Looking Forward; Looking Back

I think I’m officially the last person in the entire blogging world to do this, but it’s been percolating so long that I can’t quite bring myself to not do it. Besides, I feel like I need to, if only for myself, so here goes – my New Year’s Day post!

I never was real keen on making New Year’s resolutions, as it just seems like the perfect way to start off the year with a resounding dose of failure. Sometime around the end of January you eat that piece of turtle cheesecake, miss 3 consecutive days of exercising, or realize you are already a week behind in your read the Bible in a year program, and you promptly brand yourself a loser, throw hopeless hands up into the air, and say, “Maybe next year…” I just don’t need that sort of thing in my life. I’ve fought hard to get where I am emotionally, so I have no intent to shoot myself in the foot by setting myself up to 334 days of each year thinking uncharitably about myself. However, like most of the people I know, I do feel that fresh start excitement that comes with the scent of a January calendar page, and a couple years back, I came up with an idea that is working much better for me – New Year’s Goals.

New Year’s Goals have very few rules, though last year they did need a few more than they had. They have to actually be possible. I’m not allowed to beat myself up if I don’t accomplish them. They have to be well defined. Two of those three rules were added this year. Having goals instead of resolutions gives me an entire year to succeed, and they help focus my ecclectic brain on a little bit narrower range of possibilities. Another benefit is that it sets some things before me that I have heard myself say, “I always wanted to” so many times I’m sick of hearing it, but without a steady reminder, I find drifting out of my mind when I have the time.

Last year’s goals were not too many:

  • Knit a Pair of Socks – This one was accomplished with my Coriolis Socks, which I absolutely adore!
  • Master Lace Knitting – This goal would show you just how little I knew about lace knitting December a year ago. It’s also totally undefinable in reality. Just how does one know they’ve “mastered” lace knitting? Should have been “Become Very Comfortable Knitting Lace.” That I definitely accomplished.
  • Go Somewhere New – I didn’t think I was going to get this, but when I ended up with a nearly last minute trip to Honduras, which included a side trip through Guatemala into Belize, I found I’d accomplished it well beyond my original dream.
  • Read 100 Books – Somewhere around June, I added this, which has now been classed as an illegal move on New Year’s Goals. I didn’t succeed, but I might well have made it had I not read th e entire Outlander series. Books with 48 CD’s take a good bit longer to read than your run of the mill 6-10 CD offering.
  • Make a Gail Wilson Kit – Considering the collection I have of the kits, I thought it was time to put my money where my mouth is – or my hands where my money is, or some such thing. Thinking is as far as I got with this one. Oops!
  • Finish the Laundry Room Remodeling – Well… Perhaps this would have happened if my dear daughter hadn’t offered to help get the sewing room started, then hubby hadn’t suddenly revived his nook project and added allowing me a studio door. I was spread too thin with those four projects to complete even one of them, though I don’t regret the progress that was made on all.
  • Be out of Debt by the End of the Year – Total flop. ‘Nough said?

My list for 2009 is much longer and definitely more ambitious, but I’m doing some things differently, and I’m feeling quite positive about a lot of them. The biggest change is that this year, I’m not settling back in January and thinking that I have a whole year to do this stuff after all, so why rush? There have been a fair number of serendipitous occurrences to help me move in the right direction, too, so I’m off to a great start! I don’t really think I’ll be able to get them all done, but I’d sure like to surprise myself, and I’m not going to aim low!

  • Be Debt Free by the End of the Year – I hate having to have this goal. This also includes non-financial IOU’s. I’m going to have to have a miracle to pull this one off. I need to sell an awful lot of books if this is going to happen – and my knitting pattern needs to be a smashing success! I also have several projects, including a quilt to finish for this.
  • Get My Email Under Control – This is another one in the miracle category, but who knows?
  • Make a Gail Wilson Kit – Sound familiar? Serendipity is that Gail is currently running a Hitty class, I have the kit, and the fee wasn’t very high. I’m far behind the front runners, but I HAVE actually started my girl.
  • Finish Reba – The most attainable of the miracle class of goals. There is little to do for her to be complete, but it involves a kiln, learning to fire bisque, renewing my acquaintance with bisque painting, and getting up the nerve to put my beautiful, nearly done head in for a last firing.
  • Complete Sewing Room – Mid-range in terms of difficulty. I’ve done an awful lot in there, but I still have oodles of sorting and organizing, along with quite a bit of trim painting to do – like the bookcase and two casement windows. This isn’t a gimme!
  • Complete Laundry Room – Another mid-range sort of project. As much as is done in there, the floor tile is a bothersome, time consuming project, and I have some trim painting to do. Really challenging would be that I have to stop knitting long enough to crochet the curtains!
  • Lose 25 Pounds – This is going to be easier than I thought. I’m already half the way there!
  • Learn to Do Entrelac and Knit Backwards – I’m really looking forward to this one. I have the pattern and yarn to do Autumn, and a week or so back, I finally found a tutorial that made knitting backwards suddenly easy. I’m still slightly awkward at it, but a little bit of practice and it’s going to be second nature. Biggest challenge here is just to actually break away from the temptation of so many interesting KAL’s and do this piece.
  • Go Somewhere New – Looking very challenging at this point in time. I had two cruises planned for this year, both to new places,  both depending on other people, and both fell through already. So much for this goal being a gimme. All the states within decent driving distance I already have, and I don’t currently have any good set up for a low cost visit in a new state or country – and there ‘s that “out of debt” business… Stay tuned!
  • Become Comfortable Spinning – Easy? Well… First I have to finish building my wheel. Then all that remains is finding time!
  • Read 100 Books – I’m really cooking on this one already! I think I just listed book 15 – or was it 16?
  • Knit Another Pair of Socks – This is more desperation than goal. I adore my socks and I hate it when I have to take them off to wash them! I need more hand knit socks!!! This is a “just do it!” sort of project, and I’m sort of hoping that the SHP KAL is enough to jumpstart the process.
  • Stash All My Downstairs Yarn on Ravelry – This would be much easier if the stash would quit multiplying! That said, I’ve already been working hard on this. I’m currently at 244 in my regular stash, so ignoring minor fluctuations due to usage, it will be interesting to see where I am on Dec. 31.
  • Do a “Difficult” Lace Pattern – Challenge here is just focusing on doing it – ignoring some of the other rabbits dashing across my path constantly. It’s tough to do that with something like 7 shawls on my  needles and two KAL’s imminent…
  • Do Something/Anything with my CSM – I’m not even aiming so high as a pair of socks at this point. I just want to sit down with someone and find out for sure my machine actually works! Socks would be a nice side benefit to the process, though. ;o) A circular sock machine is too valuable to just hold down the floor, in my opinion, and that’s all my lazy contraption has done for about 3 years now.

Now that I type this all out, I’m thinking it’s a very good thing I have a solid start on so much of it. This is quite a list!!! I think I’m going to make a separate page listing the goals in the sidebar here on the blog, then update as things happen…

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Great list! I’ve committed to reading 100 books as well, but I’m falling behind a bit. Must pick up the pace!!!!


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