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Set cre­ative in­ten­tions for 2019

Mollie Makes - - News - Words: LOT­TIE STOREY Il­lus­tra­tion: CHLOÉ JOYCE

There are points in the year when thoughts, mood or cul­ture make us nat­u­rally in­clined to start afresh. Septem­ber is one, with its post-hol­i­day, back-to-work feels and new pen­cil smell. Jan­uary is the other big one. The stan­dard mar­ket­ing mes­sage – new year, new you – may be ap­peal­ing to those of us who en­joy start­ing over and be­gin­ning a new page, but is New Year’s Day re­ally the best time to throw out the old and be­gin all over again? Not nec­es­sar­ily. This year, try find­ing ways to ditch the pres­sure in favour of fo­cus­ing on the good, and spend time de­cid­ing how you want the cre­ative months ahead to look.

TAK­ING STOCK

The post-Christ­mas lull shouldn’t just be spent look­ing for­ward to 2019 – it’s also a good time to have a look back on what you achieved in 2018, both per­son­ally and cre­atively. You might like to have a scroll through your cam­era roll or so­cial me­dia pro­files, or flip back through your note­books and sketch­books from the year gone by to jog your mem­ory and help hone in on those best bits and yay mo­ments.

As well as the big wins, think back to some of the less ob­vi­ous steps you took – per­haps you com­pleted a huge project, or maybe mas­ter­ing a new stitch took your craft­ing in an un­ex­pected new di­rec­tion? What­ever your wins, be sure to write them down and then set an alert in your cal­en­dar for six months from now – a kind mes­sage to fu­ture you to re­mind you just how far you’ve come.

NEW YEAR, OLD YOU

Want to dive deeper? Be­ing more in­ten­tional about paus­ing to re­flect and doc­u­ment through­out the year could be just what you need to set you up for 2019. Stylist and writer Han­nah Bul­li­vant ( www.seed­sand­stitches.com) has a plan. For the past nine years, she and her hus­band Dave have col­lab­o­rated on their Jan­uary Book. “Put sim­ply, it’s the note­book we use to re­view the year that’s passed and plan for the year to come,” says Han­nah. “We credit this process for be­ing the ba­sis for many of our mega life de­ci­sions, from hav­ing ba­bies to work­ing on our mar­riage, chang­ing ca­reers, hir­ing coaches and mak­ing bet­ter health de­ci­sions.” Bold claims in­deed! “The rea­son our Jan­uary Book is so ef­fec­tive is be­cause of how lit­tle we stop to do this,” she ex­plains. “We get so caught up in the de­tails of our ev­ery­day that we for­get to stick our heads up above the noise and just look at where we are against where we’d like to be.”

Look­ing back and putting pen to pa­per can re­veal your new di­rec­tion, but you also need to give your­self time. As Han­nah points out: “It’s called ‘The Jan­uary Book’ be­cause as well as be­ing some­thing to start the year with, it refers to the fact it can take the whole of Jan­uary if you want it to.”

Han­nah’s Jan­uary Book is an easy way to struc­ture your plan­ning in a way that fits with your life. Af­ter all, one of the nicest things about grow­ing older is you be­gin to know your­self bet­ter. What works for some­one else might be ex­actly what doesn’t work for you, so it’s im­por­tant to fig­ure out your own per­sonal likes and dis­likes. Elise Blaha Cripe ( www. elise­joy.com) agrees. “I’ve learnt so much by just be­ing hon­est about who I am and what I can do,” she says. “And then work­ing hard to im­prove and grow!” As the cre­ator of daily plan­ner and goal set­ting work­book the Get to Work Book, Elise knows plenty about how best to man­i­fest your in­ten­tions. “Write them down, share what you’re work­ing to­wards out loud, doc­u­ment your progress and build mile­stones along the way. Make your­self check in and be will­ing to re-eval­u­ate.”

RING THE CHANGES

The be­gin­nings of a plan, then. But as part of our mak­ers’ man­i­festo, let’s be kind to our­selves while main­tain­ing that mo­men­tum. Emma Hodg­son ( www.the­lifestyle­coach.me) is a lifestyle coach and men­tor. Her words of wis­dom when con­tem­plat­ing a new year? “My best ad­vice is to only set goals you re­ally want to achieve; ones that align with your why and your vi­sion. Don’t make res­o­lu­tions just for the sake of it, or you’ll only feel dis­ap­pointed for not see­ing them through.” So what can make the dif­fer­ence when try­ing to re­alise your aims through­out the year? “A goal is for life, not just for Christ­mas!” she laughs. “Write your goal out ev­ery day, not just on Jan­uary 1st. This sends a clear mes­sage to your sub­con­scious mind, helps you get crys­tal clear on what you ac­tu­ally want and keeps you mo­ti­vated in or­der to get it.”

What­ever your in­ten­tions, how­ever you choose to mark the pass­ing of the year and the pro­gres­sion of your craft, just make that jour­ney count. Cel­e­brate the lit­tle things along the way, and achiev­ing those goals will be all the sweeter.

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