Personal · Personal Writing

Goals as Creativity

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I’m a sucker for a fresh start.

This year has been a bit of a dumpster fire, so with three days left in the year, I’m casting my gaze towards 2017 and hoping for the best.  At the very least, I’m optimistic on a personal level – I already have some cool plans coming up in January, I have some tangible goals, and I am in an objectively better personal situation than I was at this time last year.  One of those goals, of course, is keeping up with this blog, and hopefully motivating myself to be productive, and, well, creative..

…I mean, I guess.

I throw around the word creative a lot; as a self descriptor, as a way of labeling certain kinds of thinking or ideas. I think I tend to have this concept of creativity that’s pretty intrinsically wrapped up in what would be termed “the Arts;” poetry is creative, fiction is creative, paintings and drawings and music are creative.  

But in thinking about this blog – in how it relates to my life, my goals, and in how I wanted to use it going forward – I had to take a step back and think about what being creative really meant.  I started this blog as a way of expressing myself – self-expression is creative, right?  I started it as a place to post my writing – personal essays, sure, but also poetry and short fiction – which is definitely creative.

But I also want to track my life goals, as I head into what I’m hoping is a new phase of my life: getting organized, being productive, trying new things, and generally just doing things that have nothing to do with (ahem) “the arts.”  I want a place to help motivate me and keep me focused on my goals; sure, I plan to write about my progress, but that was more like just logging data, right?  Is that creative?  Could that possibly be creative?

I’m not accustomed to discussing the kind of creativity that doesn’t end with a concrete product.  Normally when we talk about people who are creative, we assume that they create tangible things, that there is a definite, finite conclusion to their creative process.  The process might be a lather-rinse-repeat rotation, where it seems like one long, fluid process, but it’s really just a successive series of shorter cycles, all culminating in Things – Art Things.

But can managing a life be a creative endeavor?  

For the last few years, in lieu of New Year’s Resolutions, I’ve joined sites like the now defunct 43Things and Superviva, and opened (and subsequently closed) accounts on BucketList.  This year, I’ve signed on at DayZeroProject, whose tag line of “101 things in 1001 Days” spoke to my need for both arbitrary symbolism and imposed deadlines.  Some of the goals I’ve crafted for implementation in the New Year are decidedly creative, in a very traditional sense – sell a painting, write at least three prompt poems a week, etc. – but some are pretty mundane.  Workout three times a week?  Save money to take a trip?

None of those goals themselves are creative, but can the process of goal setting (and hopefully, goal achievement) become a creative endeavor through its chronicling?  Can I frame this as a creative project, or am I veering too far into territory that would be better left as a stand-alone project, or, at least, relegated to a personal blog?

I guess we’ll find out, because, guess who plans to blog about her goals for the future? I’m still trying to figure out the specifics – I don’t plan to do daily updates or anything nearly so frequent or so dry – but expect some personal essays or reflection on progress as the year goes on.  

As I already said, I’m at DayZeroProject, and my profile and goal list can be found here.  If it so moves you, I’d love to have company on this journey.  (As a side note, I’m still contemplating, adjusting, and adding goals, so the list will likely look  more robust by the 1st).

Do you make resolutions, or set goals?  How does this aide you in living your best life?  Can the process of goal-setting itself be a creative endeavor?

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