June is a good time to re-focus for creativity

I have been busy re-evaluating my goals lately and enjoying this glorious beginning of the month of June.

Quick self-portrait by Suzanne Bélair- Sketchbook fun

Joy finds you when you

Understand your value and

Nourish your need

Even when it feels hard

(found on the Web-author unknown)

I really like to pause at the end of each year and spend one week or so revising my goals for the coming year. I enjoy this time of introspection, slowing down, stepping out of my busy life to evaluate how I want to shape the New Year. What will my priorities be? What direction do I want to take, do I want to change something?

As we are entering June, soon reaching the midpoint of the year, isn’t it a good time to reflect on the first half and evaluate if we are happy with where we are right now and ask ourselves if we are still on track with our January’s aspirations? 

The idea to pause and take the pulse of our creativity over the last half year appeals to me. It is so easy to get sidetracked and let others’ priorities become our own. Half-way is a good moment to take an honest look at how we’ve spent our time for the first part of the year and decide if we want to stay on that path. 

So much can happen in 365 days. Life circumstances change. Interests evolve. New ideas spring up, old ones are abandoned. If we let 12 months go by without any check-ins, we often find ourselves disappointed as we look back and wonder where all that time went.

This exercise is very useful when it comes to creativity output.

Here is how I go about it –

First, I schedule a few hours but this can be extended depending on how each individual think they need. I found that les than a few hours is not enough for me.

We have to feel relaxed and « with it » when we do this. As I usually work with a physical list of my intentions and goals in January, I take it out and review it with a new perspective:  

1- Who was I when I set these intentions? What did I mean exactly? What was my frame of mind?

Ask yourself these questions. If you said you wanted to create every day? Was it about time spent in the studio or at the computer? Did it include research? Did it include marketing, goals about making money, reaching a larger audience? This has to be sorted out with honesty.

Each time we revisit goals, we can fine tune, adjust, reassess… it is what I like about this, taking into consideration our own evolution, our own insights.

2- If you moved towards your set goals, make a list of your achievements. I try to be analytical and take the emotions out of it.

3- I assess my personal enjoyment. What about excitement when I get to the studio or sit down to write? What was the most enjoyable in my practice? What do I hate?

4-Then I write down changes in my life circumstances if there were any (day job, family life, friends, creative schedule). Are these changes connected to my practice? Did something happen, sickness, move, etc, that forced me to put things on hold while it was going on. Changing circumstances affect our output and enjoyment of our art practice.

Remember that Impermanence is the only permanence in life. Everything is temporary. We constantly need to adapt. Appreciate yourself. Appreciate your efforts.

5- It is time to think about what I should stop doing: What is hampering my progress? Am I spending time on something that doesn’t bring rewards? Is there something unnecessary that makes me feel bad but I feel I must do?

There will always be tasks we dislike but need to do because they are linked to our success or our practice, but maybe we can find someone to help. If not, we can bulk the boring tasks with something we like to do like listening to our favourite music.

6- Finally, I set intentions for the rest of the year and make a list of actionable items I need to start doing now.

I went through this exercise a few weeks ago (yeah a little early, but I feel this is good to do more often than less):

One of my goals was to get a book of my daily drawings and musings published by the end of the year. When I looked at what I was doing this year so far, I realized I was working on everything BUT this book during the year.

I refocused and one of my new actionable item for the rest of the year is to work at least one day per week on my book until it is ready for publication. I can manage this while keeping up with painting and learning Spanish.

This exercise is not necessarily about change, it is also about appreciation and celebration of our good habits and creative successes and about building on this!

HAPPY CREATIVE JUNE !

Suzanne

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Enviroart par Suzanne Bélair

12 Comments

  1. Wow Suzanne
    Thank you. Super message.
    Good idea to evaluate oneself, good to set goals and great to be adaptable.
    Mary

    Sent from my iPad

    1. Thank you so much Mary for taking the time to comment! Yes don’t we get caught up in life’s day to day busyness while we loose sight of where we want to go if we don’t take the time to pause and reassess.
      Have a great day xx

  2. Oh wow, this was a timely reminder for me to revisit my goals, because frankly, I may require some amendments to my plan since it’s been half a year and I feel a little stagnant with my progress. Might even try your technique out. Thanks so much for sharing, Suzanne!

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting Stuart. I am glad you enjoyed 😊 There is so much going on in our lives to get us off track, I need to revisit on a regular basis.

    1. Thank you Shawn! I started using a sketchbook again instead of doing studies on loose paper, I like to see the different ideas together. Thanks for commenting 😊

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