Monday, January 16, 2017

Is A Goal Enough?


The last quarter of 2016 was the first time I set down and made a list of goals and was successful in completing most of them.  So, this has me thinking, what about this list made me so successful?  I've made lists in the past and was quite happy to ignore all those neatly numbered items.  Last time was different.  Why?  Because without really noticing what I was doing, I didn't just write down goals, I also wrote down a plan.

Dave the Quilt Engineer loves to listen to audio books about leadership, motivation and achieving goals and usually plays them when we go on long car trips.  I'll be honest I'm usually sitting in the passenger seat, running tunes through my head, bored.  Although, I must be paying attention more than what I think I am.  I do recall hearing a statistic that most successful people do not just set goals, but map out the the steps they need to take to reach those goals.  Which makes sense.  If you are heading to the west coast from the east coast, you will get there quicker if you look at a map instead of driving aimlessly and hoping to get there.



When I say a plan, it could be a detailed two page dissection of every single thing that needs to be done, or just as simple as piece, quilt and bind.  Just something to keep track of the steps to completing your goal.  Crossing off those simple tasks will feel just as good as crossing off that final project.

My list of goals for this quarter include quite a bit of quilting quilts.  UFO's from the beginning of my quilting addiction journey.  I needed to devise a plan to set myself up for success.  I dedicated and entire evening to cataloging all my UFO's into the "Planning" section of my 2017 Quilter's Planner.  My cataloging included writing down each quilt and it's measurements.  Having the measurements handy would make getting batting and backing much easier than having to drag the quilt out every time I thought about finishing it.  I also took a picture of each quilt to have on my quilting jump drive.  Let's face it, when I quilt has been in hiding for a few years, you can forget what it looks like.


Looking at those pictures can help me decide if a quilt will receive a personalized custom quilting or a good ol' overall design.

So I ask you, if you have set goals for yourself, yearly, quarterly or monthly have you actually wrote down the steps you need to take to finish the goal(s)?


16 comments:

Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl said...

For me, simply having the list of what I am working on tends to be enough. But when I feel like progress is dragging, I will write out mini steps to have something to cross off. :)

Anja @ Anja Quilts said...

I use those same terms: piece, quilt, bind. That's a lot of quilts that need to be finished. But kudos for making a list and taking a photo. Good luck my friend!

canuckquilter said...

I'm all about listing all the steps. Crossing any item off, however small gets me motivated for the next bit. And I may have, sometimes, maybe, added something I just did that I'd forgotten to put on the list, just for the pleasure of crossing it off :) You seem to have a good plan for those UFOs. Good luck!

Stitchin At Home said...

Sorry not a list maker, I do mentally have plans just nothing in writing. You have some lovely quilts that could use some of your magic quilting.

Paige said...

All beautiful, Tish! I'm planning on organizing my UFO's and really deciding what I want to keep and what to let go!

Janice Holton said...

Very, very good advice Tish! Now let's see if I can put that into practice!

Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts said...

I find that I'm most productive when I write down the steps needed to reach a goal. I love marking items off my list! I also have a much more detailed plan for my overall 2017 business goals...it helps me stay focused to have all the steps written down. Now, holy quilts girlfriend! I think you and your machine are going to be quite busy this year! :D

Sue said...

This is a great post, Tish. I have been looking at the #qpbestyearever photos on Instagram and that prompted me to write down the steps I need to finish the multiple projects on the go at the moment for the first time ever. Usually I have the list in my head and at the same time I am trying to calculate how long it's going to take to finish. Maybe by writing it down I can stop trying to hold it all in my head and endlessly recounting the list to myself.

Emily said...

Interesting, and good to think about. I think I'm a little bit the opposite. When I start writing *everything* that I've started down, I feel overwhelmed and like I'll never get them all done. I'm new to the Quilter's Planner this year, but I've been using it to track what I do each day sewing-wise. Even only 2 weeks in, I am finding that helpful. I can see what I've been working on, so it makes me feel less like I'm spinning my wheels, so to speak. I do use both OMG and the FAL to set some other goals, and that has been really helpful as well, especially in keeping me focused on what to work on.

Emily said...

Additionally, Tish, you've got some neat projects to finish up! There are a few in those photos that I want to know what the pattern is! I'll be paying attention!

Vicki in MN said...

Nope I am not a list maker when it comes to my projects. It would take me too long to write it all done, in that time I can literally have several projects done! I do make mental notes as to what I would accomplish, but I usually do that while working on something else. Good luck on getting your list met!

Jennifer said...

Great post Tish. Last year I joined in by posting my quilting goals and visited the post to see how I was doing and I'm doing the same this year along with using my Quilters Planners project pages. A win-win for me.

Preeti Harris said...

Personalized or Custom - that is the biggest question. Or in my case - who cares. Just quilt it already so that I can move on to chase the next butterfly, or squirrel or firefly. I do have lists in several places :-D But nothing like a deadline to get it done.
Hugs,
Preeti.

Sandra Walker said...

I am SO with Preeti on the deadline! I make lists as you know and try my darndest to stick to them...with about 50% success...as you also know!

Cheryl said...

Great tips on goals, I totally agree that breaking down the goal into actionable plans and to-do's makes them much more likely to get completed.

helenjean@midgetgemquilts said...

I live with a man who lives by his lists . We too used to listen to those audio tapes ! I became very good at blocking them out . I make mental lists then forget which bit of my brain i stored them in .

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