I’ve never been one for New Years Resolutions. Perhaps working at a fitness center when I was 18 jaded me, but I’ve never seen the point in setting new goals for oneself simply because the calendar year has changed over.
However, after a year like last year, I’ve gained some new perspective for moving forward into 2017.
2016 was crazy.
I released 3 albums.
It was definitely the year of music. It’s crazy to put pen to paper and realize the full weight of it but…The LOVE Project was a success! Thanks to, not only the 142 individuals who supported me financially, but all of the artists, musicians, photographers, designers & cinematographers who contributed their gifts & talents, this dream of releasing 3 albums in one year came to light.
(These people include: Neil Greenhaw, Lauren & London Greenhaw, Ryan Ceola, Brooke Ceola, Jeff Hall, Brandon Robold, Russell Dorch, Max Maxwell, Ryan O’Leary, Molly Rose, John Bretzlaff, Jonathan Sisk, Peter Crumb, Tim Michuda, Jordan Vittum, Tori Vittum, Esther Moorfoot, Maxwell Davis Shaw, Jesse Taylor, Nevene Abunada, & Shavone Anderson.)
So now that the music has been made, you might be wondering what my plans are next. You might not have been, but I’ll tell you anyway :)
2016 was definitely a year of living out my dreams and seeing so many of them come to fruition. I wish I could tell you that I enjoyed every minute of it, but if I’m honest, I let my type-A temperament get the best of me a lot and I worked a little too hard, stressed myself out and worried a little too much, and didn’t take the time to celebrate the victories. So, that’s New Year’s Resolution #1:
#1. Celebrate The Victories
Perhaps it’s perpetuated by climate of competition we all experience on social media, maybe it’s a musician thing, but sometimes the pursuit of these goals can turn into a rat race where, with every step forward, instead of seeing how far you’ve come, you focus on how far you have yet to go to get to where you want to be. The result of this is a constant state of discontentment and exhaustion. I’ve seen many social media posts the last few months from industry friends who are admitting how tired they are. How they thought they could do more than they could. And how they’ve decided to slow down and “smell the roses.” I’m in the same boat. And it’s no wonder. We share things because we want to share our excitement with others, but instead it breeds a spirit of covetousness and competition…even with ourselves. In 2016 I celebrated every milestone and victory with more hard work. Most album release nights I was up late, on my laptop, getting work done for the next project. So whatever projects I tackle in 2017, I’m going to make sure to pop open a bottle of wine at a fancy restaurant and celebrate with friends and family.
I’m terrible at this. I don’t know how to rest. You know the scripture that says, “I beat my body and make it my slave[i]…?” Check. Got that one down. But the scripture (that happens to be one of the 10 Commandments) that says; “Honor the Sabbath day and keep it Holy[ii]…?” Whoops. #Fail
A couple years ago my lack of rest caught up to me and I developed health problems. And apparently, didn’t learn my lesson, because it happened again this fall. So 2017 will be a year of making new habits. Perhaps it may mean multitasking less…like actually watching a movie without doing something on my laptop at the same time. Maybe it’s just the simple discipline of blocking out time in my calendar each day for different restful activities I enjoy. Whatever the case may be, my second New Years Resolution is to rest.
#3. Play Hard, Work NOT as Hard
I’m a really hard worker. I’m not bragging, I’m confessing. Obviously if I don’t know how to rest to the point of developing health problems, it’s clear I’m really good at working. I’m also really good at taking life way too seriously and not having enough fun. Shocker, right? In all seriousness (ha) my resolution for 2017 is to liven it up and lighten it up. To play more. To laugh more. I have been blessed with a community of amazing friends and family, all of whom are quite interesting and frankly entertaining people. Honestly, I can’t think of a better way to have more fun and laugh more than to make it a goal to spend more time with these people. It’s not uncommon for me to turn down plans with people for work. And it’s silly, really, because it’s not like I have this tyrant for a boss that I can blame for making me work late hours and never take vacations. (I’m self-employed). So, first order of business is taking a beach vacation and when I get back, taking mini-vacations throughout the week to play with my niece and nephew, hang out with my friends, and do more of the things I enjoy. So, take me at my word for it. Let’s go all 1990 and if you’re one of my close friends, I expect a phone call asking, “Hey K, do you wanna play?” Yes. The answer is yes.
This wouldn’t be a proper New Years Resolution post if I didn’t actually share some of my plans for 2017. Without any set deadlines or too many details, one of the ways I want to celebrate the victories is by continuing to celebrate each album I released in 2016. That said, in addition to continuing to travel and share these songs with people all over, I plan to release some music videos and lyric videos from each album.
One of my other goals, which shouldn’t come as much surprise, is to continue to write. In 2017 I’ll continue to write my own songs, songs for other artists, and blog. I also want to complete a book I’ve been working on for a while. No more details than that at this point, but putting it out there into the blogosphere is great accountability to make sure it will actually happen. Cause let’s face it, with each new creative venture comes new fears. But I’m excited for this book and how it might encourage people.
A few years ago I had a conversation with my old roommate about how I wanted my ministry to look. I had witnessed the shocking reality that there are many people that do great things for God, and accomplish great things, but unfortunately, get so wrapped up in the “work” they are doing, they forget that the real ministry they have been given is with the individuals they see on a daily basis. As sobering as that was for me to witness, I’m afraid it’s a lesson I’m still learning. I want to accomplish great things. I want to make the most of every second I’m here on earth. I want to spread the gospel, share my testimony, and see thousands of lives changed for the better because of the impact of my music and art. But I can make a “name for myself,” leave my mark on the world, and make a lot of noise, but it will only be just that, if I don’t love in the process. (1 Cor. 13:1) And that includes learning to love myself too. Maybe that might even be Resolution #4:
#4 LOVE better
I want to love well. But it’s difficult to love those around us if we don’t love, and care well for ourselves. If we are doing what scripture commands and “loving others as we love ourselves[iii],” but we aren’t very loving toward ourselves at all, it kind of negates the whole point of the command.
So, the overarching theme of my resolutions for 2017 is this: To continue the theme of The LOVE Project in learning to love God, others, and myself better in the new year, and the years to come.
Happy New Year everyone :)