1. a firm decision to do or not to do something. “she kept her resolution not to see Anne any more”
2. the quality of being determined or resolute. “he handled the last British actions of the war with resolution”
January is the invisible month, the month that seems to slip slide between endless summer sunsets, sunshine and left over Christmas pudding – at least here in Australia. It’s the month of summer holidays, visits with the relatives and finding ways to keep cool in hideously record high temperatures. It’s also the month we breathe a collective sigh of relief that we once again have managed another December Thirty One.
This month I find myself in the throws of the first summer in our new house, after moving back to my hometown in the Hunter Valley. Already January is edging towards the middle of the month. In my new neighbourhood the streets are coming back to life after Christmas to the sounds of a cicada symphony as people return from the holiday break, going back to work and starting the school holiday activity shuffle.
Most of our moving boxes are unpacked. I’ve spent lots of time moving things around, re-arranging the deck chairs, finding cosy corners for all our stuff, with the exception of my studio and office. There are still a dozen tea chest boxes filled with my art and design materials with half emptied office equipment. Surrounded by a couple of desks, I’ve made a make-shift office in the front room of the house until my new studio, in the back garden is complete. I’m spending my days doing some commercial design work, but mostly working on the re-launch of Creative Queen Bees. With 2018 freshly squeezed, now starts the process of rebuilding my creative life after almost a year off in recovery from Ovarian Cancer. In truth I’ve spent many months thinking about my New Year, and now I’m taking active steps to bring it to life.
In fact, until this week I haven’t even thought about a New Year’s ‘Resolution’. It completely escaped my consciousness, but now it has got me thinking about the resolutions we make, the resolves we declare at this time each year, “this year it will be different”, “this year will be my year”.
If I think about what a resolution is, the Google dictionary of all things says…a firm decision to do or not to do something and the quality of being determined or resolute.
Woo! Firstly, right now that sounds positively and absolutely like way too much pressure! In the past, my New Year’s Resolutions were made on the eve, somewhere around 10.30pm, wine glass full, lots of hand air waving going on making declarations for a smashing new year. In reality the only smashing going on was me and the resolutions looked something like “this year I’ll lose 10kgs”, or “this year I’m going to make a gazillion dollars”. These declarations were made in moments of firework inspiration. My misbehaviour aside, there is something renewing about a brand new year, it brings a sense of optimism that things can be different.
I had lots of time for reflection in 2017. Having had this time I resolved that ‘reflection’ does indeed change things! I find myself being thankful for the year, with all of its challenges. 2017 was a year I truly had to surrender to a situation beyond my control, beyond any rhyme or reason and come to an understanding that sometimes, ‘shit happens’. Beyond that, it’s how we approach the challenges and we continue to live through the presence of such challenges, regardless of the pain or fear.
Reflection provides clarity and clarity can be a powerful agent of change.
In the creative problem solving process, clarity is the first step in exploring a vision and when I think about it, a New Year’s resolution is like a vision, a vision we have of ourselves and our lives. The creative problem solving process allows us to apply the same principles to our lives, turning a resolution into a re-solution, it’s rearranging the challenge so that new ideas can bubble to the surface.
Maybe you have already made your New Year’s resolution, maybe you don’t ‘do’ New Year’s resolutions, but if you did, just for giggles what would it be? Instead of a resolution, let’s call it a vision, an intention or an inspiration. Think about your life, the issues, problems, challenges and what you would like to change? In creative problem solving we use a brainstorming technique for deliberate creativity. The aim is to get the creative wires in your brain and body charging, curiosity and questions are designed to provide clarity.
Start by thinking about your life, the goals, dreams, wishes or challenges you have.
Make a list of statements about yourself, each beginning with one of the following:
- I wish… or
- It would be great if…
Now push your curiosity into gear and ask,
- I wonder if…
Open-ended statements or questions are pathways to divergent thinking, which is the cornerstone of all creative people. The ability to come up with imaginative, new, novel, wild and wonderful ideas comes from seeing things and situations differently, from another perspective.
Here are a couple of kick-starter questions to try: (fill in the… blanks)
- I wish I could do… better.
- It would be great if… worked better.
- I wish I could do…differently.
- It would be great if I had a better relationship with…
Have a go at What/Who/Why questions.
- …(who) has been on my mind recently?
- Why has… (who)been on your mind?
- What are some of the things you would like to accomplish?
- What is something you have never done, but would love to do?
Now, imagine yourself on Dec Thirty One 2018, one year from today.
What goals, dreams, and visions have you accomplished? Then ask yourself,
- I wonder if I could…
imagine you have been granted a magic wand, and with it, any wish can come true, no matter how much of a pipedream, crazy or wild. What might those wishes be? Make a list of them.
Clearly these are not resolutions, but questions that help to explore different perspectives. When your curiosity engages your imagination, there is no pressure to solve anything, no pressure to be anything or anyone. You are just being curious, exercising your wonderlust, referring your judgement. You are in the flow, the solving or fixing comes later and I guarantee you it will spark a new way of seeing things. You will gain insight with clarity, and perhaps even bring something into focus that may have been hidden.
When you invest some time to explore first, it may just ensure a happier, healthier and creative outcome you can put into action with loving intention.
You can even take this one step further and make a creative vision board, translating all of the ideas and thoughts you had on your list. Vision boards are wonderful visual manifestations of goals, dreams and desires and excellent creative therapy – who doesn’t need a bit of that around this time of year!
This year I decided to make a digital vision board on Pinterest, I will continue to add to throughout all of January, Click on below image to see it.
Wishing you a happy, healthy and creative New Year- without a single resolution!
I’ve started being social again by re-opening the Creative Queen Bees Instagram and Facebook Page. I’d really love you to join me:
INSTAGRAM HANDLE : creativequeenbees or search #dailyactsofcreativity and #happyhealtycreativelife
FACEBOOK PAGE is: www.facebook.com/CreativeQueenBees
NEWSLETTER: Please also join the Newsletter where I am now sharing weekly behind the scenes of re-building my creative life, updates on the new studio, renovation to our new house, progress on the re-launch of Creative Queen Bees, creative life hacks and inspiration for living a happy healthy, creative life you love. I will be also introducing you to some new peeps who are joining me in Creative Queen Bees.
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And to read my previous posts:
Moving to The Hunter Valley