I’ve been thinking a lot about balance recently and how to attain it. As a creative person I find myself vacillating wildly between working with extreme focus or wandering aimlessly from one idea to the next. Although the past few months have been quite productive, I have felt a little like a chicken running around with its head cut off. Actually that’s not even an accurate description. A mutant, crazy eyed fowl jumping from one frying pan to another sounds more like it! But I’ve discovered an approach that is working for me and maybe it will help you too! I must believe and bloom to be able to achieve balance. This may sound like nonsense, but I love alliteration and I do have a point!
Before we get down to the nitty gritty please print out your free Believe, Bloom, and Balance Worksheet. This will enable you to complete each exercise in real time.
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I’m doing what I always do when I’m feeling out of sorts. I read blogs, listen to podcasts, and go inward. But if I’m honest I also do a smidge of complaining, mostly to my poor husband. Thank goodness his hearing isn’t always the best! But last month I read an interview that Black Sheep Wools did with Lucy from Attic 24 and I was struck with something she wrote. When asked “What direction do you see crochet going in the next 5 to 10 years?” She replied with an answer that has had me thinking ever since.
“Do you know what, I would be so, so happy if my own personal direction didn’t change too much in the next decade as I’m enjoying myself so much right now. I love the balance of my creative life, getting to crochet, design and write at a pace which suits me. I am very much a “go with the flow” type of person and don’t tend to plan much or have any great ambitions for the future. I love the luxury of living in the moment wherever possible, enjoying each day as it comes.”Lucy – Attic 24
Y’all! Seriously! I could not love this answer any more! #goals! This is an answer from a woman who seems to know who she is and where she is going in her crochet business and life. Lucy has been blogging for over a decade and I’m sure that her objectives have evolved over time, but her response has a solidness about it. It’s not wishy washy. It is clear and I couldn’t love it any more.
Based on that one little quote, that only contains four sentences, I have created a worksheet to help bring focus and clarity to our creative lives. It will help us not only stay on track, but keep our intentions clear and our sight focused.
First, we must Believe to help identify our purpose. You could substitute the word “dream” if that makes more sense
Don’t abandon me now! This is where it starts to get good! I recently listened to an episode of the Goal Digger podcast with Jenna Kutcher and I literally had to pause it every few minutes just to digest her amazing information. The title was How Being Decisive Leads to Success. I am terrible at making decisions so I randomly clicked on the episode because the title caught my attention.
Jenna urged her listeners to imagine their perfect day. She encouraged us to dive headfirst into the minutea. Imagine what you’re wearing, where you are , and how you’re spending your time.
How do you want to feel each day? What do you plan to accomplish? What is the vision you have for your life? The more specific you can be here, the better off you’ll be. Close your eyes and visualize the perfect day, week, or month and think of the things it includes and what it definitely doesn’t include. How do you want to feel each day? What do you want to accomplish? What would be the end result for you of a successful, fulfilled day? I love to think about this often because how we spend our days is ultimately how we spend our lives.Jenna Kutcher
Next, sit down and do this exercise on your worksheet. What does your perfect week look like? What are you spending your time doing? What are you wearing? Who are you with? How do you feel?
This is a powerful activity and will ultimately help you find the direction that will bring you the satisfaction and contentment in your creativity endeavors.
Have you ever found yourself spending hours upon hours doing things that ultimately do not bring happiness? Have you ever wondered, how in the world did I get myself into this? Have you ever vowed that you would never commit to something only to find yourself saying yes to it again and again? I can totally relate and have vowed to do something about it.
After completing the Believe exercise you are already to Bloom! Bloom is where we are going to put our dreams into reality. In the left column you are going to write out what activities you are going to say yes to. To use the phrase coined by Marie Kondo, we are going to ask ourselves if it sparks joy?
In the right column you are going to write what you know deep down in your heart is not right for you. This is the part that isn’t quite as easy. It’s hard to say no, especially when there are expectations from other people. It’s hard to let people down. It’s hard to live in fear that somehow we are going to miss out. But you will never live out your Believe dream if you don’t say no to something.
You also may be interested in my blog post Do it Scared: Explore Your Creativity!
Finally, balance is the sweet spot and it’s the one I struggle with the most. It’s not just an objective but a state of mind/being I want to reside in. For me balance would mean keeping my personal and business intentions clear and concise. No more feeling guilty for working on my crochet business too much or for not working on it enough. Balance means finding that luxurious flow of family, creativity, and work.
In the Balance section of your worksheet we are going to put the Believe and Bloom segments to work. Here you are going to write out your personal Mission Statement right there on your worksheet. You are going to take the dream from your perfect day and combine it with your yes statements to create your individual proclamation.
This is the critical piece of the puzzle. Your mission statement will ultimately become your North Star. It is what will guide you when temptations knock at the door, showing you the way when the right decision doesn’t seem clear.
This has been an extremely useful exercise for myself and my hope is that you find value in it for yourself! Please leave a comment or suggestion you have for finding balance in your creative business and life! I would love to hear from you!