ECT TV Episode 79: Planning Your Creative Projects for the New Year

Welcome to a new episode of ECT TV!

In Emerging Creatively Tutorials I show you jewelry making techniques and give you creativity tips.

Happy New Year!

I hope you’re off to a great start to the New Year!  Whether this is the first episode you’re watching or you’ve been watching from the beginning, I want to say thank you for all your support!

Today I’ll give you a step-by-step process to plan your creative projects for the year that will help you sort out from the many possibilities, schedule it in and then finally I’ll give you a bonus tip that will make you super effective during your creative time.

Watch the video:

Prefer to read?  Here’s the information from the video:

As I start a new year I love planning and thinking about how I want to feel and I love setting goals.  As part of that, I think about what creative projects I’m planning for the year.

Going back, the last few months of 2016 I got very overwhelmed with the amount of things I wanted to do.  I had a lot of trouble making decisions and so I ended up not making any decisions and, thus, I didn’t really work on many creative projects.

This year I decided to take the decision making out of the picture altogether.  I made a plan and a schedule. I don’t have to make any decisions because they have already been made.

I started this process a few weeks ago and the results have been amazing.  I’m going to walk you through all the steps.  Once you go through these steps it’s a lot easier to get to the fun creating part!

Step #1

What do you want to work on this year?

Make a whole big list and don’t edit it yet.  Just let yourself brainstorm everything.

This can, of course, also include projects that you’d like to complete from last year that you’re still working on plus anything new you’d like to do or to learn.

Step #2

How much time do you have to devote to your creative activities?

When can you schedule them in?

For me, this means I work on my creative hobbies in the evenings after dinner.

Maybe you have kids and your only free time is after they’re tucked in bed.  Or perhaps you have time first thing in the morning.

When do you realistically have time and how much time do you have?

Step #3

Now we’ll narrow down the list of creative projects from Step #1 into a list that you actually have time for.

I always have about a thousand projects that I want to do, but when I compare that long list to the time I have I know it’s not even possible.

So I have to choose what’s most important to me.

Decide on the top few projects that you can realistically work on.  If they’re long term/large projects you may only be able to choose a few.  Choose as many as you have time to work on.

You don’t have to get rid of the rest of the list.  Keep it for the future.  This is just what we’re focusing on right now.

{For me:  I have decided to work on 3 scrapbooking projects and 1 art journal project.  I didn’t consider jewelry making in my list because it’s a given that I work on daily because it’s my job to teach jewelry making and I work on it during the day.

There are many other projects that I want to work on and I kept them in a list.  If I have time, I may work on them, but they’re not my focus.}

Step #4

Make a concrete schedule for those creative projects within the schedule that you made in Step #2.

{For me:  I’ll be working most evenings on my creative projects.  I have taken my 3 scrapbooking projects and choose which specific days I’ll work on those projects.  I have a couple of open days that I can choose to work more on those projects or work on another creative project or do something else altogether.}

Now that you have made a schedule, you don’t have to make decisions on what to work on when.  You simply work on whatever creative project you chose at the time you chose.  It just simplifies everything.

Step #5

To maximize your creative time, get your supplies together and organized for each creative project.

Organizing your supplies is great, of course, because you can find everything.  But there’s a bonus of finding things you forgot about or misplaced, letting things go that you just don’t use and thus giving you more breathing room and finding renewed inspiration!

Bonus Tip:

Make kits of the exact supplies you’ll use for each project and place in a box or basket.  Then when it’s the allotted time for that specific project, just grab the basket and get to work!

What if you want freedom, not rules?

Me, too!  I love creative projects because I can express myself and not do what other people think I should.  I don’t like being put in a box and I’m a free spirit at heart.

However, I also get overwhelmed and stuck when I have to make a lot of decisions.  Making these decisions ahead of time is actually really freeing.  I started this process a few weeks ago and I have to say it’s been amazing.  I’m working on creative projects so much more.

And having said all of this, nothing is set in stone.  You made the schedule, you can change it.  You can add things to your list, take them off or switch things for a little while.

I want to help you to be able to express yourself more freely, not tie you down!

I hope this helps you get creative this year!

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Choose your Adventure

Special Announcements about ECT TV:

  • ECT TV comes out every other week.  I’ll be alternating a jewelry making technique video with creative tips and hints videos (like this very episode!)
  • Also previously I had been sharing PDFs of each episode freely with step-by-step photo/written instructions to my newsletter subscribers since the very beginning of the series and it’s extremely time consuming.  The PDFs will no longer be available for free, but you’ll still get all the same content in the videos!
  • The PDFs for the jewelry making tutorials will be available for a small, affordable fee and the PDFs for the older episodes will be available soon as well.

Again, the videos will remain free and you can get notified of new episodes by signing up for my newsletter above.

Also – there will be a new blogpost here on my website each Wednesday.  On the weeks for ECT TV, you’ll find the video and show notes from the episode.  On the other weeks I’ll have posts about creativity and jewelry making.

Want to see my progress in all of my creative projects this year?  I’ll be sharing photos on Instagram and Facebook, so be sure to follow me on either (or both) of those places.


  1. Mom says:

    This was very helpful for your dear old mom and one thing I have decided on is to never watch TV without a project in my hands, i.e. Knitting or crocheting.
    You are very good at this kind of advice and I am proud of you!

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