Having one word is much easier.
Last year my word was CREATIVITY and I had a blast with it. Not only did I sew, draw, knit, crochet and paint furniture, I also practised new ways to approach familiar situations and behaviours - looking for a better, more creative way to handle life's challenges.
This year using COMMITMENT as my guiding principle is helping to ground much of what I learned.
Last year I had so many creative projects on the go they colonised the bedrooms and it would take me hours to clear up my stuff to make room for visitors. So in January COMMITMENT saw me gathering my stuff and moving it all into one designated room. My husband generously offered me his study and I created a lovely office space for him on the upstairs landing (nicer than it sounds, honest). The spare bedroom is now ready for visitors at a moments notice, I have a perfect space to work in and everything has its rightful place.
February's COMMITMENT was to unfinished business. All the half finished projects from last year got put on a list and I slowly worked my way through them. Not just the pyjamas I hadn't finished sewing, or the blanket/quilt/baby hat I was still working on, I made a concerted effort to listen very consciously to the voice inside my head that nags me about stuff I have or haven't done, or berates me about situations or relationships that need attention. Again, I wrote them down and slowly worked my way through them.... okay some didn't get addressed right away, but I am much clearer about them; I now know what I have to do and have set myself some deadlines.
March's COMMITMENT is to a fresh start. The house is clean, the cupboards sorted, the charity shop donated to. With the longer days I go for a lovely morning run with the dog through woodlands and a water meadow. Each time my heart is filled with such gratitude not only that I am surrounded by glorious countryside, but that my body is still able to move with relative ease and that I can start each day with health giving habits.
April's COMMITMENT will see the start of me Making Wednesdays Matter and establishing a more focussed approach to the things I want to achieve in 2015. We've a busy year ahead - loads of family weddings, a little granddaughter to delight in; projects in the house and at work that we want to get on with and I know that creating focus will help things to run smoothly.
I have no idea what the rest of the year will look like but I do know that using COMMITMENT as my lens I am learning to see things differently and create successful outcomes with much greater ease.
6 easy steps to Commitment
- Make some noise. Write down what you would love to achieve this year and tell someone. There's something about saying it out loud and having someone witness it that helps the process. Your projects could all be fun but make at least one something you know is going to be a challenge but will make life easier in the long run. Here are just some on my list: sew a dressing gown, learn to knit fair isle and socks (not necessarily at the same time), put the decades of photos into albums, move the garden shed...
- Be Self-Centred. The first stage is to commit to yourself first - to make your own success and happiness matter too. This has to be something that is important to you and not done to please others or to keep the peace. If you find yourself fighting the process - stop, go back and check if the outcomes are really what you want.
- Fire up your neurons. We are natural problem solvers and asking yourself the right kind of question activates the mind's own search engine. Questions like 'what would commitment to this task look like?' will fire up those brain cells and you'll soon be coming up with creative solutions.
- Make a cup of tea. The unconscious Creative Mind works in images and metaphor and is a powerful driver of your behaviour. Help harness this resource by gathering images that help you see what the finished outcome will look like. So gather up some magazines, make a cup of tea and leaf through the pictures - its all 'research'. Whilst Pinterest is amazing - having a note book, vision board or even a box with a pile of ripped out pictures as physical reference helps to anchor the process and harness the power of your Creative Mind.
- Beware the Kiss of Death. Two things act as a Kiss of Death to Commitment: guilt that you're not achieving your goal and fear that you will lose your freedom if you do. Make your goals realistic and achievable, keep checking in with yourself: are these ideas/goals/dreams important to you? If so keep asking yourself what commitment looks like - and give yourself time to listen in, the answers will come.
- Phone a friend. Sometimes its good to talk things through when you get stuck. Its good to remember that asking for help is not a sign of weakness but of leadership - it communicates that you want to lead your life. If you don't have someone to call on who wants you to achieve your goals - put it on the list! And give me a call :)