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Creativity coach, writing and creative process instructor, speaker, author of Around the Writer's Block: Using Brain Science to Write the Way You Want (Penguin/Tarcher 2012) and Dancing in the Dragon's Den (Red Wheel Weiser), Teaching Artist at the Loft Literary Center.

Beyond New Year Resolutions to New Year Vision


Even Mercedes-Benz recognizes the significance of serving both sides of the brain, as evidenced in their Left Brain - Right Brain ads.

What’s your vision for your writing and the rest of your life in 2012? And not a boring, corporate-like planning and strategy session — a real vision.

Sure you need to ask those logical, linear, pragmatic questions that the left hemisphere knows are important. But you also need to invite the right hemisphere to play too, if you want a truly creative vision.

Questions for Your Left Brain

  • What do you want to do in 2012?
  • What accomplishments will you be most proud of when you review 2012 next January?
  • What specific action can you take to make sure you reach these accomplishments?
  • What habits do you want to add in 2012?
  • What habits do you want to maintain in 2012?
  • What beliefs and behaviors would you like to abandon in 2012?
  • What do you want to learn in 2012?
  • What is the biggest opportunity for you in 2012?
  • What is the biggest risk for you in 2012?
  • Who or what do you want to serve in 2012?

You’ll want to write responses to these questions for your left brain. Be as formal or informal with your writing as you wish; you can freewrite, journal, outline, draft an essay or create a project plan.

Questions for Your Right Brain

  • Who do you want to be in 2012?
  • What sensory experiences do you want in 2012?
    What do you want to see? What do you want to hear?
    What do you want to smell? What do you want to taste?
    What do you want to touch and feel?
  • What emotions do you want to feel in 2012?
  • What do you want to create in 2012? What do you want to bring into your life and into the world?
  • How do you want to experience time in 2012?
  • How do you want to grow spiritually in 2012?
  • What objects, people or phrases symbolize what you hope for in 2012?
  • What is the theme of 2012?  What’s your theme song for 2012? What’s your motto? What will you name 2012? The Year of ….
  • Who do you need to be to bring this vision to reality?

I highly recommend collecting objects and images as you think about responses to these questions for the right brain. Collaging is a great way to explore the connections between the objects, ideas and images you’ll discover with these questions.

A Challenge for the Whole Brain

Another cool brain-based ad from Mercedes-Benz

Use the Mercedes-Benz ad as inspiration for how you can bring the responses from your two brains together. Combine your written responses to the questions for the left brain with the collage you create in response to the questions for the right brain.

I’d love to see what you come up with. Please email a pdf to me or post your combined response on your Facebook wall and leave a comment here to direct us to it.

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