It’s not that I don’t like self improvement – I love that. It’s just that New Year’s resolutions seem so big and damning. I’ve never had much success with big changes.
If you’ve read any of my little (but growing) blog, you know I’m a big fan of goals (read that post here.) What’s the difference? For me, it's about attitude and planning. Maybe it's just that, in the past, my resolutions have been unrealistic (too big) or not specific enough (no plan.)
When I set goals they are specific, and they are backed up by solid plans. I’m not talking about general goals like “become rich” or “find happiness.” Setting a goal works when you have a plan behind it. Yes, most people want to make more money and/or be happy. It’s the “how” that’s important. You got to have a step-by-step plan.
So it’s time to set personal and business goals for 2014. Personal goals are easier for me so I’ll start there. One personal goal I have is to compete in a swim meet this year. I’m a 47 year old former collegiate swimmer who is freaking out about diving off the starting blocks (what if I strain my back? What if I belly flop? What if I simply fall off?) To address this concern, I’m going to practice. Seems pretty logical to me. Practice swimming fast. Practice diving off the blocks (it’s been a while.) I’m entering a meet in early February and will report back on how it goes (that should be a funny post, so come back and read it!)
Setting business goals are more difficult for me. After the busy holiday season, when I participated in my first craft show, I need to regain some focus. If I’m calling this a business and not a hobby – which believe me, Uncle Sam says it’s a business - then I need to pay more attention to details.
Business Goal #1: Get a handle on the record-keeping. I have been pretty hippy-dippy about how much I’m spending vs. how much I’m bringing in. I know I’m making some money (I’m not THAT hippy-dippy) but I really couldn’t tell you exactly how much. See that bulging envelope over there? It holds all the receipts (at least I have them!) So that’s my dirty little secret confession and Business Goal #1. Get the books in order. (My husband is doing a little happy dance right now.)
Business Goal #2: Take it a little further. Expand my horizons.
I enjoy creating all sorts of things. I have a well-documented love for fabric. I like making jewelry. I’ve fallen in love with my little bird and heart ornaments. But I want to take it further.
I want to step out of my comfort zone and exercise a muscle that has been sedentary for too long. I want to paint. There, I said it. I have this little voice in my head that says “you need to paint something. Anything.” The voice is getting louder. As I swim my laps I have all sorts of conversations with myself – and sometimes with others, but they don’t know I’m talking to them because I’m underwater (an entirely different post.) Lately, the underwater conversations and images that accompany them are all about art – painting and multi-media specifically.
So goal #2 will include some paint, some paper, some glitter (for sure) and a canvas or two. And if I'm feeling brave I will share it here. I’m not necessarily going to sell this art, but I’m excited to get back into it. I’ve done a few multi-media projects in my time and really enjoy the process and outcome. Friends who hike with me are always curious about the stuff I pick up off the ground, bottle caps, tags, chain. Now we'll see what I can do with it.
Have any of you taken an online painting/creative course? Let me know what you think.
Business Goal #3 But wait! There’s more! Goal #3 will be to have a blast with the fabric that I already have (and I have a lot of it!) and create more scarves (which I still love) and a few other fabric-related products that are on my “to-create” list. I’m excited about that too. UPDATE: I just learned that my sewing machine needs to go in for service. It will be gone for 2 weeks. Before I send it away I'm going to whip up a few things - using some of the fabric that has been calling my name. Nothing like a self imposed deadline to get me going!
Goal #4 Finally, Goal #4 is a combo personal/business goal: Watch better t.v. Not less t.v. I love my programs, but I have to kick some (most) of the reality shows to the curb. I know they are entertaining in a sick fascinating way, but I’m starting to get a bad taste in my mouth whenever I see them. No judgment here though. You keep on watching them. I understand the draw. I’m just going to resist. I wiped them from my DVR, readjusted the recording options and will stay away from the Bravo On Demand feature. Plus, Downton Abbey started so I’m happy. And Revenge. And Nashville. (There’s some stupid stuff, but I love it!)
The reason Goal #4 falls into the personal and business sections: I like to watch t.v. while I’m making things. I look forward to the hand-sewing parts of my projects so I can click on the tube and watch those women be so mean to each other. Now I will stitch to lovely British accents instead (although Downton has it’s elements of Housewives… that Edith and Mary relationship is messed up.)
One reason I started this blog was to share the joys and challenges of turning my love of making things into a business. I really am a beginner though, so if you came here for expert advice, well, sorry. But if you came here to see how I’m doing or are in the same boat, welcome! Stay a while! Leave a comment. We’re all in this together. Kumbaya.