined to make New Year Resolutions, then I encourage all who do and would add this to help keep on track. Remember that each day you wake, it is another opportunity. If you miss a step, that’s ok. Just keep going. Studies have shown that it takes 21 days to create a new habit. How accurate that is, I don’t really know. What I do know from personal experience is that when I make the decision to do something, that’s my trigger for making it happen.

My wish for you on this first day of 2016 is “The Gift of Time“. We tend to treasure it, but it is fleeting. I am learning to focus on the present moment for that is all we truly have. We tend to focus more on the concept of time at the start of a New Year. Yet if we realize that each new day is another gift of time, I think so much more can be accomplished.

Last year at an art event, I was given some advice about using my time, that I shared in an earlier blog post. That advice was to go into my studio every day for 5 minutes. In my case, I start at my jeweler’s bench. Generally I see multiple things in the works. I examine works in progress, contemplate what I am being called to create, if anything, and see what happens. Sometimes the desire to create takes over. Other times I have felt the need to tidy up. Then there are times when I just stare at everything and feel a bit overwhelmed. More often than not, each time I spend those first five minutes in my studio, I find that they do evolve into an hour or more. That is pure joy for me.

I would encourage you to give yourself the Gift of Time this year. I know how hard it is. While I don’t have children, I do have a career (the day job).  I create my art at night and on weekends. I have a loving husband, a home, and three wonderful basset hounds. I have friends who I get to spend time with. Pure gold for me is extended periods of time, 4 or more hours to be creative in my studio. While that doesn’t happen very often, when it does, it is pure magic. Finding or making the time to do something just for ourselves is difficult. I have read some suggestions to schedule 5 – 30 minutes a day for yourself. I don’t do that, but I do make a point to have those precious 5 minutes. If they turn into something more, all the better.

Each day is packed with 24 hour segments of opportunities. Do I waste time? Yes. We all do. Be aware of those things that allow us to procrastinate; I call them the “time-eaters”.  For me, I can get sucked into wasting time on the internet, in particular, Facebook. As much as Facebook is a great way to connect and build a business following, it is also a huge time drain for me if I let that happen. Set time limits. Be willing to say no. Control what you can. Just start with the gift of 5 minutes for yourself, to use however you please. Build on that.

All of us have things we have to do and that consumes a chunk of our time too. Recently I have found that if I just get those things done, it never takes as long as I thought it would. With that, I find I have ‘extra time’ to do what I want.

We tend to think on this first day of the New Year that the year in front of us holds such promise. I would suggest that we change this mind set to recognize that each day we wake, we have a day in front of us that holds such promise. For me, that is the true Gift of Time.

Until next time, I continue to aspire to be more as an artist and a person.