One of my favorite things to do in December is to take a look back at the past year, and think about all the things that I’ve experienced and all the goals I have (or have not) accomplished. Sometimes an overall look at my year serves to help me appreciate everything that happened. Some of the small setbacks I had may turn out to have had silver linings when I look back with a little distance. And it always amazes me to see how far I can come in a single year. How much can change.
Here are a few of the goals I wrote down last December (both personal and business goals), and what became of them:
Work part time for myself by the end of the year. This is the big one. I really wanted to get more serious about working on my business, and giving myself more time during the week to do it was a really good way to kick start that goal. At the same time though, this is a scary leap for me, even with just one day a week. Financially, working for myself means that we are taking a hit. Goheen LLC does not pay me yet, because I put all the money I make back into the business right now. But, despite my anxiety about finances, I definitely accomplished this! Within 2015, I have gone from a job that I really wasn’t happy at, to two part time jobs that I loved, to now one part time job and one self employed day!
Go on a vacation. My husband and I took a road trip out west, where we got our first look at the Grand Canyon, and immediately fell in love with it. We drove out to Colorado, and then Arizona, and it is honestly the best vacation I have ever had in my life. Driving the whole way and back in a week meant that it wasn’t really a relaxing vacation, but it was a huge adventure! We hiked on Mt. Humphrey, went caving, hiked partway down the Grand Canyon, visited the Mesa Verde, and explored Flagstaff and Sedona. We have already decided we need to go back and hike all the way to the bottom of the canyon. It was the most amazing thing I have ever seen!
Sell 12 items on Etsy. The grand opening for my shop was October 31 of 2014. So when I decided to set goals in December I wasn’t really sure what was reasonable. That, combined with my natural inclination to set my goals low (to make sure I have a chance of success of course!), led me to set a goal of selling 12 items in 2015. One for each month I figured. I smashed that number, selling 52 items on Etsy this year, for a total of 72 items overall. My Etsy shop was a huge success by my (obviously low) standards! That being said, my one per month plan didn’t actually work out. I struggled (as many other Etsy sellers do) with selling during some of the summer months. So there is obviously room for improvement next year. Being able to get sales semi-consistently will be a huge benefit when I solely work for myself.
Run a race longer than a 5K. I have been struggling to overcome patella femoral pain (my knees), and I have at long last seen a little improvement. I’ve been hurting for a couple years now, and at the beginning of this year, I made it a goal to finish a race longer than a 5k. (this is way down from my original life goal of running 26.2 miles before I was 26.2 years old) About halfway through the year, I crossed out the “longer than” part, and decided it would be a win if I could just finish a 5k. A few months after that, I gave up on that goal altogether. But, after 5 doctors, and three different physical therapists, I have stumbled upon a chiropractor who is helping me get back to running. I can now manage to run 3 miles, 3 times a week, and I even ran the Drumstick Dash this year, which is 4.5 miles. This sounds so trivial to my former self, a few years ago. But now, after not being able to run for two years, this feels like the biggest accomplishment in the world.
Do a craft fair. This is another goal that I had pretty much given up on by the end of October. At the beginning of the year, I thought that the best kind of craft fair for me to do would be a holiday one. But by the time I started looking into them, in about May, all the shows I looked into were already full! But, right around Halloween I saw an advertisement for a little local show at the Carmel Public Library which still had openings for their holiday Green Gift Shop. So, last minute I signed up for it! It was very small, but right up my alley, because it was a show just for items that were "green" in some way, just like my Etsy shop. I was a nervous wreck going into it, but my wonderful husband ending up taking a day off of work to come help and support me!
Put up 52 items in my Etsy shop. Basically, I thought that for 2015 I could list one item a week in my Etsy shop. A week is enough time to make at least a small item, photograph it, and list it in my shop. And I thought that doing it on a consistent basis might get me into a good habit, and also keep me fresh in the Etsy listings. Technically, I did reach this goal. I listed 79 items in 2015. But as far as keeping it to once a week? That definitely didn’t happen… I still like the idea of it, and I don’t think it is too ambitious of a goal. I just have to get more disciplined about my consistency!
Read 6 books this year. This is not a very high goal, I admit. But when I say read books I mean read them. Sit down with a physical book in print and read it. With all my sewing and shipping and designing, I have gone completely over to audio-books and podcasts lately. I have just gotten into a habit of constantly multitasking. (I am actually writing this post while eating lunch at work.) But I had decided that I NEEDED some non-multitasking, non-work associated down time. And reading a physical book is exactly what I needed. So yes, I read more than 6 books in the past year. (not very many more, but still more)
List a Bag in my Etsy shop/ List a piece of clothing in my Etsy shop
These two goals were just a little push I needed to get some bigger, more expensive items in my Etsy shop. It is a big time commitment, and a bit of a gamble, because there is no guarantee that these time consuming items will sell. But I do have them in my shop, and I plan to have more!
Make a Website. Obviously, this one I managed to do, because you are here at my website!
Find cheap shipping supplies. This one did not happen. I have good reason though! Kind of. The problem with finding cheap shipping supplies, is that for the most part, you have to buy it in bulk. And that poses a problem for me in two ways. First, my one bedroom apartment is… well, it's one bedroom. And between all the fabric, the sewing machines, and the finished products ready to ship, I’ve kind of run out of room! I don’t know if I have space for bulk boxes and envelopes. The second problem is that my items vary so widely, that I need several sizes of shipping supplies. Especially if people order multiples. What I use to ship 1 headband, vs 1 bag vs 3 pillows at once is quite a range. So that means even more space…. But, I know that I need to figure something out. I am getting to the point where bulk buying doesn’t seem so far fetched anymore, as far as numbers go. Now I just need to reorganize my space to fit it all…
Overall, when I look back at this list, I'm pretty happy with what I have accomplished over the last year. It always amazes me how far you can come in the span of just one year. But even more-so when I look at this list I start to think about what I want to accomplish in 2016!
creative business owner. designer. hoosier. crafter. runner. sewer. swing dancer. outdoor enthusiast. entrepreneur. wife. material hoarder.
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Madeline Stage firstname.lastname@example.org
"Never give up on a dream because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway."
- Earl Nightingale