The Creative Mama » inspiring art, encouraging women

My 2011: the year to let ideas flourish

Here’s my charge to you, Creative Mamas:

You’ve got ideas. Lots of them. House ideas, business ideas, vacation ideas, project ideas, personal growth ideas …

There’s that piece of furniture you keep thinking about painting, that art book you dream of putting together, the unique and possibly risky vacation you know would be quite the adventure, that service project you’ve considered starting as a family, the childhood hang-up that always seems to be lingering around. Those ideas. You know the ones I’m talking about.

Ideas are things all of us have swimming in our brains. And, the #1 reason they do not come to fruition is simply because we are all so darn busy. The days come and go and all of a sudden it’s Friday and the weekend is here. A minute later it’s Sunday afternoon and you’re trying to scrounge up a quick dinner. Then … it’s summer, a new school year … Christmas … gasp!

Boy, life truly flies by, doesn’t it?

So, I’ve been thinking a lot this week about my 2011 and what I hope to accomplish. They’re not resolutions, they’re simply goals. And, they’re not all goals that are going to change the world for the better. They’re just goals that I know are things I will enjoy doing. Goals that will force me to take a risk. Goals that will force me to dream and create and possibly screw something up really bad. Goals that will take just a day of work and some that will take the entire year.

So, as the holidays have officially come and gone and the cold, winter air is still blanketing us all I’m allowing my brain to breath. Dream. Be creative. Think of life moving forward.

Then, as they come I’ve written them down. And, this is what I’ve decided to do: For 2011 I am going to share my creative goals coming to fruition right here on this website. This is to keep me accountable to not let this year fly by without moving forward. This is to keep me on track all year long. This is also to challenge you to join me!

Will you?

Allow your creative self to dream. What are some things you’d like to do this year (big and small)? Write them down and formulate a little plan. For me, I’ve simply thought of things I can do during the winter, others I will do in the spring and so on. Some I am going to do this weekend, others I am going to plan and work on all year long.

Want to know the types of things I’m talking about? Here goes …

House stuff:

  • Turn the basement into a family room where we can all hang out, play and rest together.
  • Turn the dressing table into a desk for Charley.
  • Move the TV (somewhere, anywhere!) from the main level – create a space where family time does not have any electronic interruptions (minus music).
  • Find and buy large galvanized buckets. Grow a garden.
  • Build drawers on casters to hold magazines, books and toys under our bed.
  • Refinish and paint the stairs.
  • Create a unique way to display photos leading upstairs to our bedroom.

Work stuff:

  • Turn my 7-10 year old photography workshop into a book that families can do together during the summer months.
  • Brainstorm the possibility of hosting a workshop live so that I can meet some of the 300+ students I’ve had.
  • Formulate a marketing plan to book more senior photo shoots.


  • Collect more recipes and be better at planning a week’s worth of dinners so that we’re not always trying to think of something last minute (I’m a terrible wife when it comes to this!).
  • Create a photo book of black and white headshots of every single person that plays a significant role in my life. (Woh. This is a HUGE one and honestly one that might not happen – or take years to do. But, it’s something I’ve dreamed of doing for so long and I’ve decided to just add it to the list.)
  • Get family photos taken of us and create a 2010 book of memories.
  • Return to the city where Charley was born and take pictures documenting the weekend during her birth, adoption and coming home.
  • Care more for others – make unhurried visits, mail gifts, write cards, drop off food, etc, etc.
  • Spend more intentional, unhurried time with God.

Here are the stipulations with all of these: I have intentions right now of doing all of these this year, but that simply might not happen and that is 100% okay by me. I am not creating a to-do list. I am creating a personal goals/dreams list. Some will be easy and others – like returning to the city where my daughter was born – simply might not be good timing this year. That’s okay!

Click on the image to download

So, here it is! I hope you, Creative Mamas, will join me. I’ve created a PDF document for you to print out and make your own list just like I have done. Until then, in the comment section, let’s all join one another for the 2011 year! What is ONE thing you’d like to do or work on before the year is over? It will be fun to revisit this post at the year’s end to see what we’ve all done in 2011!

Jessica Cudzilo

Jessica is a full-time lifestyle photographer mainly focusing on families and children. In her free time she loves a good memoir, is a sucker for reality TV, loves DIY projects and is addicted to traveling the world. Find her at 503 Photography and browse through her blog to get a peek into the girl behind the lens!

About Jessica

Jessica is a full-time lifestyle photographer mainly focusing on families and children. In her free time she loves a good memoir, is a sucker for reality TV, loves DIY projects and is addicted to traveling the world. Find her at 503 Photography and browse through her blog to get a peek into the girl behind the lens!

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  • malia

    thank you for this…you’ve inspired me to write my dream list for 2011 :)

  • Shannon White

    Great goals. I’ve never done goals in January, and it might be nice to jump on the train with everyone else.

  • amanda

    Thank you so much for this post! I love the idea of “goals” vs “resolutions.” I suck at resolutions. Goals, that I can get into! My number one goal this year is to finish decluttering our home and finish several little projects that have been nagging at me since we moved in 5 years ago. I got a good start on the decluttering last year, but lost momentum. This year, I am going to work hard to meet my goal!

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  • shaina

    im publishing and promoting a book im making from my 52weeks project i did last year.

  • Lisa Turner

    I would love to see the 7-10 year old workshop turned into a workbook for families…so perferct for my girls. I also have so many ideas in my head at the beginning of the year and would really love to make some of them, any of them, happen. I will get mine on paper too. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Melody

    That picture is breathtaking!

  • tynan

    Wow! I really need to get all of my 2011 goals down on paper. One thing I definitely want to commit to is updating my kid’s albums/scrapbooks so everything is in one tangible place my children can look at instead of just in my head! :)

  • heather

    thank you! i have all the ideas in the world but they never come to fruition because i don’t take the time to stop and write them down and plan. that is the key. but this year i will. :) where do we find the PDF?

  • Leah

    love this post! so true! I keep going over and over my ‘want to do’ list in my head….

    I need to take a moment and write them down and then start working on them…….:)

  • Lisa’

    Just more proof of why you are amazing…loved this post! So much to think about – I have some great intentions for this year some are less physical doing and more mental and emotional. We’ve had a very stressful couple of years (good and bad) and so this year I intend to do better at being happier and living for the moment, the NOW!

    It’s so easy to let life weigh you down and it’s draining. I want to create more memories and document them – in writing, pictures and family traditions. Yes the house needs to be organized, there’s laundry to do, and the ever looming TO DO list but this year is about creating life long memories and traditions…all the other stuff will happen too but if it waits a day or so that’s okay.

  • Donna

    Lovely post and just the thing for me to read this morning. I woke up thinking “It’s Friday? Where did the week go?” I myself have goals set for this year. All in my head. I am ready to put pen to paper and write them down. One thing and the first to work on is decluttering my basement. It is full of things I have packed away and not missed so I feel it’s time to purge it all and then NOT fill it back up again. :)

  • AmyC

    Oh Jessica I just love you! :) What great ideas! I’m with Lee. My main goal is to clean out and organize every room in my house. Main goal #2 is to make photo albums for my kids (and myself).

  • amy

    I’m with you! I just wrote up my list yesterday…

  • Lee Currie

    ONE thing? Eek. Okay, I would like to purge, clean and make functional every room in my house – including the rooms inhabited by my husband and my four kids. Love the post, lots to think about and do :)