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Questions for a Creative New Year

Amy Creative Journey | Goals | Philosophical Threads | Planning | WOTY , , , , , ,
Plan your creative year

Ready for a New Year

Last year, I think I was much more on top of things as the end of the year and start of the new year came into view. This year, a wicked virus has taken me down for the count in the days of December that I look forward to and enjoy most. In between cold-medicine stupors and fever-shifting hazes, I’ve had time to think about how the year went, but I haven’t had energy to really spend time scratching things out on paper, making my own hieroglyphic view of the days and months that have been, and wrestling on the page with what that means in the year to come. Being sick during these days that are so important to me has left me out of sorts. I am definitely behind the eight ball in terms of conducting my end-of-year review for 2018.

  • I haven’t had the opportunity to wallow in year-end (EOY) reflection, in word of the year (WOTY) pondering, and in goal setting for the New Year.
  • I didn’t get to podcast my holiday lights show yet or the snowglobes show.
  • I didn’t get to talk about Ryder Carrol’s Bullet Journal Method (which finally came in from the library), my decision about a Hobonichi (after weeks of debating), or my tug of war between drawing portraits and hiding away in a corner with an illustrated journal of my days.
  • I didn’t get to fully wrap my head around what happened in December and how easy it is to get firmly off-track and completely derail.
  • I haven’t yet done my end-of-year sketchnote.

Despite the ringing in my ear (incessant), I know that if I am not careful, not only will I not wrap up my loose ends for 2018, but, worse, 2019 will start without me having a plan in place, even a loose one, and that wouldn’t be good. I am a big believer in starting off the New Year with a mix of things in the air and seeing what happens.

Last year, I came up with a set of questions that I thought you might also find helpful. These pair up as a logical follow to my year-end creative review questions. This set of questions is specifically for planning your creative year. Nothing you write here is set in stone, but your answers to these questions may help you see the big picture of your year or identify the direction you want to take or changes you may want to consider.

Sorting Out My Plan for a Creative Year

  1. What is your topmost creative goal for the year?
  2. Are you doing a daily or 365 (total) project? If so, what is your plan?
  3. Do you have other “daily” creative tasks/goals planned? List them.
  4. Do you have “weekly” creative tasks/goals planned? List them. (“Weekly” means you hope to do x once a week.)
  5. Do you have “monthly” creative tasks/goals planned? List them. (“Monthly” means you hope to do x once a month.)
  6. Do you plan to participate in any monthly challenges? List them by month.
  7. What projects or explorations do you plan to do (other than any 365 or monthly challenges)? List them in order of interest or planned sequence.
  8. What projects, not yet listed, are bucket list projects that you would like to and/or “might” work on this year?
  9. Of your bucket list projects, which one is more important to you?
  10. Is there an area, material, or medium you would like to explore? (If so, what?)
  11. Do you plan to take classes or workshops this year? If so, list them.
  12. If you have multiple “daily” creative goals, look at your list and estimate how much time they might take (all together).
  13. Is this amount of time possible in your day? (If not, return to the “daily” list and really look closely at what you want to do daily versus, for example, weekly or monthly.)
  14. How do you “feel” when you look at your list of projects? (If your list inspires anything less than positive thought and excitement, you may need to reevaluate your list! If your list overwhelms you, definitely look again!)
  15. Does your list of projects and goals/tasks allow room for discovery, flexibility, and “new” projects that will arise? If not, look closely at your list to make sure you have flexibility.
  16. What one goal can you meet this month to make you feel good about your creative life? (You should repeat this question in advance of every month.)
  17. What is your word for the year? (If you don’t know yet, what words are you considering?)
  18. How do you summarize your creative life or art to someone else? (1-3 sentences.)
  19. How does that summary make you feel?
  20. What makes you happiest or brings you the most satisfaction in your creative life?
  21. What would you like to change about your creative life?
  22. What steps can you take to bring about that change?
  23. How will you keep yourself on track this year to meet your goals for your creative life?


Good luck, and Happy New Year!



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