Every month, I set a new creative habit for myself. Last month, it was reading for half an hour daily. This month:
Take a pen and idea notebook everywhere I go
The habit was not so difficult to create. Overall though, I experienced little benefits from the habit. I would carry my idea notebook everywhere, but most of the time I simply didn’t have any new ideas. When I did, I often forgot to write them down. Most of the ideas that I did write down happened when I was at home. I believe I only wrote down 1 or 2 ideas being outside of my home. It was a fun habit to try out though. Also, I think it is a good to have an idea notebook in the first place, whether or not I take it with me. However, I’m not planning to continue this habit with the same consistency as I have done with reading daily. Below is some advice I would like to share from this month’s experience though (read tip #1, #2, and #3 here).
Tip #4: When you tend to forget about your new habit, use reminders.
When you decide to take up a new habit, your new behaviour isn’t automatic yet. Some new habits will be impossible to forget. For others, you might still strongly rely on your already existing behaviour. In that case the old automatic behaviour can take over when you’re not paying attention. In the early stages it might help to give yourself extra visual clues. For example: if you want to take a notebook everywhere you go, it might help to place the notebook directly next to your shoes. That way every time you go out you’ll be reminded of your new habit. Try to create a clue or reminder in the context of when you need to be reminded of your habit.
Tip #5: If your new creative habit doesn’t fill you with enthusiasm, you either ditch it or alter it.
Try to be open to any new ideas or habits that flow out of the new initial habit you set. Change your habit to fit your needs or ‘real interests’ if needed.
There is something I started doing as a result of this new habit. Whenever I have an idea, I write down where it came from (if I still remember). That way I hope to create new insights in the way I form ideas. Imagine how a thorough understanding of the origin of my ideas could help me! It could help me to create the creative circumstances that I need in order to thrive when needed.
Sometimes one creative habit leads to a new one. And although I am not planning to continue this month’s habit, I am planning to stick to this new idea of tracking ideas for a while. The point of forming creative habits isn’t to create some static, unchangeable structure you need to stick to. Their main purpose is to spark and serve your creativity. If that happens in a different way then expected, than you need to be open to what this new direction might bring you. Pay attention to whatever fills you with creative energy or enthusiasm. If your new habit isn’t doing that for you, you either ditch it or alter it.
Do you take an idea notebook when you go out? Or do you just take your phone? Does it help you to write down your ideas?
Nicole Underwood Gonzalez
August 31, 2015 at 12:16
Adorable idea! This will be so much fun to look back on year after year!
August 31, 2015 at 16:44
I used to take a small notebook but now I tend to use my phone. I grab a quick picture of something I want to remember or jot a note in the memo app. Then I have to remember to go back through the notes and pictures :-) sometimes I come across an old notebook or memo and find a delightful reminder of something that intrigued me in a passing moment.
September 3, 2015 at 08:56
Yes that’s also a great way! Although I also kind of like the quirkiness of small drawings and handwritten scribbles