It's that time - time to make resolutions! Do you make them? Or do you swear off because they never work?
I used to make resolutions each year and you know how it went. A few days into the year and I'd fall behind. Whatever I committed to would be postponed and soon forgotten altogether.
A few years ago I made a resolution that stuck. Then the next year I made 3 resolutions and kept 2 of them. I figured out a few things that worked for me and I'd like to share those ideas.
For a resolution to work, it needs to be something you find beneficial enough to stick with it. Even if you resolve NOT to do something anymore, you need to get enough benefit from giving up a bad habit to stick to your resolve.
Resolutions need to be simple and repetitive. A resolution is changing a habit.
One thing a good resolution is not is a goal. Tomorrow I'm going to post more about goals and objectives but let's just talk about them briefly so I can explain what I mean.
A goal is something you want to get to. It's a destination - sometimes literally. A few years ago I had a goal of taking a trip to Australia. It had always been my husband's dream. When we were walking across the Harbor Bridge in Sydney on our first day, I knew we had made it!
That goal had to have a lot more than just "Next year we are going to Australia." That is where objectives come in. Objectives help you get to your goal. They are the steps along the way. For this goal, I had objectives around travel planning, financing the trip and scheduling.
A resolution is not a goal but it can be step along the way. More specifically, a resolution can set the stage for you to achieve your goal. Here are some of the resolutions that have worked for me and some that haven't.
Do something creatively new each day. This was the first resolution I kept all year long. It was 2009, the year I started my blog so there was always something new to learn. I also tried new recipes, papercrafting techniques, and went new places. If I didn't have anything else new on a day, I might try a new technique in a software program or learn a new word. This resolution was fun because it often tapped into my hobby. It was also rewarding because as a list maker, I kept up by keeping a list with just a quick note each day on what I did that day that was 'creatively new.'
One year I resolved NOT to go somewhere. I had been participating on a message board (not remotely connected to scrapbooking or any of the scrapbooking sites) and well, we had a bully on the board. It was upsetting and while I enjoyed the interaction with some of the people, it just wasn’t worth it. This was near the end of a year so I decided that come Jan 1, I would not go onto that board again. And I didn’t. It was tempting sometimes but eventually I broke my old habit.
This past year, I had two resolutions. 1 - Do Year 1 of a 5 Year journal (developed by Tami Taylor at Get it Scrapped). 2 - Do Project Life. I had resolved to do Project Life in 2010 and kept it up all year.
The first one for 2013 I've kept all year. I really enjoyed the 5 year journal questions and found it very rewarding. I'll do a separate blog post on it next week. (You can actually start this anytime.) I found an easy way to capture my entries each day and it has become a habit that I can continue on through the 5 years.
The 2nd one, Project Life, I did through August. After that my daily photo taking slipped. The reason this one wasn't completely successful is that I found myself taking so many of the same photos I'd taken in 2010. There are some new things in our everyday life but not enough for a photo a day. So I just didn't get enough benefit from it.
I've read on some of the message boards that many of you want to "Scrap More" in 2014. This is a great start to defining a goal. It isn't a great resolution by itself but it can be a good starting point for a resolution that will ultimately help you scrap more.
Remember a resolution needs to be a specific habit you want to change or develop. If your goal is to Scrap (or craft) More in 2014, think about what is keeping you from making pages, cards or whatever you want to do. Is it time, space, distractions like too much on-line chatting or shopping, guilt for indulging in your hobby? (You should definitely not feel guilty but that is easier said than done sometimes.)
Let's look at a few of these and find some resolutions that work. Something that can be demotivating is to have a messy scrap space. I really try to clean up between projects but sometimes I get so excited about starting the next thing I don't put all my used product away. If that's the case, I would make a resolution to always completely clear my worktable of any products and tools that don't belong on the table.
What about shopping rather than scrapping? I've read on the boards that this happens to a lot of us. Sometimes it is just too much fun to browse websites or go to stores, especially if there is a sale, and shop for more product. Perhaps you want to resolve to let yourself shop after every 20 layouts you make (or whatever the magic number).
Now the big culprit - time! Ashli Oliver did a wonderful blog series called "Fitting it all In" recently on making time to scrapbook. If this is your culprit, check it out here. In fact, she has inspired one of my New Year's Resolutions. Actually, I have the time. It is how I manage the time. Another big problem I have is light, particularly if I want to film my page process.
I have this wonderful morning light in my scraproom, but where am I in the morning? Pretty much anywhere but in the scraproom. So my New Year's resolutions are designed to get some of my other chores done so I can get upstairs and take advantage of that wonderful light.
So, my 2014 New Year's resolutions are:
1 - Do 1 chore each day. (Ashli's suggestion was to assign a chore per day, such as grocery shopping every Friday. I know that won't work with my schedule so I'm listing out 7 chores and making sure I check one off each day. That way I don't feel guilty about scrapping when I could be dusting or vacuuming. I know it will get done on one of those days and preferably in the afternoon or evening.)
2 - Prep for the next day each evening. What this means to me is emptying the dishwasher, putting out my clothes, prepping lunch if possible, blogging and other small things in the evening before I go to bed. I waste too much of my morning time on these items.
So those are my New Year's resolutions. They are about changing habits that will be good for me in many ways but particularly in freeing up my mornings to do what I love.
What are your New Year's resolutions? What has worked for you in the past? What hasn't?
Thanks for joining me. Tomorrow I'll talk more about goals and objectives and have a couple of videos for you over the next few days.