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!