17 Before 2017 – Plan Ahead, Finish Strong!
It’s that time of year when we start thinking about how fast this year flew by and realizing how many things we didn’t finish. After creating a 16 Before 2016 last year, I decided this is a great practice to get into for the 4th quarter of the year. So, I’ve spent the past week thinking and contemplating on what is important enough to be added to my 17 Before 2017 list, and what can just be deleted or forgotten about.
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17 Before 2017
As the end of each year approaches, most people make an decision to finish strong. You start running around like crazy to get things done, you reflect on your resolutions that you never followed through with, and you vow that 2017 will be different. Am I close? I know, because I used to be one of those people.
Then I decided to start planning and be more intentional with my time and my hours. People ask me all the time how I do it, and my response is usually, “I don’t think about it.” But the reality of it is actually the opposite, I think about it all the time. That’s why I always having a running to do list, and I never seem to be able to get caught up. And if I leave home without my planner I freak out!
Making a Plan
My days are crazy, even with a routine. I homeschool 5 of our children, we are at the dance studio 5 days a week, and I own my own business. Because all the aspects of my life fit together I made a list with both personal and business goals for the end of the year. I’m sure you can relate. We all have crazy schedules. It’s time to make a plan and finish strong! That’s where the 17 before 2017 list comes into play.
1. Lose 15 lbs – This might sound like a lot, but it should be doable. Last summer I had just gotten down to the weight I was after my 4th child (I have 6). It took me 3 years to get to that point, but I felt so good. Then I had knee surgery and gained 18 lbs in 7 months. That was 13 months ago. Long story but I’m back in a leg brace (broken ankle) so I’m going back to my no-impact workout that helped me lose the first 20 lbs I had lost. I’m determined not to stay stuck at this weight. I want to feel good again! I was going to aim for 4 lbs a month, but decided to work for 5 lbs each month, for the rest of the year.
2. Exude Confidence (in a totally healthy, good way)…. It’s my word of the year for 2016, so I thought now we be the perfect time to go back and reflect on the post I wrote in January. While I feel like I’ve made progress, I know I still have a long way to go.
3. Read 3 books – I try to do some personal development reading every day. For the remainder of the year I want these books to focus on confidence (see #2).
4. Finances – Track income and expenses daily. I’ve always had a feeling/fear of not having enough. I’m hoping by tracking income and expenses daily it will help me see the abundance that I do have.
5. Finish schoolroom – When we moved in here all our unpacked boxes went in our schoolroom. It was out of the way while I was recovering from my knee surgery. Well, the boxes are still sitting there. It’s time to finish once and for all.
6. Clean/Destash girl’s room – I’m embarrassed to admit that my younger girl’s room is a mess. When I couldn’t really do stairs for 3 months after my surgery it was one of those “out of sight, out of mind” things. Now it’s in a condition I can’t stand. It’s time to get rid of the extra clothes, etc. and make it a happy, resting place again.
7. Block schedule my time. This is for both work and personal, but I feel like I’ll get more done if I can implement some kind of schedule.
8. Finish all unpublished patterns – Seriously! I have about 6 patterns I made, and even started to write, but never finished when we moved last year. It’s time to get them published!
9. Yarn Destash – Sell approx. 50% of my yarn stash. This is a twofold goal: it will make my stash reasonable so my kids will stop telling people I own a small yarn store, and it help pay for some of my girls’ dance competition fees.
10. Double My Crochet Community: One of my goals for 2016 was to grow my followers over all of my social media platforms to 20K. At some point I just decided to reach for the stars and add that extra couple thousand and double it. Rather than focus on the monthly increase I am hoping for, I’m just going to focus on the year-end numbers. Some of my accounts won’t even come close to doubling and others are picking up that slack. This has been an interesting process for me to watch and see which platforms work better for me. The total is listed at the bottom because this is not all of my social media accounts, just the bigger ones.
Blog Newsletter – 1,110 to 2,220 – 1,269
Facebook – 6,433 – 12,866 – 6,929
Pinterest – 1,352 to 2,704 – 6,717
Twitter – 486 – 972 – 651
Instagram – 0 – 500 – 301
Total – 10,941 – 21,882 – 17,675
Mathematically that’s a little over 60% growth so far which means I still have quite a ways to go.
11. Organize bookkeeping for taxes – I want to be prepared ahead of time – before tax season gets here. Getting this done before the end of the year will be a huge relief off my shoulders.
12. Work through YBY2017 – Absolutely the best planner for goal setting. If I had to attribute only one thing to keeping me on track this year it would be Lisa’s workbook. (Be on the lookout next week for my review of her 2017 workbook!)
13. Batch my work tasks – I’ve heard of this before and as I’ve been tweaking my schedule to try to accomplish more I’m thinking this might be a huge help. Now it’s a matter of sitting down and working tasks into my schedule where they’ll fit best.
14. Create an editorial calendar – I did this for my Design Your Own Pattern Series. Plan everything in advance. It makes a HUGE difference in your stress level – and it feels good!
15. Treat my business like a real job – I love my job. Designing and tech editing give me passion. But I don’t have hours and I just wing it. It’s time I started treating my business like a real job instead of a hobby that I only do when I feel like it. I will create and implement work hours, and stick to them!
16. Create a marketing plan – I’m terrible about emails, social media, etc. and I go through phases. I will go weeks and be diligent, then fizzle. A simple marketing plan will be key to keeping me on track.
17. 24 response rate – I used to have a 24 hour response rate, most of the time it was just a few hours. As I had more kids and got busier my response rate started to slip, as well as my inbox. My goal: start with inbox 0 and return to the excellent customer service I was always told I had.
To keep in line with my promise to track my goals for the entire year, here is my Sept. review.
- Review my monthly goal list daily
Track my business income daily
- Track my personal expenses daily
Workout(limited while my ankle is still in a brace)
incomeand expenses daily.
I tracked my income but wasn’t as diligent about tracking my expenses.
Finish creating editorial calendar for 2016.
Make my holiday t0-make list.
- Create holiday budget checklist.
Create 2 new patterns to publish.Baby Heartbeat Reversible Afghan set
Climbing Ivy Super Scarf
Finish and publish 2 unfinished patterns.
Moved to 17 before 2017.
- Publish 8 blog posts.
Spend 10-15 min/3x day on social media growth.
Blog Newsletter – 1,258 to 1,300 – 1,269
Facebook – 6,929 – 7k – 6,929
Pinterest – 6,474 to 7k – 6,717
Twitter – 651 – 700 – 651
Instagram – 272 – 300 – 301
- Stay on track with the goals that I made in YBY planner.
- Create block schedule for work/family/homeschool.
17 Before 2017
To sum it up in one phrase; we’re all just a work in progress. Take one baby step, then another – this will give you momentum towards getting your list done. Be productive and you’ll start to see progress which will push you forward into 2017.
If you’ve made a 17 Before 2017 list I would love to read it. You can either link in the comments or tag me on social media.