How to Prepare for the 100 Day Project

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The 100 Day Project is an annual event/challenge that asks people to do some kind of creative work of their choice daily for 100 days. This guide to how to prepare for the 100 day challenge will help if you’re doing the formal challenge or want to jumpstart a daily creative practice for yourself any time of year.

What is the 100 Day Project?

The 100 Day Project is a global project that encourages people to work on something creative for at least 5 or 10 minutes every day for 100 days and to document it on social media.

The project now (as I write this in 2022) is going into its ninth year in its current format. It was originally conceived as a daily repetitive art process (for example, take a picture of a stranger or a rubbing of a leaf every day) by Michael Bierut.

Elle Luna and others brought the project to Instagram in 2014 and it’s now led by her and Lindsay Jean Thompson. (You can find the project itself on Instagram, too).

One of my goals for my sewing 100 day project was sewing with sequined fabric.

My 100 Day Project History

I think I have attempted the 100 Day Project four times before, with projects including hand-lettering, little poems, collage/small art and sewing.

I’ve never successfully completed a challenge. My best run was last year, when I made it through 50 days of sewing.

But it’s an idea that I love, so every year I prepare for the 100 Day Project and do the best I can to complete it amid all the other things going on.

How to Prepare for The 100 Day Project

The way I prepare for the 100 day project is pretty informal. First, of course, I decide what I want my project to be.

Usually it is something that I want to be better at, something I would like to learn but haven’t taken the time to explore before.

One of my collages from 100 days of little art.

You can, of course, do something that you already know and like to do. The consistency is much more important than what you are actually doing.

Because I tend to choose crafts I want to get better at (as with sewing last year, or crochet this year) I often start with a list of skills I want to learn and projects I want to make.

If there are any supplies I need for those particular projects I will gather them (or begin to gather them, since 100 days is a long time). This year I’m using my yarn stash so I didn’t buy anything new for my project.

I also like to consider what “counts” toward the project. Does doing anything at all count? Would looking for patterns count even if I didn’t actually make anything? Do finishing chores like weaving in ends and blocking count? Is it time spent actually doing the thing?

With sewing I had a list of things that “counted” that included any actual sewing by machine or by hand, preparing patterns, cutting fabric, and finishing chores like trimming threads.

You might also consider a tiny daily project in the vein of the original 100 day challenges. I have been toying with the idea of doing a granny square every day, plus whatever other crochet I have time for. But I also want to complete some garments and learn some new skills, so I’m not sure if the “project” is 100 days of granny squares or if it’s both.

Working the 100 Day Project

Part of how to prepare for the 100 day project is considering how it will fit into your days. If you think about it as only being 5 or 10 minutes a day at minimum, you might not feel like you need much of a plan, but I promise you there will be days when even fitting that little bit in will feel like a huge chore.

So, like any kind of new habit, it’s great to have a plan for how you will actually do it. When in your day can you take the time to do it?

For my tiny poems and planks project, I try to do those two things together and at the same time each day (after my daughter’s bedtime). I might add this work around that time, too, or find another pocket of my day (such as after lunch, or when I get back from picking her up from school) where I will fit in this work.

Of course there’s also time while watching television in the evenings, but I would like this to be mindful crafting (and if I’m learning new skills I might need to pay more attention or watch a video).

Having a general idea both of what you’ll do and when makes it easier to fit into your life without having to think too much about it.

Benefits of a 100 Day Project

This could be — and maybe someday will be — a whole blog post or even a book on its own because I am such a believer in the benefits of a daily creative practice.

Creating as a sometimes hobby is great, too, but you really get the mental health benefits, to feeling of competence and boost to self-esteem, and a lot of other good things, from doing something creative daily.

The habit of it is more important than what you actually do or make. It’s just a really great thing to have in your life.

And of course you don’t have to do a 100 day project when the actual challenge is taking place.

Any day is a great day to start.

Especially today.

Have you ever done the 100 Day Project or a similar creative challenge? I’d love to hear about it. (And if you’re not quite ready for a 100 day challenge, check out my 21 day challenge here.)

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