Was 2017 your creative year?
As 2017 draws to a close, you may have started to think about your year, and what you have or haven’t achieved. It’s a popular time for looking back, especially for businesses, but why not do it for your creativity and wellbeing?
What was your hope for the year?
To finish your book ?
To sell your work somewhere?
To get fitter, to lose weight, to be….better?
And did you do those things?
Seeing how far you have come can help you keep motivated going forward. Or, if you haven’t achieved what you hoped, even looking at what you HAVE done, can help. Because it is too easy to feel we haven’t done ANYTHING, when in reality we have moved forward, maybe we just haven’t finished. Maybe that element of finishing is the area you need to look at, not the actual doing of the creativity. Or perhaps for you it is the regular practise?
Reviewing can help us see our weak areas, and our stronger areas.
There are various ways to approach this, you may have kept a diary or have a word tracker for writing, so you can see your periods of busyness and the times it fell to one side. Perhaps you can look at what else was going on in those times, and what was going on when you were doing well? What else were you doing? Or not doing?
Even just your social media or if you are in an online forum, you can see your input, review your moods, your photos and posts.
There is also a tool that is used by psychologists and counsellors, but we can adapt it for creative coaching. This is the Wheel of Life approach. Basically we can use a wheel with the various areas of our lives to rate them, and see where we want to improve the score, and also where we are doing okay. I have an example for you below.
You put the areas of interest and rate them 0-10. You can just do the ratings if you don’t want to use the circle, but the point of the circle is to see the relative ups and downs of the different areas. So, rate the areas, where 0 is you’ve done nothing, and 10 is you are super happy with where you are in that area.Click Here to Download a Printable copy
Now, this might show you some disappointing news maybe you haven’t written as much or as regularly as you planned, maybe you still haven’t finished the book. But this review period is not to criticise yourself, there is no point beating yourself up, that never does any good. You can’t change what you didn’t do last month, but you CAN change what you do tomorrow and next week and next year.
Focus on the positive steps you can take rather than the things you didn’t do.
First of all what did you do? Did you attend courses or workshops, did you meet new people that share your creative passion. What made you feel happy? What made you feel empowered and positive?
How many words did you write?
What did you do for self care – did you attend a yoga class, or take up a fitness class, running, meditation…a new diet or regular massage treatment. All these things are positive, and, as I keep saying, creativity goes hand in hand with well-being, they feed each other. If we are happier we become more creative. Being fitter, eating good food, getting enough sleep…these things help us feel more positive, and increase our energy, and…. we create more.
Then, yes we need to look at the less good stuff, what we didn’t do. But rather than just saying how useless you are for not writing every day. Let’s think about the WHY? What stops you? Your own inner self? Or external influences? Can you change anything? In my book and course I talk about the 3D vision you need to develop – which is basically seeing what you can Dump, Delegate or get with Dollars (pay for).
So, consider what you can get help with, pay for or just get rid of?
Maybe you don’t sleep well, so you feel so groggy in the morning that you can’t get up and that is the time you say you will write? Can you get help with that? A better pre-bed routine, new pillow, see a sleep coach?
Can others in the household be more involved with chores to free up some of your time? Are the rest of your family sitting watching tv while you tidy up and do the laundry of an evening? If you shared the jobs how much time could you have back for yourself?
Or have you avoided employing a cleaner, or getting your ironing/gardening/laundry done by a local company because you feel that ‘people like you’ don’t do that sort of thing? Maybe that idea feels selfish or a waste of money…or some other reason why you don’t do it. Can we re-frame it, see it as employing someone, a small business, putting money into the local economy. A positive thing that comes from freeing up a few hours a week for your creativity?
Next time I’m going to look at planning for the next year, so we can hit those goals better going forward. But in order to change the future we do need to assess what has worked or not in the past, but then move on, make the changes. Commit to challenging your self and your blocks, commit to surprising yourself as to what you can achieve! Download the PDF if you want and have a go at the wheel. Or if you prefer to draw your own, or just make a list of areas and score them, do that. It doesn’t matter how you do it, but the exercise itself can be quite enlightening and help you plan how things might change for the better for you and your creativity in the next year.