Athletes must practice regularly to keep fit. Similarly, creative people need to use their creativity to keep their inspiration flowing and maintain their skills. It’s also true that creative projects require not just inspiration and skill, but also time on task. There’s no getting around it: an idea no matter how brilliant is nothing more than an idea until you put it into action. The best way to make sure you do that is to build creativity into your daily routine or schedule so it is habitual.
Fitness fanatics (and folks with new year’s resolutions to get in shape) have all kinds of ways of building athletic activity into their daily routines, so why not take a similar approach for artists, writers and all creative types?
I’ve taken some liberties with a monthly fitness calendar to develop thirty tips (plus two great bonus tips) to help you form the creative habit in your day to day life starting now. Repetition instills a routine or habit, so if you start today and follow one tip each day from now until the end of the month, you will have built the habit of daily creativity into your life!
Print this out and tape it up where you will see it each morning. Do a tip a day for thirty days and build your daily creativity habit into a daily creativity practice.
Reptitude: Daily Tips to Jump Start Your Creativity
Day 1 Savor the season, carpe diem! Go do something fun to recharge your creative juices.
Day 2 Set the right pace: it’s okay to start small and easy, maybe five minutes a day, and work up to more time or more complex projects.
Day 3 Be realistic; don’t be discouraged if you are not proficient at creating daily, let alone achieve a perfect record through Valentine’s Day. Do what you can, when you can, and make a little progress every day.
Day 4 Adjust your attitude: make creativity a priority on your daily schedule, or it won’t happen.
Day 5 Whistle while you work: find music you enjoy to help set the mood and keep you on task.
Day 6 Get a good deal: watch for sales on equipment/supplies and early sign-up discounts on classes to expand your skills and keep you motivated.
Day 7 Want to learn a new skill? Ask a fellow enthusiast for some tips or look it up on wikipedia.
Day 8 Finding time: Create while you watch TV, or create instead of watching your least favorite show, or use Tivo to skip the ads and use the ten minutes you saved for your creativity.
Day 9 Find a creativity buddy to check in with and spend time creating together occasionally.
Day 10 List all the ways your creativity matters to you; use the list as motivation to stick with it every day.
Day 11 Find the motivation to keep with it each day. Be mindful of how much better you feel when you stick with your creativity routine each day.
Day 12 Go back and “practice the basics” of your craft to rediscover and hone your skills.
Day 13 Break for lunch each day, or get up a half hour earlier and use the time for creative pursuits.
Day 14 Make a “creativity date” with your significant other – or with yourself – instead of a dinner out.
Day 15 Gear up: if there are a few simple tools or supplies you need for your creative work, have them on hand and easily accessible.
Day 16 Team up: get a creativity support group going with regular meetings.
Day 17 Squeeze in mini-sessions for your creative work. Five minutes twice a day for a month adds up to about five hours! Over the course of a year, you’ve put in 10 solid work days.
Day 18 Take it outdoors and let yourself be inspired by nature.
Day 19 Take a look at your creative “diet” and make sure you are inputting enough inspiration to fuel your creativity output.
Day 20 Seize the moment: look for opportunities to create throughout the day or look for ways to bring a creative approach to your routine activities.
Day 21 Stop making excuses. Use your Reptitude and Just Do It!
Day 22 Participate in a new-to-you creative outlet or activity. If you are a writer, try acting. If you paint, go sing. If you are a musician, do some collage work.
Day 23 Think like a winner: Believe in yourself and visualize success, stay positive and stick with it.
Day 24 Get coached. Can’t afford a personal creativity coach? Look for a creativity workshop or get together with some friends to set up a group creativity coaching arrangement.
Day 25 Start a new family tradition and create together side by side, or collaboratively.
Day 26 Get out of a rut: Mix it up and express your creativity in new and different media.
Day 27 Multitask: dictate creative ideas into your voice mail while commuting, jot down ideas while waiting in line, make quick sketches while on the phone.
Day 28 Take a class to instill support, structure and accountability in your creative efforts.
Day 29 Keep track of your progress and record your creative ideas in a creativity journal.
Day 30 Don’t give up. If you fall off the wagon and miss a day (or more) of creating, don’t beat yourself up. Hop back on and restart where you are.
Fun Bonus Tip #1! Pick a couple of interim or milestone goals and reward yourself when you reach each one. Decide on your rewards NOW!
Fun Bonus Tip#2! Check in with Reptitude for ongoing support, inspiration, and more creativity tips and prompts.
Print this out and tape it up where you will see it every morning and begin building your creativity into a routine habit or daily practice. I hope these tips to creating regularly help you achieve your creative goals this month and every month from now on. If not now, when?