God, how exciting. I LOVE the prospect of a new year! Fresh starts, new goals, rejuvenated ambition & no idea what the future might hold – it doesn’t get any better than that!
Gala Darling [via]

New thick pencils by iHanna, Copyright Hanna Andersson

I am thinking about visions, goals, dreams, intentions, projects, daily habits, life designing and such. I have a ritual of ending a year and starting a new one, but I also love checking out others ideas and thoughts on this!

For example Dream It, Do It: How to Develop Effective Creative Goals is a great long article where Ami Mattison, among other things, says:

…it’s well worth articulating our creative dreams. Not only will we learn more about ourselves as artists, but we’ll be able to turn our dreams into more than just fantasies or wishes. And by creating objective goals for our dreams then we’ll be able to stretch and grow in our creativity.

If you’re dreaming of artistic success and you can articulate that dream to yourself, then you’ve already taken the first step in making it happen.

But it also requires diligence, faith, direction, and ultimately action to make your dream a reality.

So what are my creative dreams? About projects I want to do, perhaps. In Get a Grip on Your Projects by January 1 by Alyson Stanfield, who writes about juggling projects and setting up a system for it, says:

To ensure that you don’t miss vital tasks that will make your project a success, take time to gather the details for each project in a single place.

I am working on a personal planner, DIY style, and I will post more about it once I understand what I am doing.

Moleskine notebook

Alyson’s post Dreams to visions to goals gives a clue where to start:

    You might want to look at it in this way:
    1st step – Your dream
    2nd step – Your vision
    3rd step – Your annual goals
    4th step – Your monthly goals
    5th step – Your weekly and daily actions

So, what is my creative dream? Back to that. In Set your creative intention for the new year, Stacy Kathryn Holst writes:

I started a tradition of writing a letter to the year that was passing, and in it I would write what I had accomplished and what I hoped to accomplish in the coming year. Something in writing to reaffirm my commitment to this creative lifestyle and working towards my dream.

I agree with the writing part. Writing it down is important! Lately I’ve been falling in love with the writing of textile artist Lisa Call who week by week posts her goals on her blog to keep herself accountable! I am impressed by her list of 100 Accomplishments where she celebrates and honors her own actions through the past year (and she did all that while still having another job)! She writes: Most of these are art related but not all of them as life and art are not possible to separate. Now isn’t that true! I want to write similar lists of both accomplishments and goals for 2011! I am having a hard time getting started though. Reading the above blog posts (and more) are procrastination on my part!

Gesso and pink paint

Tara Gentile of blog Scoutie girl wrote a post called aim high. act fast. claim your prize where she outlines goal setting. On her list she put a really vulnerable thing that stuck with me as a scary but good goal to have:

I want to understand what holds me back from creating greatness.

I have signed up for Tara’s free class e-mail series. It is called Creating Action:

an 8-part mini e-course on creating action out of inspiration – moving you past procrastination and into accomplishment. It’s meant for creative people of all kinds – it might help you start a business or quit your job or it might help you learn to knit or keep a personal journal. Your goals are yours alone – this course just helps you act on the steps needed to reach them.

Now, back to thinking about my “creative dream”…. But maybe it doesn’t have to be huge and big and bold… I asked a friend about what my “life vision” should be for next year, and he said “What you do right now, just more focused?!” I like the sound of that. Or as Henri Junttila said:

The real secret to finding your passion isn’t about identifying some huge goal or undertaking. It is about following your excitement and doing what makes you happy.

What is your creative dream for this year – and beyond?