Scoping & Planning
Most of you are here because you barely have time take a shower or eat breakfast in the morning, let alone incorporate a creative practice or project into your day and you’re wondering, Leeanne, how on earth can I do this? I’m here to tell you that there is a way and it doesn’t involve crazy long nights and burnout. When we have extreme focus on 1 goal, lower the stakes, and scan our day for what can systematize, the magic starts to happen and we learn to fit our creative activity into our day with ease.
Pick 1 goal
When we start a program like this, it’s very tempting to take on multiple things. My first word of caution here is to have the discipline to not only choose 1 goal, but to stay with it throughout the ENTIRE 100 days and really see it through. It's ok to pivot slightly and follow your intuition if it's nudging you in a different direction, but I advise you not to jump ship on your goal completely. The first 10 days is when this might happen, after that, please stick with your goal! 100 days seems like long time right now, but trust me, after the first 2 weeks, whatever you‘ve chosen will start to feel normal, easy, and after the first month, you’ll be wondering, where did the time go! This program goes by quickly, so pick 1 thing and know that you can always do your other ideas later. Go all-in on this one thing even if you’re not sure about it. If you’re curious about it, if it excites you, there’s something there that you’re supposed to learn. What you learn in these 100 days can be applied to ANY goal after this program, so take the pressure off and have fun.
Detach From The Outcome
I know this is easier said then done, but try to focus on who you want to become by doing this goal, rather than the end result. The first time I did 100 Epic Days, I was terrified to start drawing, but knew I really wanted to do it. I made a “becoming statement,” which really helped. I said, “By making a drawing a day, I am becoming the type of person that creates without hesitation and enjoys sitting down to draw.”
The second time I did this program, I made my affirmation deck. My becoming statement for that goal was, “By making this affirmation deck, I am becoming the type of person that can take on big projects, break them down into small pieces and get them done over time.”
Take a moment to write down who you are becoming by doing this goal. Try to keep the end result out of it and focus on the type of person you strive to be by doing that thing.
Habit vs. Project
For your goal, you could be looking to form a daily practice / habit or you could be wanting to implement a personal project.
If you’re just getting back to your creativity after a long break or years of not doing any personal work, I suggest doing a habit forming / daily practice goal. If you really want to do a project and you still fall in this category of getting starting again after not being creatively active, I suggest doing a daily practice in service of your project. For example, if you want to make a 52 card affirmation deck about shifting your mindset…your goal would be to make 1 drawing per day about mindset or to write 1 short blurb a day about shifting your mindset. This way, it takes the pressure off “making the deck” even you’re technically making content that will most likely be used for the deck.
Habit / Daily Practice Examples
-1 drawing per day
-1 small painting per day
-write 1 short essay per day
-write 1 short story per day
-compose 1 piece of music per day
-practice 1 song per day
Make Some Rules For Your Goal
If you’re looking to create a habit, try to create some rules for it and get specific. This is where I started the first time I did 100 epic days and the rules took the guesswork out of what I needed to do each day. This is so helpful when you’re trying to fit this goal into day along with your responsibilities with work, family and self!
For my first 100 Epic Days, I made 1 drawing a day for my goal.
Here were the rules I made for myself:
- 1 Theme (mindset)
- 1 Character
- Black & white
- Digital drawing on Procreate
- 1 Drawing tool (inking tool)
- Square format for Instagram
- Post daily
Write some rules for your goal. Think about size, length, medium, theme, tool…etc.
If you would like to make a project for your goal, think about how you can lower the stakes. Try to reframe your goal to celebrate the finishing of the project, rather than if it’s any good or not. I know this is hard to do, but when we take the pressure off our work, and rally around enjoying the process and the finishing it, we ironically tend to create things that we really love! For my affirmation deck, I really had to let go of perfectionism and blast through each step if I wanted to get it done in 100 days. After a while, it almost became a game, how quickly can I hand letter this sentence? How fast can I layout this card? How quickly can I make this decision for what design to put on the side of the box? It became, fun, effortless and very freeing. I was so pumped to get it the printer so that I could hold my creation in my hand, I didn’t care anymore if what I got back was pretty, useful or if other people liked it. I was celebrating the fact that despite my crazy day with work, my family and self-care, I MADE A THING!!
How can you lower the stakes with your project? How can you make a game out of it and let go? When you write this out, take note of any thoughts that push back against this mental exercise, these are cluse and potential limiting beliefs that deserve attention. If anything comes up for you, write about how it makes you feel and what life would be like if you took the risk to lower the stakes anyway – just for 100 days.
Scoping / Timing
About now you might be thinking, ok Leeanne, this all sounds great, but how do I make a goal that takes 20 min. and when in my day am I going to get this done?
Rethink Your Goal Size
For this I say, whatever you’re thinking of doing cut in half. Everything takes longer than you think. When I first started forming my daily drawing goal I thought I would use texture, color, different Procreate brushes…etc. I quickly realized with a 6 month old baby and no sleep, I needed to scale it back. That’s when I decided to keep it simple, so simple it actually seemed silly (see my rules above). If you’re thinking of writing a book, cut that goal in half and write a series of short stories then send it off to the printer get that book in your hands ASAP. Whatever you decide to do, challenge yourself to make it so simple it seems almost silly – just for these 100 days. You can always do more later, you can always build on this. What we’re doing here is getting in the rhythm of FINISHING THINGS. Finishing is more important than if it’s any good. This will put you on the road to beautiful, effortless, sustainable creative life that just keeps getting better and better.
Write a list of ways you could cut your goal in half. Have fun with this. Make some of the options so ridiculously easy, for example drawing 1 circle in your sketchbook every day. Have fun with it. This will loosen your mind up and start creating freedom and excitement for your goal.
There’s a great book called, Atomic Habits, by James Clear which is a great read to go alongside this program. In this book the author explains how helpful it is to get super specific about when, where and how we’ll do our goal to ensure we’re creating a habit that sticks. For example, it’s not enough to say I’ll make my drawing during naptime. It’s better to say, “when I come out of my son’s room after putting him to bed, I’ll sit on the couch in the living room with my sketchbook and draw based on my idea list in the notes app on my phone.”
Write out as specific as you can get it, when, where and how you’ll do your daily goal. Think about what you’ll need in order to make the transition into your activity effortless. What tools, materials, objects, furniture…etc. are involved with the doing of your activity?
For your goal, there might be some preparation you want to do before. If you’re making a painting a day for example, you might want to get 5 small 6x6 pads of canvas paper, if you’re animating your drawings you might need to watch a bunch of tutorials, if you’re composing music, you might need some new notebooks, if you’re writing a blog, you might need to set up your account. Whatever you’re doing, think about what needs to happen in preparation for our start date to set you up for success so you can hit the ground running on day 1 (Monday, February 7th, 2022)!