Wednesday, February 24, 2016

ROW80 Update (July-February)

Let's see.  This is sort of a summary of the last 8 months.

Last April, I switched my type of ROW80 goal-making.  Instead of having a dozen specific goals in multiple categories, which just stressed me out and/or got ignored, I made 1 general goal for each category.  I wanted to be satisfied when I met a goal, rather than disappointed or ashamed when I hadn't addressed something several weeks in a row:
 I did something a little different with this block...Instead of focusing on numerous, specific goals, many of which felt like chores to be avoided, I chose the 2 categories I'd given the most attention and interest to during the Jan-March block, and I assigned a frequency to them.  Instead of "3 sets of 3 exercises 3 days in a row, and get outside" I settled on "Exercise/get outside 5 times a week."  Blog, sketch, and crafting-related goals merged into "Do something creative 5 times a week." 
[X] 1) Do something creative: 5x a week. 
[X] 2) Stretch, exercise, or get outside: 5x a week. 
[   ] 3) Do something towards a futuristic goal: 2x a week. 
[X!] 4) Hit 100th blog post for the blog's 2-year marker on May 3rd!
I also finished and published a whole ABCs sketch series on my blog in April (see my Hedgehog series, above)!

So, how have the last 8 months gone?

Future Goal/Planning:
I have recently been doing a lot of research into some online classes and programs, and it's time to make some tougher decisions. I am looking at a spring intro class in a program field I have been researching, to see if I feel suited to that type of work and willing to invest the time.

Apart from some days where I get an extra spurt of energy, I have largely been sticking to my earlier "3 sets of 3 exercises at least 3 days a week" mantra.  I still hope to keep that up, and maybe increase it to 4 or 5 exercises per active day.  But, I am happy to say, I am currently on Day 20 of a walking streak (with only a few days missed the 2 weeks preceding), and I have been slooowly increasing the distance.  I discovered that I am much more eager to walk if I have generalized cabin fever or anxiety paired with a wish to see refreshing blue skies and sunlight, a chatty walking companion, or musical accompaniment (the 3 days I walked by myself without any music, I felt like I was walking against an invisible barrier).  Perhaps I will be able to turn this into a regular habit, after all!  However, here in Southern  California, we have already had a few weeks of 85 degree weather...So I have already had to play around with my walking time, and I may have to start supplementing my walking with swimming again, just to survive the oncoming heat (in March!  I know!).

During the fall, I made a couple baby shower plushies (dragons), and  discovered that one of my more popular plushie designs online was actually my bat.  Maybe because they are a more specialized animal?  I also started designing fabric ornaments as Christmas approached.  I am particularly pleased with the 2 flower ornament designs that I came up with, especially because flower ornaments can be kept on display throughout the year.  I would like to experiment with these designs a little more, as well as post tutorials for the original 2 designs on the blog.

I can definitely trace when I was busy with "real life" by when I stopped writing up longer blogs last winter.  But I got another spurt of writing energy in February.

I've been mulling over the notion (hah) that I should re-visit a sketch series idea that I had last year involving sewing and textile notions (the little gadgets and tools that make different kinds of textile crafting possible).  The challenge, I think, is that quite a lot of notions start with the same letter, or fall under the same category (for example, "quilting supplies," "quilting awl," "quilting tape," etc.).  So should I limit each letter to a single notion?  Or try to address them all?  Additionally, would this be a sketch series?  Or a writing series?  Not all of these notions may be familiar to the amateur sewer, who could benefit from a short description.  But I definitely slowed down production of my ABC sketch series last year as I got further into the alphabet.  I started out with a couple weeks scheduled, and by the last few letters, I was publishing the day's sketch the night before or even the same day.

Other Creativity:
I am continuing to Instagram my walks and my crafting, and my experiments with baking.  The cooking definitely ebbs and flows, depending on budget and season.  I also altered thrift store and personal clothing into 2 costumes for costume events --a steampunk Lady in Red (in my bridesmaid gown with a handmade satchel and a tiny handmade steampunk hat!), and a Browncoat/Space Rebel.  And I have 2 or 3 dozen sketches that I have not posted anywhere.  But there have definitely been many weeks where I felt tired and uninspired to create anything.  And that can feel very discouraging.

[X?] 1) Do something creative: Every week (Bonus: writing & crafting).
[X] 2) Stretch, exercise, or get outside: 5x a week (Bonus: 3 KINDS/day).
[X] 3) Publish blog post: Every month (Bonus: 2-4x a month).
[ ~] 4) Do something towards a futuristic goal: Every week.

It sure looks like you've done a lot when you only summarize it a couple times a year!

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