This blog is based on a request from Kim, a beautiful young woman I recently met at her book club. At the book club meeting, I spoke about some things I’ve done and steps I’ve taken to make my creative dreams reality. (Thank you so much for having me!)
Chances are you weren’t there, so I thought I’d briefly share with you what we covered at our talk and also Kim’s question of my weekly working schedule since we ran out of time at the end and didn’t fully get to that.
The first thing we talked about was getting clear on your goal or dream and writing it down. Then afterwards, writing down a single action you can take in the direction of your dream/goals. Use the litmus test of being able to do this one step/action in a minute or less.
For example. If your goal is to become a painter and have an exhibit, a small step could be to lay out your brushes, tools and paints in your painting spot. This would take under a minute.
It seems trivial to do such a small thing towards a big goal, however the logic is two fold. First is that if the step is small enough it’ll by pass the amygdulah in your brain – the center of flight or fight and carry on to your cerebral cortex – the creative thinking brain. Hence, if you keep your steps small, you’ll be able to move forward without blocks.
The second reason is that when you take just a small step, under a minute, such as the example above, your subconscious starts working on it even when you are not physically doing anything. You may start day dreaming about what you are going to paint or what colours you are going to use. You are getting excited and putting energy towards your dream/goals, so this is a great things.
Thirdly, there is the law of attraction where if you are in an energetic mind set of, say, “being a painter”.. you’re thinking about your project, your painting place, your brushes, what you might paint, you will automatically attract things in these areas. Perhaps someone will give you an old paint set or invite you to share a studio space. Who knows. The law of attraction can work in wondrous ways that in the past you may have considered coincidence, and now you can take more personal power and realize you had a piece in creating this.
We also covered SMIGLS which I have discussed previously in this blog: http://debchaney.blogspot.ca/2007/12/smigs.html (Pls note I added the L later on and it stands for Learn, as in what did I learn today?)
And lastly Kim’s question about some tricks I use during the week to continue to grow and evolve and support my dream despite life happening, challenges being thrown in the mix, blocks, excuses and everything else that gets in our way to making those big dreams come true that may never be urgent.
My - up until now - Secret Weekly Schedule to Support my Creative Dream
Mondays are my money management day. This doesn't mean I manage my money all day, no. It simply means that every Monday I have the intention to take care of myself financially in some way. It could mean paying my bills. It could be calling the bank about a charge I did not recognize. It could be writing a grant proposal to (hopefully) achieve some funding in the future. I think you get the idea.
The thing is, it could just be that I spend five minute on this focus and then that is a success for me. I created this system when I was single parenting full time, working part time at a day job and ramping up my business as a professional artist as it appears now on my website. Point being, it’s just a small thing you do in the area of focus that in the long term is a small step towards your bigger goal and dream.
Tuesday is “toot my horn” marketing day. I got this name from that book “how to toot your horn without blowing it” which was about self promotion. So on Tuesday I do, at least, one thing to promote myself as a contemporary abstract artist and workshop facilitator. It could be writing a blog and then posting this on linked in and Facebook and twitter. It could be putting up a postcard with regards to my upcoming art show. Anything that puts me and my business out in the world qualifies. Again, it can be really small and simply, such as posting an image of a recent painting I have for sale on social media. The point is that I’m putting myself out there in the name of the dream.
Wednesday is my web day. This day I put aside for all things web related. This could be updating my cafepress store ( long overdue, I need to do this!!!), updating my website, writing my newsletter content, working on an in artist interview with another artist. Basically it's the one day a week whereby if I[‘m on my computer all day, it’s totally OK.
Thursday is self care. On Thursday I make a conscious effort to close my computer, leave the phone and unplug. My favorite way to spend a Thursday is with a book by the ocean, a river or in a park. Maybe I’ll bring my journal along. Maybe I’ll stay in bed until 2 pm. The focus is doing as little as possible and being and just resting and enjoying life. It could also be a day for an artist date. Or if you follow my blog you know that often once a month I post some images from a hike or outdoor experience I call breathing space. This really sums up Thursday for me – it’s a day to stop and breathe.
Fridays are follow up days. I keep a list in my contacts of people, companies, jobs, shows I’m applying to, etc. So, again its really simply. I go through the list and make emails or phone calls as needed. For example, someone called me earlier during the week about the September workshop running at the end of this month. Friday would be the day I would habitually get back to them if I had not already.
Saturday I always file my paperwork from the week and aim at doing a general tidy up/organize… If I was more diligent I could say that Saturday are cleaning days but I cant remember the last time I kept to that schedule.
When I created this system, ideally Sundays were for planning the week and also going back to my vision boards, goals and seeing where I am and where I want to be. Again, I’ve been slacking on this one lately so I must say it was cool to meet with the book club because I pulled out my life vision goal book and dusted it off for the talk as I had not reviewed it for a while!!!
I hope this helps you take action in small steps and with kindness and compassion with yourself. As always, it’s the process and journey that is the true gift, you’ll get there if you do the work, but let’s get there mindfully and make it fun along the way, then it’s a real success all the way around!