Monday, November 19, 2012

21 Days ... Day 14 Set Yourself Up for Success!

day by day with Crystal Paine's book 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life

following along with a challenge set by Crystal at

The quote that hit me the hardest out of this reading is:

"It’s easy to make excuses for a lack of discipline, but excuses don’t get you anywhere.  Instead, choose to invest the time you usually would devote to formulating an excuse to considering what you can do to set yourself up for success in achieving your goals."


It does take a certain amount of creativity to come up with the wide range of excuses that I can find....  but I think the trick is to know when your obstacle is an excuse or a reason.

Reason = valid obstacle or obstruction
Excuse = something that is standing between you and your goal that you can FIX with self-discipline

Here is MY thing right now....

In my mega-project, I have hit an obstacle. 

There is something wrong with the tension on my sewing machine.

I'm not knowledgeable enough to know what that might be - but I HAVE noticed some trouble with the bobbin winding mechanism.  So..  additional steps in my quilt project need to be:

a) cleaning the machine well
b) winding new bobbins and trying again
and possibly c) taking the machine to be serviced

My first reaction?
  Put the thing away!  I am too busy right now to deal with a QUILT project!  I mean Thanksgiving is THIS week and I need to cook and clean - and I have a TON of unresolved angst about the holiday anyway...

reason or excuse?


But I WANT to succeed!  I have chosen this project and it is the vehicle which will help me LEARN.  So, putting it away will ensure failure OR, at a minimum, it will be a few months before I pull it out yet again to finish!).  Certainly it won't see the light of day again until after Christmas.

So.... what to do?

Part of it I did above.... I laid out steps for succeeding.  Part of it I did the other day.... I laid out other steps that do not require the machine
a) putting the quilt on the bed and deciding the width of the border
b) locating the backing
c) cutting the border pieces that are ready and the backing to go with them
d) deciding how to treat the corners and cutting those pieces
....and I STILL have a couple of days worth of hand quilting the last strip (and the lighting/vision issues that go with that)

AND ONE other little adjustment I have made to set myself up for SUCCESS....  I have re-defined my 21 Day Project.  In the scheme of life (or my mega-project), what does it matter if MY 21 Days is actually 28 days? 

  What time of day works best for your project?

  The purpose for this assignment is all in planning.  Typically it is easier to handle a new project earlier in the day... when you are fresher and more energetic.  AND you can check the work off your list and that always feels good!
  I have already discovered some of the timing issues with MY project!  On days where I must drive into town, it is harder to fit the project work in.  Because of lighting and vision.... sometimes I have to wait.  The hand sewing on the dark fabric is not something I can do at night - but I often do it to the television.  But if I turn on the tv early in the day, that is another problem :-)

For this project - I generally do the hand sewing after lunch... early afternoon.  Other parts have been fit in different days as possible.  I will try to find a better schedule to handle this.

How are you handling the scheduling for YOUR mega-project?

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