self improvement tips

5 Secrets of People Who Follow Through with their Creative Aspirations

“The starting point of all success is desire”

~Napoleon Hill

We are busy. Time flies. We have routines and habits that guide us through our days and to-do lists.

However, there is another part of us that runs parallel to this experience.

Next to our to-do list is another list that we keep close to our heart. This is the list of things we hope to someday accomplish. These are our soul projects, our creative projects.

Maybe you want to someday,

  • Write a book.
  • Learn to paint.
  • Start a passion project.
  • Start a passion business.

Regardless of our busy, and often routine lives, we are all full of vibrant, creative inspiration.

At times this inspiration is strong, and other times it feels distant.

But it is always there.

However, even though we have our creative instincts humming along in our core, they often get pushed aside:

“I will start tomorrow.”

Tomorrow comes and goes.

“I will actually start tomorrow.”

This turns into, “I will start when I have more time, or when things settle down.”

Time passes, days pass.

The creative pull is left unanswered.

When this happens we don’t shine as brightly as we could, there is something that feels off, feels unlived, unloved.

Luckily, the creative pull doesn’t have to go unanswered. And we don’t have to sacrifice what we are already doing to accomplish our creative aspirations.

We can learn from the habits of people who are able to accomplish the regular demands of the day and still fit in their creative projects.

1) Take inventory of Why Creative Work is Important

People who are able to get the creative projects done, understand why it is important for them to do so. They understand this not just on a practical level, but on a soulful level.

For example, as a writer, I write because I feel better and more alive when I do so. I feel more present, with myself and with others.

I believe that honoring our creative work can help make the world better place.

I keep writing because I enjoy doing it, even on the days that it is a struggle.

And ultimately I have never thought to myself after writing, “I wish I spent that time doing something else.”

We must find the reasons why the work is important and why it matters to us. Spend some time feeling into the creative pull. This sets the foundation for your work to flourish and come to form.

2) Prioritize Your Work, Manage Distractions

We live in a world full of distractions, they are everywhere, extremely accessible, and promise instant gratification.

However, one check of an email can turn into an hour lost to the Internet.

The reason we are often easily distracted is because they have an illusion of only taking up a moment of time. So we don’t put boundaries around our time engaging in distracting activities.

Give yourself time to get lost in Facebook or in compulsively checking email. Put a container around it–give yourself set time to flow with distractions.

Conversely, put boundaries on the time you will spend focused on your creative work.

Make this work a priority. Remember the reason you are doing it.

If setting boundaries around your time is a struggle, ask yourself if your current action is serving your highest creative good.

Just this question can help you get back on track.

3) Take Consistent Action

I read once that trying to exercise 3 days a week is much harder than 5 days. The reason being that when we engage in something regularly, we build momentum and habit.

This is the same with following through with our creative aspirations.

We must engage with our ideas and goals through regular action. Doing so creates space for us to have fun with the work, to feel what it is like to move through doubt, and come out the other side.

Constant action helps us pick up energy and speed.

Clarity comes from engagement.

4) Break Projects into Manageable Chunks

If I were to look at my day and decide to start writing a book, I would instantly become excited but also overwhelmed.

Feeling overwhelmed, insecure, or feel like I am biting off more than I can chew, is the perfect environment for stagnation, procrastination, and distraction to thrive.

The trick to moving forward with our work is to make our goals small and manageable.

When working in small chunks, we are still working towards our goal and making small steps towards completing it.

For example, instead of saying, “I am going to start my book today,” Say, “I am going to start to write by book by playing around with titles and jotting down thoughts about my first chapter.”

Phew, that feels better already.

5) Trust Your Instincts

People who accomplish their creative goals, trust in their instincts.

If you have the instinct to write, write.

If you have the instinct to paint, paint.

If you have the instinct to create a business, do it.

Trust that these creative instincts are going to take you where you need to go. They will open doors, internally and externally, that are conducive to your personal and creative growth.

Honor the soulfulness of creating something.

And importantly, when you feel inspired, jump on the opportunity.

Write on napkins, doodle, jot down ideas, get to work.

The more we use our spontaneous creative muscles, the more confident we are in our creative selves. The more likely the our creative work will materialize gracefully into the world.

Do you have a creative project you want to work on? Take the first step in materializing it by sharing in the comments below.

Jackie Johansen, is a writer who combines personal development with actionable writing strategies. She is the creator of the Muse Activating audio meditation and the ebook, Is Writing a Struggle? How to Author the Words that Inspire the World. Get them free at



Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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