2014 Goals and Resolutions

I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite things about the new year is making goals and resolutions. I’m a big planner and list-maker by nature, and while I’m setting goals all year round, the new year always feels like a nice fresh start, a time to delineate from the past and examine what you want to accomplish in the future. The last couple of years, I’ve been coming up with 10 goals that I hope to meet in the coming year.
But before I talk about 2014’s goals, let’s see how I actually did on my 2013 goals (which I blogged about in this post):

1. Buy a new car.
This one was definitely accomplished! I bought my new (to me) car last January and I still love it! All I have to do now is pay it off..

2. Improve my blog.
I really did make a lot of progress and changes to my blog last year. With Phillip’s help, I made my own design and figured out (with lots of patience and Googling) how to put all of the elements up on my blog. I think that with a year or so of practice, I’ve gotten better with pictures and general layout of posts too. Of course, I still want to keep changing and improving things (I’m already dreaming of a new design) but I’m still really proud with how far I’ve come!

3. Learn to use Photoshop.
This one can probably be partially crossed off, because I have learned quite a bit more about Photoshop over the last year. However, what I really want to do is take a class so I can get some in-depth information. Despite my enthusiasm, so far this hasn’t happened due to the classes always being scheduled when I have to work, but I’m hopeful for this year!

4. Decide on graduate school.
 I spent a lot of time last year thinking about myself and researching different graduate school and career options. I finally realized that (at least as of now) I don’t actually want to go to graduate school, but instead I want to take classes to develop and explore my creative talents. I’ve been in such a state of indecision and confusion in this area that having a clear direction to go in is a big step for me! For that reason, I’m considering this one accomplished. Anyone else in the same boat?
5. Do 12 new sewing projects this year.
2013 was definitely a year for sewing, and I managed to accomplish this goal and then some! Part of what made this happen was my participation in the Super Online Sewing Match and the Colette Patterns Laurel competition. Both of those were really awesome for me in building up my confidence in my sewing, getting involved in the online sewing community and motivating me to improve my skills.
6. Make a budget and stick to it.
I had mixed success with this goal. I made a budget tracker last February, which I used for one month and then gave up on. I have generally been successful in keeping my spending down, though I’m still not able to save as much as I’d like to.
7. Try out an antique space.
We’ve been selling in our space at the Depot Mall for over a year now and we’re still going strong! It’s been a great learning experience and a lot of fun, as well as a way to make a little extra money for our house fund.

8. Save all money from crafts and vintage sales.
Like my budget goal, I did this for a little while and then sort of lost track. We are however, putting all of our antique space profits into a special account to save up for a down payment on a house someday, so I think I can consider this partly met.

9. Move to San Luis Obispo
We realized this year that this is going to have to be a more long-term goal. We decided that the smartest thing to do right now is to stay where we are (we have a great house and a very reasonable rent) and try to save as much money as possible until we can actually buy a place somewhere else. We’re hoping to do that in 3-5 years. 

10. Sell at two craft fairs.
I sold at the Halcyon Fair in May and November this year, so I can cross this one off my list. Now that I have some experience under my belt, I want to try out some different venues and work on improving/solidifying my online shop and brand.
Hey, I managed to accomplish 6 out of 10 and made some progress on the rest! Not too bad!

Now, here are my new goals and resolutions for 2014:

1. Plan our wedding.
As I mentioned in this post, our wedding planning has been half-hearted so far, but this year I intend to figure out a date and get a lot of the major details worked out so we can start getting down to the fun stuff like decor and dresses! (ok, so the dresses are just fun for me…)

2. Grow my handmade business.
I’ve been working a lot lately on my handmade Etsy shop and trying to create a cohesive brand. I would like to continue improving it this year by:
             •  making more items and trying out new designs
             •  establishing my shop and brand locally through craft fairs
             •  creating business cards to hand out and place in online orders
             •  advertising online through blog ads and/or giveaways
             •  improving my photography and using cohesive backgrounds

3. Take more classes.
Like I mentioned above, my new educational goal is going to be to develop my skills and find a way to use my creativity as a career. I want to take more sewing and fashion courses, especially pattern drafting. I also want to take photography, graphic design, business, and web design courses and see what I can do with those skills. I signed up for two classes this semester- an evening sewing class and an online accounting class (to help me keep track of all of our little side ventures) at the local community college. I’m really excited about both and I would like to eventually find a way to get back to school full-time.

4.  Try out at least one new craft fair. 
I’ve sold three times at one craft fair now, and I want to try out a new venue or two. I got my seller’s permit online which was a huge first step, and I’m working on slowly building up my inventory and getting my displays top-notch.

5. Lose weight/get healthier.
I realize this is the most cliche of all New Year’s resolutions, but I’m serious! I really want to take control of my health and my weight this year by eating more healthily and incorporating more exercise into my day-to-day routine. I already signed up for the Weight Watchers online program, which is easy to follow with an app on my phone. I’ll keep you guys posted on my progress!

6. Save all of our antique sales for our house fund.
We already started this goal! Phillip and I opened a joint savings account specifically for our house fund and we’re putting all of our antique space profits in it each month. Hopefully soon we can add even more to it, but it’s a good start and it gives us a goal to work towards.

7. Learn to sew with knits.
My dirty little sewing secret is that I have never, ever sewn a knit garment, though ironically I wear knits almost every day! It’s a shameful gap in my skills that I intend to overcome this  year. Now that I bought my new serger I seriously have no excuse!

8. De-clutter.
It’s hard to keep the clutter to a minimum when you’re constantly buying things to sell and have a soft spot for vintage! I really want to pare down and try to sell a lot of the things I’ve been hanging onto, as well as using more of the fabric in my gigantic stash. This is going to mean having a yard sale, selling things on Craigslist, donating, and being relentless about what goes to the antique space.

9. Learn to crochet.
I’ve learned a couple of times now and forgotten, but I want to finally sit down and make it stick. I bought the Crochet Basics class on Craftsy when it was on sale for Cyber Monday, and I intend to watch it one of these days and make a few practice projects. After that: knitting!

10. Learn Pattern Drafting
This is something that I’ve been wanting to learn for a long time. I almost took a class at the local community college 2 years ago, but ultimately decided to take a new job instead (the old one was driving me so crazy I could hardly stand it!). I regret that decision now, because the class is no longer offered anywhere near where I live! Since moving isn’t a realistic option, I’m going to take some online courses to try to teach myself. I’m planning on starting with these Craftsy classes and work my way from there. Anyone have recommendations for a great online class/video?

Thanks for reading! Have you set any goals or resolutions for this year? Feel free to post a link to your post in the comments!