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Christmas is over, and it’s nearly time to ring in another new year. That means it’s time to take stock of everything you’ve achieved over the last year, and set goals for yourself for 2013.

As an artist, you may find yourself being challenged by this task of goal setting. It can often be difficult to see where to move next. But it’s also exciting writing down your goals and resolutions and setting a path for future success. Having a goal in mind gives you something specific to work towards, and helps you keep away from distractions.

So what goals and resolutions will you be making in the New Year? Here are a few ideas to get you started:

1. I resolve to treat my art as a serious business

Many artists dream of making art their full time career, but never do anything about it beyond dreaming. Even if you don’t succeed in becoming a full-time artist, the lessons you learn about business, art, and yourself by treating your art as a business are highly valuable in whatever path you take. And a bit of extra money from selling your work will never go amiss.

So why not make 2013 the year where you strive to get serious about your art, and take the first steps toward making that dream come true.

2. I resolve to create an awesome website

Too many artists are still not utilizing online space to promote their work. I understand it can be daunting, especially if you’re not what the media terms “a digital native.” But the truth is that more and more people turn to the Internet first, for any need they have, and that includes the need for art.

People want to be able to order your work from your website or browse your portfolio on their iPad, so you should make 2013 the year you embrace digital and get your artwork online.

3. I resolve to embrace social media

Maybe you’ve already got the website, but no one is visiting it. You’ve heard about this social media thing—tweeting and Facebooking and blogging—but perhaps you aren’t sure how it will help your art business.

There are plenty of resources that can help you to get to grips with social media. Start with a few of the great articles on Empty Easel, such as 6 Twitter Tips For Artists, and 3 Easy Ways for Artists to Build Online Relationships.

4. I resolve to say “No”

Are you one of those people who are always doing things because you feel obligated to? Do you find time set aside for working on art is instead whittled away with chores and other people’s problems? Do you hear a little voice telling you that you’re silly for trying to be a professional artist?

Maybe it’s time you started saying “no” to the charity project you know is going to sap your energy, “no” to your spouse who wants you to run errands during your painting time, and “no” to that voice in your head that tells you you’re not good enough.

5. I resolve to learn more

If you’ve been an artist for any length of time, you’ll know your art is constantly evolving as you learn new techniques, explore new subjects and experiment with new mediums.

The same goes for running a business. The more you practice, the better you get. And there’s so much to learn, from running a successful website, to networking, to keeping track of expenses and putting together an exhibition or an open-studio event.

So why not resolve to make 2013 the year you improve your skills, either by learning more advanced art techniques and practices, or through improving your business skills. You could take classes at your local community college, get some books from the library, or take an online course.

6. I resolve to build my network

One of the things I’ve learnt over the past year is the power of a killer network of local business people. Recently, I joined a networking group. There are many such groups in your town, and although it may take some time to find one that works for you, they’re invaluable if you’re serious about building a successful art business.

Your network is there to act as your sales team. They’ll talk about your business to their friends and associates, and if someone says, “I need an artist. . .” you’ll be the person they recommend. And, you just never know whom that builder, banker or retail storeowner might know. So if you’ve been operating as a solo player, 2013 is the year to build a solid network of business and creative contacts.

These are just a few of the many potential goals and resolutions you could make as an artist in 2013. Whatever you choose to strive for, remember that anything is within your reach if you’re prepared to put the work in and believe in yourself.

*Note: this post may contain affiliate links*

I make it a habit to walk daily. Rain or shine in all but the harshest weather, I hook up the dogs and take to the path.

There are a long list of artists who do this, so I am never surprised when I read of or speak to an artist who makes it a practice to take a daily walk. There are studies that prove its worth to our brain function as well as our overall health. There are also. . . read more

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