**Update: in 2017 we launched our calligraphy practice challenge & since then have had over 6,000 calligraphy join us to take their skills to the next level. Read on below to learn why we started this program & join the wait list here for our 5 Week Calligraphy Practice Plan.**
Why a practice challenge? After I posed the question “What are you struggling with” on a recent survey, I got about 1,000 responses along the lines of “I want to practice calligraphy but I lack the time or motivation to do so”. We learned that so many people take a beginner calligraphy course or workshop and then life gets in the way and the desire and motivation gets lost — even though they love doing it!
We came up with the practice challenge to encourage, motivate and support everyone who wants to make calligraphy practice a bigger priority in their life. However, after these challenges, how can we stay consistent with our practice?
So it got me thinking, could practicing calligraphy turn into a good habit long term?
According to the good ‘ole dictionary, a habit is “an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary”.
In order to form a habit long after this 5 Day Calligraphy Practice Challenge, there might actually be some scientific research out there for us on how to do just that!
In the book “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg, the author explains that “the habit process within our brains is a three-step loop. First, there is a cue, a trigger that tells your brain to go into automatic mode and which habit to use. Then there is the routine, which can be physical or mental or emotional. Finally, there is a reward, which helps your brain figure out if this particular loop is worth remembering for the future.”
So, to build a habit of calligraphy practice, your cue would be practicing calligraphy every day at the specific time you choose, the routine is the set of drills in the practice challenge…and the reward…well, that one is up to you!
Obviously the end reward of all of this is to improve your hand at pointed-pen calligraphy. But the key to building a sustaining habit is to reward yourself immediately after you have done the routine.
We need to build positive feelings about the routine in order to stick with it. Sounds fun, right?
So what could that reward be for you? A fun latte? Listening to your favorite music?
What if the reward is all the awesome feedback you’ll get from posting your daily drills to Instagram immediately after you finish?! The endorphins you get from posting your work could be just the reward you need to make this a lasting habit. The accountability and encouragement of friends and even strangers can give you the push you need to make this part of your daily routine.
If you’ve signed up for the challenge, we encourage each of you to post what you’re working on using #lhcpracticechallenge to get those little endorphins moving to help you build your habit!