I have been listening to the soundbytes podcast lately and I was incredibly inspired during episode 51 by something Barney had talked about when it comes to learning a new skill. To summarize, try doing the thing you want to learn in small chunks of time but every time try doing it differently. In my case, I have been wanting to get better at synthesizing laser sounds and to add to the challenge I only used 1 plugin to do it. Thankfully, I have also been wanting to learn phaseplant so it worked out.
Over the course of 2 or so weeks, I decided that every morning when I got to my desk, I would challenge myself to create a laser using Phaseplant by the time I finish my coffee (give or take 10 minutes). These short sprints allowed me to accept it won't be perfect and to try a new idea each time without getting too caught up in perfecting the sound. Surprisingly, some of these have already made their way onto a project so I suppose it worked out.
Here is a link to listen to some of the sonic explorations I came up with:
I am now working to get better at designing general synth textures and impacts so I could have more unique sources to use when designing sounds.
I hope this inspires you to explore new ways to create sounds!