42 Ways to Practice Perfectly & Become an Expert at Almost Anything: Quilting Style

In my last post, I looked back and gave some love where it was due. Now it's time to look ahead. Instead of making a long list of resolutions and to-dos to make this year awesome, I'm kicking of 2015 with just one goal:

Read & apply this book:

practice perfect a

{Practice Perfect - find it here*}

That's it! That simple.

And I'd be super happy if you joined in with me, because this book is awesome and I'm definitely guilty of overhighlighting :) I stumbled across it a few weeks ago and it has been life. Changing.

We’ve all heard the phrase “practice makes perfect”, but this book challenges that idea:

Practice doesn’t make perfect, practice makes permanent...The mere fact of doing something repeatedly does not help us improve. What we need is practice - real practice, not mere repetition. As Michael Jordan said, ‘You can practice shooting eight hours a day, but if your technique is wrong, then all you become is very good at shooting the wrong way.’”

I've been repeating. I've been making permanent. But I haven't always made sure my practice is effective. I don't know about you, but I don't have all the time in the world - I want to be efficient and effective in my practice, and don't want to squander my time establishing bad habits or poor methods. The authors take a look at what makes good practice: it is "efficiently run, well-planned, and intentionally executed." They studied teachers and coaches who were experts in their field, giving a wide range of real-life examples of "perfect practice". They analyze and break down the characteristics of perfect practice, and present 42 "rules" to make it achievable.

42 might sound like a lot of rules (I mean, who sits down at their sewing machine to practice free motion quilting and remembers 42 rules??), so I'm going to take it in bite-sized chunks. Twice a month, I'll be tackling a couple rules at a time, until I cover all 42 of them. I’ll share my favorite quote from that month's book passages, my takeaway, and how I’m applying it.

I'm going to talk about it in relation to my quilting and sewing, but honestly, we practice almost everything in life: the way we interact with our children, cooking, keeping up with the house, our jobs, a musical instrument, sports, working out - anything and everything that we do habitually is being practiced, whether we realize it or not. Why not make it effective practice?

Now, here are some objections you might have to this:

1) I don't like to read. I just like to look at pictures. So I don't want to read the book and I don't want to read your blog posts on it.

Hey, that's cool! Don't read the book. And scroll through what I write on it. But for you scrollers out there, I'll be including plenty of eye candy (i.e. pretty quilting photos) so there's still fun stuff for you. Not that you would know that, because you probably aren't reading this, but hey.

2) I don't want to get better at anything.

Well, that's just....weird....

Alright, that's all the objections I can think of! So unless you fall into camp#2, I encourage you to buy the book* and read along. Cozy in with your highlighter (or 17...because there's so much good stuff here), and share with me your response to that month's passages each time I post.

(shameless affiliate link, but once again, if that makes you stabby, just search for it on Amazon - I won't hate)

I made a pact with a bunch of other bloggers to make 2015 the best year ever. I mean, why not, right? I'm not going to make a pact to make it an ok year, or a crappy year. So if you want to read what others are planning on doing to have a great 2015, click around :)

how to make 2015 the best year ever


1. How to Set and Keep Goals to Make This the Best Year Ever | Jen @ Girl in Garage

2. 15 Ways to Stay Organised at Work During 2015 | Elizabeth Harrin @ A Girl's Guide to Project Management

3. How Personal Style Will Help You Achieve Goals Faster in 2015 | Cherene Francis @ Aura Image Consulting

4. Completing Those Unfinished Projects in the NEW YEAR | Angela Lerew @ Unexpected Elegance

5. 42 Ways to Practice Perfectly & Become an Expert at Almost Anything | Amy Garro @ 13 Spools

6. Easy Exercises to do on a Cruise Ship | Amanda Woods @ Adventures All Around

7. 10 Simple Ways to Eat Healthier This Year | Dawn @ Reveal Natural Health

8. 31 Days to a More Fabulous You | Julie Bonner @ Mom Fabulous

9. How to Make This the Best Gardening Year Ever | Kendra Spencer @ a Sonoma Garden

10. 5 Ways to Make this Your Best Monarch Season...Ever! | Tony Gomez @ Monarch Butterfly Garden

11. 12 Scriptures for Goals and Guidance | Julie @ Loving Christ Ministries

12. How to Build a Starter Emergency Fund in 30 Days or Less | Jackie Beck @ The Debt Myth

13. Family Verse of the Week Challenge for 2015 | Jamie Yonash @ Life is Sweeter By Design

14. Hot Work at Home Jobs for 2015 | Holly Hanna @ The Work at Home Woman

15.  A Year of Intention | Hilary Bernstein @ Accidentally Green

16. 2015: Our Best Year Yet | Ashley @ Leaving the Rut

17. Create a Better Life Story | Bronwen Warner @ Tummy Time and Beyond

18. Get Ready to Get MDfit | Tom and Anne @ Eat & Be Fit

19. 5 Free Ways to Learn Something New This Year | Sarah Fuller @ Earning and Saving with Sarah Fuller

20. Healthy Leek Soup | Mirlandra @ Mirlandra's Kitchen

21. Health Resolutions: Baby Steps to a New You | Ellen Christian @ Confessions of an Overworked Mom

22. 5 Ways Busy Moms Can Get Motivated to Work Out | Diane Nassy @ philZENdia

23. Be Prepared for the New Year | Jennifer Dunham Starr @ The Memory Journalists

24. 3 Steps to a Healthier Life in 2015 | Joe Goodwill @Average Joe Cyclist

25. New Year's Resolution: Cook More Often! | Kim Pawell @ Something New for Dinner

26. I Should What? 28 Ways to be Happier | Karen Young @ Hey Sigmund

27. 9 Ways to Get Healthier In The New Year | Amy Maus @ Home and Farm Sense

28. In 2015 Resolve to Take Control of Your Money | Kristia @ Family Balance Sheet

29. Eucharisteo: A Year of Thanksgiving | Lani Padilla @ Simply Fresh Vintage

30. No More Tears at IEP Meetings: Make This Your Best Year Ever! | Lisa Lightner @ A Day In Our Shoes

31. Learn to Save Money on Groceries | Melissa Buckles @ Everyday Savvy

32. How to Achieve Your New Year’s Resolution - For Real This Time! | Michelle @ Dishes and Dust Bunnies

33. 52 Weeks to a Better You: Week 1 - Go to Bed Early | Mindi Cherry @ Moms Need to Know

34. Food Street: How a Community Has Joined Forces to Start a Street Farm | Sam Walker @ Bubble 'N Squeak

35. Organizing Coupons with the Binder Method | Sara Steigerwald @ Sisters Shopping on a Shoe String

36. How to Make This Year the Happiest Yet | Shambray @ Shambray.com

37. A New Year, A New You | Sharon Rowe @ How to Get Organized at Home

38. 5 Ways to Get Paid for Losing Weight This Year | Anna @ Real Ways to Earn Money at Home

39. Tips for Successful Whole30 | Deanna Michaels @ From This Kitchen Table

40. 75 Ways to Be Healthier in 2015 | Maryea Flaherty @ Happy Healthy Mama

41. How to Make 2015 the Best Year Ever! | Jennifer @ My Boys & Their Toys

Bonus links:

Fashion Resolutions: How to Add Style to Any Outfit | Ellen Christian @ The Socialite's Closet