a creative journal for artists full of love and farts 🩷💨

Hello love,

Welcome to the beginning of 2023.

I’m letting out a big sigh of relief. I know I’m not alone when I say this last year was the cherry on top of the shit sundae we’ve been eating since 2020.

I also know I’m not alone in feeling that entering 2023 with optimism is like telling myself the punchline to a joke I haven’t heard yet.

But when I looked back at my 2022, I was shocked to find that — while life threw everything at me that should have left me crumbled like a sandcastle in the sun — I stayed focused on what I wanted to create, where I wanted to be.

And, most importantly, I kept going.

Though there was a period of time when I wasn’t sure if I could.

If you found yourself in a similar space last year, or find yourself there now, please tell someone in your life what you’re going through, lean on the people you can lean on, and let go of any version of you that is preventing you from having the peace and joy you deserve.

For those who have access, please seek mental health care. It’s not easy but it’s worth it.

Whether I know you personally or not:

I am immeasurably impressed with you. You have done so much this last year while moving through seriously heavy shit. I am proud for you and I love you.

Please continue to lean more and more into compassion for all you are going through and all you are working toward.

Whatever you do, find a way to be here again this time next year.

You are inextricably important in ways you may never know but that I hope you will feel in time.

Grab your journal or a notebook and something to write with.

PSST. If you find yourself journaling more broadly about the last year (or so), let yourself write.

Whatever comes to mind is perfect to write down. Allow yourself to write without judgment (or at least attempt to do so).

These words aren’t for anyone else to read. They are just for you.

Prompts for Appreciating Yourself & Facing Fears in 2023

What has this last year birthed in you? What sprout, what new bud is reaching toward the sky?

Conjure a memory of yourself from this last year in a moment when you needed perspective and reassurance. What did you need (to hear, receive, say, understand, etc) in that moment?

What Fabulous Desire(s) Are You Absolutely Scared Shitless of This Year?

Keep in mind that fear can take on many forms.

Fear may sound like your voice, saying apathetic “don’t bother”s as a false protection from the wild unknown of what you want. Fear can even twist valid fears into insurmountable obstacles, turning a need to be cautious into a reason to standstill. By naming the things that scare you, it’s easier to move from hesitation to determination.

If it feels relevant, feel free to journal into why you’re afraid; you may find a house of mirrors. Meaning the fear is following you like a shadow rather than offering any perceivable concern.

What Question(s) Do You Have for Yourself One Year from Today? What Reminder Do You Have for Them?

Imagine yourself one year from today. Try and connect with that person in your heart, just as you can connect with yourself from one year ago.

What do you want to know from them that you can’t possibly know now?

What do you know now that they may have forgotten, or become too involved in life to remember? What do you want them to hear? What wisdom do you have for your future self?

Prompts for Making Progress on Your Goals

List All of Your Goals for The Year, Then Highlight Three to Prioritize

Those three goals should be the first you address when deciding where to put your energy each week. By limiting your goals to three, you are also able to prioritize other important things like rest, play, family, relationships, personal growth, etc.

Create an Actionable Goal Toward Your Overarching Goal for Each Quarter of The Year

This will help you measure progress every three months.

A Note on Creating Achievable Goals

Each of your quarterly goals should include a Call to Action. It is important you create goals that will result in progress.

For example: If you want to regularly create YouTube content, your goals should not be to publish one YouTube video a week.

Instead, an effective goal would be to schedule 1-2 hours every week day that you will show up to your workspace to write and produce YouTube videos.

  • The first goal feels impossible to achieve because there’s no Call to Action.
  • The second goal tells you exactly what to do.

Choose an Uplifting Phrase

Step away. Get some food or a refreshment. Listen to some music or go for a walk. Snuggle your children (human or animal). Give yourself some time and space from what you’ve written.

Then, feeling refreshed (perhaps tomorrow), re-read what you’ve written and see how it lands.

From what you’ve written, does any one phrase stand out? Choose something that feels like, “Ah yes; this is what I need to remember this year.”

Here’s mine:

My priorities are different when I choose to love the animal I am.

Write it down on a sticky note, create a piece of art with the phrase as the center-piece, scribble it on your notebook and rip out the page — however you do it, place the phrase somewhere you will see it often, if not everyday.

Allow this phrase to be an uplifting, gentle reminder of where you want to put your attention and energy in 2023.

I struggled with what to offer you all as this year opens. I think you are perfect just the way you are. But I also know that, like me, you have big desires yearning to take on a life of their own.

May you reach for something that feels impossibly good this year.

Loving you. Till next time,
Conner Carey

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