How to Start a New Year in a Creative Way

Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.
Bernice Johnson

Happy New Year Copyright Hanna Andersson

We all have good intentions as we approach January first each year. I know I was on a New Years High last year. This year I’m a bit calmer and wiser.

I think the most important thing this time of year is the reflective mood that I talked about yesterday. It comes naturally at the end of the year. If you have a longing to improve yourself, your life or your situation you do need to set the intention for change now. So let’s see how we can do that and start a New Creative Year in a creative way!

Pick your word

Pick a word that can follow you through the new year. It can be any word, but make it your own. It can be about your intention, your needs or your cravings. It might become a mantra to repeat when you need it or a mood you want to live in. I’ve only picked a Year Word once, but now I’m thinking about it again. Last time it proved to be the one thing I needed that year. It just came to me and I had no knowledge of how much I would need it or depend on it. It was quite magic.

This year my word will be different, and it is not coming to me as easy. The word I’m thinking of could be about my creative practice. I’m thinking of it as a gift I want to give to myself; writing, but I haven’t decided yet. Leah of Creative Every day blog has chosen leap to be her word of the year. I like that word and what it symbolizes very much, but as it is a lot about speed and moving fast, and I’m not about that at all, it’s not a good word for me. I’m still thinking…

What is your word?

* Word suggestions – to start thinking check out some great words on Ali’s list

Pick one daily creative practice

I’ve done daily cards with art during 2008 and I really love the daily creative practice. Making something into a habit is the best way to change your life, you know. I can not recommending it to you enough. Give it a try and see if it’s for you. You do not need to commit to 365 days of doing one thing, not at first. Just do it throughout January and then continue… and you don’t need to set up any particular rules. YOU just make up your mind and then you go forward with the intention to hold yourself to that promise. I did and now I’m at the last day today. I will miss making my Daily Art Cards for sure!

I’m not perfect, so you don’t have to be either. Daily Art Card 081228 Nobody can be everything. “Daily” was not for me, to tell you the truth. I would beat myself up for ever if I missed a day, so I never gave myself that rule. I don’t do good under that kind of pressure. I haven’t done my cards daily (and it wasn’t me who named them “dailies”) but dedicated a card to each day. I’m so impressed with those who has had a daily practice though, like taking a photo a day and so on. What a great accomplishment! I would so put that on my resume!

Daily Poetry

I just re-read some of the links I collected in last years goal setting post and found Alison’s post To resolve or not to resolve, where she wrote about how a set of rules really appealed to her. Isn’t it great how different we are? I hate rules and what took me through this year of Art Cards where that I hadn’t invented any rules to follow. But reading her post this year made me notice something new, and it was about writing. She wrote about her husband Andrew and how he wrote a daily poem for a whole year. Scribblings in a notebook. Reading that just makes my gut jump. That’s a route I want to go, and I’ve got the perfect notebook for it. A small, hand bound beautiful notebook with a pink cover and blank pages. I got this wee notebook for Christmas from my cousin Charlotta and I just know it’s perfect for poetry! I was just thinking how much I wanted to start filling it up, but had no idea with what… Poems will be the perfect stuffing for this tiny book as I think it’s too small to become a good diary.

Set your goals

Brainstorm, make lists of everything you could ever dream of. Don’t hold back, draw with wide brush strokes. Then take your pick and aim high. Or don’t. I don’t really know and as I’ve said I don’t think I have done well with my own prioritizing this year. I had a list and even though I have kind of succeeded, or at least started working towards my goals, I have made one giant mistake. I haven’t challen… ehh.. hee… wow. Writing is my thing. It makes me think and there you have my theme for the year! I need to challenge myself!

I need to challenge myself because that’s what I haven’t done in 2008, not at all. I have given in to my lazy side and prepared room for my fears to thrive. Staying indoors. Hiding out. Life have scared me and I’ve not dealt with it! I haven’t done anything crazy or scary by myself. I’ve been forced into situations and I’ve been scared yes. I’ve been a wedding photographer on my own for heavens sake! But I haven’t been challenging myself enough, I know that now. I need to get out of my comfort zone. And that is what I’ll do in 2009, walk out into the world and visit you all… Where I’ll end up? In my dream cottage or on that writing job I know I can do? …we’ll see.

New beginnings

And another thing I want to try during 2009 is taking writer Angela Booth’s advice:

Visualize and review your goals daily
Every day, for a minute or two, relax, and imagine how you’ll feel when you’ve achieved a goal. See yourself achieving the goal (writing every day, selling your mystery novel), and feel the feelings. Remember these feelings, and if you start to doubt yourself, visualize again. You’re aiming for a feeling of expectation.

In conclusion, I hope that next year brings harmony, happiness, art and love into everyones life and in my own.

My intention for next year will be about; writing, poetry, and challenging myself by stepping outside my comfort zone in every area possible of my life. Conquer new grounds, keep growing as a human being, connect with others and meet new people! How about that for goal setting? And don’t forget that 2009 will be The Year of the Art Journal as we’ve already decided. Okay!

Happy New Creative Year my friends!

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20 Responses to How to Start a New Year in a Creative Way

  1. MissKoolAid says:

    I picked my word last night, while reading Christine Kane’s article. In 2009, I need to focus on “Change.” See the change, be the change. 2008 was all about “new” and I did experience a lot of new things.

    A poem a day sounds like a fun thing to try. It’s been so long since I’ve written poetry. I think I might try it, at least for a week.

    Looks like we both need to get out of our comfort zone in the new year. We both need to seek adventures. And we’ll share them with the world!

    Happy new year dear friend, soul sister!
    *hugs*
    Sophie

  2. rowena says:

    I picked my word. It is “abundance,” because I am tired of living in lack, of not having enough or not being enough, of focusing on what is missing. I have a mantra. It is, “I am enough.” I also have a theme. 2009 is the Year of the Business Woman, as I confront my fears of stepping out into the world and asking for legitimacy from the world of money, authority, business, publications, and so on.

    And you know, I don’t think you should kick yourself for not challenging yourself this year. I think the way to really start this new life of challenge and adventure is to take it slow in the beginning, take baby steps, be aware of where you want to go, even if you’re still journeying in that zone of comfort. Last summer, I decided I wanted to join in with Dragonfly Reflections on her 100 days of sacred art… but I didn’t feel like I was up to it, felt like it was too much.

    But I kept the idea in my mind, doing a piece every now and again, taking on the Be Brave challenge, doing prompts from Illustration Friday and Inspire Me Thursday, and then, all of a sudden, I realized I was there. I was ready for my daily painting challenge. And here I am at the end of the year, and I have been creative almost every day since then. If I had forced myself into a place I didn’t feel ready for, pushed too hard, I might have broken, lost the fire, but I let it come more naturally, and it evolved into a new habit. One that I would like to take to the new, next and REALLY scary level in 2009.

  3. Shell says:

    Hanna, I hope you don’t mind I gave a shout out on my blog about your post on the end and beginning of the New Year. I’ve been inspired by your writings. I love those daily art cards. I wish you all the best in 2009. Breaking that comfort zone is easy. Do the thing you really want to do but is so scared to do. That one action will open you up in so many unexpected ways. I’ve been doing a lot of breaking comfort zone and it has been amazing.

  4. AnnaDenise says:

    Beautiful advice. Thank you. I wish you a wonderful 2009!!!

  5. mijk says:

    I will be artjournalling this year. Still hesitating between do and dare as my word… I think I ‘ll go for do because that was my spointaneous reaction when my husband asked what my plans for the new year were..

  6. Elin says:

    Tittade in p? din blogg idag igen f?r att l?sa ditt inl?gg en g?ng till om att g?ra en sammanfattning av ?ret som g?tt. Tidigare idag tog jag en promenad och funderade ?ver mina planer f?r 2009 och jag kom fram till att det h?r ?ret ska g? ut p? att V?GA. Jag ska inte begr?nsa mig sj?lv med mina r?dslor. Vilket sammantr?ffande att du skrivit idag om att v?lja ett ord f?r 2009!

  7. Sama says:

    Ah damnit, you blogged about the word before me…
    Jag har ocks? lite problem med ?rets ord, inte alls lika enkelt i ?r som det var f?rra ?ret. Jag tror att jag beh?ver g?ra just vad du skrev, brainstorma och fundera p? vad jag vill, vad jag dr?mmer om, vart det h?r ?ret ska g

  8. violetkey says:

    What an excellent post, thank you! I’m still reflecting on 2008 and thinking, plotting & planning 2009. Personally, i always feel so hopeful on New Years day. I know my word will either be conscious or discipline. I was in auto pilot most of ’08 and i do not want that for this year!

  9. mina lee says:

    I am so happy I stumbled upon your blog. I am inspired by your word challenge. I thought long and hard about it, and then just put it aside for the day….of course that is when my word came to me. It is “move” I have been struggling with sever health problems for the past 4 years. Breast Cancer that metasatisized to me bones 2 years after my initial diagnosis. Life has presented itself with a myriad of challenges to say the least. Thinking about the upcoming new year and what I wanted to project into the universe and into my thought process, of course health would have been a word that came to mind…but move turned out to have even greater meaning. First of all, I find myself being more sedintary than I like (justifiably yes, because of pain, and discomfort) but it usually compounds my problems instead of alleviating them because I feel so blahsey, and useless when I sit around too much. Whenever I get up and get “moving”….even for a little bit I always feel better. Also, I need to “move” forward from a bad relationship break-up that has been emotionally devastating. I need to keep “moving” away from falling into old patterns of comfort….and the grand finale is I need to actually buy a house and MOVE into it. It’s funny how this word can encompass so much of what I want 2009 to be about. Of course i will also focus on “moving” into a complete healing. I am so very excited about this new word and all it entails. Thanks again. Happy, happy new year.

  10. Chris says:

    I am there, Hanna! My journal is going with me to work tomorrow, and I am going to see where it takes me. I am kind of a rule person, but I also have learned that breaking rules is okay. I used to bead myself up over doing that. But even nature breaks rules sometimes! Why can’t imperfect humans? I think creative people often forget that creativity can’t be restrained. It must LIVE!

    Thanks, Hanna. And Peace Out!

  11. Cecile says:

    Happy New Creative Year Hanna ! Whatever you decide to do it will certainly be creative.
    I wish you the best, and thank you for your inspirational blog.
    Cecile

  12. Laura says:

    Happy New Year Hanna! Perhaps my word would be “fearless.” I am starting a journal to help me turn my hobby into a bit more of a profession and I picked a lovely montblanc pen I received as a gift this year to do my writing. I was inspired by your lovely pen post.

    Thanks as usual!

  13. linda sue says:

    I was unaware that this year was an art journal year- four empty ones are waiting for me to begin,…I also recieved an Echart Tolle callendar for christmas and gave his books- NEW EARTH” to friends this year- Must be the collective consiousness nudging us forward into accountability, thoughtfulness, integrity ( Kendalee’s word for the year) and responsibility. No wonder I am intimidated by the blank pages of the beautiful journals awaiting vision. “LEAP” is a great start! Thank you for this provacative post for 2009- optimistic- and promising.

  14. Lori says:

    Wow, what powerfull and wonderfull responses to a touching blog…. I want thank all of you for touching my heart so

    lori

  15. Linda says:

    I picked the word fearless.

  16. Deb G says:

    I’m joining in on this idea. I’m going to explore “intersections.”

  17. Shai Coggins says:

    Great tips! Thanks for sharing them with us. And, I definitely love your art cards daily last year. :-) Looking forward to more creative stuff from you in 2009.

  18. Leah says:

    Happy New Year, Hanna!!

    It’s funny because Leap doesn’t feel speedy to me, but everyone has their own associations with words, so I know you will find the “just right” word for you and 2009. I know for me, when I hit on my word, my whole body tingles. :-)

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