The final countdown of the year is here. Over the years, I’ve collected 10 Creative New Year’s exercises for the artist within. If you’re like me, your creative spirit needs some replenishing.
Queenstown, New Zealand
What an intense year it’s been–full of high-highs and low-lows. And yet somehow, we have not only endured but found moments to celebrate, believe in the impossible, keep loving when we felt empty, and wake with a sense of hope for the new day. The resilience of the human spirit is breath taking. The resilience of your spirit is amazing. And if nothing else, you are worth celebrating!
To celebrate, here’s 10 creative New Year’s exercises for the artist within you! I know…I REALLY get into this, so much so that I have a whole 5 week online course in January! LOL! If you’ve taken the course, you know how great it is to start the year nourishing your creative spirit. The below exercises are like rituals that bring closure to my year as I prepare for the next. They are exercises that feed my artist within. Some are random in nature. Some are thoughtful. Some are easy, and some…I consider super, heavy lifting. I thought I’d share a handful with you.
Take 15 minutes, or if you can 60 minutes, to yourself today or tomorrow. Pick one, two, or more New Year’s exercises for the artist within, and let your artist child run free. There is something powerful about starting a New Year with the innocence and possibilities that children possess.
10 Creative New Year’s Exercises for the Artist Within!
1. If you had to pick a color or colors, what colors would you use to describe the last year? What colors do you want to begin the new year with?
2. Take a 15 minute photo walk. Look for something that catches your eye. Something that reflects, represents, symbolizes the last year. As you walk home be on the lookout for an image that represents your hopes for the new year. Share the photos with someone you love and trust.
3. Grab a handful of magazines and cut out any image that makes you smile. Don’t over think this one. If you smile, rip it out. Then walk away from all your cut outs for a few hours. After time has passed, return to your cut outs and write down the consistencies you find. What are the common threads? What are these common threads saying about your heart’s desires? How can the recognition of these common threads help you build dreams for the new year?
4. One of my favorites from the Artist Way; write an encouraging letter to yourself. Write the letter from a place of Great Love for yourself. What do you need to hear as you step in to the new year? How do you need to be encouraged? You know your heart’s needs better than anyone. What words of life can you give to yourself in this letter? When your done writing, mail the letter to yourself. What a wonderful gift to start the New Year with!
5. What was your favorite recipe in the last year and why? What is the recipe you were scared to try? Any thoughts on why?
6. Dreaming Big: If you could wave a magic wand, what three dreams would come true? Dream BIG for this exercise. Don’t do necessity dreaming—like paying the bills. But really push yourself to dream beyond your most urgent needs.
7. For those of you who are feeling overwhelmed, find a way to go and see a movie by yourself. (This is one of the toughest things for me to do, but when I’ve done it—it has made all the difference.)
8. This one is from two wise business coaches: As you look back, what motivated you to change and to move toward your heart’s desires and your goals? Inner desires or intentions? Outward events or people? Necessities?
9. Your Heart’s Garden: With your journal, take inventory of your heart’s garden. What is blooming? What is dying? What needs to be pruned back? Are there any unexpected empty plots? What is thriving in the garden of your heart? Something you didn’t expect to survive the storm? What does it feel like to lock yourself in the bathroom, turn the fan on, close your eyes for 60 seconds and picture yourself in that garden? What sounds do you hear in your garden? What scents? Are you at rest in your own garden? If not, what are things you could do to find rest?
10. My favorite exercise with the family: Take some time to sit together. Each family member gets their own turn. Set the timer for 60 seconds and be still together, waiting on God, opening your heart to any word or picture of encouragement for that family member. When the 60 seconds is over, share your impressions one at a time, and have someone write them down. Maybe even start a Family Prayer Journal for the new year. We have filled up four of these treasured journals. I can’t even describe how precious they are.
Happy New Year Friends! With great excitement, we picture you on our left and right as we enter the new year together—supporting each other. Here’s fun, creative ideas on how to start/end the New Year with your kids. This is a simple photography exercise for the soul to start the New Year.
All my love,
p.s. Over the next few days, feel free to share your exercise results on my Facebook Page!