At the start of the year I committed to a theme for 2011 and asked you to join me in making your new year resolution an evolution (of self.) I believe we become what we practice, and daily practice is a great way to become. I declared creativity as my theme for 2011. I am developing things for my business that were not in existence before; I am developing my creative ability with daily focus and developing daily habits that will put this new ability into action!
I have to admit that it is difficult to keep the focus for an entire year. I ran into a few rough spots with the epic tornado breakout in our area, and less epic distractions like a loss of interest. Habits are difficult to change and create (nothing new there!) I wanted to share with you a few tricks I’m using to keep focused and regain my focus after a distraction. I hope you’ll share your insights as well – we learn from each other!
1. Make yourself accountable – I did this by committing to tweet about my creativity on a regular basis. I started out doing it daily, then realized that weekly was a better frequency. But knowing that someone is expecting a status report or update is important to keep us accountable. Try working with an accountability partner to keep each other on track. If that doesn’t work (i.e. you are too nice to each other and let each other off the hook too much) then hire a coach! Yep, someone like me who will keep you accountable, help you overcome the obstacles that you face. It’s easier to have help – it’s difficult to coach yourself. And yes, I have a coach!
2. Look for inspiration outside yourself – I discovered that others have already gone down the road I am traveling. I look to their experience and advice to get me over a rough spot and keep me motivated. For me it is reading. One book helped me to understand the importance of a daily habit. I recommend it for anyone who is trying to create a daily habit of any kind. It may be about writing or other creative work, but it applies to pretty much anything you want to do. The War Of Art: Winning the Inner Creative Battle by Steven Pressfield.
3. Look for inspiration inside yourself – I like to read, that’s no surprise to you, right? Another book I am currently reading is helping me look inside myself for the inspiration and creativity – The Artist’s Way at Work: Riding the Dragon. The simple act of writing morning pages has helped me tap into thoughts and ideas and creativity on a number of occasions. Of course, keeping up with yet another habit is a challenge!
4. Find others with similar goals – when you are trying to make a change in your life for the better, it’s always a great idea to hang out with people who either are already doing that good thing, or are working on the change along with you. It creates an environment of support. You can share ideas. You can see that it is possible! Often when we want to change our friends and families may not understand and unconsciously sabotage us. Or maybe they just don’t want to make the change. It is a challenge for us to be in that environment. so a support group of like minded people can help to keep you focused. I’ve found people in online communities and in the local neighborhood. I visit art shows and chat with other business builders.
It’s time for you to do a check-up on your 2011 theme! I’d love to hear about your progress, what you have learned so far, and what you are doing to either stay focused, or why you have decided not to continue. Share your thoughts in the comments!