31 December, 2014

Goals for 2014 - How Did I Do?

I'm a big fan of lists. Every week I create a to do list/schedule for what's on deck. It helps me remember and keep me focused on tasks. I don't lose sleep when something gets transferred week after week to the next list. It will get done. That regular check in, though, does wonders for keeping the tasks front of mind. And the reason they move onto the next week is more than likely because I procrastinated on something I didn't really want to do.

My quilting tasks make their way on to the lists as well. In fact, they gets their own list. No point mixing them up with the boring stuff like scheduling doctor's appointments!

What I did not really do with my weekly lists, however, is compare them to my annual goal setting. Oops. They kind of operated on a short term thinking, instead. But I still need to check in and see how I did. Then come up with a strategy to combine the short term and long term thinking. Here are the goals as I laid them out in January, and where I got to with them.

1. To turn all quilt tops sitting in my closet as of right now into completed quilts. There are 10 of them. And 2 others already being quilted.

Nope, not even close. A few got done. Or are in the process of getting done like the Voile Quilt, or Antonio's quilt. But most of the quilts I finished in 2014 I started in 2014 as well. The exception being There Is Peace in Pattern.

2. To distribute all the Just One Slab quilts before the end of winter.

So, so close... There are about 10 quilts in my studio, a few needing binding yet. Then the last quilts will be distributed. I delivered 30 of them in a big batch to a seniors home in October, I still need to tell you all about those. Soon.

3. Stay on top of my accounting with a monthly sit down in front of a spreadsheet and a pile of receipts.

Well, it didn't happen monthly. It only happened twice. Totally worth it though and motivation to get on track for monthly work in 2015. I had some big thinking to do a month ago as we looked ahead as a family to the coming year. Knowing exactly where the money came in from this work I do and where I was spending the most was very worthwhile. It completely focused the discussion. Money isn't the only reason I do this as a job, but you can't ignore it.

4. Revamp my website and blog (with the input from all of you!)

Oh man, this work is nearly done... I am not one for web design and this constantly got pushed to the bottom of the lists. But it is close. I am really hoping for a January launch.

5. Produce at least 1 new pattern for sale.

It is being designed as I type. So look for it in the new year. It will be available for print, but I'm not sure about the PDF as the new EU VAT laws are making a mess for small businesses like pattern sellers.

6. Finish one of my novels.

Not even close. In fact, I barely worked on them. I did get a bit of a creative breakthrough on one of them recently that has me excited to find some dedicated writing time in the coming months. If only The Garbage Truck would go back to sleeping in to at least 7 again so I could get back my quiet mornings alone.

I did, however, write two separate children's books. I'm pretty excited by those stories and am looking forward to moving forward with the potential for publication.

7. Complete at least 3 quilts in a series I've got planned. This Mountain Meadows would be the first one in the series, but I have sketches for many more.

Only got Mountain Meadows done. I am totally thrilled with it. And finishing that one does have me motivated to try the others. I'm looking forward to some play on those this coming year.

8. Teach the girls, as they ask, how to use the sewing machine on their own.

Woohoo! This one came true. I'm thrilled beyond belief. I let them come to it on their own. And because I got a new machine they clued in to the fact that they would get more access to sewing. Of course, sewing still takes a backseat to watching Marvel movies with Dad or Dutch Blitz tournaments, but they are in there with me from time to time. No complaints at all.

9. Make exercise a daily part of my life again. (I consider this a Studio Goal because it is part of my overall time management for work.)

Um... okay... well... Exercise didn't exactly become regular. But it has creeped back into my life a bit more than it had been before. Not as much as even I would like. It went in fits and starts, honestly. On the plus side, we got a new family dog in the summer so at least there is some regular walking in the schedule.

10. Start and finish my third quilting book.

And done. In fact, my last edits were due on the 23rd. You Inspire Me to Quilt will be published this coming spring. My work on it is done, the publisher is finishing up their last bits, and then it heads to the printers.

There is absolutely no disappointment on my end in not achieving all my goals. I worked hard this year, and I enjoyed the work. In there I also managed, mostly, my family. There was also some fun, some travel, some unplanned experiences, some tears, and a lot of joy.

The goal setting process certainly provides long term focus. The review process is great for reflection and going forward. If I didn't reach the goal, should it still be on the list? I'm not a big corporation, no one's bonus (ha!) is dependent on whether I get 80,000 words written or work out 4 times a week. As an independent business, however, having focus for my determination keeps me from chasing rainbows, or rainbow covered fabric bundles.

My next post here will be about my 2015 goals. And stay tuned through the newsletter (sign up on the right there) for regular updates on my goals, lists, and extra motivation for work.


Laura Chutny said...

Cheryl, I'm a crafter, not a writer, but in regards to writing, you might find some interesting reading in the blog of Jamie Todd Rubin, who has two small kids and a day job, but also writes. Happy New year!

Leanne said...

I'm glad you have been able to do so much writing and am looking forward to your next book. All the best to you and your family for the new year.

ChristaQuilts said...

From where I'm standing it looks like you've had an awesome, fulfilling year. I look forward to seeing what's on tap for you in 2015 :-)

Anne said...

Thanks for sharing your goals and how they turned out. I'm in the process of a year end review today. Some successes, some that need a lot more work. Happy New Year. Can't wait to see your new book.

teresa said...

You may want to check Flossie Teacakes blog. Besides some wonderful quilts she makes, her latest post is about the new EU VAT directives and how to keep on selling patterns as a small business.