January is for resolutions. We want to get things done, we want to improve. And then February hits and the thrill of new beginnings has become stale. I can’t speak for everyone but I know that I’ve forgotten half the things I want to do in January. I want this year to be different though. This year, I want to observe commitment. I want to get more things done by following a yearly plan to achieve success. And I’ve already seen struggles.
This year I took up the Bardot drawing challenge and for February I’m also doing Figurary. In May I plan to do MerMay and Inktober in October. If there’s any other drawing challenge I want to do it. Why? Because I finally want to commit. I doodled off an on growing up but now I want to take it seriously. And there are always obstacles to commitment.
Push through the frustration
Beginner’s frustration is a huge reason why so many people quit early. We all want to be good right from the get go and that’s never easy. While there are genius students, most of us fall outside of that box. The huge part of becoming a master of a craft, is practice. I can’t say that I’m happy with my art after only putting in 100 hours. I need to push myself and get up to 1,000,000 hours before I can even hope to have something good to show. It’s a terrifying figure to look at isn’t it? While I’m sure even 500 hours will be a vast improvement, it’s getting there that’s the scary part. Imagine throwing yourself into something so hard because you love it. Don’t do it for the result, do it for the journey.
Keep yourself accountable
Don’t tell yourself that you’ll do something every day and then don’t do it. Commitment is something that should fit well into your schedule. You’re the one in charge of the choices you make. Hold yourself to high standards and you’ll soar. Allow yourself to fail and you’re only failing yourself. Remind yourself that you’re pushing forward to help yourself get better at something. It can be training for a marathon or teaching yourself how to paint. If you only do it once a week, your results will show. Put in the time and effort you want to get out of it.
Take a break
I know this point is going against the previous one, but realize when you need a break. It’s only February but I already feel the pressure weighing down on me. I decided to take up Figurary to compliment the doodles I’ve been doing. It’s been difficult. It’s that cycle of wanting to be good from the get go and the disappointment in not seeing quick improvements. So instead of dreading doing the exercises, I take a day off and do two the next day. It’s been helpful and insightful for me. Taking that break is the first step to allowing the process to sink in. You’re going to have a better time of succeeding if you do your task on your own terms instead of forcing yourself to go against the grain. But that doesn’t mean you should let yourself fall behind!
Be true to yourself
If you feel like there’s too much stress preventing you from pushing on, take a break and come back later. It’s ok to go outside and get some air. Don’t shut yourself away from everything you know and love. Growth happens in all areas, and in all directions. Commitment is hard. It takes a strong person to realize strengths and weaknesses and how to address them. And if you’re halfway through and something feels off… No one will fault you for stopping. You can always pick it up again at a later time if it feels right. And if you don’t continue, you haven’t lost anything. You’ve grown, learned, and figured out what works for you. Anything that harms your health, mentally or physically, should be a red flag. Be honest with yourself and don’t stop yourself from succeeding!