Back in 2018, I created a syllabus for myself for the year. For me, a yearly syllabus is what others might call a list of new year’s resolutions… my “syllabus” is just much more detailed, actionable and interactive document. One of my three focus areas for the year was CREATIVITY because as I wrote, “I am happiest when my creativity is at the surface. My job is a creativity suppressor so I must constantly make space in my schedule, brain, and workflow to stretch my creative muscles.”
This is an idea that has stuck with me since then. It may not sound like it but I actually loved my job… it tapped into many of the things I’m best at and I was making an impact. At the same time, I knew that it was draining the core of who I am. I added CREATIVITY as a focus area because I wanted to be clear about what I needed so I could be accountable to MYSELF for making it happen.
Now, I live my life as a creative professional. It’s pretty great and I really think it wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t gotten clear that it’s what I really wanted. So I have three small tips — steps that I’ve taken — about how to start to be accountable to yourself for whatever it is that you need to surface in your life.
“I am happiest when…” …what?? Work… home… family… hobby… style… communication… ?? Whatever IT is for you… start by figuring it out. Knowing what makes you feel most like yourself and brings you most in alignment with your highest, best life is worth the time to figure out. Writing it down somewhere that you can see it and remember it will help you start to bring it into focus.
MAKE ROOM FOR IT
You are likely something like me and can see something that you want that you can’t immediately put your hands on. I wasn’t able to just quit my job and run my own company at the time but I could think of ways to incorporate design into what I was doing every day. It allowed me to elevate the branding of our team and add creative projects to my to do list. See how you can bring what you WANT to do into what you HAVE to do to.
TAKE A STEP TOWARDS IT
Back in 2018, one of the things that I did to bring my creativity to the surface was take a ceramics class. That class had nothing to do with the work that I do now but taking it did a couple things that helped me. It gave me something that was purely creative to be committed to. It also put a chunk of time in my week where I HAD to walk away from my computer and just MAKE something. It also gave me something new to learn and to be excited about. That step reminded me what it feels like to use my whole brain for creation and that was a powerful motivator to start to achieve that feeling more and more in my life.
This year, I was unintentionally FORCED to decide what to do with myself and my career. The pivot into full time entrepreneurship was a quick decision that was a long time coming. Looking back over the last seven months and reflecting on the upcoming year, I see clearly that waking up each day with the ability to live with creativity at the surface is a true gift. So I wanted to share what I’ve learned for anyone who is feeling stuck or dissatisfied or unsure. Consider these as you’re building your plans for the year… and Happy New Year, friends!