Hi everyone, hope you are all ok, despite the very grim news today that the UK Covid deaths figure has now gone over 100,000. This is both surreal and too real all at the same time, and will weigh heavily on everyone going through this. It’s a lived experience that we could never have foreseen, and yet we have all developed strategies, conscious or not, to get through this as best we can.
And so on to today’s blog post, which is a little different to usual and hopefully provides just a little light relief, whilst we wait for our vaccinations.
As you may gather from the title it was my birthday this week. I still don’t feel remotely the age my birth certificate says, I feel around 33 in my heart, but after last year and all that entailed, I must admit, sadly, that I finally look more my age, chemo is a bugger for aging you.
But this week I have lots to celebrate, not least not spending it with sepsis in a hospital bed like last year, now that is an experience I never wish to repeat. No, this year’s birthday was much nicer, even in lockdown and included a LOT of food; poached eggs in bed, a takeaway dinner and a big coffee cake made by my daughter (yum), plus friends chats on zoom, family quizzes and lots of gifts being dropped off at my door, I’m a lucky girl (see I still don’t call myself a ‘woman’!).
But turning 47, is a reminder there is still so much I want to do, ideally before I am 50…here’s a few I want to tick off:
Other than dreaming of the things above, I’ve got a busy week coming up. Today I did a LIVE interview with Claire Tomkins, from Your Story Matters which was great, we have similar backgrounds, so we had lots to talk about how stories weave into your life and effect your creativity, and how it’s been a constant thread in my life since I was a child.
I’ve lots of other work and training plans to do this week too, there seems to be a lot of talented people offering free programmes at the moment, which is rather lovely and useful to people still trying to lift their businesses off the ground or progress further, for example Lucy Griffiths: ‘Turn your expertise into a course challenge’ on Facebook.
I’m launching something new too which I’m rather excited about, but more on that next week.
I also need to update my resource page – The Curious Cave, with the many new creative podcasts out there, which are a constant source of inspiration, such as The Creative Ways podcast with Emma Isaacs, and Creative Women International, with Philiy Page, and finally I need to practice what I preach and schedule in some of my own creative time, and try some new things as promised in my previous blog post here, where I committed to trying one new creative skill a month…I may do this as an Insta challenge soon and see if others would like to join in, so watch this space…
In the meantime, I thought I would leave you with the link to the piece I wrote for my turn on The Yorkshire Writers Lunch Blog, on Monday – 47 Years Young, all about remembering where I’ve come from, i.e., a quirky, pretty uncool eleven year old girl who had a lot of determination to get through some tough times ahead (and hence the title of this Blog today).
I hope you like, and try not to laugh too hard at the photo!
Feel free to use the angle of my piece, as a writing prompt of your own;
Simply add the single digits of your age together and think back to that young age – who were you back then and what parts of you have stayed the same or changed? It’s an interesting way to reflect and see how far you’ve come.
I’d just like to point out that all the above, as chirpy and enthusiastic as I may come across, it doesn’t negate what is going on out there, I feel a responsibility to still watch and understand what is happening, even though I know many prefer not to as it is too distressing (which I also totally understand) BUT all the above gives me passion and purpose to keep going, and emerge with something worthwhile and solid that I hope is helping others find their passion and purpose too.
Don’t forget if you haven’t read last week’s blog, there are lots of ways to get motivated during these dark days of January in there. so do have a read.
All my creative work is also keeping me distracted from another personal deadline in terms of cancer check ups, keeping busy is my go-to survival mechanism! We all have our ways of getting through this pandemic and other real-life stuff, and this is mine.
Likewise whatever is yours, just do it, without fear of judgement, especially your own, practice self-care and gratitude, these are the things that truly help.
Until next time…have a good week, stay home, stay strong, stay safe and get your vaccination when called, I personally cannot wait for mine.
Take care out there,
Juliet, The Curious Creative x
Please do let me know our thoughts on today’s Blog, it always helps me to improve, I want these posts to be as useful as possible to my readers, thank you.
PS The Yorkshire Writers Lunch bloggers are a talented bunch, please do check out their work, via the link, and they might inspire you to put pen to paper too.
PPS – We have been lucky with quite a bit of snow lately here in Yorkshire,inspiring my @soothedbynature photography if you’d like to check out some snowy images taken on my walks with Barley
As I write this, it is famously ‘Blue Monday’ in the UK, a notion that I don’t actually subscribe to as it sometimes falls on my Birthday (next Monday, I’ve escaped it this year) and whoever came up with this idea, I really don’t know exactly what they were trying to achieve, other than perhaps permission to be miserable? And who wants to be that?
I think we have enough reason to potentially be miserable don’t you, without another reminder thank you very much!
Ok, rant over BUT what I can identify with is the people among us who seem to suffer more from the dark days of Winter, and become enveloped in the gloominess, at least weather-wise out there, the ones that suffer from Seasonal Affected Disorder.
Then add on what we are all going through right now, and it would be very easy to say, ‘ok I think I’ll just hibernate until the Spring arrives, bringing sunshine, and way more of us vaccinated’!
But unfortunately, life’s never that simple is it? We are not dormice, or hedgehogs, we are humans that need to get on with things, and so this Winter whilst still in the middle of a pandemic, we need to dig deeper than ever before to find our energy reserves, to keep fuelling a positive, hopeful mindset and actively search for more inspiration and motivation.
And if you are someone that gains that fundamental resource from other people, face to face connection, hobby groups, socialising, events like the theatre and concerts, then it is genuinely more difficult whilst in this position, where it has all been taken away from us, for a 3rd time in a year.
So, what do we do about it, as creatives, how can we keep inspired and motivated?
Sometimes, as creatives, this is not our strong point! It can feel too formulaic, and a little scary, but trust me, spending some time thinking the next 3 months through can really boost your confidence, knowing on a deeper level and getting to grips with the direction you are heading in, rather than simply ideas floating in your head. And this doesn’t have to be perfectly laid out on an excel spreadsheet!
In fact, thinking how you work best and playing to those strengths makes a big difference to how bought in to this process you will be. So, for example, using coloured pens and mind-mapping it out over the seasons works best for me, and then from that will stem a more detailed 3-month plan.
In these unpredictable times, working on a 3-month basis is far less daunting and more realistic, who knows where we will be in 3 months’ time? Longer term goals can still be noted, and put on a shelf to be at the ready when you are.
2.Throw in some new challenges, and be open to new opportunities.
I think this is especially important right now, in a World that has shrunk and become duller in our everyday life, it’s important to keep your creativity spark, and that can always be reignited by daring yourself to try new things.
As creative people develop a certain style in their work and become more confident and comfortable, it’s easy to slip into the stream of just doing those things, but what got you to that point of success in the first place was your curiosity and courage to try.
This is where the magic lies, and we have to keep nurturing it in order to not just play it safe and grow in our creative approach and work.
If you continue doing the same thing for too long, then the passion for our work dwindles and you become bored doing the same old thing. To keep our curious energy alive, especially right now, you may be thinking it would take a monumental effort to challenge yourself at this time, but without trying, we will never know what is possible.
I know in a world that feels out of control right now, it may be more tempting to keep small, hunker down and protect ourselves, but it is rising to the challenges where we really grow, in our spirit, confidence and skills.
Opportunities to do this are everywhere when you look and are open to them.
Take last week for example, I was sent an opportunity from a friend about a self-care art project run by Artworks. I took a look and learned more about the work they do and was even more intrigued. For the project you had to put together an artistic selfcare proposal, plus send your CV and an Art portfolio.
It sounded great and I thought I could adapt the guiding word work I’ve done recently to this and put forward a proposal. However, the deadline was the very next day.
Now, I could have easily passed this up, it was short notice, it was something I had no experience of doing before, I had no Art portfolio, or a recent CV for that matter and so it was going to take some work.
But I also knew the project, and the people behind it, matched my values and were doing something that was great, for the benefit of others during the pandemic, and so I got to work and handed it in, just in time.
I’m under no illusion that they’ve probably had many entries, and therefore I am unlikely to get it, BUT what it did for me was several things, all of which were beneficial and a great learning opportunity for me:
There are many places to seek out opportunities and challenges, here are a just a few:
3. Actively seek new ways to be inspired.
This is somewhat harder than it used to be, due to some of our old avenues of inspiration being closed off, such as art galleries, exhibitions, our hobby groups, shops to understand what the trends are BUT that just means we have to become more inventive, and find new places to be inspired.
As I’m sure you know, digital platforms have grown immensely during lockdown, with some areas particularly taking off – and all are massive sources of inspiration, you just have to be careful you are not sitting there, all hours of the day, soaking it up.
Choose where you spend your time wisely. Pick accounts (e.g., Instagram) that pique your interest, match your values, and then get the most benefit, focus on what you are learning, take notes, connect with people, collaborate even, to get the most value from this time.
One that has really taken off during this last year are Facebook Groups:
Public Facebook groups are largely free, but you have to request to join (usually by just answering a few questions) and seem to have grown ten-fold over night! These are where you can become part of a specialised community, share your wares, take part in challenges, seek advice and are also a place to be accountable, if you wish, with regular prompts by the facilitators. Many also do Live interviews, which you can learn a lot from. Here are some of my favourites for small businesses and creatives:
4. Get outside, for your sanity and creativity.
All the above you may have noticed are things that you can do whilst in the confines and safety of your own homes.
But the one thing I can practically guarantee will bring more inspiration and mental wellness than any of the above, is to get outside and embrace all that Winter has to offer, and I know that can be a challenge in the UK with storms, rain, and sometimes endless fog days but now and again we do get some sunshine and also SNOW!
This happened in Yorkshire last week, and my walks took on a whole new magical entity, taking trips into a Narnia like kingdom! It really was mesmerising.
I can’t tell you what a huge mood-boosting experience it was, the sun on my face and the air so fresh, it cleansed my mind and soul all in one.
I took my friend into the woods too, and all I could hear were ‘Oooos, Ahhhs and Wows’ as we turned each corner.
I took so many pictures that day, fully engrossed in the view before me, which I’ve now uploaded on to my @soothedbynature account. When we are getting so few experiences to see new things at the moment, the changing of the seasons is the pure visual tonic we need to top us up.
I know everyone’s exercise space is different. You may live in a town or city, but it’s about the adventure and the possibility of seeing new things. For that hour’s exercise, so long as we do it safely, we can walk anywhere we choose, so enjoy that moment of freedom and explore, find the unique images, and use them in your work.
I know of a few accounts – @jfprod, @seasidekate amongst many others that take images of such unusual things on their walks, and they always inspire me, because they have captured something unique. And there are ones that bring us hope that we can visit new places and go on holidays again, @elenapellecchia58 certainly keeps that dream alive for me with her beautiful images of her home village in Tuscany!
5. Keep listening and learning.
On the days when those walks are simply about getting the dog out, being blasted by the rain and wind and not going flying in the mud, then it’s using that head space to learn that inspires me, and makes the walk more bearable!
I don my wellies, gloves and bobble hat and plug myself into a good podcast. You will know from my past posts that this has become a bit of an addiction, but they are so good, and genuinely inspiring and sometimes life-changing conversations that we are getting to listen in on, and for FREE!
You can check out my previous post here on my favourites, but I have some more recent selections too, here they are below….
This week also saw the return of Holly Tucker’s Conversations of Inspiration, which I must admit I’ve been keeping an eye out for as it is one of my absolute favourites!
This week’s conversation was with sports presenter Jake Humphries where growing up in Norfolk, Jake’s childhood was not an easy one after suffering severe bullying at school. After failing his exams and being fired from McDonalds, someone took a chance on Jake and changed the course of this life forever.
In this conversation, Jake shares his belief that people must take 100% responsibility in life – as well as his family motto to ‘never sit in the comfy chair’ – and how these philosophies have been pivotal in his journey to one of the leading broadcasters in the UK.
It’s such a valuable conversation, culminating in the ‘Letter to my younger self’ part of the format of Holly’s podcast and always a complete tear-jerker! Tissues at the ready!
As well as podcasts, I always keep a look out for new books and there’s a few on my ‘want’ list currently, not least Fearne Cotton’s ‘Speak Your Truth’ which I can’t wait to read. Hoping the birthday fairies may help me out there!
And finally speaking of my birthday, I’ve also added this wreathe kit from Bloomindales to my list, rather than receiving a bunch of flowers, much as I love those, I’d rather have the double joy of learning to make something myself, which I can then pop on the front door to create some extra, much-needed cheeriness.
So, I hope that has given you some ideas to keep your inspiration and motivation topped up on your creative projects throughout the chilliness and darkness of Winter.
My plan is to also use my wintery photos as stimulus for a poem next week, as it’s my turn on the Yorkshire Writers Lunch Blog – which I might add is another great source of inspiration for writers too so do check it out.
Until next time, go on a 1-hour adventure, but stay safe and take care.
Juliet, The Curious Creative x
Ps, Another thing you could get involved with if you are looking for ways to fill your time is to join the RSBP big garden bird watch taking place this weekend 29th – 31st January – great to get the kids involved with too!
Hi everyone, how’s it going after yet another momentous week in this crazy world? I feel like a month has gone by since my last post, and yet it’s zoomed by as well.
It’s been a case of getting back into the realms of an online learning routine for the kids, being back at home now, and re-opening The Thomas Family Café, which last time round was the bane of my life BUT thankfully already my guiding words are flying into my head to help me out and keep me calm!
This is always a good sign that you have picked the right guiding words, when you start to think about them subconsciously to help navigate day to day life and this is what I want to talk to you about today.
But first I want to explain how I came to choose mine, and why this year I’ve picked not just one, but two.
The first direction I was heading in during my process, (which you can read about on last week’s blog here if you are still trying to choose), was based on how I was working towards the end of last year, the word ‘Action’ kept floating to the surface.
I’d begun to get into a pattern of working really hard, striving to make every spare minute count, in a World that was increasingly unpredictable. My head was in that place of; ‘You need to crack on as much as possible now, because the ‘time’ could be taken away from you again, at any given moment’.
When I worked through the process, and from reflecting a lot on last year (see here for that Blog post), I realised I’d done a hell of a lot, and of course there’s a sense of satisfaction in that, that I could get on with it and get lots done when I had to, BUT the revelation was that a lot of the ‘doing’ was in response to what I’d gone through.
For those who have come on board recently, the first half of 2020 for me was spent in Chemo treatment, where if you think a global pandemic takes away control in your life, then being in a chemo routine, is whole other level! The hardest part of treatment was relinquishing control to the doctors and knowing that despite the head being willing, physically I felt so crap, there was very little I could do, other than rest and watch TV, which for someone who loves to be busy, was torture at first, until I surrendered to it.
What it did mean during the days I felt well, I went into this manic thing of; ‘Right, I’ve got get loads done before I go back downhill again’, the treatment was every 2 weeks, so this was a constant yo-yo, almost like I was living in 2 different bodies. Eventually I realised what I was doing, but also the adrenaline rush and distraction of interesting projects, kept me going.
Having this purpose and drive when I was well was key for me mentally BUT I also knew that eventually it would catch up with me physically, and from September onwards I was pretty knackered!
So, instead I went through the process and asked myself the key questions, including ‘How did I want to feel in 2021?’, and my new word started to filter through, which was ‘Balanced’ but to make that more active and present, it then became ‘Balance’.
Much of 2020 was still spent rushing around, despite lockdown, whether it be to hospital apts, school pick-ups or to my daughters swimming sessions and timings fitted in around that such as different mealtimes for half the family, and re-organising our accountability group WOW Wednesdays to really help support members in lockdown.
My close friends are often shocked at how much I fit in during a day, but I was starting to feel exhausted by it all, something needed to give. I also realised that I don’t often deep ‘breathe’ and I think I even hold it without realising. I wanted to add in a word that not only reminded me to do that (I know, madness!), but to also be in the ‘present’ not always ‘future’ thinking on the next task, which I do ALL the time!
Plus, as you know, I’m a big believer on looking for the signs out there, and in a past post I talked about listening to Brene Brown’s podcast ‘Unlocking us’ with Gabby Riviera which slapped me around the face with a wake-up call when they started talking about her book ‘Juliet take’s a breath’. I always take note of these messages put out into the universe!
Defining your words
The most important part for me once you’re close to choosing your word/s is looking at how you personally define the meanings, because then you can unlock further how they will work for you across different areas of your life. The best words for me are ones that work in multiple ways and are multi-faceted
I first begin at looking at the dictionary definitions:
Balance: ‘An even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady’
Bam! The ending of that definition sealed it for me! Yes, please to remaining upright and steady, that was EXACTLY what I needed!
Balance for me also means pausing to weigh things up, and it’s a feeling of calm and contentment, less heart-racing more liquid warmth running through my body. Balance feels very physical for me and as I’m so often ‘in my head’, thinking of ideas, plans, projects, you name it, this word feels perfect for reconnecting with my body and making it strong again, after a year of having everything thrown at it.
Breathe: Take air into the lungs and then expel it, especially as a regular physiological response
And also, Breather: To stop and pause, to take a small rest
The first is interesting to me as it also indicates letting go, you take in what you need (i.e., oxygen) and expel what you don’t need (carbon dioxide), it gives a sense of letting go to live in a more balanced way.
Breathe, also indicates to stop, and take a breath / breather, which is all about pausing, recognising how you are breathing in the present moment and asking yourself, what do you need right now? Check in with your body, do you need a 10-minute rest?
So that is how I define my words ‘Balance and Breathe’, but now how will I use them in everyday life?
I really enjoy this part because this is when the coloured pens come out and I start thinking deeper about my words’ job! And that is to work hard and perhaps differently across as many areas of my life to have the most effect.
To help with this, you could use a simple ‘Wheel of life’ (see pic) and ask yourself how your words will relate to each area. So, for example, how can I use ‘balance’ and ‘breathe’ in the ‘money’ section?
I then get to work mind-mapping it out, so if I get stuck at all throughout the year, I can come back and refer to it.
Simply thinking this all through and writing it down has a big effect because it feels like more of a commitment.
In essence, your word choices are gifts to yourself, creating an inner coach to help you navigate the year. You need to spend time getting to know them well.
And once you focus on them, get to the heart of what they mean for you and create a relationship with them, you will find they start to show up for you naturally, subconsciously, when you need them the most – just like your best friends getting in touch to check in with you.
I’ll give you an example, after I’d done my mind-mapping exercise, the next day I had a few things on, and time was over-running. I had a choice to either, drop off something at my Mum’s, and potentially miss the start of a workshop I‘d signed up to (Josephine Brooks, online planning workshop), or let my mum know I’d be up later on, stay home, have a decent lunch, do the workshop and then do the errand.
Now I know that sounds really simple, but ‘old’ me would not have wanted to let my mum down when she was expecting me, and would have whizzed over to do it, and rushed a sandwich whilst trying to catch up on the training.
BUT unexpectedly a question flew into my head:
‘Will going now tip the ‘Balance’ of my energy today?.’
Quickly followed by; ‘Am I giving myself enough ‘breathing’ space?’
I was so shocked I wrote these down, and committed them to memory for future use! But the point is it made me really stop and think, rather than just doing what I would have normally done. I listened to the question’s advice, and changed the time, thoroughly enjoyed the workshop, and nobody died!
And that’s the beauty of this inner work and using things like guiding words because it really can be THAT simple, but the simple most consistent things, have the most effect and impact into changing habits for the better, and for good.
So here are a few other ways in which my words will show up for me (not all or I’d be here all day) in 4 areas of my life:
Fun & Recreation
Just doing this short exercise I can see that ‘breathe’ can also mean ‘pause’ for me, and so is already showing up in different ways which is helpful and increases its value on a day-to-day basis.
The final stage…making your words visible!
Now that I’ve mind-mapped this all out, the final stage is to make my words visible, for those moments when life gets in the way, although I do think when you’ve been doing this a while as I have, for the last 5 years, you become more aware, especially when you have done this deeper work.
However, it’s still good to do this, and builds in some creative time, which you know is what I’m all about, so get out the paints, pencils, whatever art material of choice and create a visual representation of you word. This could be simply writing in some beautiful typography, or you could create a picture that embodies your word that you can relate to.
Alternatively, if you’d prefer, create a vision board, with key images torn out of magazines, placing your word in the middle, and adding in some supporting words too if you find that helpful.
Recently, I’ve got more into using Canva, so I’ve created this, below, using a photo from the holiday we went on in Cornwall, because the sea, always makes me feel instantly calm and more balanced, I’ve always been a water baby, part of my Aquarian star-sign, I think!
But then I experimented with colours that in my mind relate to elements in nature (another passion of mine) and added more support words around the edges that relate again to how I want to feel and work and with a little reminder to practice what I preach by adding play in there!
Each square and what they represent, left to right:
Mountain Path – (Earth): This is about staying on the right path, feeling committed to my direction, sure of my decisions and aligned to my values, knowing it’s a long game and a step-by-step journey
Sky (Air) – Breathing life into my passions and connections by speaking about them, it’s about learning and exploring, the wind carrying my ideas forward, and thinking bigger – blue-sky thinking and giving them a voice and boosting belief
Sea (Water) – This is where I get most of my energy, by being curious and creative, it’s where I feel most at home, trusting my intuition and going with the flow of my creative rhythm, just like the consistency and ease of the tide
Sun (Fire) – This is a reminder to not always be so focussed, to relax and find my sparks of joy, be playful and present and shine in my own quirky way and not ‘dull’ myself to fit in
I hope my example gives you some inspiration of how you can take your words further if you wish to and if you need any more ideas of how people have done this, have a look on Pinterest, or join Susannah Conway’s Facebook group, called ‘Find Your Word 2021’ as many people have put their versions on there.
And finally, Talk about it! It’s a great fun exercise to do with the family and get the kids involved. Plus, it helps you ‘own’ your word/s fully by talking to other people about it and even better to get friends involved and sharing their words too – you can then check in with each other and see how it’s going throughout the year. As you know when we share, it helps us to become accountable, and we often do better in achieving our intentions.
The only other thing to do is to make time to check in with your choice/s now and again to make sure they still feel right. As we know life and circumstances change all the time, so make sure your word/s still fit well for where you are heading or how you want to feel.
Your word/s are for you and you only so don’t be afraid to change them, at any point.
I hope this has helped to show you how your guiding words can have a real impact on your life, this is not a surface level thing to just tick because everyone else is doing it, it’s a powerful practice that can really help you move forwards if you take the time to integrate your words properly, and if they do show up in mysterious ways, I would love to know about it, so please do share in the comments!
Until next time…enjoy your daily walk (they are helping to keep me sane!), and then stay warm and cosy and safe.
Juliet, The Curious Creative x
Hi Everyone, how are you doing?
Firstly, Happy New Year! We really have made it into 2021, kind of surreal and a sense of relief for myself and many I think!
If you watched the fireworks and lights display over London on New Year’s Eve, I’m sure you felt very moved as it took us through the journey of 2020, it made me feel hugely emotional that we had all gotten through it, just, by the skin of our teeth and the bit at the end with David Attenborough telling us to look after the planet more, well he’s just my absolute hero.
The last few days have been spent removing the tree and the accompanying 10 thousand needles (I know we’ll be finding them for days despite vacuuming constantly!), going on snowy walks and sledging (it’s so pretty here at the moment) and eating comfort food as the cold really sets in, in front of the fire.
BUT, that Christmas lazy lull is starting to leave me and I can feel my mind buzzing to start cracking on with a plan and for me that always starts with choosing my guiding word/s for the year.
Now I know this practice is beginning to lose it’s uniqueness, years ago it was a well-guarded secret that slowly eased it’s way round the internet, spreading it’s magic, and now it seems the whole world and his dog are doing it, but don’t let that put you off.
Because of Covid and much of our social connection is via social media, the guiding word practice has spread like wild-fire, BUT that’s because it is good, and valuable and so when you can cut through the noise of everyone shouting about what theirs is, for those who are newbies, there are some really good tips to help you find yours, not least here of course!
I’ve been writing about choosing a guiding word since starting this Blog, right now heading into its 3rd year, and this ritual for me actually started 5 years ago when I learned all about it, initially from Mindset and Empowerment Coach @gabrielletreanor.
So firstly let me explain, what on Earth is this ‘guiding word / word of the year’ thing that everyone is harping on about and do I really need one?
A guiding word serves as a regular reminder in our daily lives to help us reach desired outcomes, goals or simply how we want to feel / be. You can use the word to focus on one particular area of your life that you’d like to improve, or it can be a more over-arching theme that can relate to all aspects within your life.
“For me, words are a form of action, capable of influencing change. Their articulation represents a complete, lived experience.”
As a writer, I’ve always believed there is a great power in words and never more so when choosing just one! It’s a practice I really enjoy doing, I like to dig deep and find one that fits just right and that can take time, but there’s no need to hurry it, I know from experience that the right word will come to me and you eventually.
So, what are the benefits of this seemingly simple practice, can choosing a word really make such a difference? Absolutely YES and here’s why:-
This can be a fun way to start, that can then lead on to more specific intention setting for the year.
So now you know the benefits, where do you start, without searching through the entire Oxford Dictionary?
Firstly, you need to examine what you want the word to do. ‘Words of the Year’ are usually chosen to motivate you and use as a way of helping to change something for the better or to work towards.
So, for example, if you spend all day rushing around looking after everyone else, then the word ‘self-care’ may be an option but if you’ve already built that into your life, then it’s not really going to challenge or inspire you, more just a reminder to continue to do the same.
I go about choosing a word in the following way:
Step 1 – The important questions
These are all important questions to ask yourself and uncover the truth of what you really need from your word – it should be your Ally, working hard like your own mini PA / Cheerleader in the background, so take your time to work through these questions, write the answers down in a notebook.
Step 2 – The long list and the short list
Step 3 – The chosen 1! (or 2 or 3!)
Then go on to asking yourself the following questions for each one…
I generally mind-map it out with the word at the centre, and all aspects it links to shooting off from it, that way I can see for myself how it will integrate into all areas.
By now, this should have helped to single out the most appropriate word on your list, but if not, just sit with your reduced selections for a few days and one will soon rise to the top!
Step 4 – Optimise your words’ power!
So, hurrah! Congratulations, you have your word! Now it’s time to empower it, put it to work in a way that suits you best and will make you sit up and take notice!
Other ideas you can use:
So as this is already a long post, (I could talk about this for hours), next week (maybe a mid-week drop in as a bonus!), I’ll talk more about how I chose my own personal words for this year and how I intend to use them to their fullest, here’s a sneak peek on the work I’ve been doing on mine behind the scenes – I blame my addiction to Canva for taking this a bit further this year, BUT I know it will be incredibly useful for me to visualise it like this…
I’ll explain all about my choices and how the words, images and colours have come together to work for me.
BALANCE is my main guiding word for 2021 and is supported with BREATHE, they both feel really good!
Until next time…I hope you have fun coming up with yours and I’d love to know your choices AND how you will put them to task in your life.
TC, stay home and keep staying safe…
Juliet, The Curious Creative x
Ps Don’t forget for more daily tips and inspiration I mainly hang out on Instagram @thecuriouscreativeclub , I’d love to join you there x