Thanks to all of you who have signed up for Check Your Creativity – I’m so excited you all decided to join in! If you haven’t signed up yet (it’s free), you can right now by clicking here. As you know for Check Your Creativity, each month you will come up with a new creative focus. When thinking about the year as a whole, it may seem overwhelming, that’s why for Check Your Creativity, it’s important to just take a month at a time.
For each month, in addition to picking a creative focus, it will be extremely beneficial for you to take a few minute and come up with a plan for that month. Some people will prefer an extremely specific plan, for others, a loose plan based on what you hope to accomplish will work. You know yourself best and what will work for you. Either way, making a plan before the month starts will help you be more successful in your creative pursuits.
Let’s get started. Here is my brainstorm of what I will focus on each month for the next year.
As I have said before, you are not locked in once you fill this out, you are always welcome to change it at any point. But, I do know for sure that starting September 1st, visual thinking will be my creative focus for the month. With that in mind, I will use these following steps quickly make a plan for the month.
Step 1: Decide on your creative focus – How will you practice your creativity this month?
Step 2: Do you need to learn anything to get started? For some people, a creative focus will be chosen because it is the kick in the butt they need to finish a specific project (your son or daughter’s baby book) or to pick up a craft they have not practiced in years (sewing, knitting, crocheting, etc). However, some people will use their creative focus as a push to try something new (awesome!). If this is the case, you will probably spend much of your month learning + practicing, not just practicing. So when planning out your month, it is essential to take this into account.
In my case, in the past I have done a lot of reading on visual thinking, so this month will be more about committing myself to practice visual thinking rather than just thinking about how I wish I was better at it 🙂
However you might be in a very different situation. Let’s say your creative focus for September is knitting. You like the idea of knitting and wish you knew how to do it, but have no idea where to start. All you know is that you don’t know anything 🙂
First, determine how you will learn. Are you a DIY’er who prefers to checks books out of the public library and watch YouTube videos? Are you more social and prefer to sign up for a class at local knit shop? Or do you have a family member or friend who wouldn’t mind teaching you? Whatever route you choose is great, but you need to choose one.
Step 3: What materials or tools do you need for your creative focus?
For me, this is a pretty easy one. For visual thinking, I need paper and pen or Sharpie. Very simple. Going back to my other example of learning to knit, it’s very important to determine Step 2 first (how you will learn). If you are signing up for a class, the instructors will tell you materials you need to gather. If you are learning from a family member or friend, ask them what they recommend. If you are going the DIY route, I would pick a very simple pattern to begin with and just buy the basics, you can always get more later.
Once again, however you choose to go about it will be fine, but you need to make those decisions ahead of time so when the first of the month rolls around, you are ready to begin!
Step 4: Add it to your calendar.
Hopefully you printed off your Check Your Creativity calendar and hung it somewhere you are going to see it everyday. For some people that will be enough, for others you may need an extra reminder. Here’s a couple of options:
- Set an alarm to go off on your phone each day at the same time (make sure it is a time when you will be able to work on your creative focus).
- If you keep a digital calendar such as Google Calendar, add it to the days you plan on working on it. Remember to be realistic – you don’t have to work on it every single day. Are you someone who would prefer to work on your creative focus for the month every couple of days for longer stretches of time or every single day for just a few minutes. Decide which one is right for you and add it to your calendar.
I hope this helps you get ready for the creative focus you chose for September! If you need any help or have any questions – be sure to let me know!
p.s. If you think visual thinking sounds fun and you want to join me in practicing it in September, click here to read a post I did on how to get started.