Monday 2 January 2017

Hi there 2017

Happy new year!
Image from geralt on Pixaby

The end of 2016 and the start of 2017 has had me thinking about things I'd like to change about my life over the next twelve months. Not exactly resolutions, but some things I'd like to try and do to make life a little better or simpler. Some of them are things I'm hoping to develop into habits that will be here to stay. So here goes, 12 things I'd like to try this year.

1. Be proactive, not reactive 

I spend a lot of time joining in KALs and swaps and other knitting bandwagons, but actually they stress me out. I have written myself a plan of what I would like to knit and design over the next few months, and will try my hardest to stick to it. The same goes for impulse casting-on of projects, they make up the vast majority of projects that languish unfinished.

2. Always check my stash

The stash is starting to take over the house; if I open a cupboard in any room other than the kitchen (and the bathroom, I'm pretty sure there's no yarn in there!), there is a strong chance the cupboard will contain some yarn. So for this year, I'm hoping to establish the habit of checking whether there's anything in my stash that would do, before starting a project, rather than buying new yarn, then remembering when I get it home that I already had some of whatever I bought.

3. Keep my stash in check

A continuation of point 2, from today I am not going to buy extra yarn to make up free postage - I never knit those balls. Instead I'm only going to buy one project's worth of yarn at a time, and only for the project I want to cast on. And when I've finished a project, I'm going to look closely at the leftovers and decide whether to keep them or pass them on. I don't often use leftovers, so there's not much point in giving them house space.

4. There will always be more sock yarn

The sock yarn box is especially full, so no more sock yarn purchases: no sock yarn that is on sale, waved at me from Facebook, Etsy or Instagram, or comes in a mystery box. When I next want to cast on a pair of socks there will be plenty of sock yarn in my stash, and if none of that takes my fancy, I can always buy a single skein.

5. Make a list and check it twice

I used to be quite an organised person, but the stresses of two children seem to have made me rather scatty. This year I am going to write lists for everything: finances, children's events, meal plans, the ins and outs of my stash. There is some hope I might start to get my life back in order!

6. 15 minutes of reading a day

The year I had my son I read well over 50 books, including the Booker Prize shortlist (let's pretend it wasn't the year that the shortlist was criticised as having been dumbed down). And since then I've not read much at all! So I'm going to try and go to bed a few minutes earlier every day and get a bit more reading done. I've already got a page ready in my notebook to fill with the titles of the books I've read.

7. Plan ahead for making gifts

The run up to Christmas in 2016 was a little stressful as I had a backlog of gifts I wanted to make for people, but totally ran out of time. So this year I'm going to start gifts well ahead of time and store them to give away later, making sure I keep a note of who I've made gifts for so I don't end up making gifts twice or two gifts for one person (it has happened...).

8. Back up the computer more often

Because I don't do it often enough, I'm going to add backing up the computer to the calendar and make sure it gets done, at least once a month.

9. Keep up to date with photo editing

I am so far behind with editing my family photos (I think I was last on top of it the week before my daughter was born, over two years ago) that it feels like an impossible task, but actually a couple of hours a week is all it will take for the backlog to stop getting bigger, and that is doable. So one evening a week will be dedicated to editing photos, and by the end of the year it'll be really easy to print photo books for Christmas!

10. Carry water and snacks in my bag

Every time we go out one of the kids will say they need a drink or something to eat, and it's always best to be prepared!

12. Find a job 

The final one is a big one, but one that only needs ticking off once! Since I finished my PhD I've been muddling through with bits and bobs here and there, but I've finally decided that what I want is a nice reliable job to make the money to pay to do the things that make me happy.

What are your plans for 2017?

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