Have you ever felt like you should be doing something else--something that you just know you would be AMAZING at doing...if you could find the time to do it?
Have you ever had something that you just had the urge to try, but couldn't find the motivation?
So what's really keeping you from taking the plunge/following your dreams? There are a lot of excuses out there, but it all boils down to one thing: FEAR. Fear of failure. Fear of the unknown. Fear of missing family time. Fear of not having enough time. There are hundreds of excuses NOT to do something, but the truth of the matter is that if you have a dream/inspiration to do something, the only way that it is going to happen is to boldly take the first step forward. If something is important to you, you will find time to do it--be it 1 hour a day or 1 hour a week, finding time to set aside for yourself and your dreams is important. And the best part is that once you are in the habit of incorporating something new into your schedule, it won't feel like an imposition anymore. It will instead be something that you look forward to--knowing that you are taking steps towards achieving your goals.
For over 20 years I have wanted to be a working, professional artist. When I was going to art school I had the motivation to make art, knowing that I had to paint a certain number of pieces in order to pass a class. However, once I graduated, I was frozen with fear. Once that motivation was gone, the excuses came pouring in. I suddenly was balancing 3 part-time jobs, trying to maintain relationships with family and friends, and trying to make time to exercise. When I went off to graduate school, I found that my schedule of classes and thesis-writing remained "too busy" for studio art time. The truth is I could've made time to create, I just didn't know where to begin.
By the time I moved from Austin, Texas to Wyoming, I had decided enough was enough. I wanted to be an artist. Once I made that decision, I had to figure out what that meant to me. As a first BIG step, I knew that to be an artist, I had to be MAKING ART. So, I began to search for inspiration. Since my style of artwork from my college days left me creatively blocked, I knew I needed to try something new. Inspiration struck as I was browsing the internet for lesson ideas--leading to the creation of my first painting in over 5 years.
After painting my first piece, I knew I needed to find a motivator to help me create regularly. So, I set my first goal: To show my work in a local gallery. I knew that in order to approach a gallery, I needed to have a body of work. So, I decided to make at least 10 paintings before approaching a gallery. To make that happen, I knew I needed to set aside time (which seemed difficult with a full-time teaching position, family time, etc.) So, I decided to take a look at my daily schedule--actually taking note of the way I spent my time away from work. I found that I frequently had a little bit of down time in the evenings which I would spend watching t.v. or surfing online. Why not spend that time making art as well? With that in mind, I made it a goal to do something every day to further my art dream. It didn't matter the amount of time spent; It didn't matter if it was painting time or research time.
It worked. Within 6 months, I had a portfolio of 12 pieces, which were accepted to be displayed at Works of Wyoming in Laramie, Wyoming. Since then, I have continued to create new motivators for myself, as a way to keep my art-making a consistent and important part of my daily, weekly, and monthly schedule.
Having a motivator in place is very important. Whether it be a big motivator or something small, having a goal makes your efforts feel worthwhile.
Do you have a dream or something that you've been itching to try? I encourage you to start moving forward with it! Look at your schedule? Could your dream fit in with part of your down time? Carve out some time--be it 5 minutes a day or 5 hours a week, to make that dream a reality. It's worth it!