A Week of Change – Part 3: try something new

Welcome to A Week of Change

This is a short series on encouraging you make those New Year resolutions a reality! 

The intro and all parts to A Week of Change can be viewed HERE


Part 1 – A New Focus

Part 2 – A picture perfect room
Part 3 – try something new – this entry

Are you a staller?

I stall on projects where I don’t know how to do something. And it gets me in trouble. In no time I feel overwhelmed with all I have to learn and that’s when I generally walk away from the whole works. 

Honestly? That’s so lame. If a new task doesn’t require great physical strength or massive amounts of money, there’s no reason not to try it!

Learning new things is also necessary as part of your growth. It will also keep you inspired and create building blocks that will ultimately lead you to new places.

New can be scary too. Welcome to an entrepreneur’s world. Nearly every day I try something new and that in itself offers fuel and motivation to a given project or goal.

I get asked LOTS how I get so much done or if I ever sleep. Honestly, I think for the most part the motivation comes from trying new things. Been there done that is rather like a rainy day in a dark room. I start yawning, my mind wanders and I dream about doing something new. Something new is like a windy day on the beach with 50 more beaches to discover! (can you tell I like the beach?)

So here’s what’s going to keep me inspired over the next little while…

What I’m learning


Oh gosh help me… I need to tackle this monster. I got a crash coarse on one task I wanted to learn but now see the need to know more for other things I have planned. This is a big one but ya gotta start somewhere.


I’ve never put up a baseboard in my life, but I have a unique plan I haven’t seen done before. So I picked up some chunky 1 x 4’s and we’ll see if my wild ways work out. More soon!

Pipe window treatments

I know! Cool! I’ve never worked with pipes before but I want these guys hanging up curtains in the studio. I just learned how to cut pipes to size by hand this week so a tute is coming on that soon! Exciting! (well, for me it is anyway)

Ebook editing

I have lots and lots and lots of words I have to turn into a pretty book. I’ve never designed an ebook before. I’ve done jabs at other things, so I imagine this will be similar. Not sure yet! All I know is I’ll be learning my document program inside out. Another reason I need photoshop… I’d love to make my own designer elements in the book too. I don’t aspire for much do I? 🙂

This is only part of my list. As you can see, the more one accomplishes, the more they have to be willing to learn. 

Your turn

Your career goal

No doubt you’re stalling on that new career jump because you’ll have to do lots of things you’ve never done before. I totally get it. So I guess if you’re working on not redoing 2011, you need some new skills for 2012, right? Right!

Your Picture Perfect room goal

Playing the decorating game with us? Awesome! But I know. Same issue. Most rooms are generally left undone because there’s an element in there you don’t know how to do. YET.

Hey, if I can force myself to ‘sew a slipcover’ (ugh!!!!!!!!), you can do x. See, I either have to learn how to do this, or buy one that doesn’t fit right or looks… normal. Or just buy a new ($600ish) chair. But us DIYers don’t go that route do we? And who knows… if my sewing machine is out, I may be inspired to work on other overdue projects as well.

All I can really do here is encourage you to go out on a limb and try something new. Beg, ask, inquire, google for help. Buy the things you can’t make if you must, but why not try first? New skills will take you further than you are today, and lead to to do even more.

Plus building new skills makes most excellent blog material you can teach your followers, right? 🙂 I’ve always said, live life to the fullest and you’ll never run out of things to blog about.

What new thing will you need to learn soon with your 2012 goals? We’d love to hear!

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27 thoughts on “A Week of Change – Part 3: try something new

  1. Hi Donna!
    Your message is perfect for me right now – I have a wonderful husband who gave me some great gifts for Christmas which included a Circular saw, Air compressor with hose and attachments, tool apron and shop vac (I think that last one was a hint to clean the garage) What a waste it would be if I didn’t get comfortable with all that right? And, like you, I stall when I get the “hard part” and then end up too close to my deadlines for comfort and that sucks all the fun out of the project because then I’m stressed.
    I’ll let you know how it goes and worst case scenario you will inherit some great new tools from my husband…lol
    Thanks for the encouragment

  2. If you are looking for a good book to learn photoshop, check out the ‘teach yourself visually’ series. It makes learning the program a breeze! 🙂

  3. My new year’s resolutions always include the healthy stuff (ick), but for years my favorite resolutions have been about what I want to learn NEW for the year.

    One year my goal was to learn how to quilt, another year it was mastering my monster commercial embroidery machine, another was laser engraving, and on and on (I’m much older with many more years at this). This year I am going to take an upholstery class and learn how it’s supposed to be done.

    Focusing on positive things that I hope to accomplish instead of those I don’t want to do (exercise), gives me something exciting to anticipate.

    I look forward to reading about all of your accomplishments for 2012!

  4. Hello. My name is Beth and I’m a staller. I come by it honestly as my dad is a staller. I’m not placing blame on anyone, but my reasons for stalling are the same as his. I run out of funds or I want something specific and can’t find exactly what I had pictured in my mind and REFUSE to settle for anything less. Then I run out of steam only to have a new project raise it’s pretty head and I want to go gung ho on that until another barrier arises with it, and so the cycle continues…

    My problem now is trying to find a space to store all the stuff that needs to come out of the spaces that we want to redo while still being able to use them (washer/dryer, freezers). Oh, and did I mention I married a staller too? ;^)

  5. Yup I am a staller/procrastinator, and I learned… after being assigned by a district manager to do a presentation about organization [go figure]… I learned that it tends to be thanks to being a perfectionist Type A type who wants it done juuuuuuust so. And when getting it juuuuuuust so doesn’t happen we…. stall.


  6. I’m a staller. I always think that a project is too big for me, too overwhelming, or out of my knowledge base. I felt so accomplished when I finally got my own blog up and running and I’m learning new things to add to it everyday.

    Donna, do not feel overwhelmed by Photoshop. It’s a wonderful program for us creative minds. If you ever have a question on how to do something in it feel free to email me. I am an open book. Also your best friend in Photoshop will be Actions. Make sure you do some research on them and you can find many free downloads for all ready created ones online. They will be your biggest asset for editing photos quickly and efficiently. Best of luck on your Goals!

  7. What do I need to learn to do for my 2012 goals? Ha! Grab a cup of coffee and get comfy… Need to learn to use my new arm saw, how to paint, how to put wood up on a wall, how to build simple furniture, and the list goes on…

  8. So many things to learn this year that it tends to get overwhelming. I wrote down my goals, which I usually do. However, I’m going to LOOK at them often and break them down into smaller tasks. I’ve been using this strategy already and it’s working great. So far so good. Which leads me to what I need to work on the most…consistency!

  9. Great Post! You’re very inspiring. My overall goal for the year that I wrote in that cute document you made for us is to “Stop being Afraid” I know it’s more of an idea than a specific thing, but if I can get over my fear of failing, fear of putting my self out there, fear of being uncomfortable and all the other fears that hold me back I know I can accomplish everything I dream about and more. I’ve already started yesterday and today doing some things that scared me that I had been putting off and I feel GREAT. Oh great,I’m tearin’ up now!! 🙂


  10. I am definitely not a staller, but I still plan on tackling some straggling things this year. I’d love to participate in the Picture Perfect Room challenge! My master bedroom needs a makeover. 🙂

    As for the trying a new thing… this spring I’m planting trees. Yes, trees. (This would be a jaw-dropping shock if you knew me, haha. Green thumb I traditionally have not!) But I’m going to do it; my yard deserves the love, she shade, and the color.

    I love your blog, Donna! I read it every day, and get a bit testy if the post isn’t new. Haha. Thanks for making such a great blog.

  11. I am excited to be going through these same things with you. I am thrilled and a little nervous to be exploring new territory this year in terms of personal and blogging goals and skills. And I can also sympathize with the walking away part…. I am really struggling with some rusty letter creating that I am working on right now. And I am also struggling with some blogging decisions that I have to make in terms of format. But I feel that these are good challenges and I’ll figure it out somehow!

  12. I don’t need to learn anything new. Not to brag but I can do everything from crochet, knit, quilt, paint (artistically), install windows, flooring, ceramic tile, build furniture, frame a house, etc. etc. What I need to do is apply myself and get off the darn computer!

  13. haha…i am laughing at julie’s comment….although i do NOT know how to do everything…not even close. but i DO spend way too much time on the computer and get the christmas decorations put away. then i have some big projects to do….like paint the living and dining room. i know i can…i just need to get pushed off this darn comfort zone…..thanks for the nudge donna!

  14. I just love your series, such a Godsend. I’ve had photoshop elements for a few years now, and it has so intimidated me that I let it mock me as I go back to my familiar Publisher. Time to slay that monster. My sweet hubby bought me just what I asked for Christmas- a compound miter saw- now to learn how to actually make that mirror frame for the bathroom. Curtains for the living room- I made a great set, lined, expensive fabric, hung them, hated them. Plus, because they were 108″ long, they were so heavy that they actually bent the rod! Could’ve used your pipe tutorial there. Enough? 🙂

  15. no wonder you have over 7000 google followers – you don’t let the grass grow under your feet! A new year requires goals! I aspire to keep learning. Period. Oh, and I think PS isn’t as complicating as it’s portrayed. I taught myself photoshop without a book (why I did that I don’t know) so if you have a book or tutorial you’ll be up and running in a couple of days. Any questions, give me a shout!

  16. Working a full time job and the addition of a horse farm leave little time during the week to beaccomplish many projects. My plan (hopefully) will be to make the most of the weekend time in full-filling all those creative juices.

  17. I have a basement full of power tools that absolutely have to learn how to use. I have a list a mile long of things I want to do to this house and I don’t want to wait for hubby’s free times to get it done. I’m taking charge :0)

  18. Donna – thanks again for the push. We actually had a wonderful 2011 and I wouldn’t mind repeating it. What new things I want to learn this year…PhotoShop, Lightroom, and InDesign – scared to death of them all! I want to figure out where my blog is heading and get facebook to be associated with my blog and not family – then I would join your FJI Facebook page :-D! Then there’s all the ‘normal’ life things I want to stay on top of – like cleaning, organizing, home schooling my kids – that kind of stuff.

  19. What do I want to learn this year? Good question Donna. The year is so long and the list is long too. To keep from being overwhelmed I’m only focusing on one project at a time. I’m not a staler, really, I’m a jumper. I jump from one project to another as time, talent and materials become available. I’m focused on the picture perfect room, My laundry room! So I need to learn how to bend/work with sheet metal as that is the surface I’ve chosen for the counter top. First up… where to get it.
    Thanks for the push, the toe stomp and all around cheerleading. I feel so capable since I met you.
    Miss Ellie

  20. Best of luck with Photoshop Donna! One of the things I need to learn how to do in 2012 is build a website. My older brother really wants me to build a website for his local home decor store. Ummm….I blog…with blogger….it is all nicely set up for me….I don’t have to really know any code (at least so far) AGHHHHH! And my husband also wants a site for his business. I may be a little in over my head on this one. If only my father were still alive. You see he could do anything with a computer or a camera. I found out shortly after he passed that, turns out like father like daughter. I’m just like him. He would be my biggest mentor right now! I can feel him cheering me on, but I don’t know who to go to to put together the puzzle pieces so to speak. Wish me luck! I’m going to need it. Carrie

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