You might have clicked on this expecting a miracle, that after reading this article you would know the secret to getting that hot bod, great grades, amazing relationships and all the friends that you can ask for and get it straight away. I’m here to tell you that unfortunately there is no miracle way to get what we want, whenever we want. This post is not about getting fast results but to create change that stays for the rest of our lives.
From my past experiences, when we give in to quick fixes, it often does us more harm than good. I have found that I could never complete a diet or gain more friends after using a quick fix. I realised that the reason why I could never follow these was that I would have to deny a part of myself in order to make myself look better, look prettier and be friendlier. I would need to cut out all the things that I things that I enjoy, such as the foods that I ate, the hobbies that I enjoy and other things that I love completely.
Depriving ourselves in order to achieve results in the short term never works and things can backfire when we do. What we need to do in order to create change is to put in effort bit by bit every day to create positive change in the long term. For long-term change to stick, we need to be patient and willing to reinforce those habits each day. And that comes to my tip today.
My tip for today is that the fastest way to grow, in whatever we do, is to set challenges for ourselves.
Challenges can be whatever you want them to be. You can set the difficulty, measure your progress and personalise it to how you’d want it to be. By placing challenges on ourselves, we grow from the struggle and we will not see it as hard work as we aren’t depriving ourselves of anything. We need to be realistic for ourselves, identify the problem that we’d like to solve and continually work on it by approaching it in a way that is enjoyable and making us feel that change is not an impossible task.
Challenges are a great way to reinforce habits and allow us to work on any areas that we want to improve in our lives. If you want to lose weight, challenge yourself to eat more vegetables and walking every day. If you want to learn a new skill, challenge yourself to do something to learn that skill every day. Challenges can be as enjoyable as you want them to be and can be done at your own pace. Life is one long marathon and it is the challenges that we face along the way that build us!
I hope this helps and that this encourages you to identify an area in your life you’d like to improve on and take steps to change!
*Side Note: As of writing this I have decided to challenge myself and will be taking part in this months art challenge, MerMay on Tumblr! I have made my own prompts list and decided to stick with that. The aim of the challenge is to draw Mermaids every day with a design around the prompt of the day! I shall be posting my end results at the end of the month!
*Side Note: I have also started a fandom zine on Tumblr and in the middle of organizing it. I have taken this as a challenge on my organization, project management and time management skills. Plus, it feels amazing to contributing to one of my fandoms in a big way! If anyone is interested in reading about it I will write an article about the zine. Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
The Question Of The Post: What are your thoughts on the post? What are some of the things that you do to make changes in your life?
Immediately after posting my first post, I already wanted to post another one. And Another one. I thought, this is so exciting, I can’t wait to post more!
It took everything I had in me to stop myself from doing just that. Its a terrible habit of mine to start so many projects, get excited about all my ideas and start a lot of work… and never finish any of them. I have a lot of art projects and designs that never make it to my Tumblr blog because, in the middle of it, I would feel so overwhelmed and stressed out that I would lose the energy to continue the project. Sometimes the burnout gets to the point that I’d hit an art slump and the sight of a pencil and a clean sheet of paper would just make me want to stop altogether.
Reflecting back on the past two years I’ve had with my art blog, I’d like to think that that habit is the reason why I struggled so much with making art. I personally placed myself under pressure to produce so much content in so little time. When I started writing, I thought to myself that I would never let that happen again. It took me everything I had just to prevent myself from going on a post-binge.
It’s so easy to get addicted to instant gratification, which I think is the drug of the 21st century. Instead of valuing the experience and the fun in everything we do, we start reducing everything to receiving likes. On Tumblr, I was so obsessed with getting reblogs to get my work out there that I would beat myself up whenever one piece of art (which would take me about 2 hours to up to 8 hours total to finish) wouldn’t receive the likes and reblogs that I thought it would get. I was so caught up in all of it that I didn’t notice the growth I had as an artist.
On Tumblr, I’d come across art blogs that would quit after a week, a month or even a year because their art wouldn’t receive the likes and reblogs that they were hoping for. I think now, with social media, we’ve begun to tie our value in everything we do base on the reaction of others. We only do something if we’re the best at it and if we get a ton of ‘likes’ from it.
Now with writing again, I’ve decided to stop basing the growth of my blogs on likes, views and follows (I am however very grateful for all of the followers that I have so far! Thank you for being with me on my journey 😀 ). I’m basing my growth on the new habits that I adopt, the new things that I experience and my overall growth as a person.
To do all of that, blogging has taught me an important lesson: patience.
By adopting patience in my blogging, I feel that it’s the one virtue that’s been helping me calm down and enjoy everything at my own pace. There are times when I get too excited but when I do, I just take a step back in order to keep excited from posting too much all at once.
Here are some tips that I currently use to avoid burning out with writing but I think it can be applied to anything!
Whatever You Decide To Do, Do It For Yourself
Whenever I start out with anything, it would always be to make myself happy. However, my reasons can get muddled up along the way and I would fall into the trap of instant gratification.
To prevent burning out, we must constantly remind ourselves that first and foremost, we picked up blogging (or anything really!) for ourselves and to stick to that! We all started out with a goal in mind and we didn’t really care about getting tons of followers or likes. As a blogger, I just wanted to share my journey of becoming proactive with everyone, and to have a public display of accountability. I hope to stay this way throughout my blogging journey! If not, I will always come back to read this post 🙂
Whenever you feel that you’re starting to get burned out, think back on the time when you started blogging. Remembering the reason why you started and that you write for yourself will bring in the joy and excitement again!
Have Patience And Aim For Consistency
At the height of my obsession on Tumblr, I would be posting three times a day at most. It was so stressful and I felt that the quality of my work suffered for it. I finally had enough living this way and stopped in December and only recently started drawing again earlier this month.
Starting fresh, blogging has taught me to pace myself. Set a schedule for writing and aim for that! Being consistent and making quality is better than having an erratic schedule and posting so much in one go. Aim for writing quality and post at least, twice a week or whatever suits you! As long as your schedule fits in with your time and is sustainable you can regulate your blog!
Use Your Energy Wisely
When I published my first post, I was on a writing high because it felt so good to have finally started. I wanted to post so much all at once to keep experiencing that high.
After writing several drafts, I realise now that instead of aiming to just finish one post and to keep going, a better use of my writing high is to jot down ideas and start a lot of posts but just keep them unfinished. I’ve heard some bloggers use batch writing, and I only do parts of batch writing to some extent but personally I just like writing a lot of drafts, saving them and when I’m finally done, scheduling them so that I don’t have to worry about writing something in one night!
Most of all, in my opinion, it’s important to have fun with yourself and what you do. Back in my teens, I did some things that I didn’t really like and only suffered for it. Now that I’m twenty, I’d like to spend my twenties doing the things that I love and having fun with myself!
If we don’t have fun with what we do, I don’t really see the point in doing it. Without fun, we can take ourselves too seriously and beat ourselves up when we don’t meet the goals that we want to achieve. By having fun, we can relax and be our best, as we have no pressure at all. Burn out can be avoided too as the idea of being stressed over something we enjoy wouldn’t occur in our minds!
So far with writing, pacing myself has helped me a lot. I’m enjoying just blogging at my own pace. As I don’t have any plans yet to monetize my blog in the near future, I’m blogging mainly to have fun, share my experiences and meet new people and make blogger friends!
I hope you can all use these tips to avoid blogging burn out! As a new blogger (at the time that I’m writing this), I’m using these tips for myself in order to keep enjoying blogging. After writing my first post, it ignited the love that I had for writing and I’ve been writing every day!
If you have any tips you’d like to suggest or just share your thoughts with the tips I’ve given, write them below in the comments!
The Question Of The Post: How do you deal with burn out? What steps do you take to overcome it?
Hobbies are great. As technology progresses and we have more access to information via the internet, it is becoming easier to find a hobby that suits your interests, no matter how unique it is.
However, the internet is a double edge sword. With the rise of social media, we can get easily discouraged in our hobbies as we start to compare ourselves with others. We start to reduce ourselves to the likes that we get, the number of followers that we have and the comments that we get. When we don’t receive the results that we desire, we start to wonder why we should continue, or why we should even begin if there are already other people who are better than us, and since there are hundreds of others doing the same hobby already.
Before you read on, I want to let you know that you are not alone. I, and possibly countless others, have experienced these feelings before. There have been times when I wanted to stop drawing art because there are so many other artists on Tumblr and Instagram who achieved more than me. They had better skills, more followers and just comparing myself to them made me feel like there was no point to continue to make art.
It’s easy to forget that we all start as beginners. In the midst of comparing ourselves so much with those better than us, we forget that these people struggled too and most likely have experienced all the things we’re experiencing right now.
We must always remember to do things for ourselves and to keep doing what we love, regardless of how others do and what others say.
Here are some tips that I’ve used to maintain my hobbies, and these have worked for me. I hope you can use these tips too to keep your hobby alive!
Show Some PDA (Public Display of Accountability)
What is accountability? To me, that word means being held responsible for our actions and having transparency in communication. For this post, this means sharing your hobby with everyone around you as much as possible.
A great way of sharing your hobby is by using social media. Post about it on Facebook, make an Instagram account for your hobby and even write about it on WordPress.
By having a social media account, you can track your progress and share your journey with others who are in the same boat as you are. Once you’ve shared your hobby and your goals with the public, you will feel a sense of responsibility for your hobby and you will appreciate it more when you achieve your goals. Under the many eyes of social media, you will want to quit less on your hobby and you will develop not only your skills but discipline as well.
Constantly Remind Yourself Why You Started
Whenever I wanted to quit drawing art and delete my Tumblr, I would stop what I’m doing and take a step back. I would do something different or maybe walk outside. While I do so, I would ask myself things like, “Why did I even start?” “Do I really care about the number of likes that I get?” and “Who am I doing this for?”
When you start a hobby, write down the main reason why you wanted to start and place it somewhere you can always see (like the kitchen fridge or your desk). Quitting something is easier than keeping it going. Before we throw in the towel we must look deep within and ask the hard questions. For me, I would always ask myself, “If I quit now, will I regret it later?”
For me, the reason why I started drawing was that I love exploring my creativity. I want to see what I can make and what new things I can learn. I am not aiming to have a professional career in art (although it would be cool to be as good as them), nor do I ever expect to be famous for my art, so it’s alright for me to work at my own pace.
Reminding yourself why you started your hobby is a great way to put things into perspective. You will remind yourself that you started because it makes you happy and that it’s ok to take it at your own pace.
Most of all, never forget to have fun! I’ve always found that when I draw the things that I liked (fan art of characters from my favourite shows and movies, my own characters and just stuff like flowers and plants), I improve a lot and I seem to receive the greatest response. Time to time, it is important to concentrate on doing things just for yourself. Indulge in your guilty pleasure with your hobby! If you like drawing puppies, draw puppies. If you like making pots in the same shape, do it! If you like knitting with the colour blue, do it!
Challenging yourself in your hobby is important too, but so is taking a break and simply enjoying yourself. Hobbies are done at leisure and to de-stress. There is no point in picking up a hobby if you don’t have any fun with it!
Relating to the points above, I’m glad I didn’t quit art and that I didn’t delete my art blog. With WordPress, I am having so much fun writing and I am looking forward to all the things I’ll experience along the way! I’ve met so many people through art and no doubt, I will make new experiences on WordPress too!
I encourage everyone to have a hobby and to stick to it as a hobby can change your life in so many ways.
The Question Of the Post: Do you have any hobbies? What is it about that particular hobby, that’s encouraged you to keep going with it? Could you imagine what your life would be like right now if you didn’t have that hobby?