Think of something that you've always wanted to do. Something that's been on your heart for a very long time, but never got around to doing.

You finally get to the point where you say to yourself, "Ok, I'm really going to do it. I'm even going to put it on my calendar!"

(Because you're smart enough to know...if it's not on the calendar, it'll never happen.)

This was me in 2001. I was feeling more than a teeny tiny bit burnt out at home and was curious to try something creative. So I committed to a Saturday morning art workshop. Let me tell you, I was scared. And honestly, I wouldn't have done it without the encouragement of my husband. But if I hadn't taken that step, I wouldn't have become a portrait painter and art coach at the Orange Door.

Starting or learning something new can be a bit scary.

Stuff comes up. Like self-doubt, perfectionism, you know... the whole shebang. 
But this one rule helped me sustain an art practice that eventually produced portraits like the one on the right. Her name is Shannon and you can just hear her whispering the rule in your ear.

So what's the #1 Rule you need to know before you start something new?  Here it is:


- Mic Boekelmann

This has truly helped me continue to try new things and keep the joy!

Tips on Being Kind to Yourself

  • Take baby steps 
  • Focus on why you're doing this new thing
  • Celebrate the actions you've never done before
  • Highlight the things that you're loving about your new activity
  • Acknowledge your courage for showing up
  • When negative self-talk comes up, be aware of it and and send it to its room!

I remind myself of this rule as I continue to grow as an artist and try new things.

One of the things I've always wanted to do was to create regular blogposts like this. Something always got in the way. But when my friend Yvonne encouraged to start it up, I decided and committed to making Wednesday my blogpost day. As I started to think of what I would say, I noticed the pressure building up in my head and the joy quickly making an exit, so I came back to this one simple thing: BE KIND TO YOURSELF.

For me this meant:

  • Babysteps: Writing and not doing a video blogpost
  • Focusing on the why: I want to encourage more people like you!
  • Celebrate new actions: Became more familiar with &
  • Highlight the things I'm loving: Being part of a group of supportive women bloggers who are starting out as well. Getting a chance to connect with you. Growing. Learning. Sharing my tips + art with you.
  • Acknowledge courage: Yay, I showed up on the Wednesday I said I was going to post.
  • Negative self-talk: I sent it to its room and blogged anyway!


You're awesome because you're constantly on the lookout for growth and development in your own life. This means trying something new every once in a while to stretch yourself and to learn new things.
When you dive into something new, remember to put the #1 Rule in your backpocket:



In the comments below let me know:

What's one thing you'd like to start soon? Put it on a calendar and be kind to yourself.