In December of 1942, Woody Guthrie moved to Greenwich Village, New York.  On New Year's Day, 1943, he penned his "New Year Rulin's" (New Year's Resolutions) smack dab in the center page of his journal.

His timeless folk-wisdom is something we can learn from, even today. 

Woody Guthrie's "New Year Rulin's" from 1943 - as written and drawn on the centerfold of his journal.

Sometimes, the best way to create a fresh start is to simply return to the things that matter most; to our hearts, our souls and our health.  

For Woody, that meant:

  1. Work more and better. 
  2. Work by a schedule
  3. Wash teeth, if any
  4. Shave
  5. Take bath
  6. Eat Good - fruit - vegetables - milk
  7. Drink very scant, if any
  8. Write a song a day
  9. Wear clean clothes - look good
  10. Shine shoes
  11. Change socks
  12. Change bed clothes often
  13. Read lots of good books
  14. Listen to radio a lot
  15. Learn people better
  16. Keep Rancho clean
  17. Don't get lonesome
  18. Stay glad
  19. Keep hoping machine running
  20. Dream good
  21. Bank all extra money
  22. Save dough
  23. Have company, but don't waste time
  24. Send Mary and kids money
  25. Play and sing good
  26. Dance better
  27. Help win war - beat fascism
  28. Love Mama
  29. Love Papa
  30. Love Pete
  31. Love Everybody
  32. Make up your mind
  33. Wake up and fight 
Here, he covered everything from simple actions to maintain his hygiene and health ("wash teeth, if any") and build his finances ("save dough"), to practical goals with a tactical plan ("write a song a day") to larger more ambitious aims ("love everyone" and "help win war - beat fascism").  
What I particularly love are the personalized doodles in the margins.  This is a form of visualization.  Taking the time to imagine himself living the life he's aspiring to - and capturing them in folk art drawings.   
A closer look at some of Woody Guthrie's New Year's Rulin's from his personal journal in 1943.  Here you can see the illustrations he doodled next to each intention.

I do something similar: I have a graphic journaling practice.  It's a visual diary of sorts and a way for me to make time for playful creativity in my day to day life.  

Often, I'll sit and draw something or someone from my day that I want to remember - a snowy scene, my coffee date cradling their cup, a vignette I recall from one of my soul-searching windows-down cruises.  And then, after I've activated my right brain with the doodling and drawing, I can dip into my left brain with the words and begin to analyze or logically write down the story of the day.  

Here's the thing about graphic journaling, new year's rulins and all the rest: this is for you and you alone. 

It doesn't have to be "good" or "filtered" or "polished".  I've drawn a lot of shitty drawings in my journal, and the truth is, my "shitty" drawing doesn't care if I like it or just exists, because it was an artistic urge and I gave myself that creative freedom and focused time to capture it.

And, whether I end up "liking" the drawing or not, I always feel some sense of aliveness after doodling and writing - even if I think the picture or the writing isn't that good.  There's just something good, and honest and nourishing about prioritizing that time for myself.  

As we close out this calendar year, and look forward to the next, I hope you'll allow yourself some time to play, some time to feel, some time to think and some time to just be.  

The Outlaw Oracle's Folk art rendition of The Magician card in the traditional tarot features Woody Guthrie and his humble determination.

Woody was the FIRST Honky Tonk Tarot card I ever drew, way back in 2016, because "The Magician" card in the traditional tarot is all about leveling up (with effort), taking initiative (with what you have) and grabbin' the bull by the horns. 
I couldn't think of a better person than Woody Guthrie to embody that kind of folk "magic" (that, by the way, we've all got in us.)
Woody knew how to wield his creative power, makin' a difference in the world with his words and his music.
In "The Honky Tonk Tarot Colorin' Book", we talk about how Woody was born as a poet and a humanitarian, and he used his talents to fight for the little guys and the ones left behind. He bravely stood up for what he believed in, speaking from his heart and castin' spells with his songs, poems and art. His humble efforts enchanted and inflamed hearts and minds across the US and around the world. 
The Magician card is all about takin' the bull by the horns, usin' what's in front of you, and illuminatin' a new way of seein' things.
So, as we prepare to enter into a New Year, let Woody and The Magician card encourage you to embrace that magic within you, and use the imagination, talent and passion you've got towards creating a better world for all of us.
And, maybe that starts with a little doodlin', writing, or coloring in The Honky Tonk Tarot Colorin' Book... (and it doesn't have to be inside the lines, either). 😉

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