Happiness Habit: Rename your Project

Go figure….I found a great book.  This one, Get in Done, focuses on moving beyond procrastination to fulfill your creative desires by taking it all just 15 minutes at a time.  It’s really something how much you can actually get done in 15 minutes.  What’s even more interesting, in my own life and I suspect in yours, is how many ways you can find 15 minutes.  Since I started reading this I started waking up earlier and grabbing some time before I had to get in the shower.  I started measuring what I wanted to accomplish each week, in regards to reading or being creative (even exercising) in 15 minute increments.  Just the main theme of this book has broken down a number of barriers for me.  And that is just the beginning of what it really has to offer.

One of my biggest takeaways to date was a great suggestion for motivation block.  As a creative person I’m looking for inspiration and fun in what I’m trying to do.  Yet when I would sit down to create a to-do list, or set my creative priorities, it would look something like this:

  1. Start blogging again.
  2. Sew myself some clothes.
  3. Create new jewelry designs.
  4. Finish household DIY projects.
  5. Develop a plan for a floral and decor rental business.

Pretty cut and dry and rather direct if you ask me.  To the author’s point, sometimes we’ve been living with a project for so long that the name of it is now associated with a sort of punishment every time we think about it.  That was definitely my case.  I had wanted to start blogging again for a year.  Every time I sat down to think about restarting or revitalizing the blog, though, I was just frustrated and anxious about the fact that I ever stopped in the first place.  Her exercise in Get It Done suggests renaming your projects to give yourself a fresh, perhaps lighter and less oppressive, perspective on what you want to accomplish.  One step to it:  work swiftly and begin writing down a few possible fun, silly or sexy names for the project in question.  I discovered as I started that it didn’t take nearly as long as I expected to rename all my major projects.  One idea would turn into another, and into another and before I knew it I had EXACTLY the right name for each.

By renaming your projects to something fun and, sometimes, more meaningful it makes it less like work and more like creative play – which is exactly what artists and creators need to get inspired and get moving.  I haven’t started all of them yet, but when I stop to think about what I want to do creatively I get excited every time.  So, what are my new projects?

  1. (re)making Moe:  Little did I realize that when I renamed the blog project it would actually inspire the new name for the blog itself that I had been searching for.
  2. Rip It and Zip It:  Because my sewing aspirations involve not only from scratch/pattern sewing but also a lot of thrift and vintage redesigns it totally works.  Utterly cheesy? Yes.  But it feels far more fun than simply “sewing”.
  3. Grammy’s Jewelry Box:  My grandmother has always been a HUGE inspiration for me.  She did everything.  I still have a small jewelry box (that was actually my grandfather’s) that I dig through just to reminisce.  I remember being little and digging through a big bin of my mother’s old costume jewelry for hours just taking in the pieces.  Man do I wish I had that bin today.  The name Grammy’s Jewelry Box wraps all of that into one simple statement for me.
  4. Our New Old House:  When the restoration of our house was finished after the fire and we talked about moving back we called it our “New Old House”.  As a result, this project rename was way too easy.
  5. Ultimate Garden Party:  This project really revolved around everything I love about decorating with flowers or decorating outdoor spaces.  I spent about a year working in a flower shop and I miss it frequently.  What I would love to capture through this project is that perfect outdoor space, for weddings or for parties, combined with the sense of a street-side flower market.  Exactly what is states – my ultimate garden party.

Renaming these projects didn’t just make it easier to think about working on them but it kick started my creativity overall.  I have continued to add idea after idea to each of these over the last 2 months since I took that one simple step.  Do you have a project your procrastinating on?  I can bet you it has a crappy, homework like name.  Spend just 15 minutes today – pick one and rename it.  The magic will follow on its own.

 

My yarn on the streets of Manchester.

Bryan and I came across a great page posting events and art out of the U.K. a while back.  The Yarnbomb Consortium, in their words, “is an international collaborative urban yarn-work Initiative” as well as a page with a great eye for cool, visual treats.

Right before my birthday I saw a post in my news feed calling for knitted or crocheted squares for a big street art project that was underway.  Hmmm….I could throw together a couple of squares pretty quickly.  So, that’s exactly what I did.

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I love to crochet and I wish I had more time for it.  I tried to learn from my Grammy when I was little but I could never figure out anything but a basic chain.  I could make chains for days.  A number of years ago I was finally able to spend some time with my Mom to learn again.  I’m a lefty in a family or rightys so that makes it extra hard but eventually I started putting it all together.  I make mostly scarves.  I just don’t have the attention span for an afghan or anything.  Granny squares are another simple, quick project that I enjoy so this was perfect!

Here’s where they ended up:

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I wish I could pick them out.  I could pretend that I know exactly where they are but I honestly can’t even figure out the scale to know where to start.  I do know that they’re there, though, and that’s pretty cool in the end.  We’ll see where this winds up in the coming weeks, now.