Sometimes, I get home and sewing is the last thing on my mind. I’m still struggling to unwind from the day’s activities, I know I have day-to-day tasks in the periphery of my mind, calling for my attention, and my energy levels are usually right down.
My initial thoughts are to resist the chores, eventually do them and then go to bed zombified!
However, I know that my hobbies are important to me. in the past, I’ve come straight home from work wolfed down dinner and then sat obediently with my knitting project for a good few hours before opting for sleep. Admittedly, i wasn’t struggling with chronic fatigue at the time, but it was my main goal at the end of a hard day’s work.
Over the last few weeks, 15 minutes has been my target. 15 minutes of knitting or sewing, but I strive to complete 15 minutes of each. I can be reluctant to begin, but I invariably go beyond the timer. There are times when I do 15 minutes and I am ready to stop when the timer goes off as well. Sometimes, you need to ease a habit back into your life when your energy levels are taking over your day to day lifestyle too much.
I gave this approach a go when I read Scavenger Annie’s post on ‘Sewing for pleasure, sewing for pain’. I admired her decision to take her time making the Tilly and the Buttons’ Coco top by setting aside 20 minutes a day over 2 weeks. I have a different chronic illness, and I often find it affects my energy levels. Setting a timed session helps me to stop before I get too tired.
15 minutes doesn’t feel like that much, but with 15 minutes, I have completed a short sleeved knitted cardigan I have avoided for years. I have returned to another knitted project. Admittedly, I had to unravel a few days of knitting last night when I realised why the sleeves were coming out too long (I’d read the wrong increase pattern for the size I was making) but it still feels like progress. It feels like an element of control has been reigned back after a couple of bumpy years.
Elise Joy Daily Goal Tracker
It’s only been a couple of months, but I’ve achieved a fair amount in knitting, sewing, yoga and reading. While the 15 minute timer has worked wonders for a threshold, one other strategy has helped and it’s Elise Joy’s Daily Goal Tracker.
I am a big fan of the Elise Gets Crafty Podcast, and was intrigued when she offered a free downloadable daily year tracker for 2017 in her newsletter. Her tracker is great because it is a simple indication of the days where you did or did not complete or do part of a goal.
All of my trackers (yep I went with 4!) are general habits I wish to develop this year. They do link to goals, but they are much more general. For example, doing part of a sewing project is one of my trackers. This can be from doing some free machine embroidery to cutting out pieces for a new garment.
It’s going to be interesting to view at the end of the year to reflect back on the tracker and see how the year progressed.