Mid-Year Goals Assessment for Creative Minds

Evaluation and refocusing are two essential pieces to accomplishing goals, especially for someone like me, who often comes up with tons of creative ideas, but never seems to have the energy to complete them all.

Last week, I posted regarding my goals for 2010 and the plans in place to achieve those goals. This week, I reflect on what’s worked, what hasn’t and where to go from here. I am doing this with just a few simple steps.

  1. Review my best laid plans to remind myself of all the things I want to accomplish, both large and small.
  2. Assess which goal paths I have been following and how much progress I have made.
  3. Look for other goal path opportunities.
  4. Act.

Learn

Assessment: I have utilized my free time very well and integrated learning into my work life with much success. I have accomplished a lot in the way of reading (books and blogs). I have deepened and broadened professional relationships, both through my office and no my own. I am extremely grateful to have a great new mentor and other professionals in my network whom I consider positive influencers, teachers, and colleagues. I’ve discovered areas of interest I didn’t know I had, uncovered talents and built skills I didn’t think I had the capacity for.  I view every challenge as a learning opportunity. I’m grateful and determined, working hard on every creative project and taking every chance to develop skills as a young professional. I’ve started journaling (on paper, in ink) again, launched this new blog to catalogue my progress in creative ventures and I am keeping the conversation going on the creative process across disciplines and fields and various platforms. I haven’t made it to any of the finish lines for my learning goals, but I’ve made huge strides.

Next step: I need to get out that 35 mm film camera and take some photos!


Create

Assessment: I’ve started this new blog about the creative process and have been successful with posting fairly regularly. I’ve cleaned out old clothing and have a huge pile of things to donate to charity… soon it will be time to make my own pieces. Though I haven’t completely succeeded here, I’m encouraged to do more the second half of the year. I’m excited about more opportunities to create blog content, my own clothing, jewelry for my roommate (who’s allergic to any metal except for gold), and putting together a cohesive and comprehensive offline journal. I used to carry around a Moleskine, which was not just a journal, but a living piece of art – I’ve started to get back into this practice and it’s amazing what a difference it makes in my life. Even if no one else ever sees it, “Art for art’s sake.”

Next step: Design my logo and put together a site. Completely finish cleaning out my closets and get my art and craft supplies in order in a workspace.



Invest

Assessment: I am doing MUCH better with eating well and have been shopping almost exclusively at the farmer’s market and only at Trader Joe’s aside from that. I have invested money into a personal trainer and this morning I started working out at the gym with her. The monthly membership and training sessions are expensive, but I’m looking forward to getting into shape and staying that way. I felt great this morning and, though I will be sore tomorrow, the investment in my future health is the only motivation I need to keep going. I’ve done a terrible job at keeping track of the accomplishments, but I certainly have been keeping up with the goal of doing something every week that I’m proud of – I think I’m going to start writing them all down for future reference and motivation. As I said above, I’m working on cleaning up and out and getting rid of any clutter (this one still needs quite a bit of work). I’ve been doing great with paying down what little debt I have and hope to continue on that trend throughout the rest of the year.

Next step: Writing in my journal the accomplishments I want to remember, work at better balancing my budget.

Image Credits: Learn – Rachael Ashe; Create – jessica wilson; Invest – connie zhen.

I’d love to know where you are on your goals for the year. How do YOU assess your progress? What adjustments have you made? How do you feel about the rest of the year?

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Dew Droplets

image by Rakeem Cunningham

The best of the web as relates to creativity:

Think a press release sounds too much like fiction? That’s probably because the writer has a great handle on writing. Read this post that explains 10 Things Public Relations Flacks Can Teach You About Writing Fiction.

Not sure what to write about? Here’s an idea or three: Let Analytics Be Your Guide from HubSpot’s Inbound Internet Marketing Blog.

The the Creative Copy Challenge and show what your made of! These sets of key words challenge you to create a short story that incorporates all 10. This morning, a feisty, fantastic bunch inspired by Shane Arthur’s grandmother.

Len Kendall Tweeted the other day about the word “fresh” – thinking fresh involves strategy and discipline. Becoming Innovative involves using what you know and linking it with the unexpected. Use what you know, turn it, mold it, form it into something fresh.

How To Grow New Brain Cells and Outwit Competitors is another knock-it-out-of-the-park post by Jonathan Fields. He illustrates how physical fitness leads to success in his series on Fueling Epic Journeys. Get ready to fuel your own when you join Zia Hassan, who posted not long ago on this blog about How To Get Into The Best Creative Shape of Your Life. How similar are building muscle and building brain cells? What does that mean for the creative spirit? I’ll let you be the judge.

What kinds of things influence the creative process in putting together a logo? There are many, but have you ever thought about what the energy of your logo embodies? Carolyn Winter, a professional energy healer and life coach, analyses Chris Brogan‘s new logo in her post, asking Do you resonate with your logo? Do your customers resonate with it? Something else to think about when you are creating – how does energy, physical and perceived, play into your work?

Dew Droplets

image from National Geographic

The best of the web as relates to creativity:

In need of some inspiration? Why not try on a new persona? Stepping out of the norm might just give you the kick in the pants you needed. Copyblogger’s Johnny B. Truant explains the freedom that comes along with letting your true self out, the one true self that you were always a little scared to be, but the one who drives your dreams, who inspires everyone s/he meets including you. So, who are you, really? What is your true self going to accomplish today?

We all get tired now and then. Burnt out. Here’s 10 Ways to Stay Creative While Exhausted… just a little fuel to keep you going this Friday.

Let us not forget the things we can do with absolutely nothing at all… here’s some fantastic art created only with the human form (work safe).

PLAY. Be silly. Do something frivolous and unexpected. Let spontaneity take over. Read The Creative Life: (Re)Learning How to Play.

Sir Ken Robinson speaks about creating the right environment for learning and creativity in his TED Talk (TED = Technology, Entertainment, Design): Bring On The Learning Revolution!

Inspiration for Your Weekend

image from Anna Nguyen

The best of the web as relates to creativity:

The power of creativity is an awesome thing, indeed. Look what the Favela Painting Project is doing for the slums of Rio de Janeiro! Amazing what a little paint and a little instruction can do. (Thanks, Mack Collier, for the link!)

Steven Pressfield interviews Jonathan Fields, author of Career Renegade: How to Make a Great Living Doing What You Love on his creative process. Check it out here.

The Six Hats of Creative Communication from Best100Ideas.com explores the different colors of creative thinking in the context of communication strategy.

Struggling to make every thought of yours new and creative? Check out the antidote: Why Being Obvious Can Be Original, Too from Danny Brown.

The lines are blurring… how everything is related to everything, or at least how sales writing is related to public relations from Amy Mengel. What perspective are you writing from? How will it improve if you incorporate the best of everything else you’re great at? What about thinking outside the box? Or knocking down the walls of the box altogether?

Need to brainstorm on how to brainstorm? Usual cloud technique not working for you? Explore all types of Creativity and Innovation Techniques from Mycoted, a wiki site dedicated to improving creativity and innovation for solving problems worldwide. See something missing? Add it! (Thanks for the tip, MyCreativeTeam!)

So you want to be a writer? What are you waiting for?! Check out 8 Must-Dos for Aspiring Writers from Amber Naslund. This woman makes things happen. She’s inspirational. Follow her lead and soon you’ll be inspiring others, too!