New year’s is the obvious and most popular time for making a positive change in our lives. New Year’s is an appealing clean slate where we can start anew.
Knitters make a certain brand of resolutions. While some people resolve to start a new hobby or get a new skill, that’s rarely where a knitter’s mind goes. We already have an all-consuming hobby, and we learn new things all the time. No, knitters’ resolutions typically take the form of
I’m not going to cast on a new project until I finish ____________ or, I’m not going to buy any more yarn until I use up everything in my stash
These are different flavors of the same resolution - to finish up what I have started/use what I have.
Let’s look at why this is so hard and how to make it a little easier ,
The whole New Year’s resolution process is kind of like buying yarn and/or casting on a new project anyway. There’s a fresh new set of possibilities before us - whether full skeins or stitches on the needle, this project is fresh and unmarred by frustration or boredom. Creating that fresh start is a big reward for our pleasure center and releases dopamine into our brain making us happy. Just like the resolution itself, it feels so great to start something new. We promise ourselves that we’ll work straight through this time. We won’t make any mistakes, we won’t get confused and give up, or we won’t get bored halfway through and move on to something more exciting. Making that commitment feels good, but as we go along, that feeling begins to wear off, and without a structure in place to keep us on track, we flail around and start looking for the next dopamine hit.
What kinds of structure? How do we stay on track?
First, resolutions are just goals we make at the beginning of the year, and good goals have 5 characteristics. You’ve probably heard of SMART goals - here’s what they look like in a knitting application
So instead of saying “I’m going to finish all my WIPs” try something like, “I’m going to finish the hat I have on needles, the hat I have still in the kit, and the v-neck pullover by April.
See the difference?
Now, how to stick to it and get it done
Break your goal into manageable chunks. How close are you to done with the first hat? Is it something you could probably finish pretty quickly if you tried? Set a smaller, interim goal like, I’m going to work 5 rounds on that hat every night for the next week until it’s done.
Tell people you trust and respect about your goals and your plans. Studies show that when we vocalize our goals to a mentor-type, we’re more likely to accomplish them. Something to do with how we want to be perceived by that person. Makes sense to me.
Another aspect of staying on track is rewarding yourself. This sounds really silly, dopamine is released with any reward, no matter how small. Get some little star stickers - you know the kind they used to give you in kindergarten - and put one in your calendar every night after you finish those 5 rounds. If you don’t believe in this, then you haven’t tried it, because I promise, it works. We are none of us above the power of recognition and rewards – even if it’s just a shiny gold star.
And finally, be kind to yourself. Slipping up is not a reason to berate yourself or to quit. Just get back on track and give yourself the same grace you would give a good friend. We are all doing our best, and it’s progress we’re striving for here, not perfection. You’ll get there, probably faster than you think, and then you can set another goal and another and success becomes a habit.
I’ve heard from a lot of members that this kind of accountability and support is what they value most about Club Crazy for Ewe. There are lots of opportunities to set goals and share them with people you like and respect who are cheering for you.
There’s help available for all of your projects regardless of where you are on them or where you got the yarn. It’s what you need to stay on track, accomplish your goals, and be part of a warm and supportive community.
Sound like something you’d like?
You can get all this and more inside Club Crazy for Ewe. Besides the community and the personal attention and help, there are technique videos and recordings of the helpful conversations we have around the virtual table. You can join and pay monthly, or you can pay annually and get two months free. Check it out here
Not sure it's right for you? Try Club Crazy for Ewe absolutely free for one month by clicking here. After your one month trial, if you do love it, and I think you will, you’ll be enrolled at the regular monthly fee with access to all the benefits, including 10% off everything you purchase at Crazy for Ewe both on-line and in-store.
This trial offer is good through midnight, Saturday, January 8, 2022
If you don’t absolutely love it, cancel before the end of your 30 day trial, and you won’t be charged a thing.
I look forward to showing you around the club!
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