Our lives can get very dull when we feel trapped in the mundane tasks and routines of daily life. It is easy to get bogged down in our responsibilities and the work that simply must get done. Yet, too much of the mundane will dull our senses and suck the life out of us, leaving us dry and bored. The solution? We must find ways to engage our creativity on a regular basis so we stay fresh and vibrant. One of the ways I have found to do this is to keep a create book for ideas and inspiration.
At a particularly dry time of my life when I felt I had even lost my sense of self, I happened upon a journal book with the word “create” imprinted in rows on the cover. It was the small step I needed to begin reinventing myself and remembering what it was to enliven my creativity. The concept of the journal was to create the life I wanted by sketching thoughts, goals, and ideas as they emerged. By recording them in my little book, I could review them regularly for inspiration and write new reflections when they surfaced.
Starting a create book is different than writing in a regular journal. Journals often record events and comment on feelings, situations, or hopes and dreams. In contrast, the content of a create book focuses on articulating a life vision, crafting succinct goals, reflecting on milestones, or developing new ideas. It is a place for the inner person to grow and emerge through intentional creativity and dynamic interaction with the elements that inspire us and invite us to become who we are.
Here are some of the ideas I have collected in my create book:
- My Favorite Things: This is a list of 25 activities that I enjoy. Some items are as simple as swinging on the swingset at a park, but each activity on the list gives me energy and fits my image of who I am.
- What I Value: I boiled my life priorities down to a few main areas that define what a well-rounded life looks like to me. For instance, I want to have rich relationships and invest in meaningful work.
- Celebrations: In my goal-oriented efforts to strive for more, I often forget to celebrate my accomplishments along the way. So, I added a section where I outlined some of the accomplishments I am most proud of and those that demonstrate my values.
- Annual Goals and Year-in-Review: I write specific goals in each area of my life for the year. Then at the end of the year, I add comments on the progress I’ve made in each area. I don’t always fully complete each goal, but I am still able to acknowledge my growth.
- Reading Lists: I always have a running list of books or other materials that I want to read to learn and develop myself and my skills. I record the books, videos, classes, etc. that I review to document my investment in myself.
- Revelations: When I experience one of those “ah-ha” moments. When the “lightbulb” goes off and I understand something in a new way or gain new insights about myself or others, I write it down and describe what I learned.
- Ideas: Whether I have an original idea I want to explore further or I am inspired by a quote or concept I encounter, I add it to my create book to record it and to give myself a space to contemplate, explore, and engage it with my creativity.
- Envisioning the Future: I write out full descriptions of where I am going and what I want my life to be like. I like to use vivid imagery to make the vision specific and clear. Then I review the vision to remember and make adjustments when the vision changes.
These are just some of the things you will find in my create book. The goal is to be intentional about the way I shape my life. As you add to your create book, your life will naturally move in the direction of what you value, what you enjoy, and what you want when you take the time to reflect, find inspiration, and remember who you are and who you want to be.
Please share your insights with us! Do you have a create book? What kinds of things do you write in your create book?