New Year’s Resolutions? Goals? I know, I’ve heard all the “goals aren’t good” and “resolutions set you up to fail” and wondered why I enjoy making them so much. In an earlier post, I wrote about goal setting in terms of making them into dreams (see Dreaming Wide Awake), which for me is what goals truly are, but that still doesn’t explain why I love, love, love a new year. I finally figured out why goals and resolutions are such fun for me and—if I may be so bold—can be fun for you too. I inspire myself. I get excited about the possibilities. I can’t wait to dig in and write more and on a consistent schedule, finish that book, make more art, completely organize and deep clean my house—haha that has yet to happen—get in great physical shape, etc., etc. Yet, a list of dreams, or wants, or intentions can be overwhelming. This year, I’ve decided to simplify my life, so I have one New Year’s resolution. I am going to get inspired to write. Okay between that and simplifying my life, I may have two resolutions, but I’ve never been very good at math.
Get Inspired to Write
How does one get inspired to write you may ask?
Get Inspired to Write Step 1
The first step is to decide to do it. Don’t listen to the voice that tells you this stuff isn’t worthwhile, nothing works out anyway, what a waste of time! All you need is that first simple step. Trust yourself. Life is about choices, and you are the one in charge! Look to yourself for the power of inspiration. Done? Done! That was easy, right? You did step #1 and you aren’t even finished reading this article. Congratulations!
Get Inspired to Write Step 2
The next step is to listen to yourself (not that voice … there isn’t enough time or what’s the point, or go watch television, it’s more fun) and pay attention to what you really want. What is important to you? What excites you? What will make you happier? Healthier? Ask yourself these questions and listen to the answers. Then see step number one. Decide to do it.
Get Inspired to Write Step 3
Finally, take one tiny, baby action step. I said “yes” to creating an art canvas for the Spring Green Arts Coalition’s Art Out of the Closet event. (I firmly believe, for writers, having fun and flexing your creative muscles by expanding creativity is essential.) One “yes” and I found myself cleaning out a spot in my art studio (which had become storage space) to work. It’s the first mosaic I’ve done in over five years. One baby step is enough to get you started.
And as Lao-Tzu said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” So join me. Take that first step and prepare to have more fun, be creative, enjoy your life, and get excited over your possibilities for the next year.
Kathy Steffen is an award-winning novelist and author of the “Spirit of the River Series:” “First, There is a River,” “Jasper Mountain,” and “Theater of Illusion,” available online and in bookstores everywhere. Additionally, Kathy is published in short fiction and pens a monthly writing column, “Between the Lines.” She writes from a log home in the woods of southwestern Wisconsin that she shares with her husband and three cats. Find out more at www.kathysteffen.com