Archive for the ‘Goals and Plans’ Category

Shiftin’ “IT” – How I Do What I Do

March 28, 2011

“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.”

– The Cheshire Cat, from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland

"Tangled Web #5" ©2010 Ayn Hanna "16x10" Textile Painting (cotton fabric, cotton batting, cotton thread) mounted to 24"x18" canvas

One of my readers recently asked, “How are you able to get your art done while also juggling a family and full-time day job – How do you do all that you do?  This seems to be a pretty popular question, so I’m going to try to answer it.

Lucky for me, I’ve always been a good planner.  And, I’ve also had some good training in project planning, organizational development – strategic planning and visioning, and graphic recording (drawing and writing down plans/outputs from meetings in organized ways).

I am currently a Shift-IT coach-in-training.  Over the past year I have been working to complete the coursework to become a certified Shift-IT coach, facilitating several clients through the Shift-IT personal strategic visioning and planning process.  I’ve been using the Shift-IT process on my own strategic visioning and planning too.

The Shift-IT process is a set of 7 process steps and 17 visual map templates – a strategic planning process for individuals – designed by Christina Merkley (aka “The Shift-IT Coach”) to help individuals make “shifts” in whatever areas of their lives they want more satisfaction with, and to identify, soften, and soothe the internal resistance we often have to achieving those shifts.

How I do the things I do

In a nutshell, here’s what I have found works for me to achieve my goals (and how I have used the Shift-IT process for my own planning):

1. DREAM BIG: I start with developing a clear vision of my goals – who and what I want to be and have by a certain date in the future.  Within the Shift-IT Process, this step is called “Focus on your Future” and one of the key outcomes is the Magnetism Map (Clear Vision of your Future).

2. CREATE A “TAKE ACTION PLAN” and WRITE IT DOWN: I use a framework for planning out my major strategies to achieve my vision goals, with detailed tasks, dependencies, and timelines associated with achieving the strategies brainstormed and WRITTEN DOWN on sticky notes, which I then group and arrange on the wall.  Within the Shift-IT Process, the applicable map is the “Take Action Plan” where you identify your big action areas (strategies) and then write down the “mini-tasks” needed to achieve them.

Take Action Plan

3. MEASURE PROGRESS to achieve GREAT RESULTS: Any tasks that haven’t started yet sit on the left hand side of the wall.  Tasks that are in progress are moved into the middle of the page, and adjusted to the right as they near completion, and then completed tasks are moved to the far right of the wall. I am a visual person and I love being able to actually “see” the progress I’m making as sticky notes move across the wall to the right!

My dynamic 2010 Take Action Plan

4. REPEAT STEPS 1-3 to keep revising my Vision and Plan as I accomplish goals and new goals emerge:  As I complete tasks and strategies, new goals emerge (We’re not the same people now that we were yesterday or even 5 minutes ago).  One of the coolest things about achieving goals is how new goals-new rockets of desire-emerge along the way….we’re never finished creating our next selves!

5. HUSTLE and NEVER GIVE UP:  Work smarter and enjoy the journey!  Always get back up, dust off, check parts, take note of new learnings, and move on.

Proof it Works

I have achieved AMAZING results in the progress of my art career over the past year and I attribute a good deal of this to using the SHIFT-IT process.  This SI process is powerful – it’s like putting rocket boosters to whatever “IT” is you want to shift – I’ve experienced it personally and had the privilege to witness it with my clients as well.

A few highlights of achievements that I have accomplished (or will before 2011 is complete) with my art career that just one year ago were mere goals and tasks written on sticky notes stuck to my wall:

1. I have had work accepted into several local, regional, and national juried exhibitions, received my first award, and had my work sell during the show.

2. I held my first ever (and now annual) open studio show.

3. I have been accepted into the Fort Collins Studio Tour event to be held in June 2011, so now will be hosting 2 Open Studio Shows in 2011.

3. I created a website AND a blog AND a Facebook Fan page for my art, and on April 6th, I’ll be celebrating my 1 year anniversary of my blog.

4. I will be teaching my first Visiting Artist Workshop, Art Cloth: Unique Hand-Printed Fabric, this summer at the Ah Haa School for the Arts in Telluride, CO.

5. I have been invited to participate in a 2 person show at a local gallery space in Fort Collins in the fall this year.

This is a quick overview of how I approach goal setting and action planning.  There’s certainly more to it than can be captured in one blog post, so if there’s interest, I may dive into more details in further posts.  Thanks for reading and joining me on my journey!



January 19, 2011

"Play Date" ©2010 Ayn Hanna, 10.5"x11", Textile Painting (cotton fabrics mostly hand-dyed by the artist, cotton threads machine and hand stitched)

Up until a few hours ago, I thought my word for the year was going to be BREATHE.  In fact, I have a draft blog post almost completed about why I was choosing that word.

And then it hit me smack in the face during an encounter with a colleague at my day job today, my word for 2011 really needs to be BOUNDARIES.


Because I need to start developing better ones across multiple areas of my life to be able to spend my time and energy on that which truly matters.  And there’s so much attached that’s connected to or an output of having good boundaries.

Developing healthy boundaries, and then honoring them when they are challenged, is not only being adult and professional, it’s acknowledging to myself that I matter.  It’s a confidence builder to set and honor boundaries.

Setting boundaries at my day job (where i’m aghast at times how far some will push across them) can be tough, but oh so necessary.  It also creates conflict (makes others uncomfortable) to go against the status-quo, stand up for oneself, and be the voice of what needs to be said, in a room where there is no air because the elephants are everywhere and no one’s acknowledging them.  But when I stop and think about how NOT having good boundaries here impacts so many of the other important aspects of my life (like time for family, my art, my exercise & health, my stress level), it’s much easier to re-assert myself and re-draw those lines that get trampled so often.

It’s also not just about the day job.  It’s acknowledging that little voice inside, that burn in the gut, each time a boundary gets breached.  The first part of that is awareness, and then being able to respond appropriately (ok, tactfully) in the moment  comes next.  I’m getting better at this, but increasing my focus on this word will help me keep developing this skill.

My ultimate goal for choosing BOUNDARIES as my word for 2011 is to be able to have more FUN, spending more time on the things that really matter to me.  So, it’s not a major shift from my FIERCE JOY focus of 2010, rather an evolution of it.  And during those times of conflict, when I’m having to address a line being crossed, I’m also going to keep my other word, BREATHE, close at hand.

(By the way, the image above is a new textile painting I just made for the SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Association) organization’s traveling trunk show, “This is a Quilt”.  This is to be an exhibition of small pieces that will be used for educational purposes, traveling by request, to help teach about how broad the definition of contemporary quilts can be.  The first place these will be displayed will be at the SAQA annual convention, which will be in Denver this year, May 19-21 at the Brown Palace Hotel.)

Endings and Beginnings, Looking Backwards and Forwards

January 7, 2011

"Tangled Web #10" © Ayn Hanna, 17"x12", Textile Painting (cotton fabric hand-dyed and discharged by the artist, cotton batting, cotton threads) mounted to canvas

Happy New Year!

My mind is spinning, awash in all the things that this time of year usually brings about:

Reflection, acknowledgement, and appreciation of all that I experienced, learned, and achieved in the past year.

Appreciating and realizing how I need to do better at making time for my important relationships with myself, my partner, family, and friends.

Planning my art/coaching career goals for this new year (including plans for completion of yet-to-be-completed goals from the previous year’s list such as my Shift-It Graphic Coaching Certification).

Selecting a single word as focus for this year (last year I chose 2 words, FIERCE JOY).

Slaying Dragons in my all-too-full-time-make-my-eyes-bleed-from-staring-at-a-computer-screen-for-11+hr-days Day Job. (I’m actually very grateful for my day job, even if I have to constantly keep reminding myself of that.)

Writing thank you cards to my art collectors (I sold 11 pieces – 5 textile paintings and 6 prints – through our First-Ever-and-then-Annual Hanna-Hooly Holiday Open Studio Show in Dec.).  The image above, Tangled Web #10, was one of the 5 textile paintings sold at the Open Studio Party.

This is a quick short post today as I am off to attend an art opening tonight, but will have more to share soon regarding 2010 accomplishments and 2011 goals & plans.

Fierce Joy – Words to Live by!

July 26, 2010

(c) 1990 Ayn Hanna, Self Portrait, Mixed Media drawing w/cloth apron, 60"x48"

It’s hot, hot, hot here in CO.  The summer heat is upon us and the year half gone.  So many wonderful things are happening with my life and art career and time is racing by.  I was doing a quick check-in recently on my big picture plan and the goals I set at the beginning of the year, and really thrilled with how many things I’ve already accomplished from my list.

In this moment of reflection, I was also reminded of the word(s) I chose for this year – Fierce Joy.  The idea of choosing a word to focus on for the year came from Christine Kane’s Resolution Revolution – the idea being that you choose 1 word as your touchstone, a word that helps you focus your energies at “the BE” level (rather than the DO or HAVE levels), because when we achieve the “BE”ing, the DO and the Have are easy followers.

This concept also relates to the idea of finding the feeling place in Law of Attraction principles, which Christina Merkley (aka the Shift-It Coach) explains so well in her article, “Finding the Feeling Place of Success”.  (Having had first hand experience with the Shift-It process, I highly recommend this program for anyone who has anything in their life they are ready to “Shift”.  All this great stuff I’ve got going on right now in my life has come in part as a result of completing my own Shift-It process, including my Big Picture and Take Action Plans.)

I have been living my Fierce Joy this year, especially with development of my art career.  A few accomplishments to date:

  • My website, blog and flickr sites are all “live”. (This accomplishment is so much bigger than that short sentence can convey.  Wow, I really had no idea how big this was when I started.  Somehow that sentence almost needs it own page and really BIG font!)
  • I’ve made new art work which I feel are good high quality pieces and have furthered my development as an artist.
  • I’ve developed more of a network of artist friends, colleagues, and new organizations I’m a part of.
  • I’ve entered several juried shows and am showing my work in several locations.

Current and Upcoming Shows

Here are a list of shows where you can see my work, now and through the rest of the year:

There may be others as the year marches on, but this is what I know of at this point.  Please stop by if you can to any of these shows.  I plan to be at all of the opening receptions of all the CO shows and hope to see lots of you there!

Have you selected one word for 2010?  If not, maybe you’d like to pick your word now, it’s not too late.  And if (like me) you can’t decide on just one,  maybe 2 will do.  If  you have one (or 2) selected and would like to share, I’d love to hear about your word in the comments below.

Stay cool out there!

Feeling My Way and New Work in Progress

June 28, 2010

Finding the Feeling Place

Tangled Web #1 (in progress) (c) 2010 Ayn Hanna (24" x 24") Textile Painting (cotton canvas, hand-dyed cotton, fabric paint, paint sticks)

Time is flying by and it’s been awhile since my last post.  I have been busy with multiple tasks – the day job, starting some new artwork and contemplating my creative career path, de-cluttering and making space at home – preparing for my life partner to move here in Aug, and trying to keep on a regular exercise schedule.   It can be a bit overwhelming sometimes – just re-reading that last sentence gets my adrenaline going!

I’ve got lots going on in my mind-many, many thoughts, and very exhaustive, vivid dreams.  There are lots of really good things happening and I’ve got some goals and plans defined.  But in many ways, things are very unclear for me right now, and even though that is an uncomfortable place for me to be, I know it’s exactly where I need to be.  I am smack dab in the middle of “It”, figuring “It” out, day by day.

I have some great tools, resources, and helpful guides, all of which I am calling upon to help me figure this path out.  Some days it seems clear, and others, not so much.  There’s a part of me that would love to be able to see (and articulate) my career plan for the next 5, or 10 years, but I’m just not there right now.   So, I’m doing a lot of contemplating, asking lots of questions, and tuning into my feelings, finding what feels good and visioning more of that in my life.  The rest will come eventually.  This is a new approach for me, slowing down instead of speeding up, when I’m not sure of my next move, so the process is just as new and uncomfortable right now as not knowing the path.  This is a grand journey!

Speaking of what feels good….  My “Wall Drawing” textile painting was selected for the “Evolutions 2010” show at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum, Aug 3 – Oct 30 with an opening reception on Aug 6.  If you live near Golden, CO, I hope you will drop by to see the show.   While completing this piece, I got some new ideas for more work with this subject matter/forms, so I’ve now started planning the next textile painting in this series.  I’m excited to see how this will evolve.

New Work in Progress – Tangled Webs

While I’m planning my next piece in the Wall Drawing series, above and below are some new pieces that I already have in progress.

Tangled Web #2 (in progress) (c) 2010 Ayn Hanna (24" x 24") Textile Painting (cotton canvas, hand-dyed cotton, fabric paint, paint sticks)

I started these a few months ago.  They emerged as I was doodling and day dreaming and they have been another exploration of techniques – resists, fabric paints, and paint sticks.   I created the “webbed” imagery through application of multiple layers of resists (both painted on and physical objects laid on) and fabric paints as well as paint sticks.  I didn’t take any in-process photos as I was too wrapped up in “the doing” and forgot to, but I think I’ll have more opportunity to do so in the future because this technique seemed so natural to me, I’m sure I’ll be doing more with it.  I like the contrast of the rich textured dark painted/resisted web drawings with the subtle light valued, airy border fabric which are pieces of my own hand-dyed fabric.

Tangled Web #3 (in progress) (c) Ayn Hanna (24" x 24") Textile Painting (cotton canvas, hand-dyed cotton, fabric paint, paint sticks)

With these pieces especially, I am discovering that the imagery and “feel” or idea I have of my emerging subject matter seems to drive the techniques for realization of the finished work.  Each piece becomes what it needs to be. These are all works in progress, and I’m not really ready to talk much about them yet (I’m still working through my own understanding of them), but they are very intriguing to me, and have some importance.  I guess they are in some ways a parallel to what I’m feeling with my career right now too.  I have many questions that I am contemplating right now and I am feeling my way to discovering my next self.

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