24 things to start in 2024
It’s countdown time, my potential-packed stARTists! Soon, we get a shiny new calendar to start a shiny new year to start shiny new stuff that will absolutely lead to more shiny newness.
Putting our ideas into the world reveals the best of who we are, so I’ve made a list of idea starters, with something for everyone. Pick just a few, or be a rock stARTist and do them ALL. Two each month? Easy peasy!
You can start…
The model is always ready when you are, and if the artist is inexperienced, you have only yourself to blame. Honestly, the more innocent and unskilled the artist, the better they are. Find a tutorial online, if you want to take it seriously. Some stARTists do self-portraits as an annual ritual. Here’s mine from 20 years ago.
An organizing innovation.
Create a place to store and/or display something uniquely yours. Do you have a lot of hats? An extra large collection of boots? I collect shark’s teeth, and when a friend gave me this old spice holder, it inspired a display piece for lots of collections I had tucked away. Sharks teeth share a kooky display with cookie fortunes, vintage game pieces, my dice collection, mini sea shells and tiny found feathers.
A personal manifesto.
Your own obituary.
My brother died suddenly a couple of years ago, and while I was privileged to write his obituary, it would have been such a gift to know what HE would have included. Let’s do our loved ones a favor and leave behind at least a rough draft. On a selfish note, writing our own obituary can be a creative catalyst and the way to truly have the last word. Here’s a template and 6 reasons to get you started.
What’s a fun thing you don’t want to commit to for the long-term? Start it just once – a pop-up book club, a pop-up art shop, a pop-up podcast, a pop-up restaurant, a pop-up quilting class, a pop-up open wood shop, a pop-up dance club, or a pop-up writers group.
Be it a day trip nearby or a bucket-list overseas vacation, STARTING a journey requires a creative ignition that gets all the right juices flowing.
Take one or give one. Learning and teaching are creative deep dives that amp up our self esteem and creativity.
A work of art.
Even if you’re not ready to buy paints or throw your own pot, you can create a personal creation by framing a photograph or a quote you love. Customizing items in your space is an important way to express and get to know yourself.
A thank-you letter.
When we do it right, a thank-you letter feels like a love letter…full of gratitude and mushy stuff. It’s a creative exercise that warms us and (IF we send it) can start a warming chain reaction of gratitude.
‘Make new friends and keep the old.
The old are warm and fluffy, and the new are bold!’
People change. We need relationships that meet us where we are NOW and pull us to our boldest and best.
Begin something with a friend or loved one that you would not do by yourself. Maybe, do it just for the purpose of spending time together.
If you’re already a journaler, start a new journal about a specific topic you want to explore. Maybe…a starting journal. Or a dining journal. A fitness journal, a gratitude journal or a parenting journal
Cut up stuff that inspires you and paste it down. It’s fun, stARTistic, and also a form of therapy.
A repurposing idea.
Pick a thing that piques your interest and go down the rabbit hole. Ask Siri, buy the book, start a Quora chat. I was on a beach one time and a guy found a shark’s tooth. He was so excited that he showed it to the nearest person, ME! He told me why he was excited and got ME excited. I now have an uncanny knack for spotting shark teeth and have a collection displayed in my living room. (See #4.)
Plant a tree or three. OR THREE HUNDRED! Trees are one of my stARTistic obsessions for lots of life giving reasons. I have a goal to plant 1,000 trees before I die. Then, I’m contemplating planting myself under a tree. So far, I’ve planted 103 trees. FYI, donating money to an organization to plant them for you counts, too.
Good habits change everything. As habit and happiness expert Gretchin Rubin says, “Habits are the architecture of daily life.” Make this the year you start one that you choose.
We all get called to show off our hometowns, neighborhoods, or favorite vacation spots. Why not make it extra fabulous by digging in a little? Find the history, design a route, draw a map. Maybe an audio recording?
A social movement.
Changing hearts and righting wrongs begins with tiny steps…a conversation, a group email, an alliance. This is a year that needs your voice.
Your big idea. You know…THE THING. THE THING THAT POKES AT YOU, HAUNTS YOU, or VISITS YOU WHEN YOUR MIND GETS A HOT MINUTE TO ITSELF.
When are you waiting for? It’s time to give your ideas wings.
I’m not asking you to finish it in 2024, I’m just asking you to stART.
If you want to learn about the magical power of starting…and the things I learned about finishing, check out my book, Start More Than You Can Finish: A Creative Permission Slip to Unleash Your Best Ideas. (The Kindle edition is on sale for $1.99!)