I generally tend to get a slot near New Years Eve/Day here at Muddy Colors, and I enjoy that, because New Years is a good time to take a look back at the past year, and get your plans in order for the year coming. I know that you can “start a new year” really any time of year, but the end of the calendar year carries a cultural weight to it, and I really like starting off January, and going back to work after the holidays, feeling set up for success. In years past I’ve shared the priority-setting exercise I like to do every New Years Day to get my plans in order, and we’ve talked about Knowing What You’re Aiming At Before You Can Hit It. And in a normal year, I would be completely on board for all the usual goal-setting and priority-resetting…but this has not been a normal year, by any stretch of the imagination. Especially for artists.

So before we jump into the usual New Years rush of goals and plans and all of that, take some time. Don’t get caught up in the pandemic productivity hype. Even if getting things done makes you feel better, and in control. Just take a day, or a week, or as much time as you need. Read a book for fun. Make a piece of art for the enjoyment, or for the catharsis. Hug the loved ones you’re with, call the ones you can’t have close.

1 — If you made it to 2021, if you are reading this, you crossed off the most important goal: surviving.

2 — If you achieved some goals this year, congratulate yourself on getting anything done this year.

3 — If you did not achieve even a single goal you came into 2020 with, see #1.

I hate that “gratitude” has become a hashtag, because it feels cheesy to even say it right now, but this New Years Eve and Day will be focused on feeling grateful and celebrating making it through 2020. Not quite unscathed. (It’s been such a year that it makes me nervous to even say that before midnight on 12/31. Fingers crossed.)

So goals and plans and priorities can wait a day or two. We’ll celebrate what we can. Mourn what we can’t. Without feeling guilty about what we didn’t get done. And here’s hoping 2021 is a big improvement on 2020.