Give your year a theme. Surprisingly, it can take a bit of courage to do that. I've used themes for over a decade to keep me on track and keep me thinking creatively. A theme can also be a focusing tool and helpful in decision-making.
Lest you think a theme is petty, consider how well they've worked. For instance, a party is just a party until you give it a theme. Once you do that, ideas begin popping up that fit your event. Same thing happens with your business, personal life, spiritual journey.
Specialize in firsts. We've all had decades of being trained to follow a routine. (Thanks, Industrial Revolution.) Consequently, it takes effort and energy to come up with new activities and adventures. Challenge yourself at least once a week to do something you've never done before.
It can be as simple as trying a new food or as accessible as jumping in your car and getting lost on purpose. If you need a reminder of how dangerous following a routine, read Fredrik Backman's delightful A Man Called Ove which introduces us to a cranky man who has spent his life keeping his life predictable.
Get inspired. Inspiration is a highly personal thing, of course. Each of us has to discover for ourselves what inspires us, what makes us feel more alive, more creative, more competent.
As I've been reminding everyone for years, inspiration isn't vaccination. We don't just get it once and keep it. We have to go back to the well and refresh it on a regular basis.
Fill your workspace with things that inspire you. Inspiration really exists everywhere, but we have to be willing to notice.
Keep reading. As Jim Trelease warns, "People who have stopped reading base their future decisions on what they used to know. If you don't read much, you really don't know much. You're dangerous."
Read for ideas, read for information, read about inspiring people, read fiction. Mix it up, but don't pass it up.
Get help. Often taking the next step requires working with someone who can help you get there. For example, if you're a coach wanting to add author to your bio, you could contact Jennifer Manlowe who specializes in helping folks get published. You can investigate for yourself here.
It may take a bit of detective work to track down the right expert, coach or webmaster, but helpful people can make a huge impact on the growth of your business.
Take inventory regularly. I'm a fan of the 90-Day Inventory. At the end of each quarter, take some time to see where's you're at. What needs more attention? What is working beautifully?
Whole Life Leadership Coach Steve Coxsey has created a brilliant list of questions you can use to review both your personal and business lives. You can find it here.
Show up at seminars. Thanks to a cranky immune system, I had to cancel most of my events this year. Since meeting rooms are my natural habitat, not being able to show up made me a bit crankier.
Happily, things are almost back to normal and I have plans to make up for lost time-and frequent flyer miles. The Learning Exchange in Sacramento is expanding their programs to Phoenix and I'll be on there on January 21 with Making a Living Without a Job and Establish Yourself as an Expert.
No matter where you live, stay on the alert for learning opportunities and make them a regular activity. Your future will thank you.
Allow amazement. I was so not expecting this astonishing story when I turned on 60 Minutes last week. After seeing it, I was even more astonished that I'd never heard it reported anywhere before. I haven't been able to stop thinking about it.
Whether you've seen it or not, take 13 minutes to watch how creativity ended a 52-year civil war.
Don't be stingy. Give yourself gifts from that list as often as possible. Give them to others, too.