Over-Commitment as Motivation

A few weeks ago I wrote about resolutions and about how this year I didn’t plan to make any. Instead, I’ve decided to motivate myself using a tactic that flies in the face of everything I’ve been trying to achieve since deciding to quit my job and move to New Mexico. I have decided to over-commit. Will it add stress back into my life? Yes. But it will be a different kind of stress than I left behind. Writer Jeff Goins explained the rationale for this seemingly counter-intuitive tactic best in his guest post for Zen Habits:

“The adage “under-promise and over-deliver” is a farce. It only propagates the status quo. Real difference-makers push boundaries. They test, prod, and poke until something gives. You can do this, too, by saying “yes” to more things than you’re comfortable with. Learn to stretch yourself. You might be surprised by what you’re actually capable of. Your confidence will grow, too.”

And so, I have committed to a number of new things. I joined a writing group, took on a coaching job, became co-leader of my quilting group, and signed up to create two quilts for a March quilting show. Yes, March. This March. And believe me, that last one is taking me way out of my comfort zone. Not just because of the deadlines, but because I’ve also decided to make my first two art quilts.

Challenge 1: Create a quilt using the fabrics of blind New Mexico artist George Mendoza

Challenge 2: Create an Irish-themed quilt (the show opens on Saint Patrick’s Day)

I have already come up with both designs, sketched them, bought the fabrics, but that’s as far as I got. Until today, when I started work on Challenge 1.

I’m still not sure how the clouds will work and I may change the direction of the lightning, but I got the base fabric (flowers) and second layer (rain) out of the bag and onto the board which is a good first step. Second step — finish sewing the two quilts that are due on February 13th, but that’s another post altogether (as is Challenge 2).