Friday, March 9, 2007

Making Bargains

Do you set goals for yourself? I'm not necessarily speaking of long term goals, like retiring by the age of 50, buying vacation property, or saving up for that vacation in Europe in five years. I tend to shy away from those kinds of goals, probably because I'm afraid they might involve having to give up buying fabric or something equally devastating. Nope, I'm talking about short term goals. Like losing 5 pounds by next month so you can fit into a dress for a special occasion. Cooking and eating in more often so you can save money (more money for fabric!). Cleaning house. Ugh!

Today was housecleaning day. Yeah, I know I said that a couple of days ago, but hey! I'm on vacation! I realized today--sadly--that my vacation is quickly drawing to a close, and it was time to face the real world. This morning, my real world consisted of dust, cat hair, and unidentifiable spills on the kitchen floor. I'm pretty good about setting these kinds of goals--like house cleaning--and sticking to them, but the trick is setting small goals within the larger goals with a few rewards along the way.

This morning I made a bargain with myself: Once I finished the small quilt top begun in Wednesday night's Jo Morton class, I would clean house. Then, once the quilt top was done and presumably because THAT task was so exhausting and required a reward, I made another bargain: As soon as I prepare (baste) a few applique pieces, I would clean house. (By the way, the photo above is the quilt top I finished today. It's a pattern by Jo Morton called Hattie's Baskets.)

Well I DID say I'm pretty good about setting goals and sticking to them, didn't I? I also seem to have a pretty healthy sense of guilt, so I finally got down to business this afternoon. Normally when tackling something I don't like to do, like cleaning house, I make bargains with myself. Pick up and dust the living room and bedrooms and earn a little time to baste a couple more applique pieces. Clean the bathrooms and vacuum the carpets and earn a cup of coffee and a cookie or two. (Or three. After all, you really DO have to keep up your energy, right?) Clean MOST of the kitchen and earn a little time for petting fabric or looking at a quilting magazine.

Of course, it then seems like I've spent all day cleaning when in reality, it was maybe just a few hours. Am I just prolonging the torture? I'm not sure. Occasionally I'll set different types of goals. Like telling myself I have two hours to clean what I can without breaks and when the two hours is up, I'm done. Yep, that works too. I guess it just depends on my mood. But I do find that life's a constant bargaining process, even when the bargaining is just with ourselves!

Well, now that the cleaning is done, I'm certain I've earned a BIG reward: Round Table Pizza for dinner. After all, I wouldn't want to mess up that nice, clean kitchen! And did I mention I'm still on vacation?


Happy Valley Quilter said...

I don't set goals like that for myself, Kim, but I do set them for my kids. For example...Clean the bathroom and then you can hang out with your friends today. LOL!

Your Hattie's Basket turned out great. One that I would like to make.

Tracey @ozcountryquiltingmum said...

Oh, I am so bookmarking you. I love finding quilters who think just like me. No big goals here, other than 3-4 quilts planned for the month and the year's worth on a bit of paper that's already been altered 5 times...and it's March!
And a just blogged goal to lose a few kilos by Easter...and we wont even mention all the little deals, Like this much housework equals this much sewing!
See you soon, Tracey