See Ya Later, 2016!

How Was Your 2016?

I’ve heard a lot of people express that they’re really ready for this year to be over, hoping that 2017 will bring some better news. Others have had an amazing 2016, full of memorable life events and fabulous experiences.

Wherever you fall on that spectrum, here’s something for you:

I’ve put together this free, printable “worksheet” you can use for a simple chance to stop and reflect on some positives and some areas of opportunity from the year. It’s a grid of 16 themes from 2016. In each block, write down the first thing that comes to mind. My intention if for you to be able to complete it in as few as 16 minutes. Don’t make it harder than it needs to be!

I know this is a bit of a personal thing, but I’ve listed #dearyear16 in case you’d like to post your reflections on social media. I’d be interested to see your thoughts!

If this worksheet isn’t for you, maybe you can do something similar in your own way.

If you need more space, feel free to break out and write more in a notebook or journal.

If any of these topics feel particularly important to you, make the time to consider them further or set some goals for the future.

SeeYa16-O.jpg

The image above is a small image file for reference. You can download a higher-quality PDF to print at this link: See Ya Later, 2016!


christmaschallenge-fIn other news, my Christmas Challenge is well underway, running now until Christmas Day, and I’ve been so blown away by the creativity of the few people I’ve seen participating. If you’re interested in checking it out, remember you can search the hashtag #12creativedays on Facebook or Instagram . . . and it’s not too late to jump in and create some things for the challenge. No pressure to hit all 12 days – just do what you can!

 


This will be my last regular Monday blog post for 2016, so I’ll leave you with my best wishes for a very Merry Christmas and joy in the New Year! I hope your 2016 has been great, and I’m looking forward to sharing even more creativity with you in 2017!

❤ Nicole


Would you like to click “Follow” to be notified each time I post? I promise you’ll never be bombarded with spammy e-mails. My regular schedule is a weekly post [usually] every Monday & sometimes I add a mid-week “Collecting Creativity” post about other creative topics.

10(ish) Creative Questions to Ask Yourself This Holiday Season:

This past weekend, I visited my Parents for a few days. I had a lovely Thanksgiving Day “feast” with extended family and spent some time catching up, relaxing, and . . . yes, a bit of shopping. I also found myself doing some thinking about the holiday season in general and what I’d like the next month of my life to look like.

Here, I have to admit my temptation to get sucked into every single possible event, decoration, craft, movie, recipe, sale, and display the Christmas season can offer – more and more. Glitter on EVERYTHING!

elf.gif

I’m not saying there’s anything specifically wrong with a whole lot of Christmas merriment, but I do know that my heart is craving something different this year, and I’m having to really wrestle to listen to that craving and make different choices.

I think it’s a real exercise in creativity to ask myself how I can slide past some of the things that tend to lure my attention, finances, or spirit and tap into an experience of the holidays that’s more grounded in a few key personal values. I’m asking myself some specific questions, so I thought I’d share them with you in case you’d like to ask them too.

Note: I celebrate Christmas, but I think most of these could apply to other holiday traditions.

10(ish) Creative Questions to Ask Yourself This Holiday Season:

  • Am I doing something because I feel it will bring happiness, or just because “It’s what we do”? Will I have regrets (or hurt anyone) if I let certain things go?
  • Am I purchasing something because I think it’s worth it and useful to me or a loved one, or just because “It’s on sale” or “It’s shiny”?
  • Am I eating something because it will nurture my body or is a special/occasional treat, or am I grazing mindlessly on the seemingly endless array of cookies, cakes, and candies, pushing down stress and storing up discouragement?
  • Am I filling my time up with things that just entertain me, or am I making time to build memories and feed relationships for the future?
  • Am I giving gifts out of a truly generous spirit, or are my attitudes in any way reflecting pride or selfishness?
  • What do I really feel when I’m in a crowded, loud retail environment at the holidays? Is it excitement, fun, festivity and glee . . . or over-stimulation, frustration, disconnection or despair? Will I take the time to actually self-check?
  • When I reflect on this season come January, what will I be most glad to remember about it? What would I most wish I had done differently?
  • What can I do (that I may never have done before) that would change my holiday experience for the better?
  • Is there anything my heart is nudging me to do or try this season that I find myself afraid to embrace? If so, why? Will I push past the fear and demonstrate my courage?
  • Do I actually believe that God came to earth in the form of a human baby named Jesus? If I do, how should it shape my choices or my joy this month?

If you ask yourself any of these questions and find that the answers improve your holiday experience in any way, I’d love to hear about it . . . would you post a comment & let me know?

I’d like to leave you with a short video I watched this week that shows some young men being “selfish” in a fun, creative way:

Wishing you a lovely holiday season that really feels like the most wonderful time of the year.
❤ Nicole


Would you like to click “Follow” to be notified each time I post? I promise you’ll never be bombarded with spammy e-mails. My regular schedule is a weekly post [usually] every Monday & sometimes I add a mid-week “Collecting Creativity” post about other creative topics.

Autumn Thoughts

Autumn is my favorite season. It’s a time when leaves turn to beautiful colors, the humidity of summer (here in Pennsylvania at least) dissipates, and everyone begins to bundle into cozy sweaters and scarves. According to a made-up statistic, a mug of warm apple cider makes everything feel 5-10% better.

Sunny autumn afternoons are great for visiting local parks to explore new paths, working on house & garden projects, trying out new restaurants, testing your physical limits with new challenges, taking a hayride out to a pumpkin patch, or visiting nostalgic sites.

Cool autumn evenings are great for tackling a book you’ve been wanting to read, working on art & design projects, going to a corn maze, huddling with friends and family over a bonfire, or tucking in to watch your favorite movies.

One of my favorite things to do (especially in the autumn) is to combine loved ones + creative activities. That’s exactly what I had the opportunity to do last Monday (which is why I didn’t post a regular weekly blog post that day):

Two sweet friends and I rolled, cut, and decorated these amazing autumn-themed cookies . . . classic autumn shapes like leaves, giraffes, kangaroos, elephants, and more.

Cookies.png

Autumn is also a wonderful time for adventures and memory-making. Over the weekend, I visited Washington D.C. with a group of friends and found my creative spirit fed by sights across a spectrum from tiny trees (at the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum) to grand columns (at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial) . . .

IMG_7604.jpg

IMG_7585.jpg

Things like this remind me how much I totally love that humans are propelled to create.

I’m keeping today’s post short. Instead of reading something longer here, I’d like to invite you to take 5 minutes to pause and think about what you may want to create with the remaining months of 2016. Something artistic? Small, positive steps in a friendship? A house repair project? A new romance? A memory with a family member? An apology? A new playlist? A personal best?

Are you enjoying autumn? I’d love it if you’d leave a comment telling me about your favorite part of this amazing season.

Wishing you a wonderful week,
❤ Nicole


Would you like to click “Follow” to be notified each time I post? I promise you’ll never be bombarded with spammy e-mails. My regular schedule is a weekly post every Monday & sometimes I add a mid-week “Collecting Creativity” post about other creative topics.