The beginning of this year has been pretty full-on and I’ve not had a lot of time to work on the things I’ve wanted to. Life now appears (fingers crossed) to be giving me a breather, so, as it’s the start of a new month, I’ve decided to set myself four challenges during the month of May. If you’d like to join in that would be fabulous. Joining in however doesn’t mean you need to do four challenges in four weeks. You could do One Month One Challenge or One Week One Challenge or any number of challenges you choose.
Why am I doing this?
It’s impossible to set yourself a challenge without learning something new. I’ve just made that up BTW, but I’m sure I’m right, because if you didn’t learn anything, it wouldn’t be a challenge. The great thing about new learning is that it:
- Improves or adds to our skills – obviously!
- Exercises our brains and improves brain function.
- Pushes us out of our comfort zone and in so doing increases confidence.
- Increases our motivation to learn (and therefore achieve) more.
Setting a Challenge the way I plan to can also help me:
- Gain greater learning from what I do.
- Increase my motivation to complete the challenge
- Keep going when I feel like giving up.
- Address ‘failure’ more effectively.
- Use what I’ve learned more successfully.
- Gain a greater sense of achievement, which in turn increases confidence.
On each of the first four Fridays in May I’m going to start a new challenge – but not necessarily finish it that week. A challenge can be anything you want to challenge yourself to do. My first challenge is designing and knitting a lace patterned jumper. I was inspired by this… To gain maximum benefit from the challenge, I need to check I’m chasing after something I want. My reasons for taking on the challenge are:
- I would love to have a jumper like this.
- I will learn new skills/techniques
- I want to become better at designing jumpers
- I love knitting.
For a challenge to be a challenge it needs to stretch our boundaries in some way, but if we are to achieve our goal we don’t want to aim so high it puts us off. This challenge stretches my boundaries because, although I have designed the odd jumper in the past, I’ve never designed a lacy one and never one anywhere near as complex as this – however, I’m quiet confident I can do this. To focus myself I’ve made an action plan with start and finish dates:
- Start this evening.
- Work out and cast on the appropriate number of stitches for the back and begin the rib.
- Whilst starting back, identify other stitches I want to use and make test swatches.
- Knit in my free time and other time I can squeeze in knitting , such as on car journey’s.
- Complete by 15th June 2015
As I made my plan, I also considered the possible pitfalls, so I could plan to avoid/deal with them. The pitfall I identified was that I may get distracted by the other challenges as I take them on. I will also lose time to them, so I set a six week deadline to finish this challenge, so I have plenty of time to do it. If you do join me in challenging yourself this month, let me know how many challenges you’re taking on and what your plan to work. If you blog about it, please link back to this post. Thanks! I’ll let you know my second challenge and how I’m getting on with this one next Friday. Bekki