Figure out what you care about and live a life that shows it.

A mentor of mine said that in nearly every speech she gave – and those words have stuck with me since I first heard them in 1998.

The wisdom which carried me through learning now guides the choices I make when planning my years, months, weeks, and days of adulting. It’s a gem I lean on when anything feels too complicated.

In yesterday’s post I shared some thoughts on where I’m headed, particularly at the intersection of the personal and professional, in the year ahead. But you might be wondering, how does one turn a soup of rather abstract feelings and intuitions into a real plan?

What does it take to really reset with intention and start fresh for a brand new year?

In this post I will offer a framework for getting started.

How to Reset Your Creativity with Intention for the New Year

Step 1. Stop Thinking about the Year Ahead

A year is just too long for goal-setting to be practical or effective.

While your values may not change, what’s interesting or inspiring to you often does. Plus, what your life looks like in January is often quite different than what it looks like in July.

So why is it that we expect to stick with something for 12 months?

A couple of years ago I started thinking about my life in terms of seasons instead of years. I believe that 12 weeks, one season, is a much better time frame for planning.

Each season I look at what I’d like to accomplish in the context of a year to then identify specific priorities, set goals, and craft an action plan for the season.

You can do everything you want to do, just not all at once.

Step 2. Get a Little Bit More Organized

You know how a new haircut can change your entire outlook? It works the same in other domains of life. An intentional spruce-up can turn what feels like a mountain back into a molehill.

In your scrapbooking, this looks like limited-but-intentional effort at organizing some of your stuff. Clearing your desktop (physical or digital) and improving just one system makes it easier to create, which means you’ll keep doing it.

I know that it can feel like you need to get totally organized before you can begin, but shooting for just 10% more organized will provide the boost you need to stay focused and forward-moving.

This works well in the context of seasoning planning, because you can find comfort knowing that twelve weeks will pass quickly and you’ll can pause to get 10% more organized.

Step 3. Make Something Right Now

I work with a lot of scrapbookers whom, for one reason or another, stopped scrapbooking for a time. When they return to the hobby, they really want to start again but aren’t sure where to begin.

This is what I tell those who are stuck:

A scrapbook page consists of photos, stuff, and words.

To begin, you pick a photo. It doesn’t have to be the perfect photo.

Then you stick some stuff. It doesn’t have to be the right stuff.

Then you write some words. It doesn’t have to be long. Try three sentences: a fact, a feeling, and a memory.

Then it’s done. The memory has been captured.

When you stop thinking in terms of “starting scrapbooking again” and begin thinking about “telling one single story”, moving forward feels easier and less overwhelming.

Making just one thing gets the ball rolling, creating momentum you can ride to the next creative success.