Practice, Practice Practice: 30 Ideas for Your '30 Day' Project

Why

There are real life, very practical, results that you will experience by developing a regular creative practice. When you create change in your routine and activity you will create change in what you experience and the results you achieve.
— Whitney Freya

I love 30-day projects because they help me practice being what I want to be. The only way to be a writer is to write, a painter to paint, and a photography to photograph. Every craft and devotion deserves consistent practice. When I was dancing, I was at the dance studio every day - practicing and practicing again. There were days I hated it and dreaded it, but I never regretted it. I'm a devotee of practice and accountability to practice. And 30-day projects can be a great launching point. I just signed up to do 30 Days of Lists because my focus this year will be on blogging and connecting with creative peeps. I'm hoping the 30 Days of Lists project will keep my writer's mind stirred up and creating. 

To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it.
— Kurt Vonnegut

The Basic Set Up

  • Think about something you want to get better at or something you want to try that you've never tried before, then find or create a daily practice that will get you there. Do it for 30 days!
  • KISS - keep it simple and small. Make it something you can do in 10 minutes or less. You can even time it. You can work in your art journal for 10 minutes every morning and take a pic of your progress. Ten minutes is just a suggestion, of course, the important thing is to keep your 30-day project simple and doable so you have that feeling of glorious shiny success when it's done.
  • Join a group or find a partner - having people to play with and cheer you on keeps it fun. You'll motivate each other to keep going just by showing up. It's awesome!
  • Declare your intention publicly - this is the first step to keeping yourself accountable.
  • Stay accountable by posting and sharing - this the the follow-through for keeping yourself accountable. Social media wasn't invented for accountability, but it might as well have been.

Now, you wanna go all out? Pick a theme for the year and design 12 30-day projects based on that theme. I guarantee you, your life will be amazingly changed by the experiment. Check out this blog: 30 Days at a Time.

My past 30-day projects

  • iPhoneography - My friend Danielle and I decided we wanted to learn more about creative iPhone photography so we decided to take and post one pic a day on FB and Twitter. We've kept going with this adding a new theme every month. My favorite was the project we did photographing the same subject in different settings every day. This was how the Baby Buddha iPhoneography project came to be. There's a link to my Baby Buddha gallery on the sidebar ---->
  • NaBloPoMo - This one was crazy! I blogged every day in November 2013 and met some great writers and friends through BlogHer. They have the December 2014 prompts up and ready to roll! 

Here's a List of 30 30-Day Project Ideas:

(Some of these are linked to actual 30-day projects run on the interwebs by creative and generous folks. Others I just made up for the fun of it.)

  1. ICAD at Daisy Yellow (This one is 60 days over two months, but...it's awesome so I had to include it.)
  2. The Creatively Fit Painting Marathon* is the third part of the 3-phase Meey Your Artist Within Online Program. You paint one painting a day for 30 days. I opened this post with a quote from Whitney Freya, the creator of Creatively Fit. She's a woman after my own heart.
  3. 30 Days of Lists - This is the one I'm doing in December. There's still time to register if you want to play.
  4. NaBloPoMO by BlogHer
  5. iPhoneography or Droidography - take, edit and post one pic a day for 30 days.
  6. Exercise: keep it simple like - 30 squats for 30 days, or go all out and post sweaty post-workout pics. Check out the 30 Day Fitness Challenge.
  7. Zentangle - there's a weekly challenge prompt on I Am The Diva. This one could be timed daily (10 minutes of tangling every day) and posted weekly. Zentangle one post-it note a day every day.
  8. A word a day - improve your vocabulary! Subscribe to the Dictionary.com word of the day and use that word in conversation three times each day. Now, that could create some funny dialogue - which you could share on your blog. Today's word is nostomania - an irresistible compulsion to return home. I'll be experiencing some nostomania at 5:00 pm.
  9. Memorization - spend 10 minutes a day memorizing your favorite poem. Post your recitation on YouTube!
  10. Draw a face a day - for some inspiration check out Carla Sonheim's online class: Faces 101. 
  11. De-clutter - toss or give away 10 things every day.
  12. Abstain - pick your least favorite habit and abstain for 30 days. My bestie frequently gives up coffee or sugar for 30 days throughout the year. I'm not sure I could live without online gaming for 30 days. Yikes! (That's not my least favorite habit BTW - I'm not willing to share my least favorite in public quite yet.) That got your imagination going didn't it? Moving on!
  13. Journal - write your morning pages first thing every day for 30 days.
  14. Meditate - focus on your breath for 10 minutes every day.
  15. Walk - rain or shine. (Maybe not in December.)
  16. Floss - I know we're supposed to be doing this every day anyway, but 30 days in a row would be a big deal for me. I would have to draw a calendar on my bathroom mirror to track this one.
  17. Josh of Expert Photography runs a 30 Day Photography Challenge
  18. "What's better?" - this one was created by Mark Forster of Get Everything Done. The challenge is to write three things in your diary or day planner every day that are better than the day before. This journaling process and others can be found in his book How to Make Your Dreams Come True.
  19. Eat That Frog - Yuck! Thank you Brian Tracy. Tackle your most difficult task first thing every morning. Get it over with and move on. Post on FB "I'm gonna do this now:..." and comment when you're done. I may try this.
  20. 10 minutes of doodling bliss - music, your favorite pens, paper, and you for 10 minutes. :)
  21. Visioning - spend 10 minutes a day creating a Vision Board. There are lots of online apps for this including Pinterest! My favorite process for creating Vision Boards involves lots of torn up magazines, scissors, glue, and...glitter!
  22. Kindness - do one kind thing a day for someone else without taking credit. I didn't make this one up, but I don't know where it originated. Maybe it was the movie Pay It Forward.
  23. Laugh - find something that makes you laugh every day and share it with your friends.
  24. Get one of those lovely daily thought books focused on your desired theme, read the daily passage and share your thoughts about it on your blog. My husband bought me The Woman's Book of Confidence for Christmas one year and I love it.
  25. Yoga - yes please, gimme more of that. 10 sun salutations every day for 30 days.
  26. My cousin does a challenge called "Get Your Six". The challenge is to eat six servings of fruits and veggies every day. She runs a FB group for this. 
  27. Nap. I need one right now. Okay - this one is a bit of a cheat because I'm three away from being done with this list! But, hey, doing, doing, doing without some time for rest is not healthy.
  28. The Virtual Museum Challenge - I am totally making this up right now! Find one beautiful painting every day, learn about the painting, learn about the artist and share your thoughts on your blog. You could focus on one artist or pick a new one every day. 
  29. New Recipes - Now, this would be a challenge for me. Try one new heart healthy recipe every day for 30 days - give them a thumbs up or a thumbs down.
  30. Here we are! Number 30! ... I got nothing. This one's on you. And I would love to hear about it. Please share your 30 Day Project/Challenge ideas in the comments. 

*Full disclosure! This one's an affiliate link.

This is my husband's favorite painting that I did for the Creatively Fit Painting Marathon. He was disappointed when I told him I painted over it. I used two canvases for the painting marathon and alternated them painting over each days work to make the next piece.

This is my husband's favorite painting that I did for the Creatively Fit Painting Marathon. He was disappointed when I told him I painted over it. I used two canvases for the painting marathon and alternated them painting over each days work to make the next piece.