Each year, as we evaluate our progress form the past and look towards what we want to achieve in the future, we spin our wheels trying to come up with new ways to organize our time, plan our projects and prep for creative ingenuity to develop throughout the year.
I have a few tips to help all different kinds of creatives and planners set out achievable, productive and fun creative projects over the course of the next year.
Realizing your Creative Project Visions
Macro Goals - The Big Picture
The first step is to choose two or three large scale, long game goals. For example, I want to self publish or have my first book ready to publish by the end of the year. I also want to increase my instagram following on Creating Confidently to 500 by the end of 2023. Lastly, I want to maintain posting twice a week on the blog. However, with all of these big picture goals for growth and projects I still hold space for shifting. These are my dream goals, the long term plans I want to invest my energy and effort in this year. To save myself from burnout and from spreading myself too thin with projects and ideas, I need to consolidate my energy and concentrate my focus on the big goals I really want to see happen this year. There is always time to do more, but first we have to knock things off the list.
Milestone Moments - Map the Path
To stay on track with the big picture goals we need to set up checkpoints or deadlines, even soft ones, to make sure we maintain a timeline for our big plans. It’s easy to lose track of them in the day to day, especially when the end goal is 365 days away. By staggering checkpoints throughout the year we can stay focused on the big picture and make better decisions to plan for success. To reach my novel writing goal by December 2023, I plan to have the second draft done by March, the third draft written by June, have it read by family and friends and rewritten again by September, and then the final draft ready by December. By parcelling out checkpoints to achieve throughout the year it makes me map out the path forward.
Managing the Timeline - Trust the Process
The final piece to planning your creative projects for the year or a month or a week, is to create a timeline, micro goals, process goals to work out how you are going to meet those self imposed check points. This is the crux of it all, and the most difficult to maintain. I struggle with this step because of my schedule, because of life that just happens, because there is always something else to do, I know. However, we need to set our creative aspirations and goals at the same level of importance as everything else in our lives. I can’t give you an example from my own experience this time. I am working on putting one together, and that is where the next part comes into play.
Share your Journey - Accountability is key
To tie it all together we need to reach out to community. It might be your family, friends or accretive group in your community or online. The key is to share your plan, maybe just your big picture goals, or the map of your path. Sharing your journey, sharing that you are embarking on a journey allows those around you to bolster you with support and help keep you accountable to your creativity when life makes it hard for us to keep ourselves accountable to it.