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How to Consume Less and Create More: Continuous Creation Challenge Style

Continuous Creation ChallengeWhat does April mean to you?

Do you spend sun-kissed afternoons making your garden come alive? Do you put a cherry on top of your March NCAA basketball sundae with the Final Four?

(Man, I hope my Wisconsin Badgers can take down undefeated Kentucky!).

Are you begging for warmer spring weather like we are in Minnesota (or for the coolness to hold off just a bit longer for you Southern Hemisphere folks)?

April used to be a “ho-hum” kinda month for me. Finish up doing the taxes, avoid the muddy dog park spots, maybe bust out the bicycle for a spin around the ‘hood …

But no more!

That's because, now, I'm celebrating the five-year anniversary of my personal renaissance – the day my wife Melinda told me she was pregnant with our first son Grant – and then everything changed.

However, I'm thinking about something else to celebrate today, one that's ripe for you to get in on. It's the third birthday of that thing that hundreds of people keep in their back pocket and is more groovy than a 1970s disco contest (or so people tell me).

It's the Continuous Creation Challenge, baby!  

A Continuous Creation Challenge, or “CCC” to the cool kids, is a period of time where you shift your energy from consumption into channeled creation. The details like how long, when, where, what projects you work on, and what consumption to eliminate are totally up to you.

The goal is to break out of our typical consumption cycle and open our eyes to what's possible with hard-core creation.

I'll be doing a 24-hour CCC on April 20 and do you think I'm jazzed? Yeah … I'm jazzed.

This is the year you link April with creation, too. So here are nine reasons why you need to get crackin' on your CCC lickety-split.

9 Reasons to Do Your CCC Now

Continuous Creation Challenge

  1. The world wants you to create more and consume less. I'm not the only one inviting people to get all creative all up in here. Scott Dinsmore challenges you to do it. The Minimalists want you to know the joys. Because nobody builds a legacy until they create something worth loving. [Tweet that]
  2. You want your experiences to happen by you, not to Being a great creator is like Experience Curating: you don't let cool moments and people passively engage you. Instead, you know what's valuable and are focused on bringing meaning to other people's lives. It feels good to intentionally refrain from mindless consumption and charge head-first into purpose-filled creation.
  3. You haven't created a handmade [that thing you love] in way too long. I use some of my CCC to make hand-crafted cards: birthday, anniversary, Mother's Day/Father's Day, or “just because I can” cards. Friends and family love getting 'em and I love delivering 'em. Maybe sewing, photography, or book-binding are your kinda dealio. Whatever floats your boat, you'll revive your kid-like spirit and can even do things people “your age” aren't “supposed” to do (block towers or sand castles, anyone?).
  4. You want to join the CCC club. Have you seen the awesome people that have done a CCC? There's Jane the Artist. David the Designer. Denise the Parent. Robert the World Traveler. Join the list of inspiring people that stumbled, rejoiced, and grew a ton during their CCC.
  5. There's a community waiting to support you. CCC dreamers, planners, and doers want to cheer you on and swap stories in the dedicated G+ community. These groovy guys and gals have a reputation of motivation for unconventional (and prolific) creation.
  6. The planning process is exciting (and a little nuts). There are actually two ways to plan your CCC: checklist style or comprehensive guide. Drive yourself a little crazy fine tuning what to create or eliminate … and then enjoy.
  7. “At first I thought you were crazy, but little by little, I envied you.” That's what Ciara Conlon told me after I did my first CCC. That's a compliment in my book, but you'll get compliments too after people see just how bold and creative you can be.
  8. You always wanted to be a DJ. I love taking requests from family and friends for what to create during my CCC. In fact, people are flattered easier than a casanova in a compliment contest when they're part of the planning process. If Cousin Sally or Uncle Jimmy has always wanted you to make a giant pan of paella or some mittens out of dog hair, this is your chance to find out (and do it).
  9. It's your chance to rise and shine. Mindless competition hurts everyone involved. But friendly competition? Now that's where it's at! Chuckle and gasp at my upcoming CCC plan and compare yours to mine. Then share your design and the results to see how unique your experience is.

It's All You, Baby!

You can resist the urge to watch just one more TV episode … just one more day of podcasts … just one more week of reading fiction … just one more month of absorbing emails.

April is your new month of creation.

You have twelve hours (or more) to create this month. You've cut off YouTube, the radio, or vampire romance fiction before. You can do this, too.

Don't know where to start? Get some quick context, a checklist, and a guide.

The CCC doesn't seem worth it? Tell that to the people who rave about it.

Need some support? Get some from the community.

If you don't make time to create now, when will it be? “Soon?”

We're counting on you to create something meaningful. So let your inner child come out to play, get uncomfortable, and rock the sweet sassy mollasy out of your Continuous Creation Challenge!

You got this.

For the comments: Get accountable and tell us when in April your CCC is, how long it will be, and consider linking your checklist or guide for us to get pumped up about.

Photo credit: kozzmen and Chris JL

 

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