Well it's done my friends. Well technically it's done in 2 days but I couldn't wait to write this wrap-up post. I've come to the end of my 30 day challenge. I started this challenge to increase my sense of resolve. I lack self-discipline in many aspects of my life and I wanted to change that this year. I figured committing to doing something every day for 30 days was a good way to force myself to grow my ability to follow through on things. I've done some thinking and wanted to share some reflections about the experience.
What was the challenge?
I chose to take a styled photo of my home every day for 30 days. I put each photo on Instagram and used the hashtag #Stylingfor30days. This way all the photos are in one place. Go check it out.
What did I like about the challenge?
I gotta be honest, there were a lot of days I didn't like the challenge and cursed myself for starting it in the first place. But we'll get to that later. Oh and full disclosure, I did take a week off in the middle of the challenge because of chaotic life events that came up out of nowhere. I liked searching for inspiration in books, magazines and online. I liked that I surprised myself with some of the vignettes I put together. I liked the rush of creativity that I got when I created something that excited me. I liked practicing my camera and photography skills. I liked the sense of accomplishment I got after I posted my daily picture.
What did I hate about the challenge?
Let's get real. I hated this challenge more than I liked it. I hated the pressure to come up with a styled photo everyday. I hated that I often times didn't have time to make a vignette during the day when there was good light because of my offspring. So often times I had to work at night when there was only bad light that no amount of filters could fix. I hated a lot of the photos I posted. I felt like they weren't good enough but I had to post something. Also I do tend to procrastinate which only exacerbated this challenge. I didn't like that either.
What did I learn?
I learned that I create in bursts. I have periodic surges of creativity that last for several days. I get a ton of ideas at once, I'm highly motivated to work on things and I finish a lot of the projects I start. I feel like this is a hugely important thing I learned about myself. When I get the urge to create I need to ride it out because I can produce a lot during that time. So I shouldn't ignore those creative impulses I feel. But here's the thing, I can't predict when these creative spurts are going to happen. They just happen. So it's hard to schedule my life around these bursts. So I have to squeeze them in amongst nap times, parenting and life. I also learned I get inspired by designers. I read and learned about several designers throughout this process. I then did riffs on that designer or one of their ideas for several photos in a row almost like a series. That was cool.
Next steps on my journey to build more resolve and self-discipline:
Ok, so there is a book by the choreographer Twyla Tharp called The Creative Habit. This book talks about how to turn creativity into a daily habit. I feel like this is the next step for me. I now know that I have these creative bursts and the next thing to do is learn how to harness them into a daily creative practice.
Favourite Photos from the Challenge