Have you ever thought about how much you can accomplish if you do something every day? Let's say you walk an 80-meter difference in altitude every day. Added up, you have climbed Mount Everest more than 3 times a year.
Over two years ago...
...I started creating one creative artwork daily and posting the result on Instagram. At the time, I didn't know all I could take away from it and how much it would impact me and my life.
I can still remember the excitement and nervousness of the first day.
At that time, the big hurdle for me was not doing it as such but showing it to the public. Especially in the creative industry, it seems to me in some circles to be a "shady" and "arrogant" thing if you show work publicly on an Instagram profile. And woe is you if the output quality can't be described in superlatives?
The point of posting online was less about proudly presenting the result to the world and more about using it as a log. Of course, I would be lying if I said that likes and great views numbers don't give me an extra push. And yet, after over 700, I rarely look at the view numbers, and when I do, it's out of curiosity because it became a kind of game to try to understand the algorithm.
In these 700+ days, I have had many conversations about making a habit every day. Often people at first claim Daily Habit as a prison and restriction. This thought can not be blamed, I used to think the same, yet the matter is viewed from the wrong angle. Because the time—which can be from 3 minutes to 8 hours—that I take to create my creative artwork is when I do something for myself instead of doing a task for someone else.
Looking at the learnings I had during this time confirms that it is worth taking time for myself and my future-me.
Here is the list of things I have learned and which I also incorporate into my daily life:
1. I changed the mediums from time to time within the framework.
I have learned to program visually with p5.js, on the computer and on the cell phone.
I learned how to use the software called Touchdesigner and was able to apply this hard skill to other projects.
I dared to publish hand sketches and playfully integrate objects into drawings.
I'm currently learning to draw frame-by-frame animations with the iPad app Procreate.
2. The need for perfection is an enemy to making ideas grow and flourish creativity.
3. It is worth trusting the process. One small step adds up to the bigger picture.
4. It helped me to bring my dreamer, planner and doer on the same page.
5. Overthinking minimizes output immensely and interrupts the flow state.
6. Strengthening your willpower every day brings you further than waiting for motivation.
7. A fixed framework of a creative habit creates creative freedom.
8. The future-me is always happy with the results, no matter how big my criticism was while creating.
9. The time used does not infer the quality of the result.
10. I'm more conscious of my skills and my commitment level. It has boosted my self-confidence because I now know that I am the person who sticks to that commitment instead of just talking about it, even on more challenging days.
11. I'm not nervous or intimidated anymore to draw something in front of a group.
12. It gives me way more positive energy back than I invest in it.
13. Even a bad or unproductive day felt successful because I maintained creating my daily post.
14. Ufffff, my inner critic was sooo loud over 700 days ago. 😲
It still is here, but I'm way more mindful of it than just reacting to it. I can use it now to serve my future instead of letting it harm my inner self.
Are you inspired and want to start a Daily Habit yourself?
Then I recommend the blog article: 13 Rescue Tips to Survive Quitters Day
There you will find strategies on how to stick to your Habits in an easy way.