Set creative intentions for 2019
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.
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.