Making and Keeping Crafty Goals
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
As we come to the end of this year, it is hard not to have goal making on my mind. I for one can't help myself; I end up making loads of unrealistic goals I consequently can't keep. When it comes to crafting, I enjoy reminiscing about the past year's projects and dreaming up new ones. I am a planner, so the process of figuring out what I would like to make next is not only necessary, but also something I look forward to. On the other hand what good are goals and plans if you can't keep them?
Goal making can be very personal and I think we all approach it differently. My general life goals are to eat better, relax more, exercise, etc. Pretty run of the mill. For crafting though, I like to change things up each year to help keep myself creatively inspired. When I sit down to make craft related goals, I try to keep in mind that they need to be flexible. I think that's one of the hardest parts about keeping crafty goals. Sometimes you have to go where your creativity takes you.
To set yourself up for success, goals should also be measurable, specific and realistic. Let's make some goals together!
For me, the measurable aspect is the most important. It is so satisfying to feel like you are making progress and it can help motivate you to keep working. So, instead of a goal to "finish more projects", a goal to "finish 10 projects" is more measurable. It's important to measure your progress often throughout the year or time period. This may mean breaking your goal down into smaller, more manageable goals.
Being specific about your goals makes them easier to understand and achieve. Rather than a goal to "finish 10 projects", a goal to "finish 10 throw quilts" is more specific, but still pretty vague. Think about mapping out projects you would like to make and think about what patterns and fabrics you will use. Consider pulling fabric for a quilt or project and taking a photograph to remind yourself of your choices. Pair it up with the pattern or instructions and you'll be ready to tackle your projects as you have time throughout the year.
Finally, your goals need to be realistic. If they are realistic, you are more likely to meet them! Perhaps finishing 10 throw quilts this year is too high, evaluate your time and energy and arrive at a realistic goal, perhaps "finish 6 throw quilts". This doesn't mean you should undersell yourself, but being able to reach your goals will help motivate you work towards them.
A few other thoughts on making and keeping crafty goals:
Break it Down
So you've got your goals, now what? It's time to break those large goals into more manageable and actionable pieces. For our "finish 6 throw quilts" goal, we can break that down into a quilt every two months. To help meet that goal, you could choose to start a quilt every other month. Break down the steps within the project and assign them to certain weeks or days. This may involve some upfront work each time you start, to choose fabrics and a pattern.
This of course isn't the only way to work, but it can be a good way to get started, and thinking about your goals in a less overwhelming way.
Enjoy the Process
These are great tips for project-based goals, but what about the process? Consider making some non-result oriented goals, like "find more meaning in crafting". This could be a much deeper goal, which would take more planning and thought than a project-based goal. It's not quite as measurable, but adding a journaling component or checking in with a friend could help you track how you're feeling.
Make Goals with a Friend
Making goals with a friend is not only more fun, it gives you someone to help keep you accountable. This past year, Jacey and I had a number of goals that lined up together, and it was really motivating. Knowing that if I didn't follow through she'd be asking me about it was the little extra push I needed. On the accountability front, posting each month here on the blog about my goal progress helped a lot too. I didn't want to have to admit that I was falling behind or not meeting my goals.
Think about how you might reward yourself for meeting your goals or making progress. It could be a little fabric shopping spree, or starting a shiny new project. Consider what would help motivate you to work towards your goals!
As 2016 wraps up, I am taking time to reflect on what parts of my crafting really make me happy. Maybe it is a particular type of piecing or project. I also like to continue to grow my craft, so I like to come up with a project or technique that is outside of my comfort zone for the new year.
Do you make crafty goals? I'm looking forward to sharing my goals for 2017 soon!