lessons learned from creating a tiny piece of art every day for 100 days

lessons i learned from creating a tiny piece of art every day for 100 days as part of the #100daysproject.  i love daily creative projects

i recently took part in #the100dayproject started by elle luna.  since i'm a sucker for tiny daily projects and my friends emily and denise were doing it, it seemed like a good idea. 

i had big ideas of completing my art piece early in the day (like by 9am) so i wouldn't have it hanging over my head.  i think i probably completed my art piece early in the day only about 5 times.  so basically, i had 95 days of a weight hanging over my head.  

i am super happy i completed the project and so grateful that i didn't miss a single day even with travel and busy, exhausting days.  i now have probably 70 tiny art pieces that i really love and they make me really happy.  i strengthened my art and willpower muscles and gained confidence from proving i can complete a project.

   

but as with all daily creative projects, it was hard sometimes.  working on a 4x4 piece was more difficult than i expected.  it's hard to convey an entire idea in such a small space sometimes. also, not having a theme or some sort of restriction (like only using acrylics or only doing collage), really hampered me.  as i've said many times before, having too much room for thinking and decision making, can lead to the end of a habit.  

posting on instagram also added an element of difficulty.  since i put off the art until later in the day, the lighting was pretty terrible when it came time to take a photo.  and just the extra step of photographing, trying to fix the lighting with an iPhone app, opening IG and posting it with the proper hashtags seems like a hurdle that is just too high. i have a tendency to give up on things when they are too complicated.  i get exhausted from all the steps.  (that's why i don't cook.)

but even though it was really hard and i'm so effing happy that i'm finished, the benefits of doing a daily creative project make it worth all the hard moments.  

now i just have to decide what to do with those 100 canvases covering my art table.  hahaha..

i'd love to check out your project if you took part in the #the100dayproject !  

thoughts on 100 days in a row of sprinting for 10 seconds

tammie bennett 100 day streak tiny daily habits

 

100 days ago, i decided to sprint as fast as i could every day for 10 seconds and post it on instagram.  i am a big fan of tiny daily habits, and this one really excited me.  so much so that i decided to start it on december 22 instead of waiting until january 1, 2016.  

i am planning on doing this tiny daily habit for 366 days (leap year!) but i thought it would be fun to share some reflections on this habit so far.

i’ll start with some reservations i’ve had over the past 100 days

  1. will it even be interesting?  i don’t travel to any exotic locations.  i don’t travel much at all in fact.  lots of days have been in my neighborhood or have been in uninspired locations.  but it’s okay.  i don’t have to run past the pyramids or volcanoes or rainforests to make it exciting.  
  2. my body is bigger than it has ever been (except for when there was a human inside).  i could get over that if i knew i was treating my body with the care it deserves.  if i had been eating healthy and exercising the way i know i should, then i wouldn’t care.  but i’m not doing the things i should be doing to be healthy and so i’m a little self conscious.  there are some angles and shots i’d love to include in these 366 days, but i haven’t yet because i’m not in love with how my body looks. 
  3. also because my body isn’t in the shape i wish it was and because i just celebrated another birthday, I’m nervous about getting injured.  i’m fighting sciatica pain (some days worse than others) and i’ve had a few ankle and quad issues.  there are definitely some days i’ve done a sprint when i would have scolded my athletes for doing the same.  do as i say not as i do, right?  i have plans for what i’ll do to keep my streak alive even if i’m unable to run for a couple days.
  4. i’m not as fast as i want to be.  i was a competitive runner for many, many years and although i was NOT a sprinter, i still wish i was faster now.  there are definitely days where "sprint" is not so literal.  and there are so many days when i feel like i’m running WAY faster than it looks on camera.  but that’s okay because i know how i feel.  i feel the rush of wind on my face, and breath leaving my body in forced bursts.  i feel my arms and legs pumping and and burning and churning. and i feel free.
  5. posting to instagram each day.  from past daily habit challenges i’ve done, i know this one can get tricky.  doing the sprint is only half the battle.  you also have to trim the video and upload it to instagram.  so i’ve made it as easy as possible and i only film using my iPhone camera rather than a goPro.  
  6. i was worried that for most of the days, i’d be wearing basically the same outfit.  for most of the first 100 days, i’ve only had about 5 running outfits since we moved across the country by car and were limited in what we could bring.  i thought people would wonder why i’m always wearing the same thing (especially given the fact that my husband works for nike).  i got over this reservation about 5 seconds after i thought it, but i still bring it up in the interest of bein’ real guys.  
  7. is it silly and pointless?  yes.  i’m not getting any real health benefits from sprinting for 10 seconds, nor am i getting in better running shape.  any running coach would laugh and say, “why sprint for 10 seconds?”  but i like that this daily sprint takes the seriousness out of it all.  it’s fun.  kids love to sprint as fast as they can.  when did we lose that?

and now for some great surprises that have come out of the past 100 days of sprinting. 

  1. other people are getting involved and it’s fun.  i’ll run into someone and they’ll say "you should do a sprint by a donut shop" or "you should do a sprint by a waterfall."  i love this! it’s a great conversation starter when i run into people i haven’t seen in awhile but they’ve been following along on my  instagram feed.
  2. my family is involved.  my kids and husband are so patient with me having to film everyday.  i am so grateful that they are so willing to film me.  we’ve had times where dinner had to wait so i could get my sprint in during daylight.  we’ve had fights because they didn’t catch the whole 10 seconds and i had to sprint again.  sometimes i’ll make them film 3-4 takes to get the right shot.  my kids love that i’m doing this and they love seeing what the sprint of the day was. 
  3. i’m getting faster.  probably once a week or so, i have a sprint that makes me feel really powerful and fast and strong.  i love that and i want more of that.  
  4. it feels really good to run all out and be totally out of breath. to give the max i can give.  i feel like i'm giving something (tiny) to the universe for a few seconds each day.   
  5. it’s fun to always be hunting for a strip of land that i can run on for 10 seconds (it’s trickier than you think)
  6. since i also hosted the tiny daily habits course ** alongside doing this habit, it was fun to really put into practice all the habits i recommend for doing a tiny daily habit.  and they work!
  7. i guess isn’t technically a surprise since it’s the whole plan, but i haven’t missed a day since i started.  even when we’ve had a 13 hour travel day with kids and airports.  even when i didn’t have my running shoes with me.  even when i was wearing jeans.  even when i didn’t feel good or was stressed or my leg hurt.  
  8. it was fun to celebrate the 100th day.  even though i’m not even halfway through my journey, it was still fun to celebrate a milestone. with balloons!
  9. i’ve gotten over worrying about looking silly.  i sprinted around a roundabout.  i sprinted in a gymnastics meet.  i sprinted on a treadmill in a busy gym with my phone propped up on a water bottle in front of me.  i’ve gotten lots of looks!  but i’ve also gotten a lot of people asking what in the heck i’m doing.  and it leads to fun conversations. 
  10. some days i really hate doing the sprint.  other days i can’t wait.  some days i just want to get it over with and will drop what i’m doing to get it done.  i’ll pull over to the side of the road; i’ll run through my daughter’s gymnastics meet; i’ll sprint through the airport.  and there are LOTS of days i trudge outside and film right out my front door.  but i get it done. and that's all that matters.
  11. i'm having fun coming up with hashtags when i post to instagram

what’s next

  1.  i’m keeping a list of ideas for future runs - if you have ideas, feel free to let me know on instagram or here in the comments!
  2. i’m looking forward to running in portland when it isn’t raining!  i've had a few days of #sprintinginthesunshine and i want more!
  3. i’m going to continue to take it one day at a time.  for me, that’s the single most important thing about keeping a tiny daily habit.  
  4. i’ll continue posting to instagram.  follow along if you want.

** want to know more about my tiny daily habits course? it's still open to do on your own even though i'm not active in the classroom.  find out more here.  

 

day after day

tammie bennett's day after day illustration

i've been drawing an image in my sketchbook every single day, never missing once for 784 days as of this writing.

i've been writing a page in my journal every single day, never missing once for 784 days.

i've done a tiny sketch of something i'm thankful for every single day in 2014 (see #365tinythanks on my instagram).

 i created a pattern in adobe illustrator every single day in 2012.  

i've done 10 pushups every single day without a miss for 723 days.  

i've done a minute of plank every single day for 723 days.  

i've done at least a minute of some other exercise for 669 days in a row.  

in 2012, i ran at least 2 miles every single day for 75 days in a row (and then my body needed a break!)

so, i kind of know a thing or two about creating habits.  and i know a lot about keeping habits.  

i've had a lot of questions and emails about how i do it.  i've been thinking of putting together an inexpensive 30 day e-course complete with a workbook, an inspiring print, and an option to have daily emails to help keep you on track.  

is this something you'd be interested in?  if so, could you please reply to this post or send me a note via email.  i'd love to put something together for the new year and want to know if it would be valuable to a lot of people.  and also, if you AREN'T interested could you let me know why not?  thank you so much.  i appreciate your feedback!

 

P.S.  i'll be sending out a newsletter tomorrow.  are you on my mailing list?  i haven't sent anything in way too long, but i'm getting back on track to send an email 1-2 times a month with resources, links, tips and sometimes a free surprise.  sign up here so you don't miss out.