This is the time of year when many people express their goals and desires for the year. Some want to lose weight, some want a new relationship, some want more money and some want to travel more. Whatever your goals for this new year are, consider adding one more. Commit to making this your most creative year yet.
We are all creatures of comfort and creatures of habit. Most New Year’s resolutions fail because change is hard and we quickly and predictably revert to what is safe and comfortable. Because creativity is like a muscle that needs to be worked, you simply need to begin choosing to be creative on a regular basis to make this goal a reality.
But what is the best way to accomplish this? You will certainly find your own path to creativity this year, but here are some concrete suggestions to embrace and incorporate a creative lifestyle:
Make Time For Creativity
Any goal requires some discipline to attain. We need to be intentional if we want creativity to power us this year. A creativity schedule can be a useful tool. In other words, set aside dedicated time (each day if you can) to allow creativity to grow and blossom in your life. Read something inspiring. Go for a hike. Cook a new dish. Listen to interesting music. Write something. Sketch something. Shoot some interesting photos or videos. Make something. The possibilities of what you could do are endless, and as you make this a habit, your actual activities will become secondary to the intentionality of participating in these activities. When you make this creative time for yourself regularly, you will enter into your creative flow faster and more easily.
Limit Barriers to Your Creativity
Think of all the things in your life that keep you from being your most creative. Netflix. Twitter. The kids. Email. Chores. Stress. Many barriers seem to appear out of nowhere when we want to or are trying to be creative. In his amazing book The War of Art, author Steven Pressfield calls these barriers “the Resistance.” Anything that stops or interrupts your creative flow needs to be identified and dealt with so that you can be free to create. Making dedicated space for creativity can be an effective way to shut off regular distractions and allow you to focus. But always keep in mind that some barriers are mental.
You need to come to your creative activities with an open mind and an open heart. There are no wrong answers. When you create, follow your impulses, your curiosities and your inspirations. Don’t allow comfort, safety, convention or practicality to interrupt your flow. Turn off the critical voices in your head and your heart and, as a result, your creativity will witness a renaissance.
If this year is to be a year of creative breakthroughs for you, you have got to be ready and open to experience and embrace change. This will be the year of new adventures. The creative mind sees the world not as it is, but as it could be. Often this means trying things that make you uncomfortable or even scare you. Get ready.
Your creative courage will be greatly rewarded as you try new things that you will come to love. New books, new places, new art, new voices, new relationships, new music, new experiences. As you try all these new things, you will find the status quo you’re leaving behind falls embarrassingly short. Comfort and safety are vastly overrated. If you’re not growing, you’re dying.
Surround Yourself with Fellow Creatives
Support and inspiration are key to having your most creative year yet. Who is someone in your life that encourages and inspires your creativity? Who is someone who lives and breathes creativity? Who is a total weirdo in your life? Who loves and accepts you no matter what? If you’re thinking of faces to match those descriptions, you need to be spending more time with those people this year. They will foster and nurture your creativity without any judgement.
If you can’t think of people in your life to fit these descriptions, it may be time to get outside your comfort zone and meet some new friends. How might you best do that? Go to places where free-thinking creatives might be- local music shows, craft or maker fairs, creative Facebook groups, festivals, poetry slams, etc. Finding places where creatives might congregate is an exercise in creativity in its own right! So… you should show up at these places or events and start talking to people. Again- this is about getting out of your comfort zone. Put yourself out there- you probably have some new best friends waiting to meet you. Just remember as you start these new relationships- Kindness is Magic. Be authentic and kind. You’ll be amazed how well a relationship blooms when a little kindness is sprinkled onto it!
Document Your Creative Journey
As you intentionally make time and space for more creativity this year, be sure to document and record your adventures. Take photos, videos and write down important creative breakthroughs. This reflection will inspire you to continue on your journey, and will also be a treasured legacy as you look back on it in years to come. Because creativity is a process and not a destination, taking time to enjoy the sights along the way only enhances the experience.
So where will this creative year lead you? What will you discover about yourself this year? Please keep us posted on your progress and check back in with us in the comments or on social media throughout the year. Above all, know that we are your biggest cheerleaders- be as weird and unique as you can imagine. Remember- there is only one you!