Set Yourself Goals, Keeping Them is Your Choice
This past January, I took some time to reflect on my past year and set myself some goals for 2018. Now that we’re slightly past the halfway point. I wanted to take some time to see how far I’ve gotten in my goal lists, see where I veered away, and see what I’ve got left.
So, why am I sharing this with you? I’m a strong believer in check-ins to keep yourself on track. Everybody works differently. I am a very excitable person. I was recently talking to my friend and mentor Alexi from Two of Wands about “knowing thyself” from a working perspective. I am enthusiastic, easily distracted, and love making things… sort of like an overgrown squirrel. In order to not veer way off track, I keep three notebooks and lots of lists. Though this may seem like overkill, this is what works for me! Notebooks and sit down meetings with myself. Think of it as a check in with your manager, only you’re your own manager.
In case this might help some other small business owners, or those of you trying to get into the biz, I thought I would publish this “halfway” post. To show you tricks that help me stay focused, admit places where I’ve gone off track (still a human over here), and even where I’ve chosen to go in a different direction!.
Here’s a glance at where I was at the end of 2017:
- I broke even on my investment with the Queen Stitch, not quite profitable yet, but I'm right on the margin!
- I partnered for the first time with a major yarn company, Paintbox Yarns, to release the Bralette Bonanza this summer!
- I broke 4,000 instagram fans
- I learned to knit and released my first knit pattern!
- I launched my website
- I collaborated on a NYFW fashion line!
- Collaborated on the Stitch&Hustle kit shop
- I started teaching crochet courses at CraftJam in NYC
2017 was a good year, with surprises along the way that helped me get my start in 2018. Looking to the future in early January, I set myself some goals. Not all of which I have achieved. If I was a slightly more organized human being, I would have done a quarterly check on it in March or April. But as some of you know I was having a low key mental break, and so I don’t feel bad about it.
When I set these goals for myself it was a mix of things I wanted to do for my business, technical skills I wanted to develop myself, and then just design dreams I had. I never expected to do all of them. Seriously! Not trying to get out of it, but as people, and as business owners, life happens and choices happens. Sometimes you see an opportunity you didn’t expect, and you have to let something else go. I can only hope I stand by my choices, and you stand by yours, but if we don’t, at least we learned something!
Here are my 2018 goals, what I’ve crossed off, and what I’ve erased!
Plan out my months a bit better ahead of time
Have a set number of blog posts and pattern releases per month!
- Actually send out my newsletter once a month!
So far this year, I have been a lot better about sending out my newsletter and releasing patterns every month. Have you joined the newsletter yet? Do you agree? So far the only month I haven’t released a pattern is August. (Sue me! I have a ton of stuff in the works for fall and winter! Ha!)
- Release some new exclusive kits
I am pumped about the two new kits coming with Stitch&Hustle and new collaborator Stephanie of Asylum Fibers! Her colorways are next level and I can’t wait to show you what we’ve got in store! Both are to be released this fall!
- Release the Bralette Bonanza 2
This is the first goal that I actively chose not to do. Instead of a bralette bonanza I wanted to do summer pieces with a bit more coverage and for more body types. Not everyone wears bralettes, not everyone loves their stomach. I released the Summer Seaside Collection with PaintBox Yarns on June 1st and it has been a fun, rewarding, and exciting experience. One cover-up, two dresses, and three tops!
As I said before, my Fall collection is also being released in conjunction with Paintbox yarn, but instead of their cottons, I’m using wool mix yarns in both chunky and aran weights. My inspiration was pine needles, leather, and tobacco smoke. Check out the mood board here to get excited for October first!
- Meet some new makers!
I have already met some beautiful maker souls this year, and connected better with some makers over IG. Fiber artists like Stephanie of AsylumFibers, glorious crochet entrprenuers like Toni of TLYarnCrafts, and I am looking forward to meeting many more!!
- Learn to knit a top-down sweater
Nupe. Haven’t had the time yet! I still really want to learn. I just learned how to do neckline math for both top down and bottom up crochet sweaters. But not knit (not yet!) haha.
- Learn to knit cables
Again, negatory. But I’ve signed myself up for a knit class at my local yarn shop – The Constant Knitter, for Thursdays. So stay tuned, I’m sure I’ll share my progress. YouTube is teacher god, but nothing beats in person classes.
So overall, not bad. Out of 6, I have done 3, rejected 1, and haven’t done 2. You may be thinking to yourself… 50% is an F, that’s a straight fail girlfriend. Okay, I say to you, but there are three reasons I don’t view it that way. I encourage each of you to give me the benefit of the doubt before I explain!
1. Each one of these goals improves my business, and each one improves my business! So even if I just do one we’re getting closer.
2. I had a lot of unexpected opportunities come up that I was happy and excited to put some of my other goals on hold for.
a. The main one of these was getting into the magazine circuit. I now have a couple designs on deck for new magazines, and I’m really proud and looking forward to the release of these! If you’ve ever thought about putting your designs out into the magazine world, I think it’s a great idea, and I’ve written a series of blog posts to help you along the way!
b. The second one is that I learned how to fair isle knit. And I hope you knitters out there are excited for fall!
3. Last but not least. I moved from New York City to Dublin in June. This isn’t an excuse, it is life. I am living out of boxes, trying to acclimate to a new city, and trying to get my bearings. This has somewhat impacted my productivity and free time! Ha! Also if you're in Ireland give me a shout, lets do a knit night!
In other words. Make goal lists. Revisit them every 3-4 months. Don’t feel beholden to them. Cut yourself a break. Kisses.