Welcome back! I hope some of the ideas in yesterday's post or comments inspired you to pick one for 2011. If none of these speak to you, that's totally ok. Look at your list of priorities and see if you can create a project of your own.
Today I wanted to leave you with some parting words and some food for thought.
Projects that Span Over Several Priorities
Here's something I learned in a class a few years ago: if you pick a project that revolves around several of your priorities simultaneously, the project will be that much more rewarding. For example, last year I did a project where my son, David, and I did a craft each week. This project fulfilled two of my priorities: spend more time with my son and bring more arts into my home. I am doing something similar with reading and David, this year. A few years ago, I used to take daily walks with my son where I took photos. This focused on three of my priorities: spend time with David, get some exercise, take more photos. Us Right Now, the project I mentioned yesterday, will help me get in the photos more and will help me document my family more.
The more items from your Priority List the project encompasses, the more likely you are to feel a deep connection to it and the bigger the reward at the end. So when you're picking a project, check to see how many of your priorities are fulfilled by it.
Here's the layout that ignited the Us Right Now project. It spans over several priorities for me: capture family, get in the photos, document more of our daily life.
Dipping Your Toes
I know that the idea to commit to something for a whole year feels overwhelming. To many, even a month feels like too much. That's totally ok. Just commit to one week. Tell yourself that you will scrap/draw/walk for one week. At the end of that week, you can decide to be done with it or commit all over again. This is your life. Your time. It's completely ok to do it your way. Feel free to dip your toes in, test the waters and then walk away (or dive in!) No one will judge you. These projects are completely for you. And they are to make your life fuller. So try one on for a while and see how it feels.
Here's a layout to commemorate a project where i took photos of my son daily for a few weeks to prepare him for his school shot.
This one is for those of you who are going "It's January 8 already, I missed the first week, so I can no longer do this project." As someone who is super left-brained, I totally understand this train of thought. I like things clean and prefer to start on the 1st and go till the 31st. When I finally decided to exercise daily, it was the morning of Saturday October 2, 2010. I could have told myself that I needed to wait until November 1 or at least until the next Monday. But I did neither. As they often say, the best time to start something is NOW. So if you missed the first week, you carry on anyway. You can compensate for it later or you can skip it altogether. No craft-police is going to come get you. This about doing something that's fulfilling to you, not about being perfect. If you end up skipping week 25 because you got really sick, you can also give yourself permission to skip that week. It's much better to skip a week than to judge yourself harshly and stop doing the project altogether. In one case you have 1-2 weeks missing, in the other case, you're missing 26 weeks! Just start now. Don't fret, don't worry about catching up. Just do it. I promise I won't tell anyone that you started late.
Changing Course (or Abandoning)
Just like it's ok to start late and to dip your toes, it's also completely ok to change course at any point. If the project isn't working for you, feel free to change it. If you change it and it still doesn't work, by all means, abandon it. Don't turn it into a chore. That's not the point. The only way it will work is if you commit to it. If it's a burden, you won't feel the same level of commitment and you will end up doing a half-good job. Then the rewards won't be nearly as sweet. Which is totally not the point. This is guilt-free. If you want to change course but aren't sure how to do it, revisit your Priority List or your One Little Word. Can you change this project in small ways where it's better aligned with your priorities? Can you make it less frequent? Can you make it so it feels less like work and more like fun? Just try to identify where the problem is so you can address that specific issue.
I am very very big on commitment. Once I give my word (even just to myself) I rarely ever go back on it. And yet, my Crafting with David project came to a natural ending point during the summer because I transitioned to teaching him how to read. We spent a lot of time on reading and math and crafts had to take a backseat. A piece of me was disappointed in myself but a bigger part of me knew that I was re-prioritizing and that was completely the right thing to do.
Just Try It
The most important thing I can leave you with is to urge you to give it a try. Pick a project that excites you and try it. Don't set a commitment time, don't try to organize it, don't do the prep work. I know that I am going against everything I told you to do on Tuesday. But none of those matter if they keep you from trying a project. So if that list overwhelms you, just pick something and dive in with both feet. After a few weeks/days/months if you're still feeling energized by it, you can always sit and do more prep work. So, feel free to break all the "rules." Just pick a project and go for it!
That's it! Thank you so much for spending this week on Resolutions with me. I hope that some of the ideas spoke to you and that I was able to inspire you to start a few projects of your own for 2011. If you have any questions you can always leave comments here or email me. And just to make sure I don't leave you empty handed, I wanted to offer you a few downloads that you can use in your projects.
Here are a few journaling spots and a few overlays.
If you only take away one thing from this whole week, I hope this is it: Your time is rare and precious and make sure to spend it on what's important to you.
Thank you so much for coming on this journey with me on the very first week of 2011 and for all your comments and thoughts and I hope you have the most amazing year ever!