This is Part 2 in a series on The Power of Creative Routines. If you missed Part 1, click here.
Accessing the power of routines is about creating supportive structures in our lives that have us putting what we most cherish and desire first and foremost in our days.
Routines then allow those healthy habits to become automatic, so that we do them without a ton of resistance, without needing to decide each time whether or not we’re going to do it.
This, in turn, frees up precious energy and time that would have been spent resisting, deciding, dithering, frittering, aimless. Instead we have energy and passion to be creative, to devote to our dreams.
This is what any good coach, mentor or course will do for us. They create supportive structures in our lives that help us focus around what matters most to us, so we don’t lose track. They also give us practical, do-able steps and guidance to move forward towards what we desire.
Any good course, whether it is a group program or one-on-one, can help with this, because it is so much easier to form new habits with the support of others, with encouragement and accountability and regular structure.
So, one way to begin getting healthy routines in your life is to sign up for a course or get yourself a coach or mentor.
Which Routines Do I Need?
Which routines will create supportive structures for your life around that which you most value? Because that is what you want to support, cultivate, put front and center in your life.
If you value your health, it makes sense to have regular exercise become a routine—and, I would add, it’s best if that is exercise you enjoy, that brings pleasure to body and soul.
If you value creativity, it makes sense to create structures that support creativity, such as a space that is conducive to creating, times set aside for making art each week, habits and rituals to help you begin that promote an inspired creative state in you.
Make a list of things you most value, love or enjoy, that you desire in your life. Mine includes creativity, love and spirituality.
Write down: What routines or habits do you already have that support what you love and value?
What habits are not supporting something you value or are robbing you of time and energy for what you love?
Create a Routine
Now, get creative, curious, experimental. What one new routine or practice could you try on that would foster something you love or value, that would support you having more of that in your life?
Choose a new routine and commit to it for the next 3 weeks. Keep a log of each time you do it. A star on your calendar will work for this.
If you miss a day, simply re-commit and do it the next time. Don’t beat yourself up or try to make up for missed days. This will only sabotage you.
At the end of the 3 weeks, evaluate. I recommend you do this in writing. How did it work for me? Do I need adjust the routine in some way or try something different? What support might I need to keep going?
Have Accountability and Constancy
One of the most powerfully helpful practices I know for accomplishing your heart’s desires is to have an accountability buddy or a group, a mentor or coach, that you check in with regularly. That way, you have a place to report on how it’s going, get support when you feel lost or are struggling, and celebrate when you have a breakthrough.
The Best Creative Practice
The most supportive creative habit I know is to schedule creative time (what I call “studio time”) into your calendar every week, preferably on the same day(s) and at the same time(s) each week.
Photo by Ben White on Unsplash.com
Don’t wait for inspiration to strike. And don’t make the mistake of thinking you’ll get to it sometime in the week. Show up at the same time week after week, and the muse will start showing up too. You’ll also learn how to be creative without needing that lighting bolt that comes and goes.
It doesn’t matter if you start with 3 ten-minute periods of time or one 5-hour block. Choose whatever works best for you, your creativity and your current life. Whatever helps you overcome resistance. What matters is actually showing up at the time you set and doing what you set out to do.
Start small and then build on your successes. I can’t emphasize this point enough. Start with whatever feels do-able and inviting. You can always add more later.
This may take some trial and error to find what actually is most supportive of you and your flourishing creativity. It also requires devotion, a willingness to keep playing with it. And to notice what gets in the way if you don’t show up at the time you planned. What changes do you need to make?
There are many helpful routines for establishing a life you love. The key is to find the ones that align with you, and then to make them a habit through repetition and constancy.
Especially early on in establishing a new routine, it’s important not to skip days and make lots of excuses. This will slow you way down in developing a true creative habit.
If you’re still stuck, you may have some limiting beliefs and old patterns that keep sabotaging your creativity. That’s where a really good creativity coach or mentor can be invaluable.
Let me know how it goes for you. I’d love to hear your stories, insights and questions. If you post your comments here, I’ll respond.
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To your prolific creativity,
P.S. If you’d like help creating a life centered around what you love, I offer one-on-one Coaching and Mentoring. If you’re curious about how this could support you in your life dreams, email me to sign up for a free Discovery Session. We’ll explore various options and see if we are a good match for creating your big life dreams.