March goals

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Dear Frances,

How is it March 1 already? That really snuck up on me! One of my favorite bloggers, Tonia Peckover, brought up a really good point recently. Why do we start a bunch of new resolutions on January 1? It’s the dead of winter, the end of the holidays, and maybe not the perfect time for reevaluating your life. She proposed February 1 as the start of the goal-setting year. I’m going to one-up her and say that March 1 is the perfect time to set goals!

All this to say, that I failed rather miserably on my goals last month. Mostly because I forgot about them (can I blame our QuiltCon trip?) To review, I basically wanted to start tracking my food in an easy manner—literally just jotting it down in a notebook to get honest about what I’m eating. And to spend 15 minutes (most days) sewing. Both worthy goals! And ones that I am going to boringly repeat this month (because March is the new January).

The good news is that even though I didn’t quite hit 15 minutes a day on sewing, I did get in the sewing room several times and finally broke through my mental block on the Ridges quilt pattern. I just had to sit down and make a chart for how many of each kind of unit I needed. I don’t know why I resisted that approach for so long. Things are progressing nicely now (except for that cutting mistake I made, which means I need to hunt down more fabric…sigh). I’ll be excited to report on that one next month. It really is amazing how quickly a project comes together in just 15 minutes a day! And how easy it is to sew much longer than that once I get going!

Kristin and Frances at QuiltCon!

And yes, still tracking food… But let’s throw a fun goal in there as well. Now that we are empty nesters, I try to make a point of doing something fun together each week (usually on the weekend). It could be taking the dogs to the beach for a walk, playing pickleball, or watching a movie. Just a little break from the routine. It doesn’t have to be time consuming or expensive. I’ve not been intentional about it for a while, so I’m going to add “have fun with your spouse” to my list of goals for the month. It will be easy this week as we head to a California Honeydrops concert. Always a fun time!

Thanks for the accountability. I’ll be better next month, I promise! I loved reading all of our readers’ goals as well, and I hope that they keep adding their goals in the comments.

So Frances, how did you do? How’s that attic coming?

Dear Kristin,

First, yes to March as the new January (except for the weather part)! We should remember this moving forward, since we’re part of the same QuiltCon crew and know that February is always going to be disrupted by getting ready for the big show. I mean, I love travel and parties (and hanging out and drinking wine with old friends in charming AirBnBs), yet they are SO disruptive to routines. But now boring old March is here, and we can settle down and settle in and get our Monthly Goal mojo going.

Having said that, I must admit that I met my first, very simple, goal for February: I got rid of the terrarium! (Hint: monthly goals are easy when you just make them super simple, and one of those goals involves a single email to your neighborhood listserv and your husband carrying down a very nice, well-preserved terrarium from the attic, along with all the little terrarium doodads and whatnot, to the front porch). Easy peezy!

I did fairly well with my other goal, which was no sugar or wine except when feasting. It’s possible I interpreted “feasting” a bit too broadly, in that there were some feasts that continued to play out a few days after the actual feast occurred. So I need to tidy myself up a bit and get back on a stricter regime. One thing that helps is that I’m happier when I stick to these limits. Sunday night, home from QuiltCon, it was tempting to continue the feast and have just one (or two) more glasses of wine. But I was SO tired, and I knew my body really didn’t want wine. In fact, I might regret having a glass. I wish I could always be so wise about what my body wants and needs; I’m not. That’s why it’s good for me to set firm limits around things that I enjoy but don’t make me feel good when I overindulge.

March goals? I’ll continue with my fast/feast routine, but what else? I thought about making a goal to stretch every day, but then I realized there’s a habit I’ve been trying to establish for ages now–going to the gym on a regular basis. Make it so, March! Here’s the plan: I will go to the gym four days a week, preferably Monday through Thursday. If something comes up where I have to miss one of those days, then Friday will be my makeup day.

Now, I’m going to need a reward to pull me through, and that reward might be that if I meet my goal, I get to spend $25 at my local stationery story (pens! paper! washi tape!). I have a wild love for this kind of stuff, but I always feel guilty spending money on it. However, if I can finally get my butt to the gym on a regular basis, I will buy washi tape to my heart’s delight (up to $25).

March and April are going to be prime attic months–neither too cold or too hot, which means I can do some serious decluttering. My other March goal is going to get rid of all obvious attic trash (of which there is a good bit), all the stuff that will never find another home, no matter how hard I work to repurpose it.

Thanks again for coming east for QuiltCon! As always, it was so fun to spend time with you (and Jen and Patty, the other two members of our squad), and it was especially lovely to introduce you to Clifton on Sunday. After you left, he said, “It’s weird; I feel like I’ve known Kristin forever.” Maybe that’s because even if you and I don’t see each other every day, we Vox daily, and I’m always telling him, “Kristin said this” and “Kristin thinks you should do that.” Lucky guy–he has both of us in his life to set him straight!

That’s it for now. Readers, how are your 2024 goals coming along?


  • Patty

    It was great spending time with both of you and Jen. So much laughing! And I love the bit about Clifton feeling like he already knew Kristin!

  • Robin Leftwich

    You two look adorable in the photo you posted, high school seniors on your Senior Trio???!!
    I forgot my goals, maybe my goal should be to write down my goals!
    I’m not making a lot of progress on my dive into World War I history, too many other great books, but I am keeping to my workout at least once a day regimen,, and I’m actually working on the quilt and cross stitch projects I have started, 3 active ones.and most important of all enjoying life!

  • Tracie

    Frances and Kristin, it brings be joy to see good friends having fun together. I’m glad you enjoyed QuiltCon to the max!

    I had a productive February. Hooray! I cleaned out closets, deep-cleaned the house, listed it for sale, and we’ve had three showings so far. One more is scheduled for this week. On top of that, I made four Hemingway pouches, plus a small quilt and pillow for my nephew. Whew! All that sewing time was my stress relief.

    During March I’ll need to keep the house neat and clean while praying that it sells to an awesome buyer — awesome for the sake of our current neighbors. Cleaning the house has been my exercise and stretching routine, although it would be nice to add in something more fun. The bicycle trails might be calling our names. (Kristin, are you still loving your e-bike?) As far as sewing, I want to bind a large quilt and then start doing a deep dive into my stash to do some culling and organizing for a move. It’s always fun to spend time petting fabric and organizing tools. (I love organization.) My husband’s birthday is coming up, and we might take off a few days for a spur-of-the-moment mini vacation — location to be decided that week depending on the weather.

    Frances, I love your reward: pens and washi tape. Stationary stores? I’m a tad jealous! Yet, I can happily shop for a few new supplies at Target or JoAnns. And I love looking through the $1 cards at Trader Joe’s.

    Thanks for the encouragement to make life a little happier. Have a great March!

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