Last year I gave myself a personal challenge — 90 days of intentional creativity. The idea was to force myself to be creative, every day, for 90 days in an attempt to break through the creative road blocks I had built around myself.
I wanted something extreme. A challenge that would force me to step up and take control of my creative aspirations. I was only using my creative skills for others, never truly enjoying the process of being creative.
Yep… I blew it. After a week, I just stopped.
I’ve spent much of my free time in the months since then dissecting the challenge. What went wrong? What I could have done to prevent it all going wrong? You name it, I overthought it.
My biggest takeaway was that I had set myself up for failure by putting a lot of weight into the motivation that created the challenge. My “why” was strong enough to create the challenge, but not strong enough to push through the inevitable adversity that I would face.
After lots of self-reflection and consulting with my creative community, I’m ready to re-launch this challenge with the structure, definition, and truth that was needed the first time around.
STEP 1: Define the Challenge
The challenge is to spend 90 days being creative, just to be creative. The purpose of this challenge is to celebrate, engage, and approach creativity in intentional ways.
STEP 2: Rules/Guidelines*
- Spend at least 15 minutes a day being creative, even if it feels forced (which it will sometimes… and that’s okay!) Really commit for 15 minutes and be intentional. It’s only 15 minutes, you can do it.
- No judgment of the process or end results. Enjoying the daily creative practice is always the goal, but sometimes “pushing” may be required. Just start, do, and don’t judge.
- The creative practice for the day is anything that intentionally engages creative energy including arts, crafts, music, writing, creative problem solving, cooking, baking, playing, photography, dancing, etc.
- It’s okay if the creative act leads no where. Creating something that can be shared is awesome, but this doesn’t have to be the goal every day. Just get creative. It’s only failure if you don’t try.
- Doodles count! The bar of the creative act needs to be low, because the purpose is not to create an award-winning piece of art. The purpose is to just be creative, period. No expectations. Just be creative.
- Try new things! There are 90 days in this challenge. That is a lot of opportunity to try out some new skills.
- If you don’t feel like being creative, then make something “ugly” on purpose. Channel any negative feelings into something creative. Use creativity as therapy.
- Use material on creativity as motivation. Find books, YouTube channels, blogs, etc., on creativity that inspire you.
- Rewards are important! Set small goals and reward the effort.
- Take on a few fun, bigger projects that may take a few days to complete. If you fail at them, who cares. No judgment. Slap some glitter on it, call it a beautiful mess, and blog about it.
If any of these guidelines aren’t working, then throw them out and replace them! This is supposed to be fun and creativity sometimes needs adjustments to work.
STEP 3: Share Expectations
The ultimate expectation is to show myself that I can do this, especially after failing the first attempt, but I also hope a few additional things come from this challenge…
I hope the floodgates of my creativity burst open. Creativity is a practice. I think intentionally committing to tapping into creative energy will cause the door I’ve felt has been blocked to break open. I want to feel my creative energy fully flowing and be able to tap into it in a moment’s notice.
I expect that creativity in all areas of my life will benefit from this challenge, including creative tasks for my 9-to-5 job and creative day-to-day problem solving.
I want my inner creative child to feel seen and heard. I’ve always been creative, and lately I’ve felt my inner child screaming at me to play with her. My hope is that at the end of this challenge, she’s proud of me.
I hope to have fun and learn a few new things. Hopefully, I’ll also discover some new skills that I excel at and enjoy.
STEP 4: Set a Start Date and Go!
The challenge begins February 1st. Let’s do this!