Now that it’s a new year, and if you’re like me, you’re thinking about fresh starts, right?
Or if not, maybe you are now that I’ve put it in your head. You’re welcome.
And if I’m being totally honest with myself, I don’t think I would have even considered the whole “new year new me” idea except that it’s been constantly thrown in my face for the past two weeks, so here we are.
New year, new resolutions, and a brand new list of things I want to accomplish; I’m sure you’ve never heard that before. We all make some kind of resolutions this time of year, but come June, have we kept them?
Cough cough, I sure don’t.
Discipline has never been my strong suit. I dwell, I think, I go back and forth, I hesitate and then months have gone by and I still haven’t done what I meant to. Like, I literally didn’t even start. My issue usually isn’t with sticking with something, it’s actually starting it. Anyone else like that?
Fuck, why is starting something new so damn hard?
This isn’t going to be another list of my resolutions I hope to keep this year. Like I just looked back at my 2012 resolutions and literally NOTHING HAS CHANGED GUYS. I still have the exact same goals – be more social and eat less chocolate croissants.
Might be time to accept I am who I am and just work on moving forward. Instead, I want to focus 2017 on actually starting all the things I say that I’m going to do.
Instead, I want to encourage you guys to just start something you’ve been thinking about for a while, big or small. Do you want to start a blog? Have you been meaning to learn something new? Have you been dwelling on a creative venture in the back of your mind? Is there somewhere you’ve been dreaming of traveling to but haven’t made it happen yet?
If you’re anything like me, which I reckon most of you are because why else would you be here, the beginning is always the hardest part of all. That is my one big goal for 2017 – turning my thoughts and ideas into actions.
I was catching up with a friend (who by the way is a basejumper) the other day when this came up, and it really got me thinking that it isn’t just me, it’s probably most of us.
Actually starting something, especially something creative, is really really hard. Why is that?
If I had to hanker a guess, I would imagine it’s the uncertainty of it. Other things are much more predictable. Like if I learn to snowboard, if I put in enough hours and try hard enough, I’ll improve. But what are the metrics for creative ventures?
Unconsciously we have slipped into the mindset that creativity now revolves around success, which I think is totally the wrong reason for starting something.
Success and failure don’t matter.
You have to do it because you love it, wholeheartedly, otherwise how will you ever keep it up?
What will sustain you for however long it takes until you’re successful? I blogged for almost three years before I made any money off it. I blogged because I loved it, and I wanted a place to share my stories, first for me, and then later on for you guys too. And I still blog now because I love it (most of the time).
I hate that failure and success are now intertwined with creativity. I believe that the only way you can fail creatively is by not even starting.
I read a book once about Iceland being one of the world’s happiest country – did you know that? One of the reasons he attributed to this collective national happiness was the creativity there. Iceland publishes more books per capita of any country in the world.
And people don’t write to be read, they write because they have something to say and that kind of creativity is encouraged. It’s just the simple joy of making something.
It doesn’t matter if no one reads that book you wrote, all that matters is that you did it. Yay you!
I also think sometimes we make the mistake of not starting something because we aren’t sure we are ready. This is generally my biggest issue as I am the world’s biggest self-doubter. Self-confidence? Not my strong suit.
But when will you be ready? Never would be the correct answer.
If you wait until you’re ready, you’ll be waiting forever. You often just need to take a leap of faith. One of my favorite quotes is “jump and the universe will catch you,” and I’ve found it to be so true, most poignantly when I threw caution to the wind and quit my job to travel four years ago, and LOOK AT ME NOW GUYS!
Do not let the notion of success keep you from starting something you’ve been thinking about. Ironically, do not let success hold you back from going after what you want.
Don’t be afraid to try something creative and try to do it for yourself first and foremost.
I’ve found personally that the biggest obstacles in life are often ourselves. We hold ourselves back. Our fear of failure. The idea that we aren’t good enough or what we make won’t be successful. We need to stop
Look at me spewing wisdom left, right and center. Ironic, I know. Stay with me. We should follow our creativity without fear. Be like Iceland. So join me this month in taking a leap of faith, jumping into the unknown on something we’ve always been meaning to do but haven’t, following our creative intuition for the simple joy of doing so and not for the outcome. Just do it. Are you with me?
What’s something you’ve been meaning to start and haven’t yet? Any creative projects pending in the back of your mind? What are your goals for 2017? Spill!