If You Don’t Expect Too Much From Me

This time of year is very resolution-heavy. After being sloths and eating junk for the entire month of december, we feel the need to completely change our lives. You know, for the next week or so.

While some people resolve to be better, others use New Year’s resolution time to set themselves goals for the year. I’ve tried that, a couple times. And one thing I’ve learned from the experience: I don’t like expectations, even when they are self-imposed.

It always goes well for a while, until I make the first mistake and/or just get tired of having to do those things. THe former comes from a sense of, “It’s already wrecked, why bother?” apathy while the latter just seems to be my nature.

You see, I just started reading Harry Potter. Like, for the first time ever. And, holy crap, it is really good. But I categorically refused to read it or watch the movies when I was younger because they were so hyped and popular. I also refused to listen to Good Charlotte for a year after “The Young and the Hopeless” was released. That’s how much I tend to try to avoid bandwagons.

I just don’t like being told I’m supposed to do something, even if it is something I really want to do and I am the one telling myself to do it. So I’m ditching resolutions, goals, or whatever else you want to call it in hopes that I will get more things done. Mind you, I still have my numerous to do lists, but those just help remind me what I had started doing in the first place.

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3/4 Finished

Three months left in 2015 (and only 86 days to Christmas. Not to induce panic in anyone who may be ill-prepared for the “making season”…I should start some things), so it’s a good time for me to start panicking taking stock of where I am sitting with my goals for the year.*

You can read all about the original list here, but I’m just going to jump into the ones I have actually done something about.

Videos

IN nine months I have filmed and uploaded a grand total of…one video. Not looking very good for hitting my goal of ten videos this year. The videos I am wanting to make are going to take time and thus keep getting pushed aside for my other projects that keep coming up and take priority.

Projects

I am doing much better on this goal because the quicker projects average out nicely with the longer ones. Official count is 51:

  • 10 Sewing repairs of clothes/toys
  • 8 Baked goods
  • 7 Knitting projects
  • 6 Newly sewn items
  • 5 Beading projects
  • 4 Cross-stitch pieces
  • 2 Rubberband loom guys
  • 2 Paper projects
  • 2 Crochet projects
  • 2 Painted shirts
  • 2 “Building” (as in furniture-putting-together) projects
  • and

  • 1 Set of Woven coasters

I think next year I will break that category into its sub-categories. It’s obviously a lot quicker to patch a shirt (most of the time) than it is to make a new one.

Posting

This is the easiest one to keep track of, especially with the handy new chart on the stats page:

I’ve done well for a couple months at a time, then basically not posted for a month at a time.

All this reflecting brings up the question: How do you stay motivated to try to finish a project as the deadline approaches? Specifically when you are pretty sure there is no way you will meet the deadline?

*In case you haven’t noticed, these posts are my way of putting something up when I can’t really be bothered to write something. Or when I don’t have pictures for what I wanted to write. Because they are stuck in the computer that is currently unplugged and my laptop doesn’t have the right program to use that library.

7 Down, 5 to Go

Once again, I am copping out on today’s post by bringing you an update on my goals for 2015. As you probably don’t recall, I started the year with a list of six goals. And then I shortened it to five after a month. To refresh your memory, the revised list is:

  • Film/post 10 videos
  • Complete 52 projects (large or small)
  • Place 5 pattern on Ravelry for sale
  • Write 12 songs
  • Post 2 posts per week

The most obvious update I can give first is the posting. I have tried, mostly, to get two up each week. Sometimes it is easier than others. I have missed a total of ten, but I may try to get a few extra posted to bring the total to 104 by the end of the year. We’ll see.

Three of the remaining four goals are easy to report on: I’ve made no videos, written no finished songs, and posted no patterns on Ravelry this year. Since I am mostly off this next week, I’m working on remedying at least one of those things.

Now to the counting of the projects:

Project Category Completed Projects
Household sewing (patches, buttons, hems, etc.) 4
Cross-stitch 2
Needlepoint 2
Knitting 6
Rainbow Looms 2
Baking 3
Papercrafts 1
Crochet 1
Painting 2
Building 1
Total 24

A total of 24 projects so far is a bit behind for the 31st week of the year, but Christmas is coming up (I’m planning to write that list this weekend to give me some time to get stuff done) so that will help me add more to that number.

As I’ve expected, I am way behind at this halfway point to the year. But, perhaps I can catch up if I really work at it. Perhaps.

I’ve Done Things!

No matter how much I feel like I haven’t done anything but work and sleep. Especially since this week all I’ve done is work and sleep.

But I am really talking about the progress I’ve made on my goals for the year. Despite dropping one, I do have measurable (and good) progress on three of the remaining five.*

For a refresher, this year’s goals are:

  1. Film 10 videos
  2. Finish 52 projects
  3. Write 5 knit/crochet patterns to sell
  4. Write 1 song per month (or 12 in a year)
  5. Write 2 posts per week
  6. Finish 1 year of “Don’t Break the Chain”

I have made the following progress in three areas:

  • 52 Projects

    In the past 8 weeks, I have finished:

    That makes 10 projects. I’m 2 ahead of schedule, and about to finish another.

  • 12 Songs

    I have started creating a demo track for one song which (so far) has complete lyrics. Of course, that can change in the recording process.

  • 2 Posts per Week

    If you are reading this on the website on a computer (not so sure about on tablets, and not if you are reading in readers or email), you can scroll down to the bottom of the left-hand column to see a little calendar of posts. And that calendar is marked on every Tuesday (except one Monday for some reason) and Thursday for both January and now February. They might not always be the best or most coherent things, but I have posted a thing each of those days.

On top of those things, I have a few video ideas kicking around in my brain. They are just going to require some time and effort. So they must wait until I finish the giant shawl. There are also those three knitting patterns I started that I mentioned in the original post. So I am starting to have unusually high hopes for attaining my goals this year.

How are you doing on your goals for the year?

*Sidenote: That’s why I was having trouble. How the heck did I end up with six goals? Six isn’t a round number.

NaBloPoMo Week 1: So Close

This should’ve been written yesterday. I meant to write it yesterday. But then I made a pot roast, and had to clean up from making said pot roast. So I forgot that I hadn’t written anything. My bad. I’ll try to make up for it with two today.

In the first week of writing every day I managed to get lost, chart a hat, get really cold (and then not so cold again), panic slightly about making Christmas presents, lose focus, and record a cover video. Some days the writing was better than others. Most often I felt a bit rushed, but I still got it done.

One thing I realized early on in the week is I am not the type of person to return to the “add every entry here” page. I tried reading from it, but there is just too much to go through at once. I added two, but remembering to go back and do it every day is just too much. I’m much more of a work my way through the blogroll and find sites I think are interesting to keep reading and add to a list myself.

I did not do any commenting this week, so that is my goal for next week. Trying to have more conversations and less talking to myself.

NaBloPoMo November 2014

Wrapping Up Warming Up For Christmas

Warming up for Christmas

Last July-ish I gave myself a goal of making hats for the women at Elizabeth House. I did end up making enough for the women living in both houses, though I had hoped to make more and have extras. That didn’t work because I got distracted, possibly a little bored, and tied up in some other projects. But, like I said, at least I made nine sets (adult, child, and infant).

Here’s the end result of this project:

Adult Hats

Adult Hats

Child Hats

Child Hats

Infant Hats

Infant Hats

They got distributed in Christmas bags to the residents.

I didn’t keep up with the project as well as I had hoped, and I didn’t work at the pace I originally expected. I don’t think I’m going to do something like that again. Too much stress to put on myself when I was also trying to make Christmas presents, working extra hours with a new baby, and just generally busy with the holidays. From now on, I think I’ll stick to donating to projects headed by others so it’s not all resting on me.

Time to Start Again

Sometimes I have a problem with follow-through. I get off to a great start, but I never get around to an end. It was the one thing I found difficult about creative writing assignments, the ending.

I also have a problem of trying to find rules to follow for everything, so I’m sure I’m doing whatever I’m doing “right”. Trying to read all the advice and “do’s and don’ts” lists so I won’t make so grand mistake. The problem with that is I end up trying to sound like someone else, trying to sound perfect, instead of just writing like me.

You may or may not have noticed my attempt to end posts with a question, use at least one picture per post, and a host of other things the “experts” say you must do to have a good blog. That’s not me. I don’t care about being “internet famous” (or any other kind of famous for that matter). I want to do what I do, how I do it, and let that be that.

I’m trying to apply that kind of philosophy to many areas of my own life this year as well. I’ve never been much for New Year’s resolutions, knowing that I’d set something impossible to achieve and forget about it by January third anyway. But I have decided to set out some goals for myself, things I want to accomplish on a monthly basis. I’m going to keep track of all the things I do this year, mainly for myself in my own notebooks, so I will have things to share with you all.

I can’t give myself strict deadlines, because I am a horrible procrastinator and use a deadline as an excuse to put something off until the last minute and then rush through to get it done. I want to enjoy the things I do this year, so I’m hoping to take some time each day to get to a few projects and in turn get more things done and be much happier with the results.

One thing I hope to do this year, besides my specific goals, is to be more social. That means both in person and online having more conversations rather than just giving short answers. I want to be more involved in everything I do, I guess is what I’m saying. Rather than thinking about the millions of other things I need to be doing, focus more on where I am and what I’m doing that moment.

These are my hopes and ambitions for the coming year. I wish you all a year of peace, prosperity, and the ability to take whatever life gives you and turn it into something great.

Happy New Year!