Setting Up for Success

Yesterday morning I got it into my head that I would do some rug hooking when I got home from church. That’s nothing new. Almost every Sunday I think the same thing. I’ve made declarations that every Sunday will be rug hooking day. I never put the rug and frame away. It was sitting in plain sight in the living room. And yet, its been months since I actually hooked a single loop on my rug.

So yesterday I decided to do something different. I actually set myself up to hook when I got home. I put away the current hand quilting project. I put away the knitting that is always at the ready. I even dusted the little side table off, and cleared away the clutter of needles and needle threaders that had fallen. And I got everything ready to go.


 ( pre-cut strips of wool on the table, scissors and rug hook, and the rug in the frame sitting on the chair where I usually sit.)

And guess what? I HOOKED ON MY RUG!!

I was rewarded with finishing this little tree:


The correlation is obvious, right? You don’t need me to point out that we need to do the same thing to set ourselves up to make healthy choices when it comes to our diet, do you? Getting rid of the junk food, or at least getting it out of sight, and putting healthy delicious choices where they are easy and convenient to get to is key to making healthy food choices.

Lately I have established a habit of writing out the next day’s menu as soon as I get into bed. I read an article somewhere about menu planning instead of meal planning. Its a small difference, but I really like it. I look forward to writing out my menu every night. I bring it out with me in the morning and use a magnet to pin it to my fridge. I refer to it often during the day. I can always make a change to my day’s menu, but the framework is there. And I wouldn’t be able to do this so easily if I was not already set up for success. I have plenty of vegetable choices available, some fresh fruit, some kind of dairy (yogurt or cottage cheese,) several types of protein in the freezer, and of course my protein powders and Quest protein bars. My magic bullet is always washed and ready to go (something that cannot be said about ALL my dishes…) Sitting on my counter is my food scale, which I use almost every day, and in the drawer are at least three sets of measuring cups and a few measuring spoons —(LOVE using these to scoop out foods. It keeps me honest.) On the counter is my old Calorie King book. Lately I’ve found this easier and more convenient to use than the computer.

Setting yourself up for success, whether in art or healthy living…its a good thing.

8 thoughts on “Setting Up for Success

  1. You are spot on with the whole “set yourself up for success” thing! I do that with my workouts by laying out everything I’m going to need the night before (because I am quite bleary-eyed at 5:00 am, not to mention barely functional). And when I actually BUY fruit and vegetables, washing and prepping everything when I bring it home from the grocery store makes me much more likely to eat it instead of reaching for something less healthy.

    I love your rug hooking. Question: I know you draw your design on the canvas, but how do you choose your wool colors? Like for the tree – that’s pretty intricate…do you have a plan, or do you mostly just look at a strip of fabric and think “this would look nice here”?

    • That’s one of the funnest things about rug hooking. It looks intricate, but it is very simple. A teacher suggested that way of hooking–just outlining the shape and then doing one round of each color. It is supposed to be based loosely on value. And you are right, I just look and say “ooh, I want to do that color next.” A lot of time the wool is dyed multiple colors, so you get color changes that just happen automatically as you go along–like that orange bit in there–that was actually a single strip with several colors of green as well as the orange on it. So I didn’t exactly plan where the orange would fall. That’s probably a little more than you wanted to know : )

  2. You are wise, Debby. Setting yourself up is really important – especially when trying to establish new habits while those old pathways are still pretty open.

  3. Rug hooking looks like fun to do. I decided I would do some cross stitching last Sunday and I did too and while doing it I wondered why I hadn’t been working on it for so long. Want to do it more regularly again.

    I’m like Shelley: I lay out my running outfit or my workout outfit ready the evening before. All I have to do the next morning is put it on.

    I have been planning our dinners for the past 19 years. I started doing it because I work all week and didn’t want to do grocery shopping more than once a week. Till today I still make a menu plan every week for dinners and sometimes for breakfast and lunch for the weekend. But … I need to start losing weight again, it’s going the wrong way and I’m thinking about planning all my meals again. I lunch at work but if they are out of salad, I have a problem because usually when that happens I make poor choices. Better to bring it myself again (cheaper too).

    I love your setting up for success and you gave me some good ideas.

  4. Well said, Debby! I don’t do any *real* meal planning, but I do usually have a general idea of what I’ll have on any given day. With a grocery store so close, I don’t have the excuse of being out of an ingredient to make things work. Well, not a *good* excuse, anyway. 🙂

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