As a person who constantly fails at New Year’s Resolutions, I rarely make them anymore. Last year something clicked and not only did I make a couple of resolutions, but I actually kept them. One was to go all year without drinking Mt. Dew. This is a really big deal because I’m pretty much an addict. I can turn down other pop but not The Dew. So I drank an entire 2 liter bottle last New Years Eve and did not have another drop for 365 days.

The other goal I kept was to hang my clothes up every night. I always stay up too late (the house is so beautifully quiet!) and end up stumbling to bed ready to pass out. I drop my clothes on the floor and slide into bed. You would think that the 90 seconds it takes to hang up my clothes wouldn’t be such a big deal. But it has been. It wasn’t until I finally could say, “it’s not like I’m going to want to hang these up tomorrow either. I should just do it now,” that the light bulb turned on. And we all know how piles of clothes beget piles of clothes. Better to nip it in the bud.

This New Year’s Eve found me dreamily imagining the great things I would accomplish this year: meaningful scripture study? Never going to bed with a messy kitchen? Restricting the time I spend online? Not eating sugar all year? It wasn’t until yesterday that I thought of something I’d really like to accomplish: I want to be more creative.

I constantly see cute projects everywhere and think, “I’ll bet I could do that!” But I rarely do. I almost never try. Doing creative projects—whether artsy, craftsy or even writing—makes me feel selfish and indulgent. Creative acts make me feel vital and alive and really work out the stress in my life. However, that naggy, rotten voice in my head pipes up and tells me what a waste of time it all is. I should be sorting laundry and throwing out rotten leftovers. I haven’t earned the right to do something fun—which is how creativity feels to me.

But I’m telling that voice to shut up. I’m making Craft Hour from 9:30-10:30 every morning. There will not be appointments scheduled or sinks scrubbed. This is the time when I can let loose the creativity I keep shut away. For once I’m actually thrilled about a resolution. I already have today’s project laid out on my entry hall floor (new living room curtains!).

Are you telling that negative voice in your head to just shut up this year? Are you setting goals? Do you find the whole thing ridiculous? Is failure your middle name?


  1. coni

    January 3, 2013

    I’m sitting here reading your post and have decided that I really do want to learn to play the Recorder. A tenor Recorder. I’ll do it! AND I really want to be brave and begin my recipe journal. Brave because instead of photographing the beautiful food, I want to watercolor a picture of it instead! Ahhh! Yes, I’m going to do it! Thank you for the inspiration Jennie!

  2. Grandma Honey

    January 3, 2013

    I like that you set such concise goals….putting your clothes away, and giving up Mt Dew. I believe that’s the key to success….labeling in your mind exactly what you are trying for…rather than just saying you want to be more organized this year, or you want to be healthier.

    So now you have your reward of giving yourself an hour to be creative each day…because you’ve proven to yourself you can go for it. You are inspiring me!

  3. Laura

    January 3, 2013

    I often tell the self-critical voice in my mind to hush. It seems gentler than “shut up”, and I don’t why the distinction seems important to me, but I want my affirming voice to be firm but still kind.

    My goal this year is to improve my punctuality at church meetings. I’m not going to say I won’t be late all year, because I know myself better than that–but I’d like to be able to say by the end of the year that I arrive to church, on average, about 5 minutes early each week. It may not seem like much, but at the moment I’m arriving about 15 minutes late each week, and I think those extra 20 minutes will make a big difference in how I experience my church worship (I’ll actually be there for the Sacrament more often, for starters), and will help me feel more connected to my ward (I miss the announcements–I never know what’s going on!). I’ve already arranged a carpool with a woman in my ward who lives near me, so that should help!

    Enjoy your new creative time!

  4. Tiffany W.

    January 4, 2013

    My goal revolves around actually working instead of shirking. I’m also determined to to stick to a eating an elephant a spoon at a time. In other words, I don’t have to get my laundry all done. If I can do a load a day, then I’m done with what I needed to do for that day.

    I didn’t make any goals in 2012. I was just glad my husband and I were living in the same country as we transitioned to living abroad as a family again. My unspoken and unwritten desire was to enjoy the experience of Saudi Arabia and I’ve definitely acheived that.

  5. Michelle L.

    January 4, 2013

    oh good for you, Jennie! And good luck stopping when your hour is up! 😉

    I have so many tasks/family changes in front of me this year I feel like I need to be much less creative.:( Maybe all I can do is be kind.

  6. J

    January 4, 2013

    My goal this year is to (attempt to) make one batch of real fudge each month.

    This goal is strongly at odds with my husband’s goal to loose weight by vastly reducing his sugar intake.

    Hopefully I can learn to make fudge good enough to take to my visiting teachees…

  7. Kellie aka Selwyn

    January 5, 2013

    I have a similar voice in my head when I want to create. But I’ve worked out how to get around it this year. First, I’ve scheduled a time for writing – it’s all mine! Each week! It’s insane how excited I am about it.

    Also, I just announced a Creative Pay-It-Forward to my FB page, and people volunteered to get something ‘creative’ from me – so now I HAVE to make those things, so my voice is silenced by the obvious truth that it NEEDS to be done, and isn’t just ‘for fun’.

    That, and I’m getting much better and telling the negative voice where to go…

  8. Melody

    January 5, 2013

    I was going to have only one resolution for 2013: Strengthen my core. Which I’m committed to. I’ve already started. I begin the exercises even before I get out of bed. (Thank you, Tempurpedic mattress.)

    But you’ve inspired me to add a second resolution: Hang up my clothes every night. I both hate you and love you for this. Unless you’re offended by sardonic hate. In that case I only love you for this.

  9. Blue

    January 6, 2013

    i took your example of hanging up clothing and have followed it from that moment til this. and then i applied it to any other task…dishes, wiping counters, folding clean laundry. little mental shift was a good insight. thanks!

  10. Harlene

    January 6, 2013

    I love how when you see something you like your first thought is, “I’ll bet I can do that.” That in and of itself puts you leaps and bounds ahead of many. I used to feel guilty reading fiction for the same reasons you stated for being creative. Felt every moment needed to be productive. Poor health taught me otherwise.

    Your post has also helped me realize I have no desire to make any resolutions outside of my “word for the year”, ME! I realized how little I consider myself in any situation. It seems so cliche for the mother whose children have moved out or are all in high school to suddenly realize she doesn’t have a clue what she would make for dinner if she didn’t have to consider everyone else’s preferences. So this year I’m learning to focus on myself, which in turn will end up with more for me to give.

  11. Giggles

    January 6, 2013

    It is amazing what you can accomplish in just an hour a day. And being creative is developing an important Godly quality too. I hope you keep us updated on what you create.

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