My 100 Day Project 2018

My 100 Day Project 2018 | Nicole Reaves

I’ve never participated in #The100DayProject and this year I’m excited to have thought up a good project with a theme that will feed exactly what I need right now. I love to hear how people decide what they are going to work on, so before I tell you what I’m doing this year, I want to share my brainstorming process.

I’ve seen dozens of my favorite creatives and Instagrammers share their experiences with this project over the last couple years, so I have a pretty good idea of what it takes for it to be successful and how I’m going to make this work for me. Of course, if something is not working, I’m totally allowing myself to adjust things as I go.

This was on my short list of must's :

  1. It has to be simple. No complicated techniques or supplies or new skills required. I’m going to use what I have and keep it low stress.

  2. It has to be fun. (Seriously, this should be a requirement for any and all goals and projects.) I get that my motivation isn’t always going to be at a high level, but my project should be something I look forward to doing most days. Not something I feel pressured to do because I’m comparing myself to others, or that it has to be super unique and interesting and Instagrammable.

  3. It can’t take more than 20 minutes. Realistically, from start to finish each day, just 20 minutes.

While I was thinking about what my project could be, I noticed I could have gone in a few different directions. I could :

  1. finish a project I’ve been putting off forever. Example : spend time on the weaving I started months ago. Surely giving 15 minutes to that each day would lead to a finished wall hanging.

  2. focus on improving my skills in something I’m minimally proficient in. Examples : digitizing hand lettering, embroidery. 

  3. stick with a craft or project I know. Example : scrapbooking. Though nothing screams “yes!” right now, I do have a handful of projects I could work on.

Those felt a little meh and I likely wouldn't stick with any of those for 100 days. Then some other questions began to creep in. Yeah, I like to ask myself a lot of questions before I begin anything. Gone are the days of making something that my heart isn’t completely in love with.

What do I want? What do I crave right now?

  • I crave quiet. Time to think. Time to let my mind wander.

  • I crave calm. I teased in an Instagram post earlier this year that while I didn’t choose a guiding word / One Little Word this year, I did like how the phrase “chill the eff out” could keep me in check. I’m really really working on keeping my anxiety +  stress levels low, and doing less in general.

  • I want to remember what life is like right now. My Photo Library over the last two years is pretty sparse. Partly because my kids are growing and in school most of the day. Partly because I forget or I’m just not thinking about it. I’ve definitely gotten out of the habit of pausing to photograph everyday life around me.

So what creative project can I explore with this?

Enter my inner monologue :

When I think of quiet and calm, I immediately think of nature.
Being outside.
Ok, spring is coming.
And I want to take more photos.
Get back in the habit of documenting life.
Could that be it?
Every day, I’ll just go outside and take a photo.
Walk. Hike. Bike.
Take 20 minutes to notice the little details around me.
In my yard. At the park. On the trail.
It’s good for my mind.
And my body.
And maybe I’ll invite back an old practice in the process.

I’m calling it 100 Nature Walks.

My 100 Day Project 2018 | Nicole Reaves

Of course, like typical Nicole, I did briefly question it being too simple. Too easy.  But 100 days is a long time - so I decided to stick to it and know I could always change it up and tweak as I go.

And I don’t need any supplies other than a charged phone. Bonus.

My 100 Day Project 2018 | Nicole Reaves

Because I love tracking my goals, I made myself a little tracker to keep tabs on my progress. Also crazy simple. I used a little camera stamp and inked 10 across and 10 down in the back of my planner. As I complete a day, I stamp a colored heart over it.

While this isn’t a big ‘sit at your desk, get messy and make something’ creative project, it does combine two things I really want more of right now - nature + photographic proof of the beauty around me. It is not fancy or involved by any means. But, it’s totally doable and taking a photo a day should be a fun way to find my memory keeping groove again. I’m looking forward to the process, and watching this cold, wet, gray Michigan spring turn green and blue soon.

My 100 Day Project 2018 | Nicole Reaves

As far as the end result goes, I don’t have any concrete plans for what I’m going to do with all of the photos other than I will do something besides let them live on my phone. Right now I am printing them out at 3" x 4" and taping them up on the wall in my office so I can see them every day, all at once. The photo above is just the first two weeks so it doesn't look like much yet, but the final product of 100 photos on my wall will be just over 30" wide by 40" high. Eventually, I imagine I may take them down and make a mini book with them.

On occasion I've been uploading my daily photos to my Instagram Stories, but I’ve also started a 100 Nature Walks gallery here on my blog where all of the photos will live together. 

So - if you take away anything from this look at my brainstorming process, I highly recommend asking yourself some questions like this before setting a goal or diving into a lengthy project like this. It's okay (and totally expected!) that you will encounter some challenges and hard days, but if it doesn't resonate with you from the start, it's probably not going to stick.

And if you are participating in #The100DayProject this year too, I'm cheering you on!