Seriously – the New Year collage is a great hack!

New Year collage party

Wow. I recently finished making my New Year collage. What an amazing project. I had not done one for a few years, and had forgotten just how powerful the process can be. Overall, I can say I do not recall ever feeling so clearly focused on my goals. Each day I feel motivated to do something about at least one of them.

It has already helped me several times over

First I had to get clear about exactly what I want to focus my energy on for the next year. Having a concrete reason to do so motivated me to sit down and actually spend time thinking and writing about that. I wound up using the ideas in an article I read on Steve Pavlina’s blog to focus on three primary goals and a few secondary ones. He posted another helpful article recently about choosing your primary focus for a year:

To choose your area of primary focus, ask yourself this question: If I were to focus on improving one area of my life this year (health, finances, relationships, etc.), what single area would have the greatest overall impact?

I collected material for a couple of weeks prior to making the collage. I went through the paper several times, tearing out words and pictures. I found photos I had taken and copied them or printed them out. I also downloaded and printed pictures from the internet. As I collected the images and began to arrange them it helped me identify others I still wanted to collect. I noticed I immediately began to take actions that supported the goals I was collecting images for, because the process itself was keeping those goals in my mind.

I spent an entire afternoon and evening cutting, arranging and pasting all of my pictures and words on a piece of foam board. While my hands and mind were kept busy with the glue stick and scissors I could feel a deeper process occurring inside. It feels like it was extremely powerful to focus such sustained concentration on my intentions for so many hours. The process itself imprinted them very deeply in my mind. After a period of such intensive focus there is no doubt in my mind about what I am up to!

Now I have the collage itself – which I like quite a bit – to remind myself of my intentions for the whole next year. It’s like a billboard hanging right over my desk. Every time I look up or walk by I notice some part of it, and that appears to be influencing the choices I am making already.

It’s a team sport too

A few days after finishing my collage I was invited to spend New Year’s eve with a group of friends who liked the idea and decided to make their collages together. What a hoot. We all brought magazines to cut from, and spread them out in a giant pile along with scissors, poster board and glue sticks.

An especially cool dynamic emerged as people began looking for pictures for each other. That activity reinforced what each person said their about goals in the minds of everyone in the group. We will undoubtedly ask each other about how they are progressing as the year goes by.

It was also great to notice how fun it was for everyone to do an arts and crafts project, which is sadly lacking in the lives of most adults. At the end of the evening everyone professed that it was one of the best New Year’s eves they had ever spent. Highly recommended.

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