Artistic Manifestos: A Path to Creating an Inspired Life

As we settle into the quiet autumn time, we enter an exciting space marked by new beginnings and opportunities. The changing season is a great time to check back in with our goals—but it’s not the only time. We can start fresh anytime we’re willing to make new commitments.

Traditionally, the beginning of a new year is a time when we look at what’s working in our lives and what’s not, and resolve to change it. Another popular time to regroup and set intentions is during the new moon. But here’s the thing: Whenever you’re most excited and willing is the best time to set goals to make sustainable change, regardless of season, date, or moon cycle.

Each month is a time for a new beginning and a time to shed layers to make space for what you want to accomplish.

Have you ever reached a goal and still not felt fulfilled? Achieving goals and checking things off your list doesn’t automatically mean happiness. The following practice is a great way to make sure you’re not just bumbling through your days but actually considering how you want your life to be, and actively working towards creating that.

The monthly manifesto practice is a great way to get organized and excited for the month ahead. It’s a fluid and creative process that blends practical planning with vision boarding. This way, you have all your ideas, materials, ingredients, and resources in one spot so you can embody your intention and follow through on how you want to feel. When life picks up speed through the busy workweek, you remember immediately how you wanted to feel; all you have to do is consult your manifesto.

What is a manifesto? A monthly manifesto contains an infinite collection of inspiration to manifest all your desires. It’s a way to define your intentions—to get them out of your head and write them down so that, when you feel lost, you can connect back to your vision. I go over this practice of writing a monthly manifesto in more detail, and offer a number of journaling prompts, in my book Let It Out: A Journey Through Journaling.

Each month, give yourself a designated time to sit down and make a beautiful collage to serve as the visual inspiration that goes along with your written manifesto. The collage is a collection of images that represent your goals and how you want to feel.

Here’s a breakdown of what to include in your collage:

  • The focal intention of your monthly goal; write it down or type it in bold letters in the center of your collage
  • Photos that make you feel really fulfilled and motivated to commit to your intention
  • Quotes and mantras that are relevant to the intention
  • Names, photos, or addresses of places you want to go, things you want to experience, and dates of when you plan to do them during the month
  • A list of recipes you want to try, ingredients you’ll need for them, and a plan for when you’ll prepare them
  • Links to the videos and podcasts you want to absorb related to your intention
  • A list of books you want to read (make sure this is a realistic number for the month)
  • A list of people you want to share your monthly manifesto with, either in person or on the phone. Include people who will support you, hold space for you, and help you along your path.
  • Classes you want to attend; do some research on online and on-site classes or workshops that will support your intentions.
  • Meditations to focus on for the month: Check out some guided meditation resources or think back to your previously outlined mantras and focus on them during your meditation practice.
  • A playlist, full of songs that fill you up and will help propel forward your intention
  • A concise list of really specific action items that will move you in the direction of making your vision and intention a reality.

Your intentions and manifesto may evolve and change during the course of the month—and that is okay. Life happens and things come up, but remind yourself to check back in daily or weekly with your outlined manifesto. And keep your collage somewhere you can view it as you go about your day—on your computer, fridge, or mirror—to give you inspiration to continue along the path to your goals. However, each day it will be up to you if you want to continue working toward it or not. Remember, inspiration is endless, so leave some white space for new things to come in. Be open and enjoy!

Katie Dalebout teaches Remix Your Resolutions at Kripalu.

This exercise was adapted from Katie’s book Let It Out: A Journey Through Journaling.

Katie Dalebout, writer, host, and wellness and creativity cheerleader, started the podcast Let It Out, a long-form interview show with more than 226 episodes

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