Working on your project

I know how difficult it can be to keep working on your project when there are many other claims on your time. Like anything else in life it comes down to deciding to commit to doing the work on a regular basis. Procrastination and doubts can suck the energy out of any new project, so it is vital to do some work every day. Think back to Girl Scout days and how you were taught to build a fire. Think of your daily work as blowing gently on the tiny flames amongst kindling, giving them the oxygen needed to become a fully-fledged fire that you can then use for heat or cooking.

From experience, committing to working on your project makes it easier to show up every day and do something. You don’t have to commit to spending hours each day, but find something you can commit to that doesn’t feel too daunting. Some people use 21 days as a goal, as in 21 days doing the same thing each day becomes a habit, which makes it easier to continue beyond that deadline. Others suggest committing to a specific amount of work, such as writing 1,000 words every day. Only you know what feels doable, what you aren’t going to resist doing and then stop doing, so don’t set your goals too high. Even  a small amount of work each day over a period of time builds up into something larger.

For example, I have been wanting to learn how to paint with watercolors for some time, but never made time to take classes – or even watch online videos. About five weeks ago I saw that there was a 100 day challenge about to start. Since the end product had to be posted on Instagram it was clearly directed at arty types, and as I wandered through the postings about the project, I realized this was the way I was going to learn watercolor painting. I decided to set my expectation bar low and committed to creating a watercolor flower painting on a 6″ square piece of watercolor paper every day for 100 days. I bought a book to show me some basic techniques and have scoured Pinterest for inspiration. I completed the 100 days, and while the results of my work were mixed, it was something I look forward to doing each day. I have managed to trick my monkey brain into learning watercolor painting by committing to just 15 minutes of activity each day!

So now it is time for you to commit to working on your project. Will you work on it for 90 minutes for 90 days or for an hour a day for a month? The choice is yours, but I definitely found that having a commitment help me keep going. Will you do something small for a longer period of time, like the 100 Day Project? I found it made me accountable having to put my work up on Instagram each day. I found a bunch of people who followed me on Instagram and Facebook who encouraged and supported my efforts, which was very humbling, and yet very satisfying – even on days when I was less than thrilled with my art. It is too easy when the commitment is only internal to renege on it, thinking no one else knows or cares if you show up and work on your passion project!