Applying BJ Foggs behavior model to crochet
One week two finished projects, that‘s what I promised. And? Do you think I have finished?
Yes, nearly. Both the Muru Kai shawl and the hexagon jacket are finished in knitting/crochet. The step which is still missing is sewing in the yarn ends, but even this I already started. While thinking about this progress and pondering how I will write about it I noticed how uninteresting it seems to simply finish a thing… without bigger hiccups, no drama… I simply got it done. No real topic for an interesting blogpost.
Unless I discovered a secret method to get everything done under the blue sky. 😯
Today‘s blogpost will on the one hand summarize the lace pattern on my hexagon jacket and the core ideas of „Tiny Habit‘s“ from BJ Fogg. A book I obviously am very late to discover and perhaps all of you have read meanwhile? If not you can get a first idea here and blatantly lie to your friends stating you „naturally“ read the book a long time ago.
Let’s start with the Tiny Habit book… No idea if it was by chance that I started this book a week ago or if my mind was primed through the needlework wip challenge to find solutions for all the unfinished tasks (aka needlework projects). The revelation of Tiny Habits is: do not rely on motivation. Motivation will come and go and there is no chance one will succeed with tasks which need more than one action by hoping motivation will hit several times. Techniques which focus on increasing motivation or increasing willpower are bound to fail. Motivation, so BJ Fogg, is good for huge one-time actions like defending your child or fighting for justice etc. But daily writing into a journal or eating healthier are not things which are implemented by motivations. And finishing a multitude of wips falls into the latter category (in my opinion – perhaps it’s different for you and you get a huge adrenaline kick out of sewing on 23 buttons in a row…:-D)
So, if motivation is not the driving factor, what then? BJ Fogg presents his readers a schematic which shows how much more two other factors count: prompt and ability. He specifies that there are two variables – motivation on the y-axis and ability on the x-axis. Inside this space he identifies an „action-line“ everything under it will not get done, everything above will be done when presented with the right prompt. I will visualize this with something extreme: Your motivation to sew well-fitting high fashion clothes which let yourself look like a super model may be high, but you barely learned to sew. You can see this will get you not above the action line and you will not sew a fashion collection desite the high motivation (I am speaking of myself :-DDD). But there is hope…
Wips and Tiny Habits
Now we will look at our boxes/closet full of wips. For example, my hexagon jacket as it was last week (sleeve cuffs with lace part missing, jacket needed some rows at the middle of the back, border stitches missing, and the yarn ends needed sewing in).
On the motivation axis I would say it sits in the lower middle because:
- I meanwhile have enough handmade jackets in my closet
- The initial rush about the unusual construction is gone (I now understand how its crocheted)
- The weather is warm, and I won’t wear it right away
- But I like the yarn color and have some garments I want to combine it with
- I like the fit on me.
Now let’s look at my ability:
- I can do all stitches which are used at the lace part of the sleeves
- There are only some rows to be done which won’t need much time
- I am unsure how I need to adapt the sleeve pattern, as the original lace part of the pattern will result in much too long sleeves
I would conclude that for me the project is fairly easy… not super easy because of the modifying thing on the sleeves. Here is the schematic with my hexagon jacket
Surprise surprise (not) you can see it is above the action line. And here come the third variable into play. Although a project is above the action line does not mean it gets done. Because you also need a prompt or trigger to start the behavior. As you can observe my jacket rested in a box for longer although I was obviously able and mildly motivated to finish it, but what I needed was the @needleworkmonday #wip challenge to get me started. This was the prompt which started my behavior.
Sleeves are nearly done
Naturally this is not all but only the basis of Fogg’s behavior theory. It is only the method to evaluate your habit/behavior and then you naturally need to act. In my case, as the hexagon jacket already was over the action line I only needed a prompt. But it will not be so easy for my „dungeon“ wips (@crosehille nicely coined term) which surely falls under the action line (as you can see already as the wips are not touched by me for ages, no action at all).
BJ Fogg’s though has a action plan for behaviors which seem too hard or too boring to do (like dungeon wips) and hopefully I will next week present you another wip I tackled with his method. And moreover, I will give you a (completely unscientific) review of his method and perhaps we all discover together a perfect way to get everything done. EVERTHING 😉
Addendum: Crochet Hexagon Jacket
For my hexi jacket I decided to not crochet the whole amount of 18 lace rows. After I sewed the sleeves together, I crocheted two rows of dc and simultaneously decreased the stitches to 44 (which you need according to the pattern for the lace). Then I knitted the next three lace rows which consist of three different clusters. I finished with 6 sc rows where I decreased more than half of the stitches to form the balloon sleeves. Last row of cuffs and around the whole cardigan I used my beloved twisted single crochet. In my eyes this stitch gives such a polished finish.
I hope you have a lovely and successful wip-week 💕 And if you like, tell me about your best strategy to finish hard things? (did you read Tiny Habits already? Your opinion?)
From 1.7.2022 to 31.7.2022 you can buy my Basquy NFT‘s on opensea (not expensive and unique – go fo it 😇) The project is curated by Artespace gallery und you can find all of my ten artworks here. Buyers get free entry to Venice Biennale 2022.
If you want to see more beautiful projects with yarn, fabric and most of all needles, follow @needleworkmonday on hive blog. Or even better grab your needles and keyboard and join the #needleworkmonday community. You can read more comments on this post on my hive blog.
Last but not least: if my post coaxed a smile on your face you could support me on Ko-fi