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Focus: reducing options

January 27th, 2014 | Posted by admin in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

One of the things that I firmly believe contributes to my lack of focus and feeling overwhelmed (and I’m sure applies to many of you) is the  amount of choice that’s out there. Don’t get me wrong, I love having options and I love having the freedom to be able to make those choices.  But, let’s face it, between Ravelry, Pinterest, blogs, Facebook, etc. etc. the possible “next project” can be daunting.  And I’m ALWAYS changing my mind and getting distracted by the next shiny, “must do” project.   That’s why I have a backlog of sewing patterns and a stash of yarn that I will probably never make it through.  And I have some nice stuff, yo.

This influx of inspiration and stimulation is largely why I try to limit my social media consumption (I unsubscribed from Facebook about 2 years ago and I haven’t looked back…and I refuse to get sucked into Instagram even though it’s oh so tempting!!) and why I have no business starting any new hobbies…although I will admit to dabbling into a little bit of embroidery lately *she says with her head down scuffing her feet on the ground…oh the shame

In order to save myself from myself and the infinite number of choices of what to do next, one of my 2014 knitting goals is to complete the first 20 projects in my Ravelry queue.  These are projects that I already have yarn and patterns for and which have been in my queue for quite awhile.  I made sure as well that the projects represented a nice mix of smaller/quicker projects (mittens, hats, socks) and larger projects (sweaters, a blanket).  I’m smart enough not to set myself up for certain failure by making myself knit 20 sweaters in a year (I should say that usually I’m smart enough.  It’s not always the case).  And, to avoid the temptation of rearranging my queue to fit in something shiny and new and for which I will have to buy yarn (I’m a cheater), I’m copying what I’ve seen others doing — paper surprise bags.  I put one skein from each of the 20 projects in my queue into a paper lunch bag along with sticky of the pattern name and then sealed the bag.  I wrote on the outside of the bag whether it was a small or large project and put them in a drawer.  Now, when I finish a project, instead of spending hours sorting through my yarn or Ravelry and starting 20 different things, I can go to the drawer, pull out a mystery project and voila – that’s what I’m working on.

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Forced focus. Will it work?  We’ll see.  But it was fun making all those paper surprise bags:)

Focus on: goals

January 22nd, 2014 | Posted by admin in Miscellaneous | planning - (0 Comments)

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m eschewing resolutions this year and instead adopting a perspective.  My perspective this year can be summed up in the word focus.

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Now, just because I’m not adopting a resolution doesn’t mean that I don’t have any goals for myself this year.  Goals and resolutions are very different and part of being focused means working towards achieving something before me. Resolutions tend to be very lofty, ill defined and focused on an overall end state rather than the smaller bits that are needed to get there.  You want to eat better?  Great, but how are you going to get there?  What are the steps along the way that let you know that yes, in fact, you are eating better?  How do you know when you’ve achieved it?  I think most of the time people “fail” at keeping resolutions because there is no way of knowing what success looks like.  I strongly suspect that if your resolution is to eat better than you are picturing cutting out junk food all together, vowing to eat 6 to 8 servings of vegetables a day and just saying “no” to that oh so tempting medium double double at Tim’s (nothing says Saturday to me like a medium double double ;P).   But what about a goal?  A goal has the following characteristics (and more depending on who you’re talking to): it’s specific, it’s time limited and achievement is measurable.  So, a goal might be to incorporate a vegetable into at least one meal every day — it’s specific, it has a time component and you know full well if you’ve achieved it or not.  And if you miss a day?  No big deal, you pick it up again the next day.  Soooooo much less pressure:)

For each major sphere of my life this year, I’ve set myself some goals.  These goals are completely attainable and if I don’t reach them, well so be it.

I won’t necessarily post all of my goals here, but hopefully you’ll see my progression towards them as the year unfolds.  Later in the week (or whenever I post again:p) I’ll share some of my knitting goals and a little trick I picked up to help keep me focused.  I’m not sure it will work, but it has been fun planning it!

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Although not a goal per se, one of the tasks on my “to-do” list is to make this sleepyhead a new bed.

 

2014

January 12th, 2014 | Posted by admin in Uncategorized - (1 Comments)

By now, if you’re a blog reader like myself, you’ve read your fair share of posts on 2014 resolutions and goals.  I’ve been going back and forth on whether or not to join in…and here I am…

My birthday is around this time of year, so between that and the new year I find I’m always doing a lot of reflection and internal analysis around now.  I’m a very reflective person by nature — I like to think, and I think A LOT.   I think about anything and everything.  I love to think, I love to learn. The “doing” part, ummm, not so stellar at all the time.   So, resolutions like going to the gym or eating healthier are doomed for failure for me.  I don’t even bother  I really like the angle some bloggers have taken by choosing a word to try and live by for the year. I like this because its about framing what you’re doing and thinking and feeling in some way that changes your perspective on things and that will hopefully help you make decisions and live a happier, more fulfilling life.  I like that there’s no measurable success or failure.

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Sarai has chosen a great word for this year – focus.  And, I’m going to copy it.  I could do with more focus and for exactly the same reasons that she chose the word.  There is so much to do and see in the world, so many decisions and opportunities, so many mistakes to make, so many THINGS to make.  I often find that I’m either completely overwhelmed and/or I just don’t have the time to work on what I have started…and this not only applies to crafting and making, it applies to my relationships, to everyday chores and house maintenance and to my business.   I’m left feeling spread too thin and exhausted but not having accomplished anything.  It’s incredibly frustrating.  So, this year, I’m going to focus.  Later in the week I’m going to show you how focus will play into my different crafting activities, but also into my business and this blog.
2014 has been off to an interesting start to say the least and I have this feeling like there’s an earthquake rumbling beneath my feet.  It’s going to be a hell of a year, I can feel it.  I hope it’s a great one.