5 ways I increase the odds of sticking with a new habit goal

Photo by Kamila Maciejewska on Unsplash

1. Commit publicly

I guess this post right here is it. By telling a lot of people about my new habit goal, I am creating accountability for myself by putting my “face” (meaning my honor) on the line. This may not be for everyone, but it’s a strategy that has worked well for me in the past, notably carrying me through the darkest hours of writing my PhD dissertation after telling everyone that I would finish in four years. (I did.)

2. Do it every day

Solidly into mid-life now, I have discovered that I am most creative when working cyclically: one social media post every weekday, one blog post every week, one meal plan every two weeks, one new workshop every month. I wish I had realized that about myself earlier.

3. Break it down

Habit building works best when we take it one ridiculously tiny piece at a time. I break down big projects into small pieces I can repeat on a regular schedule, building momentum. The pieces have to be small enough that they don’t scare me. Eventually, all the little chunks can be assembled into something bigger, like a mosaic. Drawing should be no different. I thought ten minutes would be small enough to not seem daunting, but big enough that I can sketch a few tiny things.

4. Don’t go to bed without it

My plan is to draw first thing in the morning. Ten minutes is short enough that I can do it before going to the gym, and my pens are quiet enough that I can do it while the kids are still asleep.

5. Celebrate practice not perfection

I am committed to being proud of myself for just doing it every day. Putting pen to paper to draw for 10 minutes, day after day, for 365 days, that’s the only goal. Spend 152 hours drawing in a year.

Will you help me keep my feet to fire?

Follow me on Facebook for daily posts or here on Medium (click “follow”) for less-regular reports on my learn-to-draw journey.

I can’t draw arms or hands but the representation of my hair is rather accurate.

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Brigitte Gemme

Brigitte Gemme

Vegan mom and cooking coach, runner, writer, reader, PhD in sociology, morning person. Chief Meal Planner at Vegan Family Kitchen.