How I Failed the 100 Day Challenge!

It seemed like a great idea. My husband (AKA The Boy) has been doing the 100 Day Challenge, and religiously sticking to 100 press-ups every day. It’s actually been going quite well, and although he has missed the odd day or two, he has generally stuck to it in quite an impressive way. Despite quite a bit of ribbing from his mates on his early form, he’s also come a long way in terms of technique, and in another week or so he’ll be able to proudly show off his newly toned shoulders, and say, ‘Yep I did that.’

I on the other hand, it appears have not faired so well…!

Inspired by his motivation, I thought I’d give it a go. Choosing something to do with exercise was pointless, as although I do enjoy a workout when I get into it, asking me to commit to every single day for 100 days? Not a chance! I love the idea, but I most certainly have to be in the right frame of mind to even consider it! So I decided to focus on something which I know I could happily do every day, I mean who are we kidding, I could happily spend ALL DAY every day doing it. Yep, I’m talking about drawing mandalas. By hand. The proper way.

Day 1 mandala hand drawing challenge


I don’t often get time to just sit and hand draw a mandala these days. While I do draw them quite often, they’re usually as part of a new product design, and to make sure the quality is a high enough standard to reproduce as prints, I have to draw them on my iPad rather than on paper. Now don’t get me wrong, I love my iPad as if it was part of the family - I am most definitely an Apple girl through and through, (much to The Boy’s disgust,) but drawing on the iPad, and drawing in an old school sketchbook are just not the same. For a start I’m much more careful and precise with my lines when I’m drawing on paper. Every single mark I make is permanent and can make or break a piece of art. Yet with the iPad, if I draw something I don’t like, a few double taps and it’s gone, I can draw and redraw as many times as I like until I’m perfectly happy with it. I guess knowing that I can easily undo even the smallest detail makes me draw more freely, and almost without thinking. Both methods have their pros and cons, but it’s definitely nice to do both when I get the chance.

So when it came to picking a 100 Day Challenge theme, I thought it was a no brainer. Hmmmm.

Day 2 mandala hand drawing challengeDAY 2

It all started well, I planned out my design and happily sat down with a coffee and my sketchbook on Day 1, Harvey Dog curled up at my feet. It was exactly what I hoped having 15 minutes of me time each day would be. I was off to a great start. Day 2 came around, and I was raring to get started. And then the dog got sick. Nothing major, he just ate something he shouldn’t, he’s always eating something he shouldn’t. Literally all the time. But despite the set back, I still managed to find my 15 minutes to draw. Off to a good start!

Day 3 mandala challengeDAY 3

Day 3 came with lots of progress, and I was feeling pretty chuffed with myself. I even managed to do a stop motion video! I know, check me out!  

Day 4 hand drawn mandala challengeDAY 4
Day 5 hand drawn mandala challenge with puppyDAY 5

Days 4 and 5 were equally productive. I made good progress on the design, and even managed to get the dog involved. Not only that, I managed two more videos for days 6 and 7! It's safe to say that at this point I was feeling pretty smug, and like I'd got the challenge in the bag.  

Day 8 handdrawn mandala challengeDAY 8

And then it all went down hill. I'm not sure what happened to day 9? I think I skipped it all together? And then Day 10 and 11 got merged into one post. That was right around the time my in-laws arrived for a 3 week visit, so I'm going to use that as my excuse! (Sorry J & H!) We were out and about exploring, and things got a little hectic, and I just completely lost track of my days. At some point a few days later I did manage to post another update, but by that point not even I knew which day I was meant to be on! 

handdrawn mandalaNO IDEA WHICH DAY THIS WAS?!

By day, I think maybe it was 14, I have to confess, I cheated and just took a photo at a different angle of the same drawing. At that point I knew I'd failed, and without realising it, ended up having almost a week long break before my next update on what would have been day 21.

DAY 21 

It was at that point that I decided it was time to call it a day. Which as someone who is a self-confessed sore loser, did not go down well! I was mid-photoshoot for another blog post anyway, if you've got a keen eye you might have already spotted my sketchbook making an appearance a few weeks ago! So I included the final day in that photoshoot, and admitted defeat. 

Handdrawn mandal artTHE FINAL DAY

As frustrating as it is that I didn't manage to finish the challenge, or I suppose even get started properly in the first place, I did learn something from it. Seeing my Instagram feed fill up with mandala after mandala, with not much variety, made me realise that I need that change to keep me motivated, and I started to crave paper flowers and papercuts, even just on those small squares. I kind of already knew that, but it was nice to have it reaffirmed. I work best when I have multiple projects on the go. Focusing on just one at a time has never worked for me, (what can I say, I am my father's daughter!) 

So next time The Boy complains about the number of projects I have half finished, at least I know it's for a purpose, and I have an answer - It's keeping me motivated!

Have you tried the 100 Day Challenge? And hopefully you stuck to it better than me?! Let me know how you got on in the comments below.

Michelle x

Sketchbook: Pink Pig
Pens: Muji/Amazon
iPad: Apple

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