With the coming of a new year, many of us make hope filled resolutions and declare boldly that this is the year when we finally achieve all those things we’ve wanted to do for the past two, three, five, 10 or more years.
Then, a week or two in, or even sooner, we start to flounder.
Those radical new changes we’ve made don’t seem to be sticking, however much we think we want them to, or however good we think they might be for us.
So, most of us give up, revert to our old ways, and think maybe we’ll try again when we have all that promise of a new year ahead of us again on January 1st next year.
There’s nothing wrong with finding ways to motivate yourself to make changes you feel are important.
The problems come when you have an inflated expectation of how many changes you can make at once, and how profound they can be, just because it happens to be the first day of a new year of the calendar your culture happens to follow.
Why are you any different a person on the first day of a new year, to the person you were on the last day of last year? You’re not. Just the numbers on the calendar (created by someone neither you or I could likely name, hundreds of years ago) flipped over another day.
Why, just because something is not working for you on the 7th day of a new month of a new year, would you give up and completely write off all the incredible things you could do with the rest of that month, and the rest of that year?
It seems a little foolish, does it not?
The great news is, although the first day of January doesn’t somehow give you the magical new powers you fleetingly hoped it would, today is the most important day of your creative life.
And you can choose exactly what you want to do with it.
Profound changes don’t tend to come overnight.
Lasting, meaningful, positive changes come when you choose them again and again, each and every day.
When you make space for what’s important in your life (here’s a clue to one of the big ones – expressing your creativity!) and show up for it every day, then in time, your life becomes almost entirely composed of what is meaningful, and what makes you (and those close to you) most happy.
You can start small, and you can start today.
Just choose a time, then the period you’re going to commit to. Ten minutes might be a good place to start.
At the time you chose, show up, set a timer for 10 minutes, and just create whatever you’re moved to create. Then do the same tomorrow. Try this for just five consecutive days and you’ll start to notice a difference. You’ll start to look forward to it.
A couple of weeks in and you’ll start to barely hear the timer going off, because you’re getting into, and becoming immersed in, creating more quickly and more deeply each time. Ten minutes soon will become 15, 20, 30, 60 minutes and beyond.
The more steadily and consistently you build these habits, the stronger, more robust and more powerful they will be.
If you’re overweight and out of shape, you’re not going to get fit in a couple of days, whatever that gorgeous lithe young creature on the TV or down the local gym promises.
But commit to a little exercise each day, cut back a little on unhealthy eating, and a few weeks in you’ll be fitter and stronger. Continue to show up and gently scale up your commitment, and within a few months you’ll likely be stronger and in better shape than you’ve been in years.
Creativity is no different. Build slowly and steadily, and those creativity muscles will be toned like never before.
Forget about the Gregorian, Byzantine, Holocene or any other calendar, and create your own. It’s very simple.
Today is going to be Day One, tomorrow is Day Two, the next day, Day Three, and so on.
Show up and create every day for 10 minutes or more and by Day 15 you’ll be in a far more creative place.
By Day 30 you’ll not care what day, month or year it is by any calendar, you’ll be too focused on creating your important work, and having a ball doing it.
Today is Day One. You’re ready.
Grab your timer. Let’s begin.
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