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January 21, 2016

Sketchbooks, challenges, tags and more.....my 2016 goals.

Everyday Moodlings

We can’t spend the week talking about planning and planners and not talk about goals. I will be completely honest….I totally failed to complete my 2015 goals. It was not from lack of trying and I spent plenty of time in the studio. So what happened?

Life happened. Yes, I know this is a bit of a cop out. Life happens to everyone and some are still able to reach their goals. Which lead me to wonder if my goals were realistic. (Obviously they were not, cuz I did not complete them.) Which lead to rethink my creative goals for 2016.

In other aspects of my life, I often set yearly goals. They tend to be very broad yet specific at the same time. (I promise to explain that.) Last year I wanted to work on some health issues I was having.  I developed habits to help me meet my goals. In some cases I also set up specific tasks to reach my goals. So while my big goal is not measurable or specific, my sub-goals (tasks) or habits are. That is why they are both broad and specific. This year my broad goal is to be stronger.

It occurred to me that I was not using this method (one that has been successful for me) in my creative pursuits. Rather I created a list of projects I wanted to complete. But I never created any strategy for helping me complete my goals. This is a recipe for disaster for me. It is just too easy for me to put things off and lose focus. Funny how I can figure it out in some areas of my life, yet not in others. (Of course if I was perfect, what fun would life be?)

So this year I have created the broad goal of building better creative habits. What I accomplish at the end of the year is inconsequential. This means I won’t feel like I failed just because I did not complete my December Daily album. (Yes, I am still working on 2014....but I am close to finishing.)

Building good habits is a very important step in the process. I am obsessed with the topic of habits. And I have been for a long time. The beauty of a habit is that we don’t have to think about them, we just do it. No willpower, no decision making, no thinking…..just doing. When we really stop to think about it probably 50-60% of our day is controlled by habits. Our brains are wired to create habits whenever it can. Why? Because it takes less effort to execute a habit, then to be mindful.

Now I am not saying I am going to create a mixed media project in the same manner that I brush my teeth. LOL! Not sure I would like the outcome. But that doesn't mean can't build good habits to increase my creativity and productivity.  So what habits am I working on?

For 2016 I am changing my morning routine.  For years I have read the news first thing in the morning.  While I like to be well informed, I felt like this habit zapped much of my creative energy. (Let's face it....the news can be pretty depressing.)  Reading the news is a well formed habit for me so changing it will not be easy.

From my research I know that replacing a habit is far easier than removing it.  So rather then trying to stop reading the news in the morning, I need to DO something else with that time.  My plan?  I still read the news, but I limited it to a few minutes while eating breakfast.  When I return home from school drop-off I head for a comfy chair and my journals, sketchbooks and calendars.  Two big goals I have for 2016 are to journal more and to create sketchbooks.  (The sketchbooks will help me when I have studio time.)  Working on the sketchbooks first thing in the morning helps to boost my creativity.

I currently have two sketchbooks, one for tags/ATCs and one for Project Life cards.  I already have dozens of sketches and they have been very useful during my creative time.  Sometimes it is just a random sketch, sometimes the inspiration comes from a magazine or idea book.  Since I do not like to cut up my idea books, I simply note it on the sketch for future reference.  If the inspiration comes from a magazine I will generally cut it out and add it to my sketchbook.

In the coming weeks and months I will be sharing my sketches and results on the blog.  You are welcome to use any of my ideas. :)

Everyday Moodlings-Sketchbooks

Everyday Moodlings-Sketchbooks

The final part of my morning routine make-over is to spend 15 minutes cleaning or organizing in my studio.  You would be amazed at what you can accomplish in just 15 minutes.

How am I doing?  So far I have only missed a few days.  But more importantly, it has changed how I feel.  I feel more energetic and far more creative.

Here is my entire list of goals/habits I am working on for 2016.
  • Create a more positive and art oriented morning routine. 
  • Complete all 12 of the Tim Holtz yearly tags.
  • Submit my work to publication and challenges. (YIKES!)
  • Create more for me. (I will be talking more about this next week.)
  • Spend more time creating then shopping. 

I am still working on what habits to employ to help me make a dent in my scrapbooking backlog.  But for now I am making progress.

Your turn?
What are your creative goals?  Did the idea of building good habits resonate with you?  What creative habits would you like to begin in 2016?

Thanks for stopping by,


  1. You are always such a good influence on me! I usually dont like resolutions as I get weirded out about failure. But I can say my health has been a continuing goal for the past year...and working out and eating healthy is now a habit. Creatively, I also want to submit my work for publication this year,do one collage a week in addition to the other creative stuff I do for "work". Purging a little here and there would be a good goal, too. Way too mush stuff in my craft room!

    1. Purging is always a constant in my studio. I am, once again, on a spending freeze. We shall see how long it lasts. I found some beautiful stamps yesterday I may not be able to resist. Cuz I need more stamps. LOL!

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  3. Love the idea of replacing a habit. My creative goals are to actually create something, instead of buying things to create and organizing them. ;) I have started with a One Little Word journal. I also want to document more of my family's life (including me!). That means printing photos and putting then somewhere that people can look at and enjoy them. Now I need to break these goals down into more manageable steps. Thanks for sharing your challenges Jeri!

    1. I love the One Little Journal idea....that sounds like fun. While I don't get to scrapbook as much as I would like to, I DO keep good notes. I feel I may be destined to finish my albums after life slows a bit. But I will trying to do better. Good luck with your goals. :)