Hobby Habits - Tips to stay motivated on your terrain or miniatures

Does anyone find motivation problems sometimes when it comes to getting your projects done? For example finishing your army or terrain, or even starting it? And what can you do when there are no tournaments to keep you motivated with a deadline?

Delta One Zero miniatures game scaffolding terrain

These Delta One Zero guys are some of the last miniatures I have painted - months ago!

Personally I have not painted much for fun lately, but a friend of mine gave me an audiobook called Atomic Habits - It's about making tiny easy changes to your habits to improve your life or achieve your goals. Another friend said that he paints for an hour every night and I find that hard to imagine doing myself lately (other than for Brutal Cities terrain, of course) - But it would be easy enough to just start the habit of painting for 10 minutes every night.
According to the Atomic Habits book, to form good habits we should make it obvious, make it attractive, make it easy and make it satisfying.
What does that look like though, in hobby terms?
  • Making sure your workstation is clean and comfortable (clean up after your session so that it's easier to get started next time) will reduce friction and make painting as easy as possible. Having the right paint ready to go, having primer rattle cans and your project in an obvious location waiting for you will help.
  • Identity is a strong factor. Thinking of the hobby in terms of identity - eg "I am a painter/wargamer that regularly paints." 
  • Specifically stating the time and location for your habits - and slot it into your existing routine- eg "I will paint at the kitchen table before I have a shower at 9pm every night" will make it much easier to achieve
  • The amount of times you paint, not the duration of your painting sessions will be the main factor in cementing new regular hobby habits
  • Do something that you enjoy a lot before doing you paint - and treat yourself afterward to a reward
  • Culture- make a chat group to motivate yourself and your friends for painting - especially effective if your friends paint regularly

Eternity Labs Delux Rust Effects terrain WIP

A recent WIP testing out some Dulux rust effects paint on our Eternity Labs Kits - One example of the strategy of removing friction, as this was incredibly easy to achieve and quite fun as a technique

UPDATE:

I have managed to successfully implement the tips above - I've just about finished some Warlord Games Judge Dredd miniatures. If I missed one nights painting, I made sure to not miss the next day - As mentioned it's critical to keep on top of it, even if you just paint for two minutes! It makes it easier to make a even a little bit of progress that way, certainly that's better than nothing.

Judge Dredd 32mm Miniatures Game painting WIP

 Expect to see these Dredd minis in a photoshoot soon ;)

 

Please comment below if you have any good tips to motivate people to up their hobby game! I'm very curious to see if you have other good tips for hobby motivation. I'll do a follow up post in the future and showcase some finished miniatures or progress in the future.

PS - If you're interested in the book here's a link (Not affiliated, I just think it's a useful read)

Good luck and may you find this helpful,

Ryan

 

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