As we reach the final weekly activity for “Slouch to 5k”, I’m wondering how this blogpost series could function like a slingshot – I’d like to leave you with new momentum propelling you into the weeks and months ahead.
The activity I’ve chosen to fulfil this aim was introduced to me by the pioneering Creativity Coach Eric Maisel in his coaching training. It’s such a simple device that it’s hard to appreciate its impact. But ever since I started using it, I feel that my energy has been transformed.
The invitation, then, is to think ahead for your creative project(s) for the remainder of July and ask yourself two questions:
(1) what would you like to accomplish as a non-negotiable thing you’ll commit to doing in the remaining three and a bit weeks? This is your minimum. You should choose something well within your grasp.
and (2) what else would be a wonderful bonus achievement – something you might not manage completely but – if everything fell into place – it’s feasible you could tick this off? This is your Wow! goal. A nice-to-have, top-up bonus. But you’ll feel ok if you don’t quite manage it.
That’s it, really. Everything is simply separated into “Minimum” and “Wow!”
Once you’ve separated out your “minimum” and your “Wow!” goals, you can take the activity a step further by mapping out in your diary exactly when you will tackle the “minimum” tasks.
And of course, as with most goal-setting, it’s good to identify tasks that are as tangible as possible – such that when you get to the end of July you can objectively confirm – “yes, I did that” or “no, I didn’t do that”. Saying “I will write more often this month” is a bit too woolly. Saying “I will write for one hour every [name the day/time] until the end of July” means you will be more likely to actually see it through.
What you should find, using the “Minimum”/”Wow” device, is that the feeling of putting pressure on yourself with regard to your creativity is lifted. You will stop relentlessly beating yourself up that you aren’t managing as much as you feel you “ought” to be doing. (This is especially important in stressful circumstances such as those we are going through internationally right now.)
Suddenly you’ll feel a lightness – your “minimum” is easily achievable (and you’ll feel good watching yourself succeed again and again – provided your minimum goals have been selected well at the start). And you’ll approach the “Wow!” goal(s) with a flexible, open-minded spirit – you won’t condemn yourself if you don’t manage it/them, but you’ll feel wonderfully pleased if you do.
This “minimum”/”Wow!” structure often releases us to accomplish more than we would otherwise manage, even in difficult circumstances. It helps us into right relationship with our tasks and it helps us to feel good about our creative accomplishments.
So, thinking about your creative projects in July specifically – What’s your minimum? What’s your “Wow!” ?
As we reach the end of “Slouch to 5k”, I sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed following these blogposts. If you’re interested, you can find out more about my mentoring here.
Whatever you’ve been working on during the past ten weeks, I hope you’ve made some progress – even a little counts! I will be willing you on to flourish creatively in the weeks and months ahead. My hope is that through “Slouch to 5k” you have found new resources, or reconnected to familiar ones, that can support you to do so.