I blog daily to hold myself accountable. I have not attended art school and probably never will (although…never say never)! My primary goal is to exercise creativity in a positive way and in writing my third book I want to try something new. I learned about this from creativebug.com’s Lindsay Stripling’s daily practice lesson. My subscription to creativebug.com is the BEST $8/month I’ve ever spent.
I’m going to keep a conceptual sketchbook and work on it each day, even if I have a super busy day, I’ll make a simple doodle to keep it going.
She told me she wakes up anxious. I recommended writing five things she is grateful for first thing in the morning – every morning – before she does anything. Just two weeks in, she said she feels happier each day.
In training our new dog to like her crate, I randomly place tasty treats inside and keep the door open. When we first got her, she refused to go in – most likely because it reminded her of the kennel where she lived with hundreds of other dogs.
But quickly, she grew to associate her crate with treats. Only happy things happened there: some peace and quiet, a warm bed and chicken jerky.
We can do the same for ourselves. We can create positive associations to activities and places that are good for us that we might not feel so great about right now.
There are a group of cyclists that ride by my community every morning around 5:30 a.m. Most likely, they don’t think Ugh, have to wake up early and go riding again. Instead, they might associate this activity with camaraderie, friendship, and a feeling of vitality.
The ultimate power lies in knowing how to train ourselves to be better.
In any case, we’ve estimated that with regular practice, rehearsals, competitions and school orchestra, the girls have at least 5,000 of deliberate practice under their belt.
In nearly nine years of playing, the girls have not once said they want to quit. I attribute that to the fact that they only play violin – they do not do any other extracurriculars. The upsides of “being good” at something are: self-confidence, self-discipline and optimism!
If you’ve read Aesop’s fable, The Crow and the Pitcher, you know that the moral is “Little by little does the trick.” My 5th graders read the fable and then were assigned a response: Give an example from your own life that describes this moral.
Here are a few responses:
“I got more flexible by stretching every single day, now I can do the full splits!”
“I practiced drawing every day and now I’m really good.”
“I saved up for an expensive video game by practicing piano every day (got paid $2 each day).”
“My mom used to be addicted to soda. Each day, she drank a little less. Now, when she has some, she feels sick.”
“We planted watermelon seeds and watered it every day. We got a watermelon!”
“I have played tennis since I was three. I play three to five times a week and I’m really good now.”
“It’s really hard for me to wake up in the mornings. When my alarm goes off, slowly, inch by inch, I move sideways to the lamp and turn it on and get out of bed.”
When can you do little by little to achieve your goals?