How I am Setting Creative Goals & Intentions in 2018

Happy New Year!

And yes, I am re-emerging a bit later than many on social media, etc. But for me going into the New Year in the last few years is no longer a hasty, jump in exercise for me.

Each year, I have delayed my “entrance” to become more grounded, to reflect on lessons learned from the previous year,  clear out the old and open up for the new.  This has involved a lot of self-care, ritual and focus…especially on intentions and goals.

As a creative who is immersed with my own art making ventures and launching a new creative venture, it is important that I take the time to be clear on what I want, what matters and what doesn’t.  I have found in the past when I did not take the time to “feel” my way into the year, the grounding doesn’t happen and I end disappointed and a bit frazzled at the end of the year.  Thus, the slow and steady wins the race process I have adopted during the last three years which has really worked for me.

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Theme for 2018: #VibrateHigher

Early in December, I decided on my theme for 2018.  Many people develop a word for the year or theme to guide them through the year.  I have expanded to a desired overall goal, not necessarily an object or physical achievement, but more spiritually or intuitively based.  I work to align my Core Desired Feelings (see below) to compliment my yearly theme as well.  In 2016, my word was Authentic and theme was #MyAuthenticLife.  In 2017, my word was Courage and the theme was #MyCourageLife.  This year, based on the the teachings of one of my favorite wellness and spiritual leaders, Lalah Delia, I have adopted the theme #VibrateHigher for 2018.

What does this mean for me?  To be able to focus on thinking, feeling, believing, trusting and manifesting the good in all areas of my life.  To attract those things to my existence that is aligned with where I am going, to focus on creating that kind of aura for myself.  It is a reminder to ask myself when things look side ways, how am I showing up here?  I am reflecting the kind of vibration that is attracting or reflecting this experience (positive or negative)?  Am I mindful in my communication with others and myself?  Is my art coming from a geniune place that inspires, lifts or reflects positively my true essence?

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Desire Mapping

One of the methods I have been working with is Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Mapping process, which helps identify the “feelings” you want to experience with all aspect of your life, rather than tangible, concrete resolutions or goals for any given year.  As a creative individual, this process appeals to me because it allows me to look at major goals and opportunities based more on energy/vibes than a check mark for my resume.  The Desire Mapping process focuses on what Danielle calls “Core Desired Feelings” or CDFs that you identify after a fairly lengthy process which includes not only identifying on what you want to feel about all aspects of your life, but also reflecting on those you don’t as well as the things that did not go well.  I downloaded the workbook and since Christmas, started working my way through it.  I completed my CDFs for this year, still working three I identified last year (Abundant, Healthy and Joy) and added two more (Gratitude and Presence).  Much of what I decide to engage in or be informed by will be based on these CDFs.  You can learn more and purchase the Desire Map book here or sign up for the video course here.

“Desire mapping” and using my planner to write, reflect and refine my goals

Planner Love

I believe the right planner makes all of the difference in the world for me.  I have used so many different systems through the years….some worked others did not.  The written planner for all of my creative, life and business goals lately has been The Desire Map Planner.  Using the CDFs I identified for the year, it enables you to make decisions and schedule activities, etc., based on the question “What I Will Do To Feel The Way I Want to Feel?”  There are a couple of versions of the planner, one which is a Daily Edition which I got last year and this year I am using the Weekly version for 2018, which is full of cool things to help guide you through the week like asking what are three things you want to get done this week, an area for daily To-Do lists,  soul prompts, and area to keep your CDFs in full view as a reminder of what you committed to for the year.  And beautiful artwork on the cover from artist Marta Spendowska!  Interested in exploring and getting one for yourself?  Click here.

Need Help in Setting Your Creative Goals for 2018?


Webinar 3 - Creative Goals

These are just some of the methods I am using to plan and manifest my goals this year. How are you grounding and preparing to reach your life and creative goals this year?

Will 2018 be the year that you let your inner creative loose? Or the year you will actually sign up for guitar lessons? Create that cookbook from the food you love to cook that everyone raves about? Start that novel?

This coming Thursday, January 11, 2018 at 7:30 pm ET, through Spark Your Creative, I will be hosting a complimentary webinar will explore how to get started on reaching your creative goals for 2018. We will discuss:

-How to move past procrastination and make your creative life more of a priority

-Setting easy milestones to help you move forward with your creative projects

-A complimentary creative planning and goal setting guide that you can use after the webinar is completed.

Link to the webinar and other information will be sent to all who register prior to the webinar.

Space is filling up quickly, register here to ensure your spot!

Looking forward to spending a creatively inspired year in 2018!



This episode of The Mindfully Creative Podcast spotlights creativity and the aging process with guest, Wendy L. Miller, Ph.D., co-author of the book, Sky Above Clouds: Finding Our Way Through Creativity, Aging and Illness (Oxford University Press, 2016).  In this interview, we talk about key concepts from the book and specifically how creativity can benefit all of us as we age.

About the Book:

Through their scientific research, clinical practice, and a remarkable life together, husband and wife team Gene Cohen and Wendy Miller uncover new clues about how the aging mind can expand awareness, build resilience, and continue growth, even during times of grave illness, upending long-held assumptions about the aging brain. Cohen, considered one of the founding fathers of geriatric psychiatry, shares from decades of research and personal journals detailing his exploration of the aging brain and the vast potential that is often overlooked. Miller, an expressive arts therapist and educator, highlights stories of creative growth in the midst of illness and loss encountered through her personal life and her clinical practice. Together, Cohen and Miller show how resources that naturally reside within us remain our most valuable tools as we navigate the uncharted territory of aging and illness.

Sky Above Clouds traces the path that Cohen and Miller traveled together as the foremost expert on creativity and aging confronted his own aging process and a metastatic disease that threatened to cut his life short. Cohen’s distinguished work led to breakthroughs in science and society as, for more than a decade, despite his illness, he continued to pioneer geriatric research and advance the public conversation about aging well.

Sky Above Clouds draws deeply from the couple’s merged wisdom and new lessons learned in a struggle through illness and loss within their extended family, eventually including Cohen’s own untimely death. The book blends both authors’ perspectives and voices, incorporating journal entries they wrote together in the years before Cohen’s death.

What happens when the expert on aging is confronted with his own in the context of a grave illness? What happens when the therapist who helps others cope with illness and loss is forced to confront her own responses to these experiences? With Miller’s insights and expressive psychological writing, Sky Above Clouds shows how attitude, community, creativity, and love shape a life through health, illness, and even death. The result is a richly informative and emotional journey of growth.

-Source: Oxford University Press

About Wendy L. Miller, Ph.D.

Wendy Miller, Ph.D. ATR-BC, LCPAT, REAT, LPC, BCPC is an expressive arts therapist, writer, sculptor, and educator. She taught for over fifteen years in various universities throughout the country, including JFK University, San Francisco State University, Southwestern College, Lesley College, California Institute of Integral Studies, and The George Washington University. She is the co-founder of Create Therapy Institute, which offers clinical services in arts-based psychotherapy and trainings in the expressive arts. She is a founding member, and first elected (past) executive co-chair of the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association, where she continues to be on their Advisory Council. Her current work is evolving as she continues the legacy of her late husband’s work, pioneer of creative aging, Gene Cohen, and his Washington DC Center on Aging, where she is guiding it into projects on intergenerational communication. She continues to research the relationships among the arts, creativity and health, and recently published her book from the writings she and Gene did together, entitled: Sky Above Clouds: Finding our way through creativity, aging and illness, released in March 2016 from Oxford University Press.

During this episode we discuss:

  • How did the idea of Sky Above Clouds come about?

  • As the Baby Boomer Generation ages, how are they engaging in more creative pursuits than other generations?

  • What are, if any correlation between wellness and creativity for older adults?

You can currently find Mindfully Creative podcast on Sound Cloud, Stitch and Google Play.  Check out current and archived episodes here:

Listen to Episode 10 below: