Let go – about setting goals and finding joy

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To be honest, I wanted to write this blogpost already months ago. And I started a couple of times … But now that I actually finally sit down to write, I realize, it will be a lot different from what I first imagined.
I have let go of many things over the last few years. And it does feel good. Not always easy, but … progress. Especially letting go of THINGS has become a slight obsession of mine. No, I‘m not even close to being – or becoming – a minimalist. But since I started traveling again I realized again and again that I own WAY TOO MANY things. And it doesn‘t feel good. Letting go of them actually does make me feel lighter, happier, and freer. But still – not easy. Progress.

Letting go of things – only one aspect you can let go of

So I always kinda assumed that when I write about letting go, that would be what I would write about. My journey in letting go of THINGS, in decluttering (over and over again), my take on minimalism or my why …
But that‘s actually not what I will write about today. The topic I will write about actually has been in my life for … years. And it has been bugging me for years.
If you have followed me for a while you might remember that at some point I said (or rather wrote) that I will create an online course. And when I created the freebie workshop or the tutorial for the origami stars – I was kinda „practicing “ for that. And I thought that‘s the direction I‘m heading into. It was my goal – my ONE BIG GOAL.
I wanted to create – and share with the world, with you – my very own online-course.

And this goal has been in my mind for … well, years. (It is kinda embarrassing to share. But … what the heck. Maybe you have experienced something similar and can relate.)

Goal setting over and over again …

So, each year when I would review the past year – which I love – and think about and plan the new year – which I also love – one of the goals I would set was MY ONLINE COURSE.

And I always felt like … SO close to it. But I never … reached it. I felt like … I have everything I need. I just need to sit down and do it.
And I did sit down …
I came up with ideas.
I sketched out workshop lesson plans.
I thought of projects which would be great for a first course.
I bought a camera to film with, a stand for the camera, …
I bought a course to teach me how to create my own art courses …
I did all the (f******) work.
Except … I did NOT create the course.

And you know what. It kinda drove me insane.

I‘m a rather disciplined person. If I set my mind to something – I do it.
If I don‘t know how – I figure it out.
If I lack the skill – I learn. (I LOVE learning! So that one never stood in my way!)
If I don‘t have the right equipment – I get creative.
I CAN DO STUFF.
So, why the freaking heck was I not able to create a simple online course???

To be honest, I still don‘t know.
I have accomplished SO much over the last years. I‘ve learned SO MUCH. And I‘m sure that I have all the equipment, all the tools, all the knowledge to actually do it. I do not know WHY on earth I can‘t seem to just do it.
I talked to a few people about it … and once in a while, one answer came up …

Maybe it isn‘t time yet. Maybe it‘s not supposed to happen yet.

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You know, this answer – at the time – made me a bit angry inside. I‘ve been working for this for YEARS – how can it not be the time YET. WHEN will the f***ing time be?

So – I just brushed that answer away when it popped up and fought on. The thing is … in terms of this one goal, I got nowhere.
Actually, I even got more away from my goal to be honest, than I would care to admit.
When I was looking back over the past year – over 2020 – I realized with a bit of a shock that I had hardly created any art at all! And that was not the worst. I actually had tried – and miserably failed – to get back into creating over the past year … But somehow … there was no joy in it.
And when I look at it now in retrospect it made me wonder … Was it maybe – just maybe – that I put so much pressure on myself with that f****** course, that I totally lost my joy in creating?

Whenever I started drawing or painting, I always had in my head that looming online course … and this thought:

„I should be creating for the course.“

I probably don‘t need to tell you that this was kinda a mood – or joy – killer and as soon as I tried to start a creative routine, I stopped it again. I could not seem to stick to anything creation-wise. And the worst bit – I just didn‘t feel the JOY when I tried.

Also, I had not written even ONE blogpost. And the thing is – I love writing. If I had to decide what I love more – creating art or writing – hugh! No idea how to decide. I love both. They are both so different, but both so utterly enjoyable. Or at least, they used to be.

So in the end – after another year – I had not created art, I had not written, but I also had STILL NOT created that (stupid) online course of mine. And it made me feel SO miserable!

And that is when I realized, this approach of mine – trying to just push through – clearly is NOT working.
Also, it‘s just stupid. I have accomplished SO much last year. I have had my third successful year as a freelancer – yes, not as an artist, but STILL – and I have grown so much and reached so many other goals. But this ONE stupid goal that I keep chasing, just made everything else feel like nothing and me miserable even though I should be grateful and happy and content!

So, I finally gave up. I surrendered. I let go!

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I thought very long and hard about what I REALLY wanted for 2021!
Yes, it was VERY tempting to put „create own online course“ as my number one goal again. I took some time and let go of that goal. And as always with letting go – I‘m not gonna lie – it wasn‘t easy.

But I thought about what I had really really missed over the last year!
And I realized – I didn‘t miss that online course!
I missed CREATING.
I missed making art.
I missed paint on my fingers … (and sometimes on my shirts, too).
I missed the wonderful happy feeling of looking at a finished piece. (Even though no piece ever really feels „finished“ to me – but that‘s a whole other topic.)
I missed writing.
I missed … this. Talking to YOU.
Yes, it probably sounds a bit crazy, but this – creating art, writing about it, sharing it with you – that is what brought me JOY! And this is what I was missing. This JOY!

So, instead of putting the online course on my goals list … I put

„Follow my JOY“

And that is what I will try to do this year!

I will try to – once again – make it a priority to do the things I love, just for the joy of doing them.
I will put paint to paper, glue, sketch, horribly ruin pieces, but also find treasures, that I didn‘t know exist. And I will write.
Not everything will be on the blog – because that‘s simply the way it is with writing. Some of it is meant to be shared, and some is just crap. But it‘s the process that counts! The process that brings JOY. So, that‘s my plan. And I will try to share with you how I get along.
So, if you have been following me for a bit and were hoping for an online course to come out soon – I‘m telling you now that there will be no online course in the near future. However, I will hopefully share with you once again my creativity, art, writing … and hopefully inspire you!

Do you have any plans or ideas for 2021?

Or have you let go of something?
Can‘t wait to hear from you in the comments – or if you prefer – via email.

P.S. If you happen to enjoy my “Let go” piece of art … it’s a mixed media piece on wood. And I’m willing to let this one go, too. ;-) You can find it in my etsy shop.

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One Response to Let go – about setting goals and finding joy

  1. Cheryl says:

    Ursula, I love this and really relate to it! You have given me much to think about letting go in my life too. Thank you for sharing! It’s so wonderful to see your joyful art again! Happy 2021! ❤️

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