self portrait new mexico by christian beranek
Photography by Christian Beranek

Alright, first blog post of 2017, almost a full week after the new year has started.

First, I want to catch y’all up on what’s been happening.

For the last two to three weeks of December 2016, I was not only celebrating Christmas and New Year’s with the family, but also…

  • mailing out Thoughtful Dinosaur rewards,
  • finishing a gig I started before Halloween,
  • finishing a private commission, and
  • preparing to transition to full-time freelancing for 2017.

You read right – due to some surprise circumstances from just before Christmas, I will be transitioning to full-time freelance work by the end of February 2017.

As such, when I thought of my New Year’s Resolutions, I thought about what would help me not only stay on track for work, but keep me happy and healthy while working out of a home studio.

(Not to mention that with the ACA being repealed, I would have no health insurance, meaning one of my safety nets would be gone. Gotta stay healthy so I don’t bankrupt myself on the Right-Wing Reich’s medical bills.)

With all this in mind, I came up with three goals to achieve daily: everyday I will

  • Draw one page in my sketchbook,
  • meditate, and
  • write 500 words.

These are to help build up to my big goals of the year:

  • make more art to compile into books, print series, and sketchbooks,
  • edit/rewrite 3 comic scripts to completion, and
  • de-stress more easily,

There are other goals in mind, but most are finance-related and I don’t want to go into those (unless you WANT me to talk about personal finance, in which case leave a comment below and let me know).

There is one other goal I have, but it has a bit of a varying schedule. That is to keep exercising and stay in shape.

My current day job keeps me active, but when I go freelance full-time, that day job activity is gone. I’ll need new ways to keep in shape.

This is going to sound like a sponsor but it isn’t – thankfully I have an app called 7 Minute, which times you through a 7-minute long workout. There’s the classic, abs, legs, and butt workouts to choose from, which is quite the change – back when I first had the app, the last two workouts had to be purchased or unlocked by doing specific circuits. Now that I uninstalled the app, then installed it again, the workouts are just there.

Another goal I have (because I’m an overachiever but also like incorporating new things into my routine) is to write songs on the ukulele.

purple ukulele

This adorable cutie is my new ukulele. Her name is Freddy.

I’ve played ukulele before, but only memorized four chords to heart. Not only that, but I know near-nothing about music theory or how to write songs.

To correct this, I’m going to practice more chords more often, and train my ear and musical ability with a new app that is also not sponsoring this, Perfect Ear.

Keep in mind, though, that my musical background up to now has included a brief stint in concert music in middle school, a failed stint at learning guitar, a successful gig learning to play Taiko drums, and playing ukulele for a year before leaving it for nearly two and coming back to it now.

So, if you have tips or tricks on learning to play instruments and get better at them, or how or what to practice, please leave a comment below.

The other goals I have (drawing, writing, and meditating everyday) I have done before. Now it’s just a matter of getting back into the swing of it.

Next blog post I’ll be talking more about what to expect when I break out of the day job in February.

Thank you for reading!

You. Are. Awesome.