Tag Archives: motivation



How is it I can have an entire week off work and still feel like I have way too much to do? Obviously its possible because I have just had a week off and I have spent entirely too much time watching tv and lazing around, plus a couple of days shopping – one for fabric and one for new work clothes. None of which was a good idea because I have a uni assignment due in a couple of weeks, and I am supposed to be saving up for a new roof. And…while I can read articles about business research and watch cooking shows at the same time, the five pages an hour reading speed it gives me makes it hardly worth my while.

I wonder what it is about motivation that is so hard. Are your levels of motivation an ingrained part of who you are or can they be changed? How is it that some people can make a plan to exercise more, eat healthy, stick to a budget or study more and stick to it, while others make a vow to eat healthy and study more and 5 minutes later are sitting on the couch watching tv with a bar of chocolate? Maybe lack of motivation is lack of commitment. You tell yourself you will do X, but only because you think it is what you really want. Deep down you really want something else more.

Or maybe it comes down to pure impulse control. I remember reading once about the ability to delay gratification and the fact that either you have it by a certain age or you don’t. I think though, that it is always best to proceed with the idea that change is possible. There is still so much we don’t know about the brain and neuro-plasticity that we can’t assume we are fixed mentally in some intractable state.

So…it will be the frugal and efficient me from now on in. Especially, since in addition to the new roof my pipes just started banging this morning. I suspect my water heater is on the way out. Super frugal it is then.

I’m officially a student


It’s official. I am going to be a student in 2014. At least part-time anyway. I have all my enrolment details. Now I have the joy of figuring out the uni’s online system for enrolling in subjects and providing information.

As for everything else, there isn’t a lot going on.

Work is a pain, but then it always is.

I haven’t been doing as much sewing as I would like. When I was tidying up my sewing room a couple of weeks ago I pulled out an old cross stitch to finish and I have been working on that while watching tv in the evenings. I’m starting to realise why I stopped doing cross stitch. Of course it gets finished eventually, but I sew for what feels like ages and when I look at what I have done I have only covered a small amount of canvas.

I’ve been trying to get motivated to make some bags this weekend, but am not really feeling it. Having said that it is only 8am on the Saturday of a long weekend, I might get some steam up yet.

Old purple fingers


With only a quarter of the year left to go, I decided that I would have to dedicate today to making a plan. A rest of the year plan. Instead I have cleaned my house, done my washing, got groceries and dyed some fabric. I even cleaned the filter on my airconditioner. To top it all off one of the gloves leaked while I was dyeing. So now I have no plan and purple fingers.

But…it is only 1.30pm. So there is time for planning yet. Particularly if I resort to bribing myself with chocolate cheesecake.

On a more positive note, after months of being uninspired by my sewing machine I managed to actually finish something.




Some weird virus is going round at work, everyone has it. We all feel blah, and have headaches. So we’ve come to the conclusion it’s a virus. It’s more likely that the 1970’s building in which we work is giving us all sick building syndrome, but virus is easier to deal with. At least if its a virus I might get over it. If it’s the building I’m going to have to get another job, which I should probably do anyway because I don’t really like the one I’ve got and life’s too short to spend most of your day being annoyed. Right now, however I don’t think I have the energy to update my resume.

I’ve decided to give myself till the end of the weekend to wallow, till then I don’t have to do anything, except come up with a plan of action (and help my brother move house – but that’s another story entirely and involves a house full of guests over the weekend which is another reason I won’t even bother to try and get anything done). Then Monday I have to get cracking, quit spending my evenings watching stuff on tv that really, when I think about it, doesn’t add anything to my life and actually work on achieving some of my goals. Really – I will. I mean, how many episodes of Bargain Hunt do I really need to watch.

I did manage to reduce my stash of quilt tops this week, by donating two to some people who are making quilts for people who were flooded. I felt a little bad about donating them un-quilted, but at the end of the day I guess they would have had to make a whole quilt and quilt it anyway, and I’ve probably saved them a stage and the cost of some material.

Anyway, because I haven’t been doing anything else to take pictures of here is a photo of my quilt top storage system.

I hang them in the wardrobe using those coat hangers with the clips on.

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I am trying to cut back a little on spending at the moment, so I can finish paying off my credit card which is still looking horrendous post holiday and start saving up some money for some stuff I need to do around the house. Which is hard because I am really bad at frugality. It’s not so much the frugality that’s the problem, its more the impulse control. Once I think about something that I want I have a really hard time not buying it (or eating it if its food). And there is so much cool stuff out there to think about – Tablet computers, fabric, paints, DVDs, incredibly beautiful pieces of glass (http://www.melbourne-art-glass.com/glass_art.html). Plus I have noticed that my hankering for shopping gets worse at certain times of the month, and at the moment I am feeling incredibly antsy. I want to go out and buy something, anything. I don’t really need anything, that doesn’t really make any difference.

So I have locked myself in the house this weekend, and am sticking to my determined resolution that I will not go to the shops. I keep telling myself that since it is only two weeks to go before Christmas the shops are liable to be horrendous, crammed with people all madly scurrying around trying to do their Christmas shopping. Finding a park will be near impossible, traffic a nightmare and there will be screaming children and fake santas charging said children for the privilege of a 2 minute sit on their lap. I’m much better staying at home really.

I have loads of sewing to do this weekend. I want to get all my machine sewable blocks made into something before I start my week off. That way I can spend the holiday curled up on the couch finishing off some hand sewing.

I have been making odd blocks into small pieces that I can make into journal covers, place mats and bags. The added bonus is they’ll be really good for practicing my machine quilting on before I start tackling some of the bigger quilts.

Here’s a journal cover I actually managed to finish.

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All or nothing, or somewhere in between


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.

Re-evaluating goals


I have arrived home from my travels safe and sound. Before I got back I had the best of intentions. I was going to be driven, organised and efficient. I was going to waste no time and get stuck right into finishing off the remainder of my goals. However, after four days back at work with little sleep because I am still adjusting to a new time zone I have to confess that I have accomplished nothing. Well, other than what I did at work and a little bit of gardening I did this morning.

I have lost pretty much all my enthusiasm at this point and am having a serious rethink about my goals. One in particular, the aim of turning all my 1000 quilt blocks into something by the end of the year. Firstly, I am starting to doubt that it is possible given the amount of time I have left. More importantly, I am starting to question why I am even doing it at all.

All the other goals I have set myself I can see the point of. There are of course moments when I hate the goal and I really don’t want to be working on it, but I can still see the point. Lets face it, losing weight isn’t fun. I don’t particularly enjoy having to watch what I eat. If I could eat chocolate all day instead I would. But I can see the point of it. I can see that there is a benefit of a healthier me at the end of it.

Similarly with my other goals (making 1000 quilt blocks, writing a novel, going 100 places I’ve never been before). While sometimes I have to force myself to work on them I can see that I am learning about myself and the world because I do them. In these cases a time limit is important too, because without a deadline procrastination is always possible.

Making these blocks into things is bugging me though. While there is a bit of a challenge in trying to make the blocks fit together, I usually don’t like the finished quilt. They are okay, but I don’t love them. Do I really want to spend the rest of the year making quilts I don’t love? I think the reason why I decided that making the blocks into things should be a goal was because I thought it would be an emotional drain having these blocks sitting here not being used. I thought I wouldn’t be able to move onto other things until they were gone. I am not entirely sure I was right about that, even if they were an emotional drain there are a number of other ways I could deal with them.

  • I have a cupboard in my laundry I don’t use because I need a ladder to get to it. They could sit in there for years and never bother me.
  • I could give them away. Plenty of people love receiving stray blocks, either to make quilts for charity of for themselves.
  • I could use them as pieced backings for other quilts.
  • I could even throw them out. Though that last one does sound like a tremendous waste.

But it could just be that I am going through a phase and what I really need to do is rummage through the pile of blocks again, find something simple to get started on, and just start working.

Getting out of a funk


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


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.




I have been really struggling the last couple of weeks to make any progress on my goals. I think I had one new place visited and that is about it.  But my healthy eating was completely out the window, and I got distracted by a new computer game, and not a lot else was getting done, except a little bit of hand quilting on my quilt for England.

I gave myself till Friday to get over it, regroup and recommit myself to my goals. I also developed a set of sub-goals, mini targets on the way to my big goals, which I am going to try to get to before I go on holiday in August. Today is the first day of the new regime, and so far I have been doing alright. I got up fairly early and made myself a semi-healthy lunch to take with me to my quilt group meeting. Since the things I really struggle with are snacks and breakfast, I bundled up all my snacks and breakfast foods into single portions and have them sitting in the fridge ready to go. I even did all my house work and took my sewing machine in to be repaired. And (yes there is more) when I got back from my group meeting I mowed the bits of lawn that needed mowing (counts as exercise). I feel like I am on a roll now, I just need to keep it up. Especially since it is a long weekend, there is loads more I can get done.