Before you can do your best work, you must first lay a foundation for that to be possible. You need to create something solid to build off of.
This is more than simply figuring out the routines and habits that will help you get where you want to go.
And it’s more than just being connected to a sense of purpose as you move forward.
Creating a foundation for yourself involves a combination of specific self-awareness, intentional actions, supportive relationships, and reliable structures and systems.
It's a holistic approach to making sure you can consistently show up and do the work you feel called to do.
Specific self-awareness might look like knowing what boundaries you need in place, what beliefs allow you to maintain inner stability, and the internal supports you can lean on—call it faith or something else—when faced with challenges.
Intentional actions might look like caring for your body in the specific ways it benefits from, checking for progress that’s aligned with what matters to you, and being more selective with what you give your time and attention to.
Supportive relationships might look like the people who help you take better care of yourself, the professionals who offer useful feedback on your work, and the friends who will remind you to enjoy every facet of your life.
Reliable structures and systems might look like creating and maintaining a budget, blocking out your time based on how you know you work best, and establishing patterns that take minor decisions out of your day.
Of course, some of these pieces will be more exciting than others. It’s natural to have one or two of these areas feel more robust and available to you.
That being said, it is entirely possible to develop your capabilities in the areas that you feel less connected to. You may even find that you come to appreciate what was once unavailable to you even more once it is in your wheelhouse.
This was certainly the case for me when I began to build a foundation for my life and work last year.
I used to orient from my inner world and getting things done. Now, I spend much more time pinging off other people and the structures and systems I’ve created for myself.
This has allowed me to create the financial, physical, and emotional stability I need to be able to do the deeply personal and creative work that I have spent years struggling to create. The stability that I once thought would threaten my ability to be an artist is the very thing that’s giving me a shot at being the type of creator I have always longed to be.
Reading over those four areas of your foundation, where do you feel most comfortable? Where do you feel you might benefit from further development?
Or, to put it more simply, where do you need more stability in your life?