At the beginning of this year, former ABS editor Elaine Ray shared her goals with us for some New Year's inspiration. As you prepare for tonight's festivities here is her post again as you think of what you'd like to accomplish in 2009.
Who out there has New Year's resolutions / goals? As I reviewed last year's beading list it came to my attention that every idea checked off as "completed" was accompanied by specific "to-do" steps. So this year, I'm setting only goals with "how to" steps - no general resolutions. My "resolve" to do-what-needs-to-be-done seems somewhat weak, but give me a written out goal that I can then cross off the list and I'm on it. I love tools and my tools right now are a list and a Sharpie!
So now I present you with a few of my beading goals and the steps for achieving these goals:
1) Keep up with paper work.
a) Place a sticky notepad by my bed so I can jot down notes as I get ready for bed. In the past I just kept one notebook in my studio, but could never seem to make myself go back downstairs to write in it if I had neglected to do so earlier in the day. I'd just tell myself "I'll write it down in the morning." Yeah, you can guess how good that worked out. So now I'll be able to just grab that sticky note and plop it into my actual notebook the next morning.
b) Put a sticky notepad in my car and one in my purse.
c) Get rid of that place where I put things to file later and just file them now, later never seems to get here.
2) Design and post a entry for each month of the Art Bead Scene challenge. (I know, this should be especially easy for me as I get to know the challenge even before the month begins!) As I set about laying out the steps to achieve this goal I realized that my block has to do with my beading space / organization. So my real goal here is to "Set up and maintain an area for jewelry making". Which, in my case, if very different than the area where I make bead and pendants.
a) Organize beads, pendants, findings, yarn, wire and tools.
b) Hang cork board.
c) Get a sketch book and use it. No more scrapes of paper all over the place.
d) Do not use my beading desk as a "catch all" place for my home life - this is work space. I'm very protective of my clay working space, why not be with my beading space?
e) When trying out different designs, take a quick digital photo of one arrangement before trying the next arrangement - my memory is not what it used to be. Keep digital camera handy - no lost time looking for it, its battery, cables or whatever.
3) List one item on Etsy per week. (This goal is also tied to the above goal.)
a) Read up on Etsy, but don't delay listing: I don't have to know everything before getting started.
b) Designate a place to store items listed in a manner where they can be easily packed up and shipped when sold.
4) Get new styles of beads and pendants out there for the public to see.
a) Maintain my own blog better. (I know this sound more like a resolution than a goal - I did write out steps to achieve this but they are too boring for here.)
b) Improve Elaineray.com (Same as above.)
c) Post entries on Art Bead Scene.
d) List on Etsy.
e) Visit and leave comments on designer blogs / web sites.
f) Send digital images / samples to bead shops.
g) Always take the time to photo new items.
5) Set up a somewhere to take quick, reliable photos. They don't have to be jury ready quality, just get the picture taken.
6) Get a business card and carry a few with me at all times. Never hesitate to give one out.
As I read through this list, I realize how fast I should be able to get the steps done, freeing me up to accomplish the actual goals throughout the year. To realize that I really do need to stop and think about what is getting in my way of accomplishing my goals has been a good exercise. Being an Occupational Therapist by training, I should have realized this - no one does Activity Analysis like an OT!
If you'd like another perspective, additional ideas and support to write or revise your own goals, here is link to a great article written by our favorite Bead Nerd, Lori Greenberg.
Thanks for letting me think out loud here with you. Everyone has different ways of approaching goals and getting the job done. Leave us a comment with your own ways of organizing / goal setting for your beady businesses and we can all learn from each other. Feel free to leave a link to your own list of goals / resolutions.