Every year, around December time, I start thinking about the following year goals and expectations. I start making lists of thinks I would like to accomplish, plans I would love to follow and specific goals to achieve. Unfortunately, only on rare occasions I have been able to stick to my plans (like that year I decided to enter a painting competition). But this year, something changed. I didn’t make any plans, if not very bold ones, and somehow I managed to do a lot more than expected. How did I do that? I discovered the beauty and easiness of monthly projects.
My first ever one was 30 days of lists, back in March. I discovered it on twitter, and didn’t know what it was exactly until I signed up for it. But as soon as I did, it was love at first sight! Then an online 4-week sketching class followed in April/May, the phone photography project from BPC kept me occupied in July, 30 days of lists started again in September, October was the month of a doodle aday, 30 grateful days from Paper Issues is still going on in November and next month I will be joining the December edition of 30 days of lists.
The best part of these monthly projects is that they involve as much time and effort as you feel like. You can choose to do them at your own pace, or put some work in every day. It has been a very rewarding process for me. I’m one of those persons who lose interest with time and long term projects are not really for me (although I also joined a yearly project this year and still keeping up with it!). The other good thing is that there are millions of monthly project to choose from, covering photography, art, scrapbooking, crafting, just search on twitter, instagram, flickr and so on. These are mainly free, although for some you have to pay to join. And if you can't find anything interesting, you can still make up your own monthly challenge. Just make sure you share it publicly, as this is the best way to keep up with anything. I love the feeling of community each project creates; you get to share your work and see others’, make online friends and get inspired by them. And by the end of the year you are left with something tangible to enjoy.
Surely I will try it again next year, maybe with a bit more structure and planning that it was in 2013.