One year ago I wrote a post about the factor of fear in my motivation to make some changes in my eating and exercise habits. In my case health issues were the motivation but the extra benefit has been that I have been able to start wearing sweaters that I knit some time ago and was no longer happy with the fit. I also had to create a new master pattern schematic for myself as my measurements changed. The other benefit has been a very definite improvement in my energy levels.
As a result of my efforts I can now report that I am down a significant number of pounds and that I've maintained the loss for a number of months.
More importantly the weight loss resulted in many lessons directly related to my business. I learned how very important it is to clearly articulate your true goal and to reassess everything you do with that goal in mind. We do many things for many reasons and it's surprising how often we don't focus in on our own goal, we just say what we think we are expected to say. As an example, we often hear smokers say why they want to quit, but I've noticed that the ones who fail didn't really impress me with their reasoning. It was obvious that they knew it is socially correct to say they wanted to quit but they were not personally committed to the effort and lacked the motivation that would fuel their effort.
I also noticed how often people go into denial about the relationship between the goal and the actions steps to get there. They seem to enter a stage of magical thinking where the rules of the universe don't apply to them. In my case I find myself being unrealistic about the amount of work I can actually accomplish in a given day. Pattern writing simply takes much longer than I ever thought it would and the knitting time seems to get longer once it becomes part of specific time-line on the road to publication.
The business axiom is that "you must measure what you want to manage". When I added KnitMeter to my blog I did notice that I started knitting a little longer when ever possible, somehow it becomes a bit of a game with myself to accomplish a little more everyday. I'm only counting knitting project time not swatching time and I now realize that I spend more time on swatches for projects and class samples than I had previously credited myself for.
Once we establish new habits we need to be diligent about maintaining them. Lately I've started keeping a project list and I've been limiting the number of projects that I work on concurrently. The list labels projects as current or future and I'm starting to add specific time frames. I find that a single project doesn't work for me creatively but with more than three on the go I seem to become far too distracted and accomplish even less. Maybe I'll report in a year how successful I am with this goal.