new goals for the new year
in years past, i have never really given a lot of thought about what direction my life is going versus what direction i'd like for it to go. i feel like i have just been kind of floating around willy-nilly wherever the breeze might blow me.
which is of course totally ok because it landed me here. and here is a great place to be. the year 2011 brought many changes in my life, lots of opportunity to grow, plenty of new friends and lots of lessons to learn.
i want 2012 to be a year of purpose. and for the first time in my life, i am beginning to understand that in order to have a year of purpose i have to be diligent in making some things happen. if i have learned any one specific lesson this year it is that things don't happen for those who just sit and wait for them. if i want something i will just have to get up off my katukus and get them.
and i am more prepared to do that now than ever!
first things first then. lets start making lists. lists are my favorite things to make. i worked on this list of goals in december. it is a list of specific things i want to accomplish this year. i feel like in my almost 30 years of existence i have finally come to know myself well enough that if i make a vague goal i
and if we are being honest, i don't recall ever making a realistic and attainable goal. they were always things like, lose 30 pounds in 10 weeks. yeah right. so these goals are very specific and very attainable with the appropriate amount of work. and lucky for me there are no losing weight goals on it at all.
1. work out an advertising budget and a giveaway schedule
i think that one of the main keys to having a handmade shop become any kind of successful is how you choose to advertise it. i have to start making smart decisions concerning my target audience and where i can reach them best and get the most value for my money.
giveaways are also something that i really want to be able to do but i have to decide where to draw the line. i can't just do every giveaway i'm offered or asked to do. it isn't financially responsible. but i do want to do them. so as part of my advertising budget i am also going to devise a schedule of sorts for my giveaways. i will know what my giveaway budget is and whether or not i can do it this month or maybe next month. i think it will help me worry less about what i am supposed to do rather than what i feel comfortable doing.
2. create a more focused identity for my etsy shop
this i started thinking about before i even shut down for a christmas vacation. i want to morph my product into a brand and an identity. when i say gussy - you automatically think ruffles. when i say allora handmade your mind goes directly to rosette necklaces. they have built an identity that ties their name to their product but doesn't limit what they can do with that product. that is what i am going for. when i say thumbprint designs, you automatically think..... i don't have the answer yet. but i am definitely working on it.
3. work with at least two local businesses for service and promotion
this is something i started last year but never really followed through with it. i have gotten to know a couple of local business owners well and have some plans that will require me to need the services of a couple of other ones. i would really like to use local businesses to help promote my products and provide the services necessary to create them but it will take some smart negotiating on my behalf to get the job done. i've never been good at negotiating so this will by far be the most challenging goal for my business.
1. do a vlog
this scares the bejeesus out of me. but i'm going to do it. i need to step over that threshold and just get over myself and make a vlog.
2. add a faq page
this will definitely be coming within the next few months but first you will have to actually ask me some questions that i can use on the faq page. i will definitely give you the opportunity to ask away!
3. take a survey
this is for both the blog and the business but i really want to know who is reading this here blog. i don't need your name and address or anything like that but your demographic information will be invaluable. so fair warning - i will be asking you to do a survey in the future!
4. continue the blogging basics series
i'm excited to announce that i already have a few blogging basics posts written and scheduled! i have enjoyed so much learning about all the geekery bits that actually run a blog and make it pretty. i can't wait to start sharing them with you!
5. be less scheduled
this will be very hard for me but it is something i need to do. one of my goals to help me stay organized for christmas was to schedule out all my blog posts ahead of time. which was great and saved me a great deal of time in the big picture. but after i had them all scheduled i started getting all these great ideas for posts and i couldn't post them because i already had this schedule made. it really frustrated me! so while i agree that some sort of a schedule is really necessary for me i am going to try to not plan everything out to the last day and leave myself some room to add a few posts in here or there as i thing of fun things to blog about.
1. exert more self control.
during our nightly devotional, the hubs and i recently discussed self control. the devo asked us specifically some places where we exhibit good self control in our lives. sadly, i could not think of one. single. place. it was very disappointing for me but it made me realize that there are definitely some things i need to work on that will make me a better person and, more importantly, closer to God.
2. schedule times for social networking/emails and stick to it.
one of those places where i lack self control is in social networking. because i have facebook, twitter and email linked to my phone, i am never far from an email or a tweet. it is way too accessible. having it on my phone may be part of the problem but my plan for this year is to have specific times throughout the day where i schedule in time to check twitter, emails and facebook and use those sites to connect with everyone. i am thinking maybe 10 minutes of every hour to start and then lessening it to maybe 45 minutes a day.
i still want to stay connected and i love all the friendships that these platforms have provided but when it gets in the way of regular life things like snuggling on the couch with the hubs and folding the laundry it has crossed some sort of line. so i shall start my self-control battle there and move on to bigger things!
3. find a bible study and stick to it.
the hubs and i regularly do a devotional together. i feel like this is so important for a husband and wife to do and it is essential to our happy and healthy marriage. but i need to find a bible study that i enjoy and do it for me. we can only grow so much closer together as a couple without each of us growing individually as well.
4. carry an inspiration journal and use it.
i recently gave this advice to a friend and realized immediately that... uh.. i need to do this too! there is so much inspiration to be had all day every day and there is no way my crazy brain can keep up with all of it. so i will carry a small notebook with me to jot down pretty things i see, funny things i hear, blog post ideas and product inspiration. i can't wait to see where it takes me!
5. get out of my regular spot.
gussy wrote this post before christmas and it gave me pause to think about where i do my work. i left a comment and she replied and her response really got my wheels-a-turnin. so i want to get out more and stray away from my normal "spot."
1. paint the china hutch in my dining room.
my grandmother will do one of two (or both) things when this happens: 1) roll over in her grave or 2) haunt me forever. i inherited my china hutch from her and it is ethan allen. i'm pretty sure it is against some law to paint ethan allen furniture. but i really don't care. my kitchen has very little light to begin with and this behemoth (see here) casts a haunting orange glow all over the place. i really think it will lighten up the entire room to paint it some lively bright color that in no way resembles orange.
2. paint my kitchen cabinets.
the kitchen was the biggest reason i decided i like this house more than any other house we had looked at. it had brand-spanking-new shaker style kitchen cabinets in it. i knew i would paint them too but i just kept that little factoid to myself while we were in the process of buying it. people, 2012 is the year o' painting the kitchen cabinets. cassie - do your thang girl. ;)
3. save up money for laminate floors.
we have the fugliest laminate floors in our house. throughout the living room, hallway, dining room, kitchen, both bathrooms, and laundry room that terrible "pretends-to-be-ceramic-tile" linoleum haunts me. while we can by no means afford nice and beautiful hardwood floors (and nor would we ever make our money back on them) we can definitely afford some sort of laminate flooring for these areas. i really like what shelley used in her bathrooms so i'm going for something like that. but the only way we can afford them is to start saving up money. my hope is to have the money to do it early in 2013 but if we get to it earlier you won't hear me complaining.
4. get back on the dave ramsey budget plan
we started our journey to financial freedom back in february of 2011 and it lasted approximately five weeks. until we discovered we owed nearly $4K in taxes. yikes! (that's what happens when you have a pastor for a husband who has to pay self employment tax but doesn't realize it until its waaaaay too late... oops) so we quickly turned the "put the extra money towards debt" plan to the "maddeningly and begrudgingly put every extra cent towards the money we owe to the good-for-nothing government" plan. the good news is we are all clear there. the bad news is we have to kind of start from scratch. i was doing a series on it when we started but i haven't decided if we are going to keep the series up. but i'm ready to get out from under some serious debt.
ps - kudos to my friend leanne who whipped her debt into shape and (at the last update on her blog) paid off a little over $60,000 in debt in twenty months. she is such a huge inspiration to me!
those are my big huge goals for my year of purpose! i'm so inspired to get started on them! what are your big goals for this year??