OK 2018... I See You!

As a blogger it is hard to fight the self imposed obligatory New Year Goals Post. So consider this my contribution to the online encouragement to set the year off to the right start and make it the best yet.  Ugh just typing that seems to trite and not really me or what this blog is about. We keep it real and crafty here right?

All kidding aside - I am a big fan of goals and milestones. For business. For life. For the blog. They are helpful to check in and make course corrections if needed. The problem is that I am also driven by my creative passion and well... that leads to more detours than I would like to admit. In 2017 I fought those detours and did not give myself much grace.

So to talk about a goal - in 2018 I would like to practice giving myself Grace.

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That is my big goal. Grace to soar and be the best crocheter and knitter I am able to be one stitch at a time. Grace to push myself on design elements even into new shapes and styles. Grace to fall and make mistakes along the way. Grace to forgive others and forgive myself. Grace to ask for forgiveness. My word and my goal for 2018 is GRACE.

For the blog, we have lots of exciting things coming up. First up is Stitch Up Chicago and I cannot wait to get my knit on with you guys! Yarn, yummy snacks and all the good stuff!

The blog direction will be taking a shift in 2018. After lots of thought and prayer, on top of experiences of 2017, I have more clarity than ever that my calling is to share, lift you up and encourage you to soar. To inspire you.

While there may be an occasional small business post, the focus will be shifting to sharing my fiber passion for knit and crochet. New stitch tutorials and more patterns. More tips and tricks to get the best our of your fiber journey.

And yes - we will have exciting collaborations and The Stitch & Hustle YouTube Channel will be launching soon. We have already started planning great content for you guys.

So I look to 2018 with excitement and determination and cannot wait to see where it takes us.

 

New Year: Set Goals & Make Plans

As the New Year ads start running and posts about #resolutions are abound, I thought I would take this moment to share something with you: I am not a fan of New Year Resolutions. Call me cranky, but I am just keeping it real. I am a fan of Goals, I am a fan of Plans. Here is why:

 

  1.  I do not believe you need a specific calendar date to give you permission to chase your dreams, follow your passion or make changes in your life. These things should be ongoing. Always growing and always going forward.
     
  2.  Thanks to the age of marketing and advertisers, society has been wooed into setting lofty goals we likely won't achieve. Not because we are not able. But because goals require ACTION PLANS & STEPS to be attained. New Year's resolutions has become about setting the lofty goal - but what about the action step?

 As we enter the New Year I want to encourage you to take a beat and do some self examination. Think not just about the things you wish for the New Year, but the things you want to make happen in the New Year. Then think about ways to ACHIEVE the goals. The work you need to do to achieve them. If you ask yourself the tough questions,  I promise you will find the goals and action steps reveal themselves.

While thinking about your goals, make categories. What are your personal goals? What are your business goals for your shop? What are your career goals if you are not a full time maker? Having seperate goals is an essential step.

For many, a small handmade business is more than a job. It is a lifestyle. So it makes sense that personal and professional goals are intertwined. But I encourage you to separate them. I encourage you to find that separate balance that will help you then achieve goals.

Setting goals in categories is key to achieving them. I know this from experience. I shifted to a full time "maker" unexpectedly but found it was in fact the right move. And, since becoming a full time yarnie, running my handmade knitwear & crochet business, I have learned a lot about the need for that balance.

Left: January           Right: December

Left: January           Right: December

Last year I lost 50 lbs as a personal goal and launched this blog and launched my home accessories line as a business goal. Previously I had tried and failed to achieve all three goals. But by separating them and separating what they mean (personal vs. business) I had to make separate action plans and milestones to achieve along the way. Short and long term markers. Evaluations to help me be successful. It also helped me prioritize better.

 

Sure there were hiccups and failures along the way. Heck, there was one speed bump (read: epic failure) that cost me money, knocked me to my core and had me curled up in tears for three days. But what it didn't do is stop me. Because failure isn't the end and will happen on the road to success. It is almost is required.

And when that epic failure happened, the beauty is that by separating my goals and giving each its own action plan, the whole boat didn't sink. That failure may have caused a ripple in that category but the others were on track. It also helped when it came time to regroup because I had focus. There was no spillover.

While I know it's hard, I also want to implore you to embrace failure as part of the journey. See it as an opportunity to learn. Grow. Shift. It doesn't mean that you can't or won't achieve your goals. It just means that you may have to do some more work to get there.

So as we enter the New Year, be excited. Be resolute. But also be a planner. Take some time to really think about 2017 and how you can make it one heck of a year! Think about where you want to be in 12 months and what you need to do to get there. Then get going! Happy New Year everyone.