5 Creative Actions for 2018

Happy New Year! Wow, 2018 got here super fast and if you are like other scrapbookers, you are probably thinking about what your creative goals for this year. It is so easy to get bogged down by the enormity of unfinished projects, interest in new projects, attempts at finishing scrapbooking classes, and finally (FINALLY) organizing our creative spaces.

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If you are starting to feel a little overwhelmed…never fear! I have 5 Creative Actions that you can immediately do to jumpstart a successful creative year!

5 CREATIVE ACTIONS…Let’s Go!

#1 – Let go of what you did not accomplish in 2017!

Okay, so we all have been there…those unfinished projects, classes, and creative goals that linger (they are probably judging us); feelings of frustration appear and failure seems to be a familiar foe. As my good friend Elsa recommends, “LET IT GO”!

Seriously, let it go.

(Now you are singing the song…cheeky!)

While it makes us feel good when we are able to finish a task or a project, we must remember that there isn’t a race to do so. The stories that you want to document are not going away. Scrapbooking and crafting should be FUN, not stressful. Focus on what you can reasonably accomplish and let the other stuff go (for now)!

#2 – Make time to create!

It seems like this topic comes up a lot in the scrapbooking community. I am amazed by the number of scrappers (including myself) who struggle to make creative time a priority. Taking time for our creative hobbies is so good for our health and wellbeing! Psychological and health research has examined the connection between art and positive health outcomes for years.  For example, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) published an extensive (but not exhaustive) study in 2010 regarding the connection between art and positive health outcomes. In short, creative pursuits (i.e. music, visual arts, expressive movement, and writing) are all shown to have positive effects on our health and well-being (i.e. less stress, increased mood regulation, and decreased anxiety).  If you nerd-out over stuff like this, check out the article here!

If we know that taking time for our creative pursuits is beneficial to our health and well-being, why don’t we do more of it? The truth is…we are in control (for the most part) of how we spend our time. Making the commitment to spend more time creating beautiful things is truly a practice in being intentional with how we spend our time. And it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. If you only have 15 minutes to spare, great! Own that 15 minutes and give yourself that time to become immersed in a creative task that fills you soul!

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#3 – Set up a creative space that works for you!

If you are a long time scrapbooker, chances are that you have rearranged and reconfigured your creative space a gajillion times! I have found that what worked for me 10 years ago does not work for me now. Take some time to examine your space and consider how to set up your space based on how you create. This will not be an overnight endeavor so take your time.

Are you someone who likes all of your tools at hand or would you prefer to have all of your supplies tucked away? Do you need a large space to create or will your kitchen table do? Do you need a new organization system? Is it time to purge and organize your space? Take time to examine how you work in relation to your space and set up your creative space accordingly. Having a scrappy space that you love will certainly inspire you to work on your creative projects more!

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#4 – Learn something new – challenge your creative skills.

There are so many fun scrapbooking techniques, tools, and products to explore! This year challenge yourself to move beyond your comfort zone and try something new. For example, learn how to use that die cutting machine you bought with good intention or start and finish that online scrapbooking class you committed to! Likewise, consider learning a completely different creative hobby apart from scrapbooking – sewing, print making, mixed media, watercoloring, just to name a few. Don’t be afraid to push your creative limits. You will happy that you did!

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#5 – Set Realistic Creative Goals

I am sorry to announce that you cannot do all of the things all of the time. (Gasp!) It is so tempting to commit to a million and one scrapbooking and creative projects only to end up frustrated when we don’t have the time or energy to complete said projects. This year, try setting realistic creative goals and consider the amount of time needed to achieve those goals.

For example, I have committed to purging and organizing over 10,000 digital photos this year. It is unrealistic for me to expect to complete this project over the course of a weekend or even in a week. However, I can work on this project for a couple of hours each week over the course of 3-4 months. This is certainly realistic and fits within the time I have allotted in my schedule.

So…Get moving! 

There you have it…5 Creative Actions that you can start TODAY as you begin to work on your creative projects in 2018! Remember, scrapbooking should be fun, not stressful. Give yourself permission to make your creative time a priority and enjoy the process!

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