An Open Letter to 2017

Over the past week, I spent some time thinking about priorities and goals for 2017. I’m excited about all of that (and my new Bullet Journal is ready to roll with action steps for January!), but I don’t want to share that here right now. Instead, I’d like to share an Open Letter that I wrote as a playful look at my thoughts on the year ahead. If you were going to write a letter to 2017, what would it say?

I hope 2017 is treating you well so far!


Dear 2017,

Since this is the first time we’re meeting, I’d like to take a minute to introduce myself: I’m Nicole. I’m a human, and I live on earth. We can chat about more details later if you’d like.

I know you’re new here, so let me be among the first to welcome you. I’m glad you’re here, but I’m also finding it a little hard to believe. Did you arrive more quickly than any of the previous years? In a way, it seems like it. Isn’t time weird?

There were some things I liked about 2016 . . . and some things I didn’t. I imagine it will be the same with you. What are your strengths and weaknesses? If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be? What’s your least-pleasant feature? I’m looking forward to learning more about you. I have some other ice-breaker-type questions for you, but I think I’ll save those for another day.

I’ve prepared a brief list of suggestions for you, and you can let me know if you’re willing to cooperate. I hope we’ll become fast friends, but I’m also willing to work around it if you prove to be a little bit more strong-willed. Here’s my list:

  1. Stay around as long as possible. Take your time, allowing your days to feel long and luxurious. Stroll your way through the year, no rush. The slower you move, the more time I’ll have to make memories.
  2. Try to be the kind of year I’ll later come to describe as fun, successful, transformative, the best, or possibly epic. Try to avoid being described as painful, laborious, worst-ever. Definitely do whatever it takes to never be compared to a train wreck.
  3. Here are some things I enjoy, so if you have any say in the matter, please be full of these things: family time, growing friendships, spiritual connection, walks in nature, engaging books, creative projects, work that feels rewarding or worthwhile, good music, laughter, pizza . . . and clarity.
  4. Here are some things I don’t enjoy very much, so if you have any say in the matter, please avoid bringing these my way: arguments, isolation, existential angst or free-floating anxiety, injuries, work that feels tedious or meaningless, grating sounds, bad smells, lima beans . . . and confusion.
  5. Don’t be a meanie.

Ok 2017, my new favorite year, thanks for reading this letter and for your kind attention thus far. I look forward to hanging out with you more sometime soon, like . . . now.

TTYL,
Nicole


christmaschallenge-fFor a quick final update, I wanted to report that my Christmas Challenge was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed creating daily doodles and seeing the creativity of the other participants! If you’d like to see the results, search the hashtag #12creativedays on Facebook or Instagram. I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!


If you click “Follow”, you’ll be notified each time I post. My regular schedule is a weekly post [usually] every Monday & sometimes I add a mid-week “Collecting Creativity” post about other creative topics. I’d love to share more of my creative adventures with you!

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.

Legacy

I loved reading this story about Mardochee Dade (link opens in a new window), a local high school student who has demonstrated his amazing talent at cello playing, as well as his commitment to pursuing his dreams in a way that’s consistent with his character. Despite opportunities to study at elite private high schools, Mardochee chose to stay at Allen High School:

“A lot of people have a bad perception of Allen and they take their kids away because of it,” he said. “I didn’t want to leave . . . I wanted to help put Allen back on the map. I wanted to leave a legacy.”

Dade

I admire the courage it takes for a young man like this to think about how his choice would impact the future.

Sometimes I wonder what my choices will leave behind . . .

As an Artist, will I leave behind any body of meaningful work?
As a Manager, how will my life and choices affect the people I supervise?
What about my impact as a Daughter, Sister, Aunt, or Friend?
How would people describe my attitude? My habits? My faith?

I don’t want to try to convince people to respect me through smoke-and-mirrors-fluffery or to spend a lot of time in indulgent self-analysis . . .

But I do care a whole lot whether I’m actually living life with the sense of emotional and spiritual solidity that come from being willing to make the sometimes-difficult choice to live according to my values. I admit that for various reasons including confusion, insecurity, defiance, or just plain laziness, I sometimes take the easy road. Do you?

Quote


This week, I had the opportunity to listen to the following Interview with Dennis Mannion, CEO of the Detroit Pistons, and I really appreciated his thoughts on success, performance, and faith.

When asked for his one top piece of wisdom for people who are passionate about optimizing their lives, Dennis said he thinks it’s critical for people to aspire to LEAP, i.e. to live with these characteristics:

Love
Enthusiasm
Appreciation
Peace or Playfulness

Lately, I’ve been trying to LEAP in some new ways, both in implementing my new morning routine and in practicing new personal affirmations. It’s difficult!


Would you share your thoughts on the story about Mardochee Dade or ideas about how you LEAP? I’d love to know what you think.


Nicole

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P.S. An “oldie” just for fun . . .