2011: Calling All Dreamers

I feel like I’m on mile 23 of a marathon with the book coming out in less than three months (!!) and now is the time to turn on the burners — put every minute that I’m not at Google to strategic use. It’s a really exciting, motivating feeling to see the finish line up ahead . . . and much to the chagrin of well-meaning great friends hoping to drag me out of the house, nothing will break my focus at this point.

I’m also not big on expensive parties or fighting for taxi cabs, so I planned on spending this New Years Eve alone in my condo, working on projects that energize me and that would help set the tone for an uber-creative 2011. Projects that get me so fired up that they don’t even feel like work.

I mentioned this casually to a few friends — New Years orphans who were ambivalent about their existing plans — and before I knew it, I had four fabulous women in for the count.

Why am I telling you this? Because I have big plans for us in 2011.

Yes, YOU.

Even if you don’t nerd-out on New Years Eve like us, I want you to think about a big dream that you might be tiptoeing around, and I want you to join me in 2011 by setting up your own “creative day of greatness.” If our New Years bonanza goes well, I plan on hosting many more throughout the year (even virtually).

But you don’t have to wait for me, of course. Pick a date and commit to starting that big, hairy, scary project that is crying out for your love and attention. I know you might be afraid, or self-conscious, or unsure if this is the right time or if you have the right idea or if you’re the right person to pursue it.

Do it anyway.

Not that you even need it, but I hearby grant you the permission to start even without perfect conditions or all the pieces in place.

Arranging a creative genius day or night also requires properly setting the stage. What would make it the most fabulous, soul-stirring experience EVER? My friend Julie and I brainstormed for tonight and came up with what we think is a great list.

The “Marathon Day of Creative New Years Genius” will entail:

  • Morning yoga session (delivered by moi) for anyone who’s here early — we’re planning on starting the festivities around 11:00 a.m.
  • Writing “sprints” throughout the day on our biggest ideas. We’ll try a system where we work for 40 minutes, then chat, share, brainstorm and collaborate for 20 minutes – off and on throughout the day. We’ll also set a few goals at the outset about what would be most thrilling to accomplish.
  • Piles of magazines & a flip chart to do vision-boarding
  • Doing other cool things like taking symbolic action on something that scares us; emailing an author we really respect (hi Martha Beck!)
  • Fire in the fireplace, great music playing in the background
  • Favorite foods potluck — pasta, pizza, chips/salsa, green-bean casserole, cupcakes & macaroons — to name a few
  • Prosecco for midnight; we may very well also put on fancy dresses and throw a dance party for the countdown. Good times!

How about you – what would your IDEAL Creative Day of Genius entail?

By the way, I’m serious. I want you to pick a dream of yours – even just a corner of it – and commit to it. Schedule your jump-start session alone or with friends, and start bringing your big ideas to life. Then send me an email to let me know how it goes!

No matter what you find yourself doing tonight, have an amazing time. Cheers — to dreaming, scheming and greatness for all of us in 2011! :)

***

1:1 Big Goal Brainstorming / Coaching / Genius Hours:

If you are hoping to take your first steps toward a big dream in 2011 and you want some extra accountability and support, get in touch with me. Right now I’m offering sample coaching sessions at 50% off - $50 for 45 minutes of bringing out your inner genius.

I want us all to dream BIG in 2011, and I would love nothing more than to help you start taking baby steps toward your biggest goals. As your coach, I’ll help you do big-picture visioning, uncover your values, set specific goals, knock out limiting beliefs or barriers to action, and brainstorm ways to make substantial progress — all supported by assignments for you to work on between sessions. Nothing gets me more fired up than working with you on making your biggest dreams a reality. Learn more here.

Looking for another great way to kick-off 2011?

Join me for a free 60-minute career strategy webinar with People On-the-Go during the second week of January (hint: one of my first e-books in the making!). Here’s a brief description:

The Ladder is Out — How to Manage Your Career in the Age of the App
The era of climbing the ladder as a method of managing your career is out. We are now in the age of the app – everything you need is at your fingertips, fully customizable to your unique career dreams and aspirations. Rather than follow a linear path, learn how to explore, experiment and build a strong foundation that suits your dynamic talents and goals.
[Read more and sign-up]

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Big love and hugs to all of you :)

  • http://emilyinchile.blogspot.com emilyinchile

    I love that idea! It reminds me of college when friends would get together to study, and seriously, why not apply that concept to real life? Even if there is no Jerry’s in your condo ;)

    Hope you have a great new year filled with creativity and productivity.

    • http://www.lifeaftercollege.org jennyblake

      Hey Emily! YES – it totally is like college! I hadn’t even thought of it that way — but those were some of my favorite days/nights. Remember good ol’ DG living room studying?! Awesome. But no, no Jerry’s…or Diddy Reece.

      Hope you had an amazing NYE too!! You’ll have to join virtually for a future “day of genius” party :D

  • http://www.enteradulthood.com Diana Antholis

    What a great idea and concept! I need to plan this day.

    • http://www.lifeaftercollege.org jennyblake

      Thanks Diana! Glad to hear you had fun partying NYC-style. You’ll have to organize the NYC contingent next time we throw one of these!

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  • http://www.ryanjknapp.com/blog/about/ Ryan Knapp

    Great idea Jenny! Always working on being a better person, such a great trait! Happy 2011 and all the best!

    • http://www.lifeaftercollege.org jennyblake

      Thanks Ryan! Same to you, my friend :D Here’s to great things for both of us this year! Big hugs :)

  • http://www.daremytruth.com Vanessa

    What a great way to spend the New Year – making me feel a bit guilty for choosing the conventional night of dancing (although in all honesty, I rarely prioritize fun). I did spend a lot of the day thinking about 2011 goals for once!

    I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you through your blog in 2010 – you are truly inspiring and it blows my mind how you are able to juggle all of your roles and move forward. Please do share how the night ended up going and Congrats on the book!

    • http://www.lifeaftercollege.org jennyblake

      Hey Vanessa! Thanks so much for stopping by and for all of the incredibly kind words – I really, really appreciate it!

      And glad to hear that you let loose and went dancing on NYE! That’s definitely good for the soul too :D

      Happy New Year!! Looking forward to keeping in touch in 2011 :D

  • http://shesafitchick.com Jennifer

    I wish I saw this last night, what a brilliant way to welcome the new year! Hope you accomplished all that you set out to! :) I wish I could afford to hire you right now!

    • http://www.lifeaftercollege.org jennyblake

      Hey Jennifer! Thanks so much for stopping by and for your comment! I know I owe you an email — looking forward to a catch-up call when we make it happen :D

  • http://theoffbeatreport.com Lauren

    Well, we definitely missed you last night! But, it sounds like you had a wonderful evening. Here’s to a fantastic 2011 and making all your dreams come true :)

    • http://www.lifeaftercollege.org jennyblake

      Hey girl! JO and Sharalyn said they had a blast — I was definitely thinking of you guys and SOOO appreciated the invites. Here’s to a fantastic 2011 — and our coffee date — to you too!

  • http://growingforward.net Scott Asai

    Really like the idea of writing sprints Jenny. The fact that you would lay time aside with others to get your creative juices flowing is inspiring. I actually have this idea of a “network cafe” and now after reading your post I think I’ll talk it over with a couple of people who are more creative than me!

    • http://www.lifeaftercollege.org jennyblake

      Thanks Scott! It was a great way to spend the day/night – and the sprint aspect gave us opportunities to come up for air and brainstorm with each other — helping us get even more creativity going. Love the sound of a network cafe — let me know how it goes!

      Sorry I missed you while you were up here — hope you had a great trip!

  • http://twitter.com/mmbizon mmbizon

    1. You taught yoga! Yay for you!!!!! :)
    2. This is an awesome idea. I think I need one of these “creative days of genius” weekly.
    3. Make sure you work enough yoga and cupcakes into your schedule to offset the upcoming-book-release-and-Jenny-Blake-in-constant-focus-to-conquer-the-world craziness! It will be good for the soul.
    4. Happy 2011! Obviously.

    • http://www.lifeaftercollege.org jennyblake

      Aw, thanks girl!!

      1. Yes – it was actually my first group class – 70 minutes, 3 people,
      multi-level. Whew! Felt great to get it under my belt. That was with
      friends…I’m still nervous to do my first class with strangers though! Have
      you taught any group classes yet?
      2. Weekly “creative genius days” sounds amazing!! I sort of do that with my
      friend every Sunday night – but it’s more for emails. I definitely want to
      host another one — you should host one on the same day and we’ll make it
      AMAZING. :D
      3. Such a helpful reminder – thank you. I actually think that’s part of what
      pushed me to sign-up for teacher training – I knew I’d want the yoga to help
      balance book-tour craziness. Keep those reminders coming, though! I’m gonna
      need ‘em :)
      4. Happy 2011 to you too! Obvi. <3

      Have a great weekend!!!

      • http://twitter.com/mmbizon mmbizon

        Hey, Jenny!

        1. a.) Congratulations! That’s so awesome!!!
        b.) I’m a yoga newbie. I tried hot yoga (without the heat?) at school but didn’t really stick with it. I’m thinking I’ll try another class, since I get so bored with conventional strength training. I’m a cardio, work-through-the-pain type of girl! I think I need to start listening to my own body, though, so yoga should help with that!
        2. Scheduling in e-mail time is such a good idea! I’ll have to try that! And YES! A joint creative day sounds amazing!
        3. I’m good for moral support! I’ll remind you!

        xoxo

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  • mpringleGTC

    Since I am a new comer to this blog I am a little behind on reading your articles, but this one is a great idea. It seems that on the occasions that my friends and I get together we seem to always end up brainstorming on how to be more creative with our lives and how to improve on some of our weaknesses.

    Now I can encourage us to really dream BIG!

    • http://www.lifeaftercollege.org jennyblake

      Thanks so much! Sounds like you’re off to a great start already with your
      friends — the creative days of genius can be really fun and rewarding.
      Welcome to Life After College, by the way — so glad you landed here, and
      looking forward to keeping in touch!

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  • http://theofficeingenue.com Terri

    I think any day with your best girlfriends figuring out all the worlds problems is a day of genius!

    • http://www.lifeaftercollege.org jennyblake

      Terri – I’m with you!! Nothing beats the power of brainstorming with your
      “besties” for an entire day or night :D

  • Mariana

    Just the kind of post I needed to read today (though I’m far off from New Years Eve)! And with that said I’m off to start the blog I’ve been dreaming about for the past 4 months!

    • http://www.lifeaftercollege.org jennyblake

      Mariana – I’m so happy to hear that!! Congrats on getting started — very excited for you! You might also really enjoy Steven Pressfield’s Do The Work — a short book published by the Domino Project that I found very motivating for creative endeavors. Have a wonderful rest of your week!

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