With only 1 more day left of December (and of 2017!) I thought I’d show you what I’ve been up to. I’m also going to share some of my Tips for making goals in the penultimate days of 2017. I know a lot of you, like myself have a lot of motivation and like to set goals and resolutions in the New Year. I’ll share some of the methods I’m going to use for setting goals and targets.
I’ll make one thing clear – December did not go to plan. The reason why? My plan was completely wrong. (Part of the reason for sharing my strategy for making better plans in the future) I had made a list of my monthly goals without taking Christmas into consideration. I’m also stupid, and decided to do Blogmas when I already had a lot on my plate. But I don’t regret it for a minute! It has pushed me to get patterns out there that I didn’t want to leave until next Winter; and it has pushed my writing abilities whilst trying to keep up with an ‘every other day’ deadline. However, I was planning to publish a third pattern for the Hobbycraft 3 for 2 offer and make some mitts – they turned out way too chunky so I haven”t published the pattern. Please let me know if you’re interested and I may re-think publishing. They are just SO chunky! I’m going to have a think over the next few weeks and see if there’s something else I could make. 🙂
My original December list looked like this…
- Finish Katie’s Harry Potter Scarf
- Finish Cosy Stripe Blanket
- Make 20 Squares for a Charity Blanket
- Edge 20 Squares for Fruit Salad TV Blanket
- Finish 2nd ball of wool on Chunky Knitted Scarf
- Make 2no. Amigurumi Cacti
Here’s where it all went wrong.
- I wasn’t planning to make any Christmas presents; but in the end made 4.
- I didn’t plan to do Blogmas until the Christmas season started.
- I didn’t incorporate the time for Magazine submission work.
- Christmas is busy! and I underestimated the time that would be spent shopping/wrapping/preparing.
December has been incredibly busy, and I didn’t realise how much I’d achieved until I consulted my bullet journal last night. I realised just how different what I achieved was to my original list of goals. I decided to make a new list for December; despite only having a few days left. I think this ordeal has been a lesson in trying to chose more realistic, achievable goals for myself to avoid feeling disappointed.
My new list looks like this…
- Finish Katie’s Harry Potter Scarf (Done)
- Make Christmas Presents (Done)
- Blogmas (Getting there)
- Publish Hat & Cowl Pattern (Done)
- Start #Oneskeinwonderlandcal (Done)
- Finish 1no. Knitted Sock (Done)
- Write up pattern & make ? for ? magazine (Nearly there)
See… how different is this list than the original list? It has taught me that maybe I should only start off with a couple of goals because plans can change midway through the month. I am trying to set goals that are SMART targets. I haven’t used these since High School – but I’m hoping that it will make me think through y plan more thoroughly before committing pen to paper (In a notebook I don’t want to tippex/scribble in… see how obsessive I can get?)
SMART is an acronym and stands for:-
Specific – Set specific goals that relate to more descriptive items. Instead of saying your goal is to crochet, it could be, crochet a scarf and a hat. It helps to compartmentalize tasks so you can tick them off (and ticking feels so good!)
Measurable – Goals should be measurable; and if my monthly goal isn’t to finish a WIP, then the goal should be specified in terms of a measuarble goal. For example; finish a ball of wool, repeat a whole section of colours, reach a halfway point, make a particular number of squares/hexies/circles… etc. This way, it is easier to manage time and tick off goals when they are completed. Write down your goals so that you can tick, highlight or scribble each off as you achieve… believe me – it is very satisfying.
Attainable – This is the one that I really need to consider when setting my goals. Is it attainable? There was no way I was going to finish my Cosy Stripe blanket in Decemeber. I haven’t even picked it up. Who was I trying to kid? I think I loved the idea of finishing it before the end of the year and having a little Christmas present for myself. I think this is the hardest part of setting SMART goals because you can both over and under-estimate what is attainable and also it isn’t ‘set in stone’ what you can achieve from one month to the next. I think it is important to take into consideration what other committments you may have for that period of time, and whether other distractions are likely.
Relevant – (although I like to reiterate the ‘is it Realistic? question here.) Is your goal relevant to your overall aspirations? Does your goal relate to a bigger picture? For example, my goal of knitting socks contibutes to an overall goal of ‘Improving my knitting skills’, and making charity blankets contributes to my overall goal of stash busting and crocheting for a cause. However I’m not too sure thet relevance is 100% necessary when it comes to crafting (unless it is your job) as it is not for exams and coursework. This is a hobby, and should be something you enjoy. Goal-making isn’t for everyone (I’m just weird and like to push myself)
Time-based – They all are because they are monthly goals… so the time-goal is the end of the month. However if you are making goals for the year (like I will be for 2018) it is important to have a ‘deadline’ to keep you motivated. For example in Crochet I could say, I want to make the Doppio Colleseum Shawl before I go to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival so I can wear it.
I hope you find some use in this random blog post. My failed plan for December has made me re-think how I should be setting my goals, and what better time to share my advice than the days before New Year when everyone is making new years resolutions.
Love Charlie, Xx