I’m using my Creative Journal Prompts for the New Year to help me structure my thoughts as I look back on the past year and look forward to what I want to create next.
But you’ll see that I veer off from the prompts and start to switch things around.
The best journaling is non-linear! That’s how you get to the insights and breakthroughs – by following your own creative impulse.
I like to have some structure to get me going, and then at some point I tend to go off in my own direction.
Part One. Goodbye 2017. Looking back:
What was amazing in 2017?
Thing one: I got married!
I do believe that being single is a valid life choice! We’re all pressured to feel like we’re supposed to find “the one” and I don’t think that’s the right path for everyone. I was single for a long time and loved it, it was what was right for me. Now that I am married I don’t want to turn around and say that everyone should be married.
Frankly, there are a LOT of unhappy married people out there, staying together for all the wrong reasons. A lot of dreams have been killed by unsupportive spouses.
But when it’s right, it’s right. And my husband brings a lot of joy into my life while supporting me in reaching for ever growing dreams. I feel happier plus I feel like more is possible for me now.
Thing two: Starfish found us!
I’ve been really sick this last little while and he has been spending most of his time snuggled up with me. Such a little love bug!
Me, my husband and his kids are all completely in love with Starfish. I can’t say enough good things about this guy!
Thing three: I am celebrating 7 years being 100% self-employed with the Creative Dream Incubator!
Seven years in, having my dream support me financially remains such an incredible dream come true that I am grateful for every day.
What did you do in 2017 that you’re proud of?
Thing one: My marriage. I am proud of the relationship I am creating with my husband. After being very happily single for so long this is a big change!
Thing two: Trusting myself. This year I noticed that trust myself as a self-employed person in new ways.
I’ve always followed my intuition about how to do my business. I mean I do take business classes, but I never implement exactly what I learn – I trust my own intuition about how I want to do things.
This has often been a scary way to go – I mean my intuition often tells me to do things that terrify me.
Well this year I wasn’t terrified. Like my trust got bigger than my fear.
(And this year I made my Creative Dream Oracle Cards!)
What did you learn/discover that you want to bring into 2018?
Well after so long of living alone, being married sure puts a lot of mirrors up! So I learned a lot about my own behaviour and how easy it is to get cranky when everything isn’t exactly how I want it to be.
The past little while I have started to get better at spotting this pattern before I act on it and expanding my self-care practice to help me not get to tempted to get upset at the little things. I want to keep getting better at this in 2018.
(My self-care cart. The contents of it are always changing depending on what I need most. Right now it’s candles and Kleenex and cough drops and cat snacks – to bribe Starfish to come up here and snuggle with me)
What do you want to leave behind in 2017?
You know I have been thinking about this for a while and nothing I can say here feels genuine, you know?
I mean some years you get to the end of December and you are ready to leave something behind! And some years you’re not. I’m not.
What are you most grateful for about 2017?
Feeling so loved and supported in my life and my dreams.
Feeling like my creative work has a solid foundation in the world.
How did your dreams grow in 2017?
I’m celebrating 7 years doing the Creative Dream Incubator full time! It feels like the Creative Dream Incubator has grown up a lot and I see more growth spurts in the future.
I love the way this dream and I have grown together, especially how the Incubator has become this sturdy container for me to explore and grow my creativity and purpose. Being able to look back and see how each thing led to the next, how each thing nourishes the next – it’s just really beautiful.
Towards the end of the year it started to feel like my business was leading me, more than me leading it. I like this shift.
What did you do to help your dreams grow in 2017? What worked? What didn’t work?
I’ve been thinking on this for a while and right now – I can’t remember any classes I took this year! I mean – that’s weird, usually taking classes or getting coaching is an important part of how I keep supporting my dreams.
I’m curious right now if this worked or didn’t work. Like where would I be now if I had gotten that kind of support?
Hmmm, I did reach out to one person and we haven’t yet been able to make our schedules match so maybe I did do what I needed and things didn’t work out quite right because this year I needed to explore on my own. Writing that out, it actually feels right. (Often when I write out my thoughts it makes it easier to tell if I am trying to lie to myself or not)
This year I worked harder than I had in years past. I had more new ideas – things I have not yet implemented but am still working on. It’s like I was more open to inspiration and so I received a lot more of it.
Also – wow I can’t believe I didn’t consider this right away – since I got married in April I have been sharing my loft with my husband. Now, we also bought a car together so that’s a new expense, but overall my expenses did go down since I am sharing them. That helped give me more space to experiment and explore ideas this year, without needing everything lead to income-generating activities right away. So I think that worked, I feel really excited about my new ideas for programs and classes and grateful that I’ve had more time to explore them.
Plus – the Year of Dreams journaling kit! I was more committed to doing it every week – several times a week at least. This really helped me be more grounded in my dreams.
How did YOU grow in 2017? What gifts and strengths do you have now that you didn’t have in 2016?
Wow thinking back to 2016 I have grown a lot. A year ago I wouldn’t really have felt ready to live with someone (though I loved my boyfriend then and we were talking about getting married already) and certainly not ready to be a step-mother.
Then I just dove in and it stretched me.
In October my husband and I took his 2 youngest sons to Mexico for a week. A year ago I definitely couldn’t have spent a week in a hotel with 2 boys aged 11 and 13! I mean really – Mess! Fighting! Constant dawdling! Turning every day objects into weapons! Losing *everything*! But I handled it like a pro and we all had a great time.
Is there anything you need to do to complete your year? Any unfinished business that you’d like to finish, and leave behind as you move into 2018?
There is something but it’s like I can’t quite put my finger on it. As I sit with this question I see myself leaving my old self behind.
Oh. Leaving my single life behind.
I just realised how much I am holding onto that.
Not that I am not committed to my husband, I am. But I suddenly see where I have been holding onto wanting to have my own space and everything in it be set up my way. And the quiet calm of my old life.
I need to let this go, step more fully into my present life – which will actually help me create more of what I need in my life – the calm, quiet, organized stuff – in new ways. Like I can’t see all the possibilities for the new ways I could be doing this because I am looking back to much at the old ways.
Cool! I really hadn’t noticed I was doing that but it seems to obvious now. The magic of journaling.
Hello 2018! Looking forward:
Try to list 5-10 things (impossibly big or microscopically small or anything in between) you’d like to have happen in 2018, in each of these different parts of your life:
(Notice how 5-10 things is the aim, but sometimes I list fewer things, and sometimes it inspired some insight or idea instead of a list)
(In the Creative Journal Prompts for the New Year this section is a list – but as I worked on it mine became less of a list and more convoluted exploration leading to breakthrough about what I *really* want kind of thing)
Get better at cooking with the Instant Pot and increase the amount of home made whole foods I am eating
Keep doing yoga
Learn more kinds of yoga
Mediate more, go back to making it a part of every morning
I want to feel great, I don’t want to have a bunch of rules about what I have to do to make that happen – like trusting my body
Be more proactive about making time for friends
Make a weekly date night with hubby a habit – we spend so much time together, but “date night” as in consciously deciding to do something fun together
Have people over more
Follow inspiration about new Creative Dream Alchemy programs
Stretch myself with the Year of Dreams weekly pages
Explore new ways of sharing my ideas online
Decorate new house!
Buy new house
Be more disciplined about budgeting and planning
Get new wallet
This section has been sitting blank for some time. This is weird because I do take self-care really seriously. Being a highly sensitive person I actually need a lot of self-care to feel good and be able to do my best work.
Then I was taking a bath last night and I realised why this area is blank: it’s like I am getting a whole new vision for what I want this part of my life to look like.
Really for me self-care is self-love in action. I know for others it can be different, so I include both in the title and everyone can explore this in whatever way they are inspired to.
For me self-care has looked the same, year after year, for the last four years or so. LOTS of white space. Bike rides, picnics, journaling, meditation. But mostly – white space.
OK so while trying to write this my husband is dancing around and joking and I am having such a hard time concentrating.
That’s kind of it. I need new ways to get that same level/feeling of self-care.
The work we did in the Obstacle-Release Ceremony is still un-doing things in me.
(The Obstacle-Release Ceremony is free + accessible until Jan 9 I highly encourage you to participate when you can!)
This past year I have been working on boundaries, communication and clarity but I have been missing this one piece. Tied to the release of my past life as a single person – those ways of honouring my self-care needs just won’t work now.
I’ve been resistant to seeing what I need now because I was in love with what I had, you know?
But the past few days this has become more clear.
And so this neat list of things doesn’t work anymore. In fact the other areas which I still have blank:
Are very connected to this. So if I approach all of these together I see what it is I am really looking for.
My needs for self-love, self-care, spirituality, purpose/career and happiness are changing. I have struggled to admit this to myself at all.
I mean I wrote about that recently – having new dreams of wanting to make ore money in 2018 but feeling awkward and vulnerable about sharing that.
I didn’t see how connected it all is though.
Because, much like just because I got married doesn’t mean I think everyone is better off desperately seeking their soulmate, I don’t think the sole (soul!) purpose of a business should be to make more money, as fast as possible.
I resist fast growth in my own business. I mean given the nature of my work and my own sensitivities I think it’s just a bad idea. Slow and steady feels much more delicious to me.
Which is part of why I felt tangled about wanting to make more money.
What is really funny is that I just updated my profit + expenses for 2017 in my business and actually my business made a little less money than 2016 – but my personal income is higher.
I am already making more! How funny is that?
Money is so fluid and magical. All of the rules about it are human mind rules, which are nonsense. So I have more nonsense rules in my head about money that I need to sort through in order to feel really good about these next steps for me.
But, um, getting back to the point here: I see a radical departure in my needs for:
My vision is not 100% clear yet – but I can see what direction I want to go in. Will explore further at the Year of Dreams Vision Party on January 9!!
Planning solo retreats as well as family adventures
I love that we went to the beach every week this past summer. Would like to do this again in 2018, but maybe take a few weeks off when it starts to feel like “too much” or else spend more extended time at the beach and fewer day trips.
I love that I got to go camping a few times in 2017, I would like to go on a solo camping trip in 2018.
But I feel like this category also fits in in the above category.
***There is a radical shift in perspective coming and I want to make room for it**
What is your Big Dream for 2018?
This shift in perspective which is a shift in how I am living. So – how I am earning and working and playing and taking care of myself.
I would say “upleveling” but it’s not about up or down, just about following my own dreams wherever they lead.
Why do you want this?
It’s the deepest inner calling I can hear right now.
It feels like I don’t see the whole picture yet or understand exactly how this is going to impact me but it feels like stepping towards more of myself which just feels like the right direction to move in.
How will you feel when you have it?
More spacious creative and free, calmer, more connected to my own truth, much slower to react.
Ha! That is so good to remember because some of the ideas I’ve had for how to make this happen feel really different from these feelings, so I need to explore that further.
Do you already know how to make this dream real, or is this something you need to learn more about first?
I had some ideas, but some of those ideas feel really different from the feelings I wrote above, so I want to look at ways I can make this happen that feel luminous and free.
Already I can feel a whole new path open up here.
What’s your plan for giving this dream what it needs to thrive in 2018? Brainstorm 10 things you can try.
- Year of Dreams Vision Party on January 9 to learn more about this dream
- Daily practice for staying connected to the dream (like my Year of Dreams journal)
- Focusing on bringing the essence of it into daily life now, instead of trying to work for it
- Healing work on the places where the dream feels “sticky” or “foggy”
- Healing work on my fears about – do I deserve this?
- Healing work on my fears about – what if this changes everything and I end up miserable?
- Healing work on my fears about – what if I ruin all the good stuff I already have by trying to make it even better?
- New marketing ideas for the Creative Dream Incubator – taking a class starting in January
- New Creative Dream Alchemy kits I want to create – as products for the Creative Dream Incubator but also as support systems for me and my dream
- Other new marketing idea I had
- Mostly I think this needs a lot more time journaling/processing that I think it does
What do you want to STOP doing in 2018? And what are some things you can you do to make that as easy as possible? How will not having these things in your life make you happier?
- Doubting myself
- Getting frustrated with loved ones when I am overwhelmed
- Letting my fears set limits on my dreams
I don’t think there are simple solutions to any of these, but this big picture “radical shift thing” I am feeling leads me towards it. So it’s about being more deeply connected to my inner truth and shining that light more brightly out into the world.
Then imagine yourself at the end of 2018. How are you different?
My from the end of 2018 isn’t bothered by some of the things that I am bothered by.
She trusts herself more.
It’s like she’s sturdier. She’s more deeply connected to her inner truth so she stands up sturdier.
She says to me: “You’re on the right path, just keep walking”
Here’s to a sparkletastic New Year, for all of us.
I’m starting 2018 off right, with the Year of Dreams Dream Planner, Guided Journal and Coloring Book including a live, online Vision Party happening on January 9!
There is even a monthly subscription option available now! Find out more here.