Tag Archives: goals

What was I meant to be doing again?

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For some reason this year I seem to have completely lost the goal-accomplishing plot. I stopped for a moment during the week to think about whether I was on track and realised I had completely forgotten what my goals were. I suppose it had to happen at some point.

At least I am sewing again. I managed to get two quilts finished in the last couple of weeks (photos below). Plus I have a couple of days off work this week which I can use to regroup, refocus and get moving again. And…there is still more than half of the year left. Plenty of time to get things finished.

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New Goals

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It is almost the end of another year and it has got me thinking about next year. New goals. Which is tricky, firstly because I haven’t really finished most of my goals from this year, and secondly because while I have an idea about the kinds of things I want to accomplish I am struggling to turn them into measurable goals.

For example, excepting the blocks that I am hand piecing together I have now put all my blocks into tops (30 tops and 33 small objects – I counted them this morning when I was cleaning out my closet), but I don’t know that I necessarily want my goal for the year to be quilting all those tops. What I would like is that by the end of the year I am better at machine quilting than I am now. So the trick is how I measure better. Quilting all the tops doesn’t really work as a measure of what I want to achieve because I could in theory quilt all of them badly.

This year I would like to improve my machine quilting, become better at talking and listening, get the whole business on the side thing going on and finish two of my goals from last year (writing a novel and getting down to a healthy BMI). Just need to find some way of measuring that doesn’t involve saying better than I am now. Though really at the end of the day, since I’m the only person judging, if I feel I’m better at something maybe that’s enough of a measure. I guess it all comes down to how good at self-delusion you are. There are plenty of people out there wandering round thinking they are great at something when in reality they’re not. I don’t really want to be one of those people.

I just downloaded Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography to my kindle in the hope of some inspiration/answers. Apparently at some point when he was a young man someone sat him down and told him that he was up himself, and no-one liked him because of it. In order to fix this he devised a scheme to overcome the up-himself-ness, which I have heard is documented in the autobiography. If that isn’t finding a way to measure the unmeasurable I don’t know what is.

 

Where does the time go?

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I can’t believe it has been two weeks since my last post. However, I never got round to doing much last weekend because a combination of hay fever and caffeine withdrawal kept me lying on the couch in the air-conditioning for most of the weekend.

I have actually been very productive the last couple of days. I did myself a really thorough list. You know the honest kind, where you actually list every little thing you need to do including cleaning the bathroom and shaving your legs. I find if I do that, really list everything, I’m actually more realistic about what I can get done, and I do more. Having lists and plans for accomplishing your goals is all well and good but there are other things to be done too, stuff that keeps your life running smoothly and you need to factor those into your plans. Not to mention planning some down time, space where you can just relax and do nothing, at least for a small amount of time.

So…how am I going on my goals:

100 places I’ve never been before – finished

Quilt blocks made into things – almost done with making things into tops.

Healthy BMI – struggling

Novel – just hit 16,000 words

Loads of stuff left to do, and nowhere near enough time to do it in, but it doesn’t really bother me at the moment. I’m not sure why, I’ve kind of mellowed about the whole thing. I think setting myself some fairly hefty goals has taught me a lot about accepting imperfection in myself, and there were some lessons there that I really needed to learn. Now I just need to learn the lesson about not mowing the lawn without wearing sunscreen and I’ll be right for a while. For now, I am going to take my sun burn away to a cool room where I can spend the rest of the day reading a book and pretending it’s not 35C outside.

 

All or nothing, or somewhere in between

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I have been struggling the last month or so to get back into the swing of the things, and I think part of the problem was that my goals were looking increasingly unattainable. It’s an all or nothing kind of thinking that I often have problems with. Because I can’t do something perfectly, I won’t do it at all. Because I won’t be able to get it all done I don’t even do a little bit.

So this week I started to think in terms of what could I do by the end of the year. I gave myself permission to switch the goal posts. I’m not going to be able to lose 20 kilos by the end of the year, but I can aim for 6. I’m probably not going to finish the novel, but I can aim to have it be twice the size it is now. I may not have all my blocks as finished items but I can at least have them at the top stage.

Is it a cop-out? Maybe. But I think at the end of the day it’s about making progress, and by setting goals that are achievable I have actually been able to get moving again.

Getting out of a funk

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The last couple of days I have been feeling a bit low. I’m not sure why. I’m not sure it is ever just one thing when I get like this. I think it is probably a combination of things – being tired, being hormonal, holiday almost over, being frustrated with my failings etc. Any one of which on its own I could probably cope with, but when they all come at once it gets a bit much. However, sitting in a hotel in Istanbul feeling sorry for myself is not going to accomplish much, and there are things I want to do. Not so much touristy things, but so far I have only achieved one of my goals for the year and I am way behind on all the others. So I set myself a deadline for wallowing (the end of yesterday) and then wrote myself a to do list. I still feel like crap, but at least I am not lying on the bed watching Spongebob Squarepants in Turkish (and don’t get me started on the thing about the cows that had a cow with udders and a man’s voice). I know if I keep working my way through the list eventually I will start to feel much better.

Anyway, this morning I sorted through my photos and I decided the easiest way to provide an update on the last few days of my trip was through a photo diary of sorts – see below.

So that’s it really. Arrived back in Istanbul yesterday afternoon. There was a quick trip to the Grand Bazaar, which is pretty boring unless you are into shopping. My flight back to Australia is tomorrow afternoon, so now I have to find some small things to do until then.

-97 points

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I have had some reasons recently, which I won’t go into, to contemplate the topic of self-delusion. It made me think a little more than usual about how honest I am with myself. One glaringly obvious example of denial is the fact that over the last couple of weeks I have gotten into the rather bad habit of skipping days where I track my points, particularly on those days where I know I am way over. Which is kind of crazy especially when you consider that I am paying Weight Watchers for the use of the tracker, though probably no crazier than the thousand of gym memberships people have and never use. So this week I set myself the task of actually recording everything, no matter how bad it was, and it was bad (there was a work dinner and flurry of morning teas). I ended up with -97 points. Which is fairly atrocious, and not surprisingly I put on a kilo. And I actually think that being honest helps. Seeing those negative points add up has over the last couple of days caused me to be a lot more restrained, and I think will help going forward.

In other news – 

  • the sewing machine is back from the repair person, with a new tension unit,  and is sewing beautiful. I managed to finish two quilt tops today.
  • Thanks to the work dinner, and a walk this morning where I stopped in at a strange newsagent I am now up to 20 places I haven’t been before.
  • The writing – not so good, but I have run out of free turns of plants vs zombies so perhaps my run on procrastination will come to an end.

 

Happy Easter

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I have got to that part of a Sunday afternoon where I usually start to feel restless and kind of antsy. That feeling when there is nothing you really feel a pressing need to do, but you really want to be doing something, just not any of the things on your to do list. Am also trying quite strenuously to resist the urge to pig out on chocolate just because it is Easter.

I have been feeling a lot of late like I haven’t really been accomplishing anything. So this morning I did a bit of a stock take of the goals and I am not actually doing that badly.

I have done 7509 words on my novel. If I am aiming for 50,000 words that isn’t too bad. To be on track for the year, I should have 12500 by the end of April. So I only need to do 226 words a day between now and then an I will be okay. That’s certainly achievable.

Healthy BMI – going well, lost another kilo this week. If I keep this up I should be a healthy weight for my height well before the end of the year

100 places I’ve never been before – Yesterday I went to number 10 – Spring Mountain. Pictures below. While I am a little bit behind on this one I am not too worried because I know my trip in August is going to rack the tally up really fast.

Make things from all my 100 blocks – now this one isn’t going so well. As a matter of fact it is going atrociously. Not helped by the fact that at the moment I am machine quilting the pink quilt I made the other day, and machine quilting, I have decided, has to be on my list of my worst things to do.  That and hand quilting the big quilt is taking up a lot of my time. But I will be positive and say that I am making progress. I did buy two lots of Queen size batting at the Spotlight sale yesterday, that has to count as some kind of progress.

Stir Crazy

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I managed two hours of gardening yesterday morning and have been inside the house ever since. Am starting to go a little stir crazy. I had planned a bush walk, but the grey skies put me off. On the plus side the weather also deterred me from my rather insane plan to wash my curtains this weekend.

The sad thing is that it hasn’t really been raining. Okay it rained a fair bit yesterday but today it has just been the odd shower and the rest of the time it just looked like it was going to rain at any minute. I should just have gone for a walk and taken the risk of getting rained on.

I am starting to feel like I’m not doing anything even though I am.

My BMI is down by .7 and my novel is very slowly getting written (up to 5800 words).

I don’t have any new places on my list but I have been slowly paying off my trip in August, and today I booked my tickets to the Birmingham quilt fair (http://www.twistedthread.com/pages/exhibitions/viewExhibition.aspx?id=38&view=overview). Hopefully I will get into the classes that I want to get into. It’s starting to feel like I am actually going on holiday.

While I don’t have any new quilt tops I have pinned and started hand quilting the big quilt I finished a couple of weeks back. This is the one that I want to take with me in August as the 60th birthday present. I had better get cracking as it is so huge. At the moment I feel like it is going to take me forever. I think that is one of the reasons I feel like I haven’t accomplished much. I only have a tiny little corner worth of hand quilting done; and because I usually watch TV when I am hand quilting it feels like I have been wasting time, when I haven’t really. Maybe I need to swap the TV for some e-books or some educational podcasts so I don’t feel so mentally under stimulated while I am doing it.

Quilt in the process of being quilted

 

 

 

Progress?

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Words written – 2617 – trying not to worry whether they are any good or not.

BMI – No change. Have decided that I need to make more of an effort on this one. As always when you have given yourself a year to do something it’s always tempting to leave everything to the last-minute. To think that you’ll deal with it later after you’ve dealt with the myriad of small things that you have to deal with everyday. Some things you can do in a hurry, for example I could probably write all 50,000 words in the last 3 months if I wanted to, I’d have no life but it would be possible. I don’t think losing weight is one of those things. At least it wouldn’t be possible to do it and still be healthy. I think what I need to do is set myself some smaller, short-term goals. So I have set my self a 5 week, 5 kilo challenge. I am going to up the exercise to half an hour of gardening everyday after work and all my sweet stuff has been packed away in the freezer for emergencies only. And to make it interesting there is a prize at the end. If I do it I get to buy a Wii or a netbook. Probably a netbook . I thought the Wii might help with exercise but I imagine it will probably end up never getting used like the exercise DVDs I have. I know I am supposed to be saving money for my trip but I figure you have to celebrate small victories if you have them. 

Things made from blocks – slow progress being made towards a quilt top, plus some fabric I ordered arrived yesterday so I can finish the quilt top that one was meant for. 

Places I have never been before – 6

This morning I went to the Ipswich Sunday market. It’s quite a nice market, quite large, with a good mix of brick-a-brack, veggies and plants. There was a really nice soap stall. So I ended up buying soap and herbs and a really nice bowl. Then because I decided that I need to make a herb garden for my herbs to go in I ended up going to Bunnings afterwards and ended up spending far too much money on stuff I needed to make it, and a lemon tree to plant in a pot in the middle of it. (I know, I know – I’m meant to be saving for my holiday – life would be so much easier if I had any kind of impulse control).

I am off to try to get some sewing done before the sewing room gets too hot.

Ipswich Sunday Markets

Raining…still

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It’s still raining, and I’m getting a little bit sick of it. Everything feels kind of damp, one of my skirting boards is sprouting black soot, and I can’t get out in the garden to mow my lawn. I’m not sure that the last one is such a bad thing, I may have mentioned previously that I hate mowing, but it doesn’t stop growing just because it is raining and if it gets too long it will be harder to mow later.

Plus all the grey is really putting a dampener on my mood and my energy levels, and I get tired because I don’t sleep. It’s not just me, it feels like the whole city is kind of on edge. I don’t think psychologically we have really recovered from the flooding last year yet. Even though we have had nowhere near as much rain, it’s not in the right catchments etc and mentally you know that we are not going to flood there is an emotional response to the rain now that wasn’t there before.

As for progress on my goals – not a lot.  

Words written – none. The problem is I have about 15 possible beginnings, 2 possible endings and no idea what happens in the middle. I know I am just going to have to pick one and go with it and I can change it later if I need to, but I am not quite ready to abandon possible stories and go with one yet.

BMI – no change. I was doing alright at the start of the week but kind of had a chocolate blowout towards the end which undid all my good work.

Places visited – 1 . Actually made some progress on this one. Would have been more without the rain dampening my efforts. I went to Sew Creative in Gatton. I know it’s a Patchwork shop, but I had never been there before. It’s been on my list of places that are quite close by but not close enough to be convenient and that I probably should check out at some point. Plus I now know that a return visit to the area is probably justified to see some of the other stuff that I would have stopped to see if it wasn’t for the fact that it was raining. 

I am going to have to find other places to visit besides patchwork shops though, because otherwise I will go bankrupt. Spent far too much money yesterday. I realised during the week that the reason my rotary cutter blades were going blunt really quickly was because my cutting mat was stuffed so I bought a new one that is bigger and quite cool because it rotates,  as well as about 10 metres of fabric (to use to put together some of my 1000 quilt blocks) and also some bigger rulers. I spent so much money the shop lady actually gave me a discount, which was very nice.

Nothing finished quilt wise, but definitely some progress towards something that will be finished soon. I should have taken a photo of the shop so I can keep a visual record of all the new places I visit, but I think I would have felt like a bit of a crazy lady taking a photo of someones shop. You will have to make do with a picture of my new cutting mat and rulers. I was a bit disconcerted by the brightness of the rulers at first, but they do make cutting a whole lot easier.