The nights are getting chilly, all the stores are full of pumpkin pie spice, and the afternoons have that golden glow that only Autumn can bring…it’s a good time to evaluate where I’m at before the whirlwind of holiday fun comes blowing my way.
So what were the goals I set up for the past three months?
Goal #1 Get started on finishing the picture book
Goal #2 Prepare for art exhibition at the library
So how am I doing? The months have passed and I’ve barely done anything on goal #1. Why? It’s too big. Real life has been so crazy this past year that every time I sat down to do anything with this goal it was absolutely overwhelming. I tried breaking it down into chunks by making that little progress chart I shared a while back, but I think even those chunks are still too big. But let’s pause on goal #1 for a second and move on to the next one.
Goal #2 turned out much better. I’m making good progress and steadily adding more critters to Redbubble. I have bookmarks, a physical email sign-up sheet, and other paraphernalia for any physical appearances or book signings I might go to. A library opportunity I thought was going to happen got delayed and may not actually happen, but overall I’ve still been successful because it’s only a minor set back. I still have library connections even if the precise event they said would happen has been postponed. I can still create an event on my own with the other library I have connections with.
It’s not finished, but I’m pleased with the progress I’ve made on goal #2. So why am I barely past the first step on goal #1?
It’s a good lesson on the importance of what makes a good goal. Perhaps for someone else with the right mindset and life circumstances, goal #1 would be perfectly fine. Maybe my checklist would work for them even though it didn’t work for me. Each of us is different, and each of us needs to be realistic on our current season of life, our health, our workload, and how much time we can create.
This is not an excuse, but it is a reminder to be patient with oneself. It is also an opportunity to try again and find out what does work. It’s not failure if one keeps trying!
So with that in mind, what might work for me?
I said that goal #1 was too nebulous. “Get started on finishing the picture book.” I set up a progress chart of goals. That counts as “getting started” right? Goal accomplished. See the problem? There’s no defined target, so it’s impossible to actually feel accomplished even if I technically actually did what I set out to do.
To be fair, I did set up the chart of smaller goals. But I think even the progress chart still has the same problem. Each task is still too big, with little definition for an actual target in any sort of time frame. A better goal would be “draw a spot illustration each week.” It’s small, it’s concrete, and there’s a time limit to do it. Even better if I limit it to the drawing, with no coloring involved. Besides, I want to do all the coloring at once instead of switching back and forth. It’s easier to get into the rhythm that way and the finished illustrations are more even.
So for the final months of the year I’ll try to focus on that. Progress on Paleopetshop stuff will be small with the holidays coming up, but like I always say, small progress is better than no progress! I’m ok with being a tortoise instead of a hare.
My lessons for this month…
- Be patient with yourself. The difference between an excuse and self-understanding is one’s willingness to work with or around those limitations instead of fighting against them or blaming them for failure.
- Keep coming back to your goals to reevaluate them. Use set backs or limitations as opportunities to grow. If you are not accomplishing a goal, then look at your reasons for doing it or your target. We are all unique and our motivations reflect that. Reframe your target as many times as needed until you find what works best for you.
And the Critter of the Month is…
Ichthyosaurus cruised the shallow seas of early Jurassic Europe. Where exacty? The Blue Lias Formation at Lyme Regis, on the Southwestern coast of Dorset, England. In this area known as the Jurassic Coast, Mary Anning discovered the nearly complete fossil of Ichthyosaurus communis in 1821. Since then, as with many other fossils at the time, it was a way to group other Ichthyosaurs into the same pile until at last there was enough fossil material to separate them into different genus.
Just in case you are new here, the genus would be a group of specific animals, like Zebra. Species define that already defined group of animals even more, like the Grevys Zebra, Plains Zebra and Mountain Zebra.
There are six known species of Ichthyosaurus, all known from Lyme Regis. A few isolated fossils have been discovered in other places around Eaurope, including Portugal and Germany.
- I. communis– The first discovered and the type species.
- I. larkini– Very similar in size to I. communis (6.5-8 feet long)
- I. somersetensis– The largest species (about 10 feet long).
- I. conybeari– The smallest species (about 5 feet), but lived later in the Jurassic than the others.
- I. anningae– The most recently discovered species.
- I. breviceps– Another species discovered by Mary Anning. Its snout is shorter than the others.
Ichthyosaurus was perfectly adapted for a life in the water. A dolphin-like body and crescent-shaped tail- similar to some of the fastest ocean fish- make it a strong and speedy swimmer. Large eyes and dense bones in the inner ear give it excellent vision and hearing under water. Perhaps it regularly dove down to greater depths, or maybe its favorite food lurked in the deep during the day, but migrated closer to the ocean’s surface at night? Better for night hunting if you don’t dive deep. The questions and possibilities for interesting behavior are endless.
It’s a bit ironic that I say that, and yet Flipper is all by himself in an empty sea. Ah well…I just wanted to give him a slightly more interesting background than just blue for his critter profile. I mostly wanted an excuse to paint water shinies like I did with Chum. We can call it a study in light and water. 🙂
Now that Flipper is all nice and shiny he is ready for adoption! Just click on the picture below or CLICK HERE to go to Redbubble and take a look at him.
See you December 1st for the next Critter of the Month!
This dino loves to sing and dance with her friends.