Get into the Habit of Being Creative
I went to one of those paint your own pottery studios a few weeks ago with two girlfriends to catch up after work. We wanted to do something different than the usual happy hour/coffee run and the suggestion of spending a few hours together while we painted sounded like a great idea.
We are fairly creative people (Chelsea does amazing modern calligraphy) but it still took us a while to decide on what to paint and to narrow down the colors we wanted to use on our projects (I settled on a yarn bowl and stuck with blues and greens). As we chatted we paused every so often to make a comment on not really knowing what to do next or if we should try a different style, and it got me to thinking: What if we weren’t already in the habit of creating things? Would this process take even more time? Would we even know where to start?
I co-host a creative journaling challenge three times a year called 30 Days of Lists. Without fail, my co-host and I see comments online from women who wish they were “more creative” so they could join in on the fun. We send positive notes their way to remind them that this isn’t a challenge to be the most creative person to ever write a list — it’s our challenge to take a few minutes for yourself each day. If you want it to be a super creative project and use an art journal to house your lists, great! If you want to write your lists in an app on your phone while you’re in line at the store, go for it!
We strongly believe that the act of creating is creative and there is no wrong way to make a list.
My challenge to you to is to get into the habit of being creative.
This isn’t about forming one specific habit that you’ll continue to do until the end of time.
This is about forming the habit of being creative and trying new things.
Start a just-for-you project
You do not have to share every creative project you make with the Internet. It’s also not selfish to make things for yourself or just because you want to try something new. This could be something that takes an evening or something you work on over a long period. Maybe your just-for-you project is starting a dream or gratitude journal. Maybe you make a mini scrapbook all about you or a quick Time Book to document your right now. Whatever it is, don’t make it with the intent of sharing it with anybody else, this is all about you taking the time to make something.
Make something for a friend or family member
As I started to brainstorm examples for this section, each bullet point involved food…bake something for a friend who could use some extra attention, make some treats for your coworkers, pack a snack in your partner’s work bag! I was thinking of things that may be fun (and tasty) to make for somebody else that may be less scary to give than something else handmade like this scrapbook I made for a girlfriend documenting our friend-cation in Portland. Of course, I was nervous about giving it to her! What if she didn’t like it? What if she just threw it away? I decided the process of creating the scrapbook was intrinsically valuable to me and what she did with it after I gave it to her was her business, not mine.
Other fun creative projects include making a cute terrarium of fake succulents for your coworker’s desk, a fun mini scrapbook about reasons why you love your fur baby, or even handmade cards that you can use throughout the year to send to friends and family you don’t get to see as often as you’d like.
Switch up your routine
Being creative doesn’t always have to include paper and scissors. Even switching up your routine to keep things fresh can help you feel like you’re more outside the box than before and encourage you to be creative in other ways. For example, you could add some speed play to your running schedule to break up the routine of long runs as you train for a half marathon. Instead of jumping on the couch and settling into whatever show you’re binge-watching right when you get home from work, take a few minutes to put your shoes away, grab some water and light a candle (even a seasonably inappropriate one if it makes you happy!) to set a relaxing mood. You may find yourself trying new things!
And about those lists, I mentioned earlier: we will be opening registration for the March edition of 30 Days of Lists soon. Subscribe to our mailing list to be one of the first to know when we get started, get the motivation to be creative in your everyday life, and be inspired by our fantastic creative team.