I don't make resolutions. It is something that I am just not good at. Maybe that sounds...silly, but there it is. I hate the pressure. I hate the looming probability, no -- the certainty -- of failure.
Alas, this year "resolutions" may be necessary.
What happened?! Too many hours last year got away from me. My kids are in school now and school is a huge time suck. I started a company and didn't accomplish as much as I had hoped. If I am being honest, we can do that here, I am just not where I wanted to be. Whew. That was harder than I thought but admitting you have a problem is the first step, right? The new year is a natural time to reflect and, cliché though it may be, make plans to change course. So let the resolution making begin.
Some life lessons just keep popping up. They are like a bruised elbow that you can't stop bumping -- a painful reminder that you made the same mistake. They begin to feel like a mantra...a recurring theme for the stubborn. This is one of mine:
In college I learned that staying organized, keeping to a schedule and staying busy meant spending less time procrastinating. It worked well for me (I graduated a year early.) Now that I have kids they frequently throw this right out of the window. I try to schedule work hours, nap time, school work and play-dates but inevitably, someone gets sick, has a meltdown, or extra homework. Boom! Just like that my structure is torn apart...along with any semblance of productivity.
This is my struggle. And I am sure I am not the only one. So let me share some ways I plan to get a little structure back into my knitting life.
- Take baby steps. (Work for incremental success)
- Be flexible.
- Be prepared.
Take Baby Steps
I have heard that making goals attainable is crucial to success and taking baby steps is merely an extension of this idea. For example, I want to knit more this year. Who doesn't want all the things?! So I need to make it attainable. I'm not going to plan to "knit my queue" or "knit 5 sweaters" or "knit a box of socks." Instead my plan is:
- Knit 10 minutes a day.
Life happens and with kids or other random distractions (looking at you hubby) that isn't likely to change anytime soon. Flexibility to the rescue! I know I can knit at least 10 minutes a day for 5-6 days a week. Does it matter if it is every morning or right before bed? If I can fit in a few rows a day not only will my WIPs actually progress but I will get some balance between things I MUST do and things I LOVE to do.
This leads to step three -- be prepared. We knitters are a bunch of feelers. We knit what inspires us and what catches our eye. We shop when something we are knitting gets boring. Shall I even mention "startitis", the knitter's version of the flu?
For creatives, any of these can unravel our structure which we can combat with some preparation.
I mentioned the project queue earlier. For me it is a marvelous tool but I am choosing to see it as a "wish list" instead of a "to-do list". In my queue (mines on Ravelry) I have already looked through patterns and picked out ones that inspired or dazzled me but when the time comes for a new project, what if I don't feel like knitting the first item? Not feeling the Cabled Cardigan in July? When we use our queue as a wish list it becomes a choose your own adventure.
Another way I get prepared is to think about what I want to knit next while I knit. This can be dangerous for some of us but I will share how this works for me. One of my recent goals was to finish off my WIPS. Surprise! So while I have been knitting these projects I have kept a notebook next to me and I began to walk through the next project and write down my ideas.
I note things like: changes am I going to make, what colors I would like to use and where, what would make the item more wearable? This allows me to "work" on something that has captured my interest while finishing my WIPs. When I pick up my yarn for the next project I am already prepared and ready to just cast on.
Best laid plans...
Finally, the last thing I need that isn't on the list is: be forgiving. You want knitting -- or exercise or whatever your goal is -- to be a habit. Does that mean it must be done everyday with no exceptions? For me, life is about balance and living to the fullest.
When something comes up and no knitting gets done have some forgiveness for yourself and remember...