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Rethinking Resolutions: Creative Ways to Create Habits

By: Georgia Schumacher

January 14, 2015

Keeping resolutions can be difficult enough. But what if a big imagination gets in the way of big plans for change? Creative people may find the traditional resolution game tedious—and not have much success with it as a result.

That's why some suggest a change in the way resolutions are made—and kept—that balances creativity, careful planning, and the right amount of fun.

1. Daydream your way to change

person on computer

Although you may often receive advice telling you to remove distractions and focus only on your goals, it may be good to allow yourself to occasionally get sidetracked—and even start daydreaming!

In fact, research suggests that daydreaming can be beneficial when it comes to sticking to resolutions. The reason? It give you times to consider why you’ve made a specific resolution, to imagine the steps it will take to complete, and to envision the experience of achieving your resolution.

2. Success is in the details

One of the biggest reasons that resolutions fail is people select goals that are simply too lofty without taking into account all the steps and time it will take to achieve. So what can be done to make resolutions succeed?

For starters, you should question any product—weight loss or otherwise—that promises to give you quick, dramatic results to make sure you aren’t being misled. To achieve anything worthwhile is most likely going to take hard work and commitment! For many, it helps to have a detailed path that allows you to keep track of your progress and visualize your next steps, one by one, toward your end goal.

Enter the spreadsheet. Lists, journals, and charts can be a big help in organizing thoughts and plans. Plus, they provide a daily reminder of goals. As you make progress on each step, take a moment to recharge your mental batteries and enjoy your accomplishment before moving on to the next part of your plan!

3. Don't forget to have fun

Such process-oriented steps may seem like a major downer to creative types, but peppering the process with some fun may do the trick. Try adding creative challenges that encourage creative growth to your goals for the year—finding the right balance of fun and work can be the key in sticking to resolutions!

Think about what inspires you to create art and look for similar, related ways to inspire yourself to complete your goals. You can also motivate yourself by creating fun, encouraging reminders for yourself and placing these around your house, car, or workspace. Other tips include designing your own calendar to track progress and selecting or creating imagery that will remind you of your resolutions.

4. Treat yourself

One thing is for certain—making resolutions work comes down to discipline. Whether it's tracking progress on a spreadsheet or making yourself stick to the goals on your sticky notes, change cannot happen on its own. But when you do start to succeed, don’t forget to give yourself a much-deserved reward. With every accomplishment and related reward, you are training your brain to continue to succeed!

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By: Georgia Schumacher

January 14, 2015

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