Accomplishment-producing Habits

My last post discussed how I’ve put myself on a 90 day deadline to create my children’s book. I don’t know how far away that is right now (I would assume somewhere in the low 80s or high 70s), but I’ve been jotting down some thoughts that would help guide me along the way. I thought I would share some of those things that will help keep me on the straight and narrow while focusing on my goals.

Let’s start with sincere honesty: I don’t have the creative imagination to pull out a sharpie and create someone or something that will illuminate paper and speak to the reader. But with enough effort and practice I still genuinely believe even the most ambitious goals can be met. It’s just going to have to take some focus. Below are some of the things to keep in mind that I think are going to help with managing my goal approach.

Understanding my daily habits: I need to focus on time. This ranges from lost time to lost productivity, and good energy habits to bad. An example of this would be watching TV. It’s not a bad thing to sit and unwind for a time, but to drift into a lost night without doing anything? We’re all guilty of that from time to time.

Setting short goals: The best way to make progress is to accomplish a lot… often. Anything, all things, start making goals. Some good goals for me will be creating a rough draft layout of the next page, or even just a rough draft of one character sketch that could be used on the page. The simple act of progress is a great goal. An example of this is if you are trying to lose weight. Walking a mile might be the better goal. You’ll achieve that goal 100 times before you get to the weight loss goal you set.

Speaking of the next… Personal Health: live healthy. This sort of thing is admittedly harder. It’s a real habit breaker if you aren’t already in a healthy routine. Health has an incredible amount of benefits. It’s great for energy, mood, positivity, and discipline. People who are healthy have more motivation to do whatever is in front of them.

Practice moderation. This can’t be emphasized enough, especially when someone is being creative. I have found that some of my most productive days are when I am completely sunk into my project. The music is going and I am in the zone. I work like a dog and love the struggle. That energy is clearly passion at work. But you know what happens? I go a whole day or two or three or more (!) without achieving the same kind of production. My best days are when I am engrossed in my work. My best weeks are when I am doing a little each day. 1 good week is 7 good days.

This one might be the hardest: Reject self doubt. This creeps up all the time. It’s heart breaking. I’ve learned to deal with rejection. I am actually not too bad at that. Perhaps I am fortunate. When someone says no, I usually think to prove them wrong or do better. But rejecting myself? That’s the worst. Self Doubt is the absolutely hardest thing in the world to handle for me. The best way to beat self doubt is just to do it. Fail in front of yourself. Fail. Not kidding. Drawing has been such a difficult experience. So many lessons have been agonizing. But most artists that I have been learning from all say the same thing, “It doesn’t have to be perfect.” And you know what? They are right! And you know something else? I got better, despite my obvious doubts. And despite my terrible results.

My favorite one might be this (and clearly something I am not doing right now): Shut Up. Listen, take something in. Find the value in what you see or hear, or who you are talking to. The best kinds of people, the most intelligent, and the most accomplished are listeners. You know why, because listening is the best way to make the most of all of your resources, even if they don’t seem like good ones.

My last is: Know why you are doing this. I should ask myself this all the time. I don’t do it enough. Why am I doing this? I know the answer (kind of). I am creating a children’s book to share as much as possible. Share what? Share this story and more when I make them. I want to share positive stories, thoughts, fun, imagination, creativity, and as many playful experiences as possible. I want to put a smile on someone’s face. Happiness and wonder is an experience that sometimes loses its value. It’s not lost on me. The Why is to Share. Simple.

The last one gets me on the straight and narrow more than anything else. It’s my real fuel. It makes the feeling of my motivation legit. I hope this was a help to you. Thanks for visiting.

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