For many, New Year’s resolutions are trite. I fall into that category because I find new year’s resolutions cringeworthy especially when people go on and on about their New Year’s resolution setting impossible goals that they can’t achieve.
Today, I want to share 11 things that creative people should adapt this year; these are 11 goals that are both flexible (for long-term purpose) and measurable. It is not about 2015, but you ought to start this cultivating these practices this year.
Want to add these 11 things to your New Year’s resolution list? Be my guest.
For me, these are habits that creative people should nurture this year in order to increase their creativity and most importantly inspire.
1. Risk It!
creativity |ˌkrē-āˈtivitē| noun
The use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work.
As a creative person, you MUST take risks and push the boundaries. The day you stop getting out of your comfort zone you are no longer a creative person. If we want to go by the definition of what creativity means, you will clearly see why taking risks is essential to making you who we are. Bringing a wild imagination to life or interpreting an original imagination in black and white can be scary at times, and it should be.
Yes, more often than expected the risks will be laughed at. Yes, the risk may even end up sitting on your desktop or a folder somewhere unused by the client but at least you know you did it and you stepped out of your comfort zone. Then there are other times your risks gets so appreciated and accepted and you find yourself saying JACKPOT! You know what they say about never making an attempt? Without taking risks in your field, you will never know.
So take risks, create more, and push the boundaries.
2. Stop. Celebrate The Wins
Set milestones or goals to achieve, and when you achieve them stop and celebrate the wins. If not for anything else but for the fact that it will boost your morale. Working with people? Tell them thank you, throw a party, buy pizza and ice cream, etc. Working alone? Take yourself out, buy that ridiculously expensive coffee machine, take that exuberant trip, or spoil yourself with a new pair of shoes.
3. Become A Mentor
“Replicate yourself.” My colleague, Tina, keeps saying. You have to mentor someone to become a better you, or at least be as good as you are. Every creative person ought to have a protege, someone they train and mentor. If you can’t replicate yourself you’re indirectly a failure.
4. Listen More
It is bad enough that you have become anti-social always blocking people out with your earphones, but when you finally remove it you do all the talking. From the moment you remove your earphones you feel the need to be the only one to talk, never listening. Does that sound like you? Stop it. Learn how to listen more, you will be surprised at what you pick up in conversations with other people when you get to actually really listen. Not passive listening but real listening. Who knows, you could get inspiration from what someone is sharing with you.
5. Find A Teacher, Learn Daily
You think you are unquestionably perfect in your craft? Trust me there is someone out there who is better than you are. Moreover, there is always something new to learn – find that person (or thing) and learn from them. There is someone in your field that knows what you don’t know, get in touch with that person and improve your skills. Sometimes it may not even be about physically finding a teacher, it could be as unpredictable as subscribing to a graphic designer’s YouTube page and getting notified when they share some new tutorial video. As a content person, I have a list of writers I look up to and whether they know me or not they are my teachers. Teaching me how to write better.
6. Drink More Water (Less Coffee), And Take More Fruits
I dare not say you should stop drinking coffee. I know better, because coffee is what fuels a lot of creative minds. However, what you should thrive at is drinking more water and taking more fruits. These two things will make you 100 times better – health wise. I could go on and on about the health benefits of water, and why fruits are good for you, but I reckon that you already know; it’s like telling a smoker “Smokers are liable to die young.”
7. Read Books
Not to sound like a broken record, but you have to read more book! Reading will open you up to a whole new world, reading is essential and will help you in terms of your imaginations, and creative processes. Yes, we understand that it can be time-consuming but it is time well spent. Invest money in books, and invest time in reading books.
8. Make Practice The Rule, Not The Exception
“Practice makes perfect.” I believe that is one of the first adages that I learned or heard growing up. Creative people need to practice more; they need to make practicing their art or skill a habit not the exception.
9. Take A Breather
Although to be better and exceptionally good you have to put in more time and work a 100 times harder than your average Joe – like my CMO says “Our reward for work is more work” [sic] – you must pause. Pausing to take a breather is essential. Take out time to rest, relax, sleep, visit friends, travel, to do other things besides work. These breathers always result in a refreshed state of mind. Every once in a while, just pause and take a break.
10. Call Home
When it is all said and done the most important things in life are the people you care about or call family. Cultivate the habit of checking in with your family, spend time with your loved ones. You don’t want to wake up one morning and discover that you are a stranger or worse. Last year, this ad touched my heart, and it serves as a reminder to always call home.
11. Put HIM First
In the words of Jimmy Needham “Anything I put before my God is an idol…” Yes, you are a creative person; Yes, the art can become so beautifully intoxicating but you must remember who made it, you must remember who gave you that million-dollar idea, you must remember where you got your talent from and the reason you are still breathing. When it is all said and done it is of uttermost importance to put God first. To worship Him in spirit and trust, and to make out time to fellowship with Him. Put Him first during the good times and the bad times in 2015.