This article discusses the one habit I’m focusing on to become a better video editor in 2023. I’ll dive into what makes a good habit, some examples of my own good and bad habits, and what I’ll be doing the next 365 days.
What Makes a Good Habit?
I’m a huge, huge fan of habits. A good habit will beat motivation every single time. A good habit needs to be something that’s attainable at a high frequency that moves the needle.
Let’s break those three core principles down — attainable, high frequency, impactful:
Attainable: Your habit needs to be something you are capable of doing. If you can barely run a mile, why set a goal of running a mile everyday? You’re going to burn out quickly.
Instead, start by running 5 minutes a day. Once you can run 5 minutes a day for a given amount of time (let’s say 2 weeks?) then make it 7 minutes. Once you hit 2 weeks make it 10 minutes. And so on making sure the duration is impactful (more on that in a moment).
High Frequency: You have to be able to let life get in the way of your habit. We’re all going to have those days where sh*t hits the fan and we just literally can’t do our things. That’s okay. You can miss one. But try your hardest not to miss two consecutive days. I suggest a habit should occur 5-6 days a week. You have to keep the momentum going.
Me working on EVF recently is a perfect example of that. I’ve gone pretty much all year grinding away at EVF at least a few minutes each day and then November hit. I was flooded with freelance client projects and took a weeklong vacation out of the county in early December. It was too easy to just say, “nah I’ll pick back up when things slow down.” Life never slows down. Two missed days quickly became two missed months. Whoops. But I’m back on the wagon now.
Impactful: The habit has to create value. Sometimes we need to start with a habit like “just put on your running shoes” if you want to start running or “just open up a fresh Google Doc” if you want to write a book. But you can easily get caught in a trap where you are just checking the habit box off your to-do list and it not making any difference.
For me I have two perfect examples, one good and one bad.
I have currently done at least 50 consecutive pushups for the last 2898 days. Yes, that’s nearly 8 years. That’s approximately 150,000 pushups. I can do more pushups than anyone I know #humblebrag. 50 pushups is impactful because it’s not easy by any means and continues to push me day in and day out.
On the negative side, for the past 3+ years I’ve taken at least one Duolingo lesson a day to learn Vietnamese. After all this time (which takes about 10 minutes compared to the 1 minute I spend doing pushups a day) my Vietnamese is still horrible. Is it better than three years ago? Sure. But after all this time you’d expect me to be able to write this entire email in Vietnamese and I wouldn’t even know where to begin. The Duolingo lessons are not impactful. I’m still coming to terms with the fact that I need to change this habit and stop wasting my time on it…
Okay, let’s get into what habit I’m focusing on to be a better editor next year.
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Resting on Experience as a Video Editor
I’m almost 36. I’ve been a professional editor for nearly 14 years. The first few years, probably like a lot of you reading this, I was filled with fire and motivation to learn everything I could. And that’s exactly what I did. Tutorial after tutorial. Experimenting for funsies. Digging through forums for the heck of it. Eventually the motivation waned and for probably a decade I’ve spent that time picking up tips and tricks here or there but have not been dedicated towards improving my craft.
Hey, I could do the job just fine at a high level and I have other things to do. My attention turned in a billion other directions than trying to learn. I’m finally starting to feel the rust build up to such a high level around the aspects of editing and NLEs that I don’t work on often that it’s time to get back in the habit of learning.
A couple of weeks ago I started a new habit that I’m determined to follow-through on in 2023. And that’s to spend at least 10 minutes a day, 6 days a week learning new skills related to editing. This will probably be primarily through LinkedIn Learning and YouTube — I’m wide open to suggestions though! I’ve already taken a Photoshop Automation course and a MacOS tips course while churning through about half of a 4-hour After Effects 2023 course. Almost everyday I’ve picked up some small tip that I never knew.
If you aren’t aware, LinkedIn Learning (previously Lynda.com) is available for free through a lot of public libraries.
My habit fits my three criteria for a good habit:
– It’s attainable in that I have 10 minutes a day to do this
– The frequency is enough so that I can miss a day once a week when life from work or parenting is just too much (this week was Christmas Eve — I had ZERO time to do this but I was able to pick back up the next day!)
– And it’s impactful in that the tips I’m learning have already started paying dividends (I’m working on creating new actions in Photoshop for some of the monotonous tasks I do frequently)
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What habits are you working on to be a better video editor in 2023?
What video editor habit are you working for 2023? Do you want to do something similar? Let me know by hitting reply.
Here’s to a great, prosperous, and educational 2023!
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