Creative Catch Up – May 2011

Wedding pic by our friends Colin and Sharon Kirby (not sure which one of them took it!)

Hi, I’m back – successfully married and honeymooned, and despite a two day delay returning due to Iceland’s volcanic ash cloud, feeling pretty refreshed and ready for the rest of the year.

Our wedding day was absolutely fantastic, and really surpassed all of our expectations in terms of how much fun it was and how well everything went. We haven’t got hold of the official photos just yet but when we do I’ll share one or two here and a few more details of the day itself (if you’ll forgive the self-indulgence).

Morning Routines and Other Goals

Thanks so much to everyone for their comments on the My Morning Routine FAIL post at the start of the month, I was blown away by the reaction. I’m determined to try setting a decent routine again and thanks to the really helpful comments have a number of new ideas to try and help me stick to it this time. I’ll give an update in a month or two as to how it’s going.

In terms of other personal goals, now that the wedding’s in the bag, My wife (!) and I will have some time in our schedule so we really want to get back into running again. We ran a couple of 10ks over a year ago but since then have done very little. So we’ve decided to sign up for the Great Edinburgh 10k Run on 2nd October. This just happens to be the day after my birthday which makes it an ideal goal for the second half of the year.

Reading about being self-disciplined

Although I tried to avoid social networking whilst on honeymoon I still took some time to read blogs using the free wi-fi in the hotel. Having so clearly failed at self-discipline I was heartened to read that Leo Babauta, whose achievements are many, considers the whole thing a myth. He says that motivation is what’s important.

However Trent Hamm of the Simple Dollar believes that what we call it doesn’t matter, the key is to shift the balance so that the preferred behaviour is now easier than the old, negative behaviour.

On the same topic, Lifehacker linked to an interesting piece over at The Energy Project on getting important things done without exhausting your mental energy.

Maybe the problem is that we will always end up frustrated because we want too much? My friend Nate at Fearless Endeavours suggests we try to focus on ‘wanting what we already have’. Gratitude is definitely a good way of improving your happiness, and it can be very easy to lose sight of. This was a welcome reminder.

New Streamlined Schedule

As you may already know, I’ve struggled a bit to maintain the twice weekly schedule on the blog and weekly email newsletter I started in January. I’ve decided that to make things more manageable and give you a better  idea of what to expect I will be cutting it down to one definite post a week, at least for the next few months. So here’s what you can now expect each month:

  • One in-depth article on Clear-Minded Creativity
  • One Clear-Minded Creative Types interview
  • One Clear-Minded Classics book review
  • One monthly Creative Catch Up with links to other great blog posts and other info

The newsletters will continue to be weekly to ensure you don’t miss anything – and will also include links to other content and additional info that I won’t be sharing on the blog. So if you’re not subscribed, you’re really only getting half the story!

And I’ll still be hanging out and posting regular links to great content on Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook so hopefully I’ll see you there too.

Share Your Wares Sunday

Which reminds me to remind you that you’re always welcome to share your latest creative projects on the Facebook page each Sunday, and I might even include it in the monthly catch-up posts. If you’re a bit shy about putting your stuff forward this is a good way to get started, and if you’re not shy then why aren’t you already doing it ;)

This month I’m grateful to Paul Forrester and Emily Dodd for keeping things alive whilst I was in wedding mode. Paul has written a great poem about the secret life of shopping trolleys (and is clearly coming on leaps and bounds with his poetry) and Emily has put together a great local nature round up for the month. I know this is only the tip of the iceberg as to what both have going on at the moment – it’s great to see them both doing so well.

On a sadder note, I was very disappointed to find out that the Guardian Edinburgh blog was being closed down after only a year. Michael MacLeod, who ran the blog has been a great supporter of The Clear-Minded Creative and many other great creative initiatives throughout the city and was nice enough to include the launch of this blog as one of January’s highlights in his final ‘best of’ post. I wish him all the best in whatever he does next.

IMG_0690

My Morning Routine FAIL

Back in March I suggested you ‘Spring-Clean Your Routine’. It all sounded great in theory right? But perhaps it was too vague for people to really get their teeth into. I know I struggled to keep focused. I wanted to start the following:

My ideal morning routine

  • 6:30 am – get up – do 20 minutes of yoga
  • 7:00am – write 750 Words
  • 7:30am – breakfast, shower
  • 8:30am leave for work

I completely failed to achieve this.

I did realise that although I thought my behaviour was fairly haphazard, I was actually following a routine of sorts, which is really a series of long established bad habits:

My real morning routine

  • 6:30 – hit snooze. repeat until 7:30am
  • 7:30am turn on iPhone. Read email, Twitter, Facebook, RSS feed. Wait until girlfriend leaves flat (flat is very small so we always get in each other’s way if we’re both trying to get up at the same time)
  • 8:30 get up, put on music loud (Kanye West or Britney Spears), sing along whilst getting ready/showered
  • 9:00 breakfast. Read more blogs. Iron shirt.
  • 9:30/10am Leave for work (I’m on flexi so can usually get away with arriving late)

Of course, to have a successful morning routine, one also needs to have a successful evening routine.

My ideal evening routine

  • 8-9pm prepare for next day (iron shirt, plan to-do list etc)
  • 9-10pm read
  • 10pm go to sleep

But what can I say?

The reality: No routine whatsoever

Several times I went out and got drunk instead, or stayed up too late watching TV. Ensuring that the morning routine was NEVER going to happen.

So now I’m aware of the problem. I need to change my bad habits. But I also want some kind of social life.. hmmm a tricky dilemma..

What about you? Do you have a morning/evening routine? Are there any habits you want to change? What do you recommend to help me improve my self-discipline?

Let me know in the comments!

PLEASE NOTE: Next week I’m attending a local music festival,the weekend after I get married, and after that I’ll be on honeymoon in New York. So posting on this blog will continue to be irregular during May – I’ll try and post once a week but it may be less frequent up until the beginning of June.