TLDR: If you’re having trouble planning for 2021 after this insane year, you might just need a little more structure to your planning. The Creative’s Almanac provides a simple process for getting clear on what you want and need, with sections on taking back your power for an intentional and authentic new year.
For a long time, I operated under the assumption that clarity is something I find outside of myself. Like, I need to scour Pinterest and Instagram for the most quote-worthy, mind-blowing sentiments that will suddenly provide a burst of clarity.
As I get older, I’m learning that for the most part, we have everything we need. Outside sources like strangers on the internet, coaches, or therapists can help guide us in our quest, but ultimately, what we seek is already within us. Sometimes we just need the right structure to help us uncover it.
Part of the purpose in creating The Creative’s Almanac was that I needed more of a process for wringing that truth out of myself — sometimes it’s difficult to decide what I want in life, anyone else? And I also realized I needed to acknowledge my own power and privilege to create those things, whatever they may be.
Essentially, I am in charge of how I spend my time.
The question is, how do I want to spend it?
Here are the things I’ve found helpful for creating structure around planning: reflection, vision, and action.
Reflection: it’s difficult to move forward without acknowledging what got you here, what happened over the last 365 days, how you moved through the circumstances that were out of your control.
Vision: Forward motion without a destination in mind is just hustle for hustle’s sake. This is the part where you get to dream big, wild, inspired dreams. Doesn’t matter how big or crazy, the point is to envision where you want to take your life after this hell of a year.
Action: Follow through on that vision. No more wondering what to spend your energy on. Give yourself the clarity you need with a bite size action plan based upon your vision and reflection.
If I’m being 1000% honest, I give away my power all the time.
I hate that I do it, but I’ll say something is important to me, like getting enough sleep, for instance, but then I let external things dictate my life, like scrolling on social media, staying up too late to work, etc.
Or I’ll try to set boundaries with myself for my food consumption, exercise, or general health things, and I let my emotions call the shots. This typically results in Wendy’s Frosty’s late at night because it sounds fun and soothing, or fast food for a quick lunch because I’m too tired to prepare a real meal.
You get the picture. Maybe you’ve been there, too.
Just like having more of a process helps us gain clarity, investing time into discovering where we’re giving our power away helps us pursue a path that is in alignment with that clarity.
Three things that have kicked me in the pants when I let my power go:
Intentions + habits + priorities
The Creative Almanac’s setup starts with a 2020 reflection section in which you list out the intentions you set for the year, the habits you ended up forming, and therefore finding out what exactly your priorities were. It’s reverse-engineering your year to figure out where you spent your time and if how you ended up spending your time was truly what you wanted for your year.
After you’ve crafted a vision for the new year, we go the other way: decide on your priorities first. What habits will you need to get there? Then we set intentions, but we do it through a pep talk.
Inside The Creative’s Almanac it says:
“It’s one thing to make plans. It’s another thing to see them through. You are the only one who can follow through on your intentions. No one in your life, no amount of worksheets or plans will achieve your goals for you.
No matter what you set as your 2021 priorities, there’s one ahead of them all: you. You need to be your first priority. You can’t serve others, pursue you dreams wholeheartedly, or show up for your family if you’re not taking care of yourself first.
So, on days when you wake up and find that you’ve abandoned all the plans you made, you’ll need a pep talk. And because I know all too well that those days will come, the best person to give you advice in that moment is yourself, right here at the end of 2020, cheering on the you of the future.”
If moving into 2021 with more clarity is on your heart, I invite you to take a peek at The Creative’s Almanac. It might be just what you need to find your own brand of clarity in spite of all the difficulties 2020 has brought us.
Wishing you light and rest as we bring 2020 to a close.