2017 Goal Check In: Mind Map Progress


I wrote my original mind map post back in January with my general goals. I checked in about halfway through in July. And now, here we are in the last few months of the year and I'm checking in again.

A few things have shifted, but not a ton has really changed since the past several months have been busy.

The overall theme now is focus.

I have a much stronger focus on certain things now, especially when it relates to career and side projects, and even fitness. 

2017 Mindmap (1).jpg

Career-related updates

As I've worked on various projects for my day job, freelance work, and myself throughout the year, I've come to fully acknowledge what I basically already knew: 

I am happiest when I'm creating things. 

It doesn't really matter what those things are, either.

In my day job I've been taking on a lot of visual design and illustration work, and the hours just fly by when I'm working on those types of projects. I've also done a few freelance gigs in the visual design realm and I enjoy them so much.

My other career-related truth:

I love research and data, but the kind of love most is qualitative and ethnographic in nature. 

While I'm fascinated by data science and analytics, those things do not make my heart sing. I'd much rather be gathering data through observation, interviews, and diary studies talking to real people about their problems. 

So what does all of that mean?

It means it's time to focus (back to that word).

I want to be a better artist, a better illustrator, a better designer...so rather than throwing my attention all over the place (digital marketing! data science!), I want to focus most of my time on what I really love.

One thing I still want to keep learning that isn't specifically creative, but is still helpful for my work is coding, so I'm still working through classes on that (still on Javascript for now).

Side project updates

This one is closely related to the career stuff, although, I consider side projects my personal stuff (not freelance work). 

I love watercolors!

I love watercolors!

I still have plans to get some products created and relaunch my jewelry business, and I have some ideas on how to make some updates to this blog with additional related content.But that's a slower process because of all of the other things I have going on.

I'll get there, though. I haven't lost sight of it and it ties in nicely with my overall career goals of better design, illustration, and art. 

I've made a conscious effort to sketch more. Daily, whenever possible, to keep the creativity alive and to just get better.

Fitness updates

I've really been all over the place here - literally. Multiple studio memberships, a gym membership, spinning, barre, yoga, running, paddleboarding, HIIT - all over the place. And while variety is good, I also don't have the time to do everything, especially not during a training cycle. 

So, I never got rid of that gym membership like I intended to do, and I'm so glad I didn't! I've been using it like crazy lately for the treadmill and BodyFlow classes. 

Treadmilling at the gym

Treadmilling at the gym

A few advantages to my gym - lots of class options so I don't have to have memberships here, there and everywhere, and it's super close to home so it's easy to get to pretty much any time of day. Again: focus.

The other thing I refuse to give up and need to make more time for is time on the water, whether that means paddleboarding or kayaking. We live so close to a few boat launches. We must use them!

To sum it up...

I can be (and do) anything, but I can't be (and do) everything. At least not all at once, and I'm not going to try.

With that in mind, I'm thinking about maybe starting industrial design classes (or a second Master's degree) in the nearish future.

But even before that, I'll be taking as many classes as I can and practicing as much as I can with any and all things art and illustration. And when I'm not doing immersing myself in creativity, you can find me on the road, at the gym, or on the water. 

How's your 2017 going? Can you believe it's almost over?