TLDR: I’m going to be setting weekly art-related goals here. And attaining them because they will be attainable goals.

The first goal: spend an hour this weekend sewing the paper stars coat.

Okay here’s the (very) long version:

I started running a few months ago.

Me. Who can’t run.
And yet, that one day, I picked up my youngest from his school and he was on his kickbike and I ran after him all the way to my eldest’s school. And my body felt good.
So. I’m a runner now. After years of thinking about it, reading about Atomic Habits and Tiny Habits, this just fell into place now.
The author of Tiny Habits describes the challenge of creating change in your life: There is the difficulty of the thing at hand and the motivation to do it. And when the difficulty is low, it takes only a little motivation for the action to happen. So he suggests to break down the habit we wish to create (“run in the morning”) to the tiniest first step (“put on my running shoes”) and we try to link it to a habit I already have (“After I have brushed my teeth, I put on my running shoes”) and it makes so much sense, doesn’t it? And yet I could never get over the fact that putting on running shoes and not actually going for a run is so lame. Besides, my morning routine is so finely tuned to make the 7:10 bus in the morning. I would have to get up earlier to go running.
It took having clear goal to finally give me the impetus to get over the difficult process of establishing a new habit. Three goals, in fact:
  • Take part in the Royal Run next year (yes, if only to get a t-shirt)
  • Complete the full St Blaize Trial in December (not a run but one needs to be very fit to do this)
  • Actually run for Run for a Reason. It is held every September and the idea is to run 5km every day. I’ve participated in interesting ways but never actually ran. Until this year.
In the first few weeks, I had to remind myself that I feel good after a run. But now the habit is established and I just get up, throw on my shoes and go. It helps that there are couch-to-10km programmes that start with just 3 minutes of actual running, so the first times out are not daunting at all.
But this is an art blog and not a lifestyle exercise life-hack blog. Which is to say (in the most long-winded way possible) that I want to try something (and yes, I’m going to still meander and not get to the point just yet).
I have so many ideas. I have so many projects that I’ve started and spent hours on but then I start something new before finishing it.
And I heard recently about how that is also an ingrained habit: to not fulfil your goals. When I start on a project – and my projects are usually very ambitious – and I don’t finish it before I start the next one, I’m merely creating the habit of not finishing my projects.
How to counteract that? By setting smaller goals.
So this is my proposal: once a week I set a goal, and then I have that week to fulfil it. These goals will not be ambitious, they will be very very reasonable and attainable. They will not take the form of “finish xyz” but rather “spend abc amount of time on”
Making the goals public helps with accountability etc.
I will try this for four weeks and then re-evaluate.
A new goal every Friday evening.
The first goal: spend an hour this weekend sewing the paper stars coat.
I can find an hour during the weekend, right? Besides I never said it was a _continous_ hour…
Stay tuned. Thanks for reading.



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