New Year, New Row
How many times have you been in the middle of a craft project that just isn’t going to plan? I have a 100% track record of this in each knitting project I’ve ever attempted… * As I reflected on this last night during New Year’s Eve, I thought how often this happens in life too, especially the last couple of years where things have been so different to what any of us could have planned.
The problem is, in life you can’t just take back a few rows and try again: words can't be unsaid, dropped pottery can't be un-smashed, and you can't have a second attempt at a day that didn't pan out how you wanted. As frustrating as this is, though, it’s freeing too - we can’t possibly achieve perfection, so we don’t need to be harsh with ourselves when we fall short. If we make mistakes, or experience tough seasons, let’s learn from those times and move forward in light of them. Let’s not try and erase them or pretend they didn’t happen, as it can be tempting to do as we move into a new season: these times are necessary and beautiful components of the tapestry of our lives, and an integral part of the people we are becoming.
If you’re not setting any resolutions this year, that‘s absolutely ok - sometimes there are enough expectations and pressures on us already without us setting any more for ourselves! However, if you are thinking about goals for the new year, I’d suggest keeping them simple; the structure below may help:
Something to start doing - Is there a hobby you’ve always wanted to try that would bring joy to your life but you’ve not got round to yet? Is there a small change to your daily routine that would make a big difference to your wellbeing?
Something to stop doing - If something comes to mind here, start small and achievable. Try to also think of something positive you want to replace that thing with, and ask someone to come alongside you so you’re not working at it on your own.
Something to continue doing - What went well last year that brought you joy, or was helpful in some way? How can you carry this on, or develop it further?
And if you are setting some goals, can you build in the opportunity to be kind to yourself on the journey? Why not split your goals into three levels: minimum; good; amazing? A framework like this may help you set goals which are both aspirational and achievable. For example, I drink too much coffee and I keep trying to reduce it but not quite succeeding. If I want to work on this (which I probably should…) my goal could be:
Minimum: drink one less cup of coffee per day, most days
Good: only drink three coffees per day
Amazing: only one coffee in the morning and one at lunchtime
Whatever your thoughts and expectations are about 2022, please be kind to yourself, and remember to slow down and enjoy the simple pleasures that bring you joy, whether it’s knitting, crochet, cooking, smelling your hot coffee, or something else entirely. Let’s start the next row of our lifelong journey acknowledging/ embracing/ learning from what’s past and looking ahead in readiness and hope towards whatever comes next.
* P.S. For the record, there has been only one knitting project in my life so far! Have a look here if you missed it.