Sticking to It

Three Tips on Writing and Keeping Resolutions

Last year I turned 32, which terrified me since 16 didn’t seem all that long ago but was now as half a lifetime ago. To soften the blow a little, and to make sure that the time that was whizzing by was better spent, I decided to write a list of 32 smaller and more

Sticking to ItLast year I turned 32, which terrified me since 16 didn’t seem all that long ago but was now as half a lifetime ago. To soften the blow a little, and to make sure that the time that was whizzing by was better spent, I decided to write a list of 32 smaller and more specific resolutions that I felt I could stick to and to document them via my blog. The list included some knitting things (dyeing yarn, knitting some non-vanilla socks, joining a mystery knit-a-long, etc.) along with some baking things and some life things.

This year I have been trying to tick all the things off my list, little by little. Over the past few months I have tried, somewhat successfully, to dye yarn and have managed to knit several pairs of socks. There are still many things on my list that I am excited about doing: I have the yarn for a lace shawl and a cardigan for me, but haven’t yet decided on which patterns to use.

 

So what have I learned from this experience, and how can I help you write your own resolutions list?

1) Small Steps Add Up – While working through my list of resolutions, I’ve found it very helpful when my aims have been small, specific, realistic and quantifiable, things like “use 1kg before buying any more” rather than “use up all my stash,” for instance. If you have a specific task in front of you, you know what you’re setting out to achieve, which makes it much more doable. Having a timescale has also been beneficial; a deadline really focuses the mind, and making it a realistically long time scale will give you the time needed to plan or budget for anything on your list that can’t be done immediately. Plus, something like “knit four granny squares a night” to complete an afghan-in-progress sounds much more doable than “knit afghan in a month.”

2) Switch It Up – Something else I found really useful was mixing up fun and practical things in my list – by crossing one of your practical things off the list, you have license to do one of the fun things next. Equally, some of the things on my list were easy things that I’d just never managed to do previously, and others were about broadening my horizons and trying something that would challenge me. Try finishing up the “knit a birthday present for dad” goal first, and then you’ll feel better about all the time you spend working on your goal to “practice Fair Isle knitting.” Having a mixture keeps it interesting and makes it more likely that you’ll actually do the things you’d planned.

3) Alter As Needed – I’m now well over half way through my year of 32 things, and have every much enjoyed crossing things off over the past few months. I am, however, aware that I might not complete everything. One of the beauties of a personal resolutions list is that the resolutions are yours, so they’re your rules. You can choose to break them if life gets in the way or you need to change direction. If your goal was to learn to knit Fair Isle, but you find that too challenging as it is, you can easily alter it to “master color work patterns” first, to get a feel for the technique, and then maybe add in a step somewhere about going to see a teacher of some sort.

I think a resolution list is a great thing to write every year – it gives you achievable goals and things to work towards. What are your knitting resolutions for the new year? Tell us on our Facebook page. Happy resolution-writing!

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