The Quarter Project

Jon Acuff has this talent for lighting a fire under my procrastinating behind.  Last November, after reading his post on how much “almost” sucks, I followed his advise and “put a stake” in my long-labored novel, called it done, and finished the last 2% of the final draft that I’d been sitting on for a ridiculous amount of time.  BAM.  No more almost about it.  Done in three days.

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Let’s just skip over the fact that it then took me four months to format, finalize cover art, buy ISBNs and upload to Kindle.  Let’s also skip over the fact that I still have the notification email from when Jon responded to my victory tweet.

Yup, skip all that.

This Fall, as life turned into pumpkins and the “Where has the year gone!?” panic set in, he Acuffed me again posting THIS:

The year is not over. It’s not even close to over. We still have 25% left! Sure, we’ve burned through almost 75% but that’s not the same as 100%. Imagine if you came up with a 75 on a test and told your parents, “Don’t worry mom and dad, that’s almost 100!” How would the rest of that conversation go for you?

 

The year isn’t over.

It’s not too late.

It’s time to rally!

– See more HERE

What else is one to do when Jon Acuff issues a rally cry?  You rally people!  In response, The Quarter Project was born.

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The premise is simple.

With 25% of the year left, the last quarter of four, I will tackle a list of 25 things that need conquering before January 1st.  My key to success?  Loading the list with fun things I’d do anyway.  What else did you expect from the girl that lists “Wake up” as the first item on every daily to do list?

What made the list.

Some things are simple one time actions while others, such as de-cluttering the house, will be longer projects (posts to come on this initiative!).  There are things that make huge milestones like holding my novel in print and other things on the list that just need to get done like finishing the master bathroom.  I put no parameters on what made the list.  This alone is a victory.  I should have made the first item on the list be “write the list.”

  1. Hold my book in print version *SHAMELESS PLUG HERE*
  2. List and sell stuff I’ve been holding for eBay
  3. Pay off [some] debt
  4. Finish reading a book – any book – even a re-read of the entire HP series will do
  5. Use up candle making supplies
  6. Finish the master bathroom
  7. Research/plan/outline/snowflake a new writing project
  8. De-clutter the house
  9. Wrap up the family photo project
  10. Make a T-shirt quilt
  11. Plant a Fall garden
  12. Send real mail
  13. De-clutter the digital life
  14. Make my first block printed fabric
  15. List new products on Etsy
  16. Paint Grandma’s kitchen
  17. Plant flowers in the front of the house
  18. Surprise a certain special someone with homemade strawberry cheesecake
  19. Buy a perfect little pumpkin somewhere other than a grocery store
  20. Make s’mores in the fire pit
  21. Wear my favorite hat while knitting several more
  22. Take walks
  23. DIY gifts for Christmas
  24. Open the window, use up candles, play the “fireplace” on the TV with hot cocoa
  25. Actually stay up until midnight on New Year’s Eve.

Come along for the ride.

My goal is to provide updates on accomplished tasks in a reasonable manner.  If you are familiar with my blog at all you know that consistency is not my thing.

Care to join me in this project?  I’d love to hear about your progress! Link up in comments! Use hashtag #thequarterprojectfall2014 on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, social-media-platform-I’m-too-over-it-to-learn.

Rally friends.  Let’s get some stuff done.

 

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September – Call it current

I have this tendency to beat myself over all the uncrossed off things on my to do list.  I’m sure I’m not the only one.  But seriously, there are times that someone has to convince me that the kitchen cabinets do not, indeed, need to be painted before I go away for the weekend.  As I type that, a wave of guilt hits me that my cabinets are still not paint.

September is going to be about letting go of that stress.  As I alluded to last week, September’s motto is going to be “call it all current and move forward.”  Sure, it’s not really a goal or a habit.  Let’s say the habit is to give myself a break.  I like that.

I’d like to say that I’m putting all my running to-do lists, and there are many, through the shredder or the fire pit I just cleaned out.  I think I might have a heart attack or go into shock if I did that.  Instead, I’m taking a hard look at the reality behind what’s on my list.

Call it an examination of “why do I do what I do?” Call it a war against paralyzing perfectionism.  Call it a reality check… or just time to get over myself and my first world “problems”.  Call it all current and MOVE FORWARD.

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Here are a few areas I’m going to work on:

Project Life.  I’m months behind… months.  I had to come back to the whole reason behind wanting to do PL in the first place.  I love playing with paper and photos.  Seeing the little moments life is made of make me love life all the more.  I see how truly blessed I am.  I want to do this so the message is clear to get back on track.  So who cares if I catch up by covering two weeks in a spread instead of two?  Not me.  What’s the drama then?  I don’t remember.  Call it current and move forward.

The novel has been on draft #2 for almost a year.  I started off behind with writing.  I’ve been writing as long as I can remember, mind you, but I lost the race, as it were, in my imaginary competition with S.E. Hinton who finished writing The Outsiders when she was 16 and was published by 18.  It’s pretty bad when you’ve been defeated by 18… especially when it was a self-imposed imaginary competition.  What’s the A-HA in that?  There is no competition but myself (and possible my TV).  The stories in my head are mine.  They get written or they don’t.  My only deadline is death.  I can work with that.  And I WANT to write.  No need to carry around lost battles on my shoulders.  Call it current and move forward.

The blog and the shop.  While I’ve finally listed to the shop a lot of the work I’ve amassed recently, I feel way behind the game in the marketing, making-a-name game.  Same goes with the blog.  Again, I had to really look at why I even want to blog or have a shop.  I’m still working on that.  I like the blog as a journal of me and it struggles when I try to make it more than just a letter to my friends and family.  If the blog is my letter home, then the Etsy shop is my mom’s virtual fridge.  It practically squeals, “look what I can do!” complete with full Stuart hop-kick.  The pressure comes when I want it to make money.  I mean, obviously the goal of having an online shop is to make money.  But really, would I have made my art for free?  Well, yeah!  Because that’s what I already did.  Call it current and move forward.

Keeping in touch with people.  I suck at this… but does it make any sense to let the guilt of being bad at it keep me from making contact?  i find myself thinking, I’ve been terrible at keeping in touch with so-and-so, it would be weird to call her now.  Really?  What sense does that make?  Call it current and move forward.

House everything.  I read too many dwelling blogs.  Period.  I am not Young House Love.  Neither are you, really.  Unless you are.  In that case, hi Petersiks!  But really, I’ve done a lot in the two years I’ve lived in my house.  Sure I have grand plans, but that doesn’t mean I’m behind.  My house is doing a great job of being a house.  A safe house, a fun and cozy house.  Every nook and cranny need not be magazine cover material.  The laundry list of cabinet painting and pergola building and the replacement of all things “bisque” is about wants not needs.  There is not room for guilt in this casa.  Call it current and move forward. 

 

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May Habits

My “habit” resolution has gone about as well as all resolutions go… but I’m holding out the hope that some will stick.  After not even thinking about habits in April, I’m brushing the dust off and starting new in my favorite month.

 

 

may habits

1. TV free “T” days – that’s Tuesday and Thursday just in case you needed clarification.  I’m a TV addict.  I’ll admit it.  I justify the time waste by knitting or processing photos so TV time isn’t exactly unproductive but I get so much more done when it’s completely off… and usually, I have more fun!

2. Give myself a break – we are our own worst critics.  I set unrealistic expectations for myself as a norm.  I plan to work on gaining some perspective, with a little help from my friends, and be a little more gracious with myself.

3. Do something creative every single day – anything.  This includes 5-minute “make something out of office supplies” creative challenges amongst Skype buddies in the middle of the afternoon on a Tuesday.

 

What are some habits you are trying to develop?  Any projects on your radar?

 

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(yes, that’s right… I’m bribing you!  Be the first to share a post from OneThreadThatWinds and get two-months free.  That’s what reading the fine print gets you!)

 

 

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March Habits

February went all too quickly and in the rush, pretty much all my habits went by the wayside.  I’m still resolved to be UNSTOPPABLE though so I’m trying a different tactic this month.

 

 

 

 

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“Regaining my momentum” might seem pretty nondescript.  It’s about not beating myself for not doing X, Y or Z and just focusing on moving the ball down the field a yard… NO MATTER WHAT.

I’m identifying time suckers and doing my best to limit, if not eliminate, them.  I want to keep up with all the chore type things during the week so my weekends are free to be awesome.

I’m getting my hustle back.  No. Matter. What!

 

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Habits: February

January was a good month for habits… I managed to be consistent with my stretching routine and quiet times.  Water, not so much, but it’s a work in progress, right?

February has been a little up in the air but I’m determined to get it back on track and add some new habits.  What is that saying?  “Motivation gets you started; habits keep you going.”  I’m hard up on the motivation for the moment, if I’m honest, but I’m UNSTOPPABLE so not to worry!

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Most of those are pretty self-explanatory but the “get my derriere in the chair” is all about sitting down to work at home.  I have a million and one projects just waiting to be done, posts ready to be written and a final draft of the novel to bang out.  The hardest part has always been sitting down to start… so here’s to getting my derriere in the chair!

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Habits: January

As I mentioned in this post, I’ve decided to establish new habits this year instead of setting goals (and subsequently feeling like a failure).  For me, the most important time of day is the morning… if I don’t get off to a good start the whole day is toast…

And the word of the year is UNSTOPPABLE.

In January I will hold quiet time sacred.  EVERY MORNING.  I’m definitely not saying it’s for everyone, but for me, I’ve got to get my heart and head right before putting foot to floor.

In January I will stretch every a.m.  before even getting out of bed.  Waking up with pain has become a part of life.  I literally can’t stand on my feet without a warm up.  With a few minutes of doctor recommended stretches, though, I can get my back to stop spazzing, get my hip feeling 32 instead of 92 and convince my feet to do their job.

In January I will drink more H2O… hydration is survivals first priority… and frankly, survival sounds like a good plan.

In January I will be UNSTOPPABLE.

 

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October: Currently…

oct currently 

Anticipating: my upcoming trip to Vermont to see family.

Baking: my favorite vegan pumpkin muffins.

Changing: the look of my logo.

Drinking: lots of Starbuck’s Soy Pumpkins Spice Lattes.

Entertaining: the idea of starting a new novel.

Finishing: the first draft of Broken Places.

Grateful: to be surrounded by supportive and inspiring friends.

Happy: to spend so much time with my cousin and god daughter Sharayah. 

Ignoring: the voices in my head that say my dreams are silly.

Jumping: at the change to teach more.

Knitting: cabled toddler hats.

Listening: to Seryn, the Lumineers and the audiobook Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

Marveling: at God’s handiwork in the sky.

Noticing: the first plumeria blooms at the new house.

Obsessing: over site stats even though I shouldn’t.

Proud: of the progress I’ve made on my 2012 goals.

Qualifying: what success really is to me.

Ready: to decorate for Fall.

Sacrificing: sleep to get my hustle on.

Thinking: about how glad I am my brother is back in Central Florida.

Using: my new washi tape, baker’s twine and stamps to make cards.

Visualizing: ways to maximize my days.

Watching: reruns of Brad Metzler’s Decoded.

X-ing: things off the list that don’t really matter.

Yearning: to get Christmas projects started.

Zooming: through a new cycling routine.