10 Ways to Stay Zenspired in 2017!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Hi Everyone,

The New Year brings a welcome opportunity for a fresh start; another chance to make a difference in the world. Let’s give ourselves permission to begin againto let go of what’s been holding us back…to take a stand for something we believe in…to say ‘no’…to try something new…to be ourselves… to be willing to experiment…to fail…to create…to connect…to learn…to grow.

This New Year holds so much promise! 


Here are 10 ways to Stay Zenspired in 2017:

Be KIND. It is more important to be kind than it is to be right. We can’t always know what challenges others are facing… but a simple kind word or action can positively impact someone’s life. When you set an intention to do all things with kindness, you are making a commitment to make a difference. Strive to leave every interaction on an upbeat, positive note; having made whoever you were talking to feel better after your conversation than they did before. Kindness is contagious… pass it on!

Be GENEROUS. Give from your heart. Whether it is a smile, your time, your creative talents, or your financial support, look for opportunities to give. You’ll be surprised at how good it makes YOU feel!

Be THANKFUL. Pausing daily to appreciate and acknowledge your blessings, makes a difference. Remember– you can’t control anything except your attitude– so try to keep it positive. If you are new to the practice of gratitude, start by keeping a list of things you are thankful for– these can be specific things which are happening in your life, or general things such as the air that you breathe, the roof over your head, the food you eat and the people that you love. Taking time to write these down at the end of the day can help you develop an ‘attitude of gratitude’.

For those who might want to keep a gratitude list, here is a January calendar page you can use (and color!).


Click below to download your FREE printable PDF of the January Calendar:


Nurture YOURSELF! Eating healthfully, getting enough sleep, and making time to exercise will make a HUGE difference in how you feel. Taking care of yourself increases your productivity and your creative abilities. If you make one small positive change each month, whether it is giving up white sugar, getting an extra half hour of sleep or going for a fifteen minute daily walk, next year at this time you’ll be amazed by the new you!

Practice FORGIVENESS. Realize that forgiveness is actually a gift you are giving to yourself. You cannot be free when you are angry. You cannot be grounded in gratitude when you harbor resentment. Your soul cannot grow when you are stuck in the prison of your past. If this is something you struggle with, try assuming that everyone is doing the best they can under whatever circumstances they are dealing with, and give yourself permission to move on.

Practice COMPASSION. Take time to listen, really listen, when someone shares from the heart. Compassion isn’t about fixing the situation; it’s about reaching out in love and letting someone know you care.

Keep BELIEVING. Walking in faith doesn’t mean that everything is automatically easy… it means being confident that you will be able to meet– and handle– whatever challenges you encounter. Believe in yourself. Believe that you have a unique ability to make a difference in the world. Believe in your dreams. Believe in those you love. Believe that you are where you are meant to be, and that what you do matters.


Keep HOPING. There is always something to hope for! Greet each day with a hopeful heart!


Keep CREATING. Make time to do what you love; to express yourself; to play; to evolve. Tapping in to your own innate creativity is essential in order for you to continue growing into the person you are becoming. Be open to possibility; allow your soul to soar!

Seek CONNECTION. Look for opportunities to experience wonder… reverence… awe… as you seek connection to something greater than yourself. Grow towards the light and let the light of your soul shine. Make moments matter and celebrate sacred connections. If you maintain a regular spiritual practice, such as attending prayer services, doing yoga, keeping a gratitude journal or meditative drawing sketchbook, daily nature walks and/or guided meditation, you will experience moments of connection more frequently.

Staying Zenspired is a way of life for me, and it’s one I’m delighted to share! What do you do to Stay Zenspired? Which of the ten ideas I’ve shared in this week’s blog appeals to you? Would you be interested in participating in a Zenspirations® community project, such as a daily lettering or doodling prompt, a journaling theme of the week (or month), or experimenting with new tools and sharing the results? In what way would YOU like to see the Zenspirations community grow this year? Thanks, in advance, for sharing your ideas!

Last week several people left comments with their words of the year for 2017, and while I didn’t have time to letter them all, I was able to do a few.

The word GROW is for my friend Cherish Fleider, founder of the Art Licensing Community. Next week is Cherish’s birthday, so I’m wishing her an early Happy Birthday.


The word TRUST was requested by Linda and Nancy:


and the word STRENGTH was requested by my fellow ‘wister’ (widowed-sister) Brenda Huff, whose husband was killed in a motorcycle accident ten months ago. When you lose someone you love, the first year is SO hard…you need to tap into your inner strength in order to develop the resilience you need to get through the grief process.


I’m sending strength and courage to you Brenda, and to everyone who lost someone they love in 2016… May 2017 be a year of healing and hope for us all.

Stay Zenspired,



21 thoughts on “10 Ways to Stay Zenspired in 2017!”

  1. Beautiful ! Thank you Joanne.

    A monthly journaling theme would be awesome with a small doodling prompt to jumpstart. We could also incorporate our own letters or words, ie February of course is the month of love. I would use the initial of each of my family members or just the word love… April could be our faith month along with Spring, May beautiful flowers….just an idea

    Wow I just realized I gave myself all these ideas to start….

  2. Last year I “reclaim” for my word. This year it’s “restore.” Apparently I’m still moving in the direction I started in 2016!

  3. Jump starts for zenspirations would be a delightful incentive to flourish creatively…
    Your insights are often a blessing to express ones moments of artistic aptitude!

  4. Would love to work on a community project with you 🙂 This would be a great way to learn and practicee.
    Your art is very inspiring. Thank you so much for taking the time to post these 10 ways…. I want to print them off and look at them often.
    Thank you so much1

  5. Your post is so meaningful, inspirational, and encouraging! Thanks so much for taking the time to reach out to us with your amazing writing, as well as with your amazing calligraphy and artwork! You never cease to amaze me! your Trust calligraphy is one of my very favorites of all. Thanks for using your talents and skills to be such a blessing to so many!! God bl as you!!

  6. YES to everything!! A daily or weekly prompt would be amazing!! Also, I love all 10 of your points to stay zenspired, but my favorite is Keep Believing!
    Thank you for all of your sweet words, your art, your encouragement, and your beautiful smile! God bless you in every way for 2017!

  7. Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your blog and everything you offer. I have one of your books on lettering and pattering and started going through it today. I was amazed at how much I was able to do following your examples. The 10 ways you gave today were so awesome. I copied and pasted and printed them out as I wanted to keep them before me this year. My One Word for 2017 is Wisdom. I know, it’s a big one, but it’s what God laid on my heart. Thanks again for sharing yourself with us. Such a blessing.

  8. You have a great way with words. Great suggestions too. I’m taking care of my mother who has dementia which has been a struggle. So my word would have to be “Endure”. Cause I’m having a hard time with it. Thanks so my I got all you do.

  9. Hi Joanne
    Happy New Year. Thank you for this post it was just what I needed.
    I would love a daily lettering or doodling prompt please. You do so many amazing different styles of lettering.

  10. I had a disabling accident a little while ago. My word continues to be “progress” I find this blog and its artistry so much a part of my healing progress. Thank you, Joanne.

    1. “If you can’t run, walk – If you can’t walk, crawl- If you can’t crawl, fly.- Always make forward progress.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

  11. What a beautiful post, Joanne! All ten things you mentioned to stay ZenSpired has been a n instinctive and natural way of living for me and hope to continue to do so in 2017 and beyond. Thank you for all the inspiration you shared with us this past year and wishing you a blessed and tranquil new year. Looking forward to see more of your inspiring work 🙂

  12. I also like the idea of a regular prompt that others have suggested. Perhaps, could be used to journal, doodle or any thought that you have to give us a little push for our creativity. My word this year is Gratitude so your January gratitude page is perfect! I have printed it and want to add some colour in the next few days. Your topic and 10 points this week are superb. All I can say is Thank You.

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