We Can Do Hard Things

I’ve been reminded this week of how incredibly capable we all are of achieving challenging goals. What makes the difference? Is it purely mindset or are other factors involved? I think it’s a combination of the two. Here are the top 5 things that I believe really make a positive difference in helping you achieve a challenging goal.

I’m inspired by the student accomplishments and achievements that I witnessed in my free Surface Pattern Design Masterclass that just wrapped up this week.

1.     How badly do you want it?

Over 500 people signed up for my free Surface Pattern Design Masterclass. 532 to be exact. I was curious, going into the four-part training series, to see how many people really wanted to learn how to make their first repeating pattern. It’s not easy. It involves some challenging tech. There are many steps. How badly did they really want it? 

It became apparent very quickly that a core of really passionate and dedicated students were hell-bent on taking advantage of this free training and, more importantly, were very keen indeed on successfully creating their first repeating pattern. They were determined to make it to the finish line and showed up differently throughout the course.

2.     Schedule time for it

If you don’t actually take out your calendar or your planner and carve out time, it’s not going to happen. There are so many distractions in today’s world. I covered how social media can take you down a rabbit hole for hours in my blog last week. If there is something you really want to learn, you have to invest time in it.

The students who achieved creating their first repeating pattern in my Masterclass were the ones who consumed the content, attended the LIVE teaching sessions or watched the replays, accessed the recorded tutorials and downloaded the cheat sheets. They asked questions. They posted comments. They scheduled time to consume the content.

3.     Break it into small, manageable pieces

Challenging goals can seem overwhelming, too big, unachievable. If you break them down into manageable chucks, it’s a whole different story. Let’s stick with the theme here of making your first repeating pattern. If you focus on the fact that part of your work will be done inside Adobe Illustrator, a very complex and sophisticated program, you might give up before you start.

However, if you break the pattern design process into small steps, it’s a game changer. You can break down a challenge into major components, or micro steps, whichever is going to help you make progress best. And then you must do the work. I love this quote by Amelia Earhart: “The most effective way to do it, is to do it”. That really says it all.

4.     Engage with a community

Having a supportive and encouraging community around you when you are embarking on something new is really, really important. I was blown away by the level of engagement and positive interaction that happened inside our private Facebook group, Anne’s Art Club, where students in the Masterclass were sharing their work.

Although I’d set general ground rules for the group around kindness, support, and encouragement, the passionate students in the Masterclass were amazingly supportive of each other. The “can do” vibe became contagious with students admiring each other’s work, highlighting the diversity of talent on display and showing courage and vulnerability by posting work at various stages in the process. The community aspect of the Masterclass took the experience to a whole different level for everyone, myself included, and definitely helped students achieve their goal.

5.     Stay resilient 

Be prepared for set-backs. It may take you longer to achieve that goal than you imagined. A part of the goal might be really challenging and you may need to try several different approaches before you conquer it. You may have to go back a few steps and review some of the fundamentals before you can move forward again.

Don’t give up. Pick yourself up and keep moving forward. If you want it badly enough, and you’re putting in the time to achieve it, and you’re not trying to do it all at once, and you have a strong, supportive community around you, you’ll achieve it. As my mentor, Amy Porterfield says: We can do hard things”.

If you’re interested in learning surface pattern design, I’m launching a 6-week online training and coaching program right now called: The Pattern Design Academy. Registration closes on January 31st so if you are interested, check it out TODAY!

Most importantly, remember:

It’s Never Too Late to Create

If you enjoyed this blog please share it with your friends and family. Click your favorite social platform below. And join my email list for weekly creative inspiration and an invitation to our private Facebook group, Anne’s Art Club.




Hi…I’m Anne!
My creative inspiration comes from a lifetime of observation living in, and traveling to, beautiful environments in the United States and abroad.


Favorite Quote


New Work