Happy 2011, everyone, and welcome back to Alive & Knitting. It’s going to be a busy year – many dragons on their way to you – so we should have lots to talk about.
One of the things many of us tend to do at this time of year is create a list of resolutions for the months ahead. Maybe you’ve done yours already. I’ll talk about some of mine tomorrow, but first, here’s something to think about.
Last fall, I did another Artist’s Way program by Julia Cameron, called Walking in the World. One of the exercises in this book that I really liked was the Ta DA! list. You make a list of what you have done, or have accomplished, no matter how small. The idea is that many of us tend to focus on what is not done – the outstanding items on the To DO list – instead of what we’ve accomplished. If you’re like me, and there are always far too many things demanding your attention, the Ta DA! list might be a good exercise for you to try. Mine always ends up much longer than I expect it to be and that tends to energize me to do more. To Do lists and Ta DA! lists seem to complement each other very well.
I suspect that the Ta DA! list might be a particularly good thing to do before making resolutions. So, I’ve taken a moment to make a list of everything I accomplished in the past year. I think this strategy will make me feel more positive than making resolutions usually does – as if I’m building on strengths instead of correcting weaknesses.
Here’s a sample.
My knitting Ta DA! list for 2010 looks like this:
• knit 10 shawls
• gave 4 shawls away
• knit 1 pullover
• knit 2 purses
• knit 2 hats
• knit 7 pairs of socks
• knit 1 cardigan
• knit 5 pairs of mittens or fingerless gloves
• knit 4 tea cozies
• knit and felt 1 messenger bag
• knit 1 starfish, 1 star and 1 beet (but no partridges in pear trees!)
• published four patterns on Ravelry
When I look at that, I can have an idea of how much I can expect to accomplish knitting-wise in the year ahead. Maybe I want to publish more patterns. Maybe I want to knit more sweaters. Maybe I want to manage my stash (ahem), by having a clearer idea of what I actually use. This list, in fact, makes it clear that I shouldn’t buy any yarn for about five years! I may have knit 7 pairs of socks over the year, but I have stash for at least 35 pair – not counting the stripey ones I could make with leftovers bits. So, I’m good on stash until at least 2015. I could go on, but you get the idea.
I’ve done the same thing for my writing. I wrote three books and a novella last year, signed three new contracts (for 2 new Dragonfire books and 3 YA books and one digital novella), went to RWA National, taught at NJRWA etc. etc. Looking at what I have done can help me have a better idea of the possibilities.
Give it a try and let me know what you think.
Tomorrow we’ll talk a bit about resolutions…