One of the key elements of both teaching and parenting is to reward what you value, the behavior you want to see repeated. In our house, we have consistently rewarded academic achievement and not surprisingly, we have two educated children. Sometimes adults tend to downplay the celebration and rewards for goal achievement. I now ignore the little voice in my head that says enthusiastic celebration is a tad childish and instead make a conscious choice to celebrate my achievement of goals.
So how does this apply to quilting?
In 2011, I set myself a goal of completing one project per week throughout the year, for a total of 52 completed projects. It was an ambitious project and I worked hard to complete the 52. To sweeten the pot and keep me motivated, I set a reward of a trip to the 2012 AQS Paducah Quilt Festival if I completed my goal. I was proud of myself for accomplishing the goal by Dec 31, 2011. This s week, I am feeling thrilled about that achievement because this is quilt week in Paducah, Kentucky.
While this is indeed a big reward for a big accomplishment, there is equal value in setting small rewards for small accomplishments. For 2012, I’m going to figure out some smaller rewards to keep me motivated throughout the year. Awesome! Hooray! You did it! Wouldn’t it be great if we all heard that more often? Perhaps consistent self acknowledgement and self-reward would be an effective quilting motivation technique. I plan to experiment!