Looking back on my 2016 goals these days, I see that I failed miserably.
And I'm totally okay with that. Surprisingly okay with that.
I am a goal oriented person. I like to tick things off and say that I succeeded. Setting clear goals, as I did last year, gave me something very tangible to work towards. And work, I did. What I did not account for was all the other stuff I wanted or had to do. Nor did I account for new opportunities. So yes, if I look at my list I didn't have a successful year. But if I look at all the things off the list I have absolutely nothing but election results to complain about.
2016 Goals and The Results:
- Secure contract and write 4th quilting book - Nope. The reality of a family schedule and knowing what it takes for me to finish a book made this an impossibility. Honestly, I am a bit bummed about it, but that doesn't mean the idea is gone...
- Finish and launch new website and blog - Done!! I'm so happy that I sat down and did the work on this. I hope you are too!
- Teach at least one 3-day workshop - Actually, I taught a few. This was a goal because I find these immensely rewarding for the students. They get so much done and they get a lot of me. And I get inspiration in return.
- Sell more local classes, potentially self hosted - Nope. I had some, but no more than usual. Again, that family schedule made it hard to plan this out. But it remains a 2017 priority.
- Try climbing and Crossfit and maybe Muay Thai again - None of these things happened. But I tried ballet (which I love) and got back to skiing. I joined a gym in the fall and have been going fairly consistently. So, in my head, physical gains made regardless.
- Leash train our dog, Roo - The damn black dog remains a challenge. He is getting better. And after many different leashes and harnesses we've settled on a system that works for us (very short leash for a walk then some off leash time). But he stills escapes and barks like the world is ended. Sigh.
- Remember and celebrate friends' birthdays - At the beginning of the year I made a big birthday calendar. I can't say I wrote on every FB wall or at least sent a text on each birthday, but I was infinitely better than I'd been in the past. Still room for improvement.
- Relearn bread making - I've been working hard at this one. I can do a yeasted bread fairly well. Sourdough? Not so much. It is a new skill for me and I haven't given up yet. The cold of winter seems like a good time to keep experimenting. At least the kitchen is warm.
- Learn to English Paper Piece - Yes! I played and figured it out. I'm rather excited to get going on my big project, hopefully later this winter.
- Finish 10 quilts from the Quilts Under Construction List - Hmm, I just counted, and I finished 7 from that list. Not too bad, actually. A few moved around the list. And I finished 19 quilts in total last year so there is nothing to complain about there!
- Keep a weekly writing date - Well, it wasn't every week, but creative writing did make a fairly regular appearance in my schedule. Enough so that I am expanding on that for this year.
- Label all the quilts - Does it count if I made a lot of labels? I have a stack of them in a drawer in the sewing room ready to attach. But I did stay fairly on top of things as I went. Sort of.
The good thing about a goals list is that it did keep me focused. If I found myself straying or struggling to focus the goals list gave me the direction. But I did find it restrictive a bit and totally ignored it. I ignored it because I had other work come up, because my family's needs were more than I anticipated, because other opportunities shone brighter. And all of those are good reasons and why I don't care that I didn't meet my goals. I don't have shareholders or a board of directors to answer to, only myself. Plus, if I look at what I did accomplish on top of this list, I'm pretty happy.
- Finished 19 quilts. There is a lot of secret sewing in there (soon, I promise!) and some things I still haven't blogged about.
- I played, explored, and committed to a Morning Make and my life is not the same.
- My first fabric line comes out any day now.
- Published about 20 articles in magazines and blogs, not counting my own.
- Judged QuiltCon and lived to tell the tale.
- Travelled to Australia, Red, Deer, Ottawa, Montreal, Edmonton, and Leduc to teach. Oh boy, memorable trips, all of them! Bonus: a sunrise swim in the Pacific Ocean.
- Participated in the Mighty Lucky Quilt Club and The Splendid Sampler.
- Filmed The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Timms and brought my daughter along with me to make it extra special.
- Made it through the heavy family schedule of school and competitive sports with the kids without snapping. Possibly even thrived through it, I think. Bonus: watching my kids become fiercely competitive and proud of themselves.
- Finally figured out how to take out and put back my slider windows so I can wash them myself.
- Made new friends and built stronger relationships with the dear people in my community.
- Committed to and planned out one of the 4 novel ideas I've sat on for a few years.
- Every week sent out a handle of queries to try to publish at least one of my children's picture book stories. A lot of rejection there, but I won't stop trying, refining, and writing more.
- Did not sit on the sidelines with my kids. With the exception of trampolines, I go out and do the things with them now. Bought a fancy brace for my knee and that has me back on skis. Not to mention hiking and biking more. Plus nightly frisbee in the park in the summer and bringing them into my Morning Make.
So yeah, 2016 was a pretty good year. It wasn't perfect, I was far from perfect. There were ugly moments, sleepless nights, arguments, and a stress too. A lot of it. But I do believe life is the sum of all our moments. You can add and subtract along the way, but as long as the overall equation results in a positive you are doing okay.
This look back on the year has me rethinking my goal setting process for 2017. Some people do the Word of the Year thing too. There is also a more business minded approach that gets me thinking about mission and vision statements. I usually get that thinking done over the holidays but we did not have much downtime there. So look for more in my newsletter (are you subscribed?) and here. There is a lot to look forward to this year, again, election results aside.