Garden ShapeUp Along: Step 2

by Daisy

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We’re getting our gardens ready for spring, step by step.

We declared our intention.

Then we got out our paper and pencils and even cameras and made a master list and took Before pics of our most pressing garden problem spots.

Taking photos is optional, but I’m digging it because as I work on a particular item on my list I have this image in my mind’s eye of how much better the after shot is going to look and it makes my tail wag. I can’t wait to see the before and after side by side.

The next step in the process is to carve out time to get this done.

I know many things stand in the way.

  • Full time outside-the-home jobs
  • Full time at-home jobs
  • Home and family responsibilities
  • Weather
  • Babies
  • Pets
  • Health issues
  • Expense issues
  • Decision-making
  • Inertia
  • Netflix

Or course no shape-up plan can overcome every difficulty. What I’d like to help you do here is work at your own pace, within your particular restrictions, to make steady, real progress toward your own goals.

Some of the goals on your list you may not be able to do right away because of one or more of the reasons above. But once you’ve identified the tasks, you can start formulating a plan to get them done. That plan may involve:

  • Carving out the time to do it yourself, one step at a time.
  • Asking someone to help you do it. Kids, friends, neighbors and spouses are useful here.
  • Bartering. (i.e.: “I’ll bake you a pie if you weed my raised bed.”)
  • Hiring it out.
  • Applying for assistance from a local volunteer program. Inquire at local churches and senior aid programs and search the internet for “home repair volunteer programs in (your city).”

Once you’ve determined what combination of the above it will take to get your ShapeUp done, it’s time to go back to the master list.

  1. After each item, write down how you are going to make it happen. On my list, all the tasks will be done by me, so I don’t need to do this step.
  2. Next, write down approximately how long each job will take. A rough estimate will do.
  3. Finally, take a calendar and pencil in dates and times to work on the first three jobs. Try to carve out at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week. If someone else will be involved, as you make those arrangements, write the applicable dates and times next to the task.
  4. As the three jobs get done, do the same for the next three, and so on, until you’ve wiped out the whole list.

Next we’ll work on our incentive program to help keep us motivated.

Let me know how you’re getting along and let us all know any tips and hints you’ve found helpful.



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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Bonnie North February 24, 2016 at 9:52 am

Daisy, I literally adore how you are helping me to reframe a seemingly overwhelming task in a reasonable, I-can-handle-this way instead. Thank you!

And by the way, NETFLIX is a BIG time-sucker in my life. And APPLE TV – The Walking Dead and The Good Wife are calling, even as I write this…(hey! in my defence, it’s snowing right now and …okay, I have no defence, LOL)

Elizabeth Vega February 24, 2016 at 10:53 am

I’m still trying to carve out some time to do the walkabout around my garden! Hoping the weekend will let me catch up a little (famous last words).

Husband did manage to harvest some of our bolting winter veggies and get them into the juicer, though… yum!

Daisy February 24, 2016 at 12:50 pm

Bonnie–Awesome. And as we work, nature is preparing a big, pretty bow to put on top of our efforts. It’s going to look so good when we’re done.
I haven’t gotten into any of the zombie stuff yet, but I do love The Good Wife. Snow is a perfect excuse. Don’t let anyone tell you different!

Daisy February 24, 2016 at 1:04 pm

Elizabeth Vega–That was a great idea about the juicer. You’ve got to act so fast or you lose ’em. I don’t have a juicer but maybe I can smoothie them.

lilybe February 25, 2016 at 1:12 pm

Thank you so much for getting me motivated! I was weeding yesterday, admiring my work and wishing I had taken “before” pics so I could take my proper credit:-) Then I thought, If I take time to take pics, inertia will set in and I’ll have no time to actually make progress. Your inspiration is greatly appreciated.

MATTIE February 28, 2016 at 1:07 pm

I make lists, then I make a list of the lists. Sigh. Apparently I’m really good at making plans, just not so good at crossing things off.
I have a side yard covered in sea oat grass. It’s decorative (or once was) and now just a pain. I was going to weed it all out, then rake, then mow. However, it’s cold and I don’t wanna. So I let nature do it’s work and now almost all of it is laying down, dying. SO, no more weed eating, just rake & mow. I hope to find the will to do this before I start my summer garden otherwise it’s going to be mosquito heaven again and I refuse to be bit while trying to grow some tomatoes & cukes.

Good luck Daisy, I have faith you will succeed and give me the motivation I need to be a better gardener. Keep writing woman, you are my inspiration!

Daisy February 29, 2016 at 1:31 pm

Mattie–I’m also a list maker. I haven’t yet reached the list of lists phase yet, but I can understand. Little by little! And thank you!

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