Reaching Out, One Stitch At a Time

Grace in Goal Setting – March 2016

Have you ever looked at your calendar for the upcoming month and thought… “Yikes. It’s going to be a busy month!” That’s what I thought as I looked at my March calendar last month and saw publisher deadlines, designer deadlines/commitments, and interviews I had made for National Crochet Month, not to mention extra personal commitments like 2 dance competitions and out-of-state family here for Easter. As I wrote out my to-do list I wondered how I was going to get it all done.

How to adjust your creative business when things don't go according to plan

When looking at my list, at first glance, there was nothing that could get put off until April. I work well under pressure, but I felt this was more extreme than my normal crazy, so it still stressed me out! Here was my reality….

  • I had 2 tech editing deadlines with publishers.
  • I had 2 designs due.
  • Crochet orders due.
  • 3 written interviews for National Crochet Month. (Two have been published so far and you can read them here. Crochetville NatCroMo blog tour & CGOA Member Spotlight)
  • I agreed to help admin round 9 of Battle of the Stitches.
  • My girls had 2 weekends of dance competition.
  • I had my brother and sister coming in from out of state.

And this was all on top of my already crazy schedule! (which involves homeschooling, dance studio 5 days a week, and my regular workload). The first decision I made was to take the week my brothers and sister were here off from school. We hadn’t all been together in 12+ years, so that was my priority. I wanted to spend as much time with family as possible. We are way ahead of schedule in school (we started in July after my ACL surgery last summer) so even with a week off we’re on track to be done end of May. One less commitment that week….phew! Unfortunately that was about the only thing I felt could get taken off my list.

As the month progressed, there were days where I felt like I was drowning in work. At some point, more than half-way into the month, I realized something. I wasn’t going to get it all done. Not only was I not going to get through my “extra” workload list, but I hadn’t made my March goal setting list a priority either. I could get upset and feel like a failure, or I could learn to allow myself some grace.

 

I will hold myself to a standard of grace, not perfection.

 

So, I decided to let go of what I couldn’t do, deadlines I couldn’t meet, and just enjoy my family time and be happy I didn’t crash all together from the crazy schedule. When I was doing my monthly goal planning and review I had to keep in mind how far I’ve come in just a couple months, because I wanted to get discouraged by what I haven’t done yet.

 

Grace in Goal Setting

 

 

How to adjust when things don't go according to plan


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I made myself a promise when I wrote the post 5 Things I Will NOT Do in 2016. The very last thing on that list was “I will not give up on my goals for 1 full year”. To clarify that comment and take it a step further, I’ve never had any intention of “giving up” on my goals altogether. I just seem to go through fazes where, if I get overwhelmed, I burn out and take a month (or more) off from everything. That’s the part I won’t do this year!

One of the key things I have done this year to keep myself motivated is to stay plugged in to learning. Personal development is key! Here are 3 things I am doing this year to stay motivated.

    1. Personal Development – Every day I try to read 10-15 minutes from a book that is considered a self-help book. Some are based no personal growth and some are business based. One book this year has stood out to me the most. The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM) gave me some eye opening insight into how to get more done in my day. It laid out a daily game plan for my morning and if I stick to it I get tons accomplished each day.
    2. Stay Connected – Support is so important when you have a creative business! I found the perfect community (for me and my business needs) when I found Marketing Creativity. Lisa’s blog posts just resonate with me like I’m sitting in a room with her and she’s speaking directly to me. So I joined The Luminaries Club (which is her private membership club with coaching, support, and classes). I believe so strongly in the support I get from there that I made a decision to cancel all other coaching emails and subscriptions I have! When you find what works for you, stop looking.
    3. Make a Plan – I use a daily/weekly planner (like the Erin Condren Life Planner) to keep track of all my personal, business, and blog commitments and deadlines. I also use the Your Best Year 2016 planner by Marketing Creativity. It is the only life/creative business planner I will use. I use it to evaluate and plan my year, as well as keeping me on track with my dreams and goals.

 

Through allowing myself some grace for March I realized a few things. Because March is National Crochet Month, I need to make a note of that for next year so that I can plan better and not over commit.

 

Goal Setting

I was committed to making monthly goals and then tracking my progress here….accountability works! Here are my results for March and my new goals for April.

MARCH GOALS:

  1. Create my opt-in freebie
    This is done! It felt so good to cross this off considering it’s been on my to-do list for months!
  2. Create 2 new patterns to publish
    Only 1 – Oakley Fringe Cowl
  3. Finish and publish 2 unfinished patterns
    Only 1 – Rainforest Poncho
  4. Publish 10 new blog posts in March
    Only published 8.
  5. Spend 10-15 min/3x day on social media growth
    – While I didn’t see the growth in my numbers the way I had hoped, I did spend consistent time on social media. The 3x a day for a few minutes each seemed to work better for me and my schedule/lifestyle.
    Growth Goals:
    Blog Newsletter – 1,168 to 1,285 (10% goal) – 1195
    Facebook – 6,595 – 6,727 (2% goal) – 6620
    Pinterest – 2,128 to 4,256 (100% goal – going for broke!) – 3528
    Twitter – 550 – 605 (10% goal) – 563
    Instagram – 88 – 176 (100% goal) – 120
  6. Continue to work through Your Best Year 2016 planner + Luminaries Club
    I’m not crossing this off because I did very little this month. It just got bumped down on my priority list because of everything else going on. It won’t happen again!
  7. Finish unpacking my school/work room.
  8. Track income and expenses.

 

APRIL GOALS:

  1. Create editorial calendar for 2016 – allowing for some wiggle room.
  2. Create 2 new patterns to publish.
  3. Finish and publish 2 unfinished patterns.
  4. Publish 10 blog posts.
  5. Spend 10-15 min/3x day on social media growth.
    Growth Goals:
    Blog Newsletter – 1,195 to 1,250
    Facebook – 6,620 – 6,700
    Pinterest – 3,528 to 5k
    Twitter – 563 – 600
    Instagram – 120 – 150
  6. Continue to work through Your Best Year 2016 planner + Luminaries Club course.
  7. Track income and expenses.
  8. Outline course details.

What worked – I was all set to postpone #1 off to April. On March 30th I decided I had been putting it off for about 6 months and I decided I wasn’t going to allow myself to do it again. So I sat down for a couple hours and designed a pdf. It’s primary function is for taking notes while writing a new pattern, but would equally as well for jotting down notes from a pattern you’re reading. You can now receive my “Pattern Notes” pdf when you sign up for my newsletter.
Pattern Notes

 

What didn’t work – I will definitely make a note for next year to make sure I don’t over commit to March.  National Crochet Month is something that can be managed with a bit better planning.

My #1 priority for April is to make an editorial calendar for the rest of the year – one that works for me and has some flexibility. Despite the crazy March I’m feeling like I’m seeing growth and progress overall. Are you still making progress with your goals for the year? It’s not too late to jump back on track and keep moving forward.

Happy Crocheting!



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