Friday, October 26, 2012

31 Days off Your Duff {Day 25} - Plan in Advance

Yes, plan in advance is redundant. But I really mean it.

This is kind of part two to Do What Makes You Happy.

If you have found what you can do to make yourself happy, then great! Good job. But now you have to stick to it. If this happiness requires you to learn a new skill/habit, then I'm talking to you right now.

I know my big problem, when starting something new, is getting overwhelmed early on. Last year I got some Poi balls to start learning that form of dance, and there were so many things out there that I could learn to do! Unfortunately, I couldn't do any of them just yet, and I got so buried in the possibilities that I just let it paralyze me.

Don't let that happen to you! Plan out your learning... well in advance! Before you even touch a crochet hook/poi ball/guitar/etc.

My Plan

For instance, I started crocheting this month. Now there's a hobby with possibilities I could easily get lost in. But, I knew I had a weakness for that, so I planned it out a little better than I did my Poi.

My goal is to eventually make my own patterns and sell my crocheted items. And I am terrible at reaching goals with no definitive time frame, because I just want to be there now! So, I told myself that I had 1 year to become good enough to sell my work, then I'd put up an etsy store - just in time for Christmas!

Another limit I gave myself was about stitching. I said I would spend a week just practicing different basic stitches, over and over and over again. I knew if I didn't understand what I was doing the first time I read a pattern, I might get scared off. So for the first week (or just the first 3 days.... my impatience still kicks in a little bit!) I would stitch squares or circles, undo them, and start all over again.

So you get the idea! If you are like me at all, you should plan ahead of time. Just pretend you are about to start a new class, but write your own syllabus. Think to yourself,

"For my first [crochet] class, would they have me jump straight into a [cupcake hat], or would they have me practice some [single crochet stitches] first?"

And on and on. Find the online resources or books that are necessary, plan at least a month of "classes," and make it very specific:

"On October 28th, I will read and complete the [crochet pattern] on page 13."

Once you've completed your course, re-evaluate your skills from there. If you find it necessary, then make a second month of classes that build upon what you have learned.

So whatever fun skill you are about to begin; plan, plan, plan in advance!

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