Take this challenge if you dare

So you know how you start off with good intentions, like..."I'm going to work out regularly this year and get fit!" You do it for 5 days or even a whole month, but then something happens and you drop your beautiful routine like a hot potato.

If you're like me, you are so DONE with not sustaining routines that are actually good for you.

I've struggled with this same issue regarding regular exercise. I'd love to keep something up for a whole year!

 

ENTER THE 8 MINUTE WORKOUT!
(YES, SUCH A THING EXISTS AND I'M DOING IT.)

So I found this super simple app that goes through 10 cardio exercises in 5, 8 or 10 minutes. This is the key to sustainability: BABY STEPS!
For the last few days I've incorporated 8 minutes of cardio in the morning and I love it.

This gave me another idea for another goal of mine: fill up a whole sketchbook. I'm afraid, I've made sketching a big thing in my mind. I start and then I stop (just because of what I've made it out to be - this ideal world where I have uninterrupted time, sketching the most fantastic scene in the world. Nope, not going to happen in my present situation.) I need something sustainable that fits my lifestyle.

I've got real life happening right now, like dishes to clean up, teen to pickup, girl to listen to, dinner to prep, etc. So I thought of how I could make sketching a regular part of my life and this is what I came up with.


It's called the #5minutesketch challenge. I took a sketchbook and made 5 minute sketches everyday. Here are the two rules, if you choose to accept it:

5 MINUTE SKETCH CHALLENGE (RULES)

1..  Don't over think this.
2. Look around the room and sketch something you like for 5 minutes.


Notes from my experience:

1. I used a ball point pen to keep me from erasing (and over thinking.)
2. A 5 x 7 notebook is big enough to fill out a page in 5 minutes.
3. Whenever I think of the challenge, I stop and do it right there. I'll find something interesting in the room I'm currently in. Example: Last night I was already in bed and thought of the challenge. The thing that caught my eye was the cover of a book I was reading, so I sketched that.
4. Timing for 5 minutes makes you look at the big picture and be selective in what you're going to focus on. Most of the time, I'm focusing on getting the flat shapes right and see if I can get the angles right, so it resembles the thing I'm sketching.
5. If the object is moving (like my people in my family), I'll just snap a photo of them with my phone and sketch that. The main thing focus is to get my 5 minute sketch in everyday.
6. I'm using lots of parallel lines and crosshatching for my shadows.

Joachim helping Luisa with homework & Max in front of the screen

Joachim helping Luisa with homework & Max in front of the screen

Book cover of The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks

Book cover of The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks

Try it! In this age where everything goes so fast with smartphones and keyboards, it's cool that pen and paper can slow down time for you and sharpen your observation skills at the same time (even if it's only for 5 minutes.) You'll be surprised at how much you can get done.

I have to say, just like my 8 minute workout, it feels good to accomplish a sketch a day. Starting and finishing something builds great momentum for something bigger. 
 

THE BIG PICTURE

You'd like to improve your observation and drawing skills? Start sketching.Try the #5minutesketch challenge to make this practice sustainable.
 

ACTION STEP

Get out a piece of paper. Time yourself for five minutes and start sketching. Email me what you come up with! No shame here. No shame. And no over thinking. It's all about taking action.

STEP BY STEP AND THE THING IS DONE.
— CHARLES ATLAS