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Hello February - Goals Update

Heidi Shenk

I can't believe it's already February! Time flies, especially when things are busy. I thought I'd use the first of the month to check in on my goals that I set at the beginning of the year. When I'd been blogging regularly a few year ago, this was something that I did to help keep myself accountable. I feel as though things have been progressing well, but it doesn't help to check in with myself.

1 // Continue learning new things. In January, I spent an afternoon with my aunt in a bookbinding class. I learned how to make and bind my own book. Making something and learning a new skill was refreshing for me. It was something different than the cards I'm making every day, which really helped in terms of filling up the tank in the creative department. I think I'll seek out something similar in February, whether I teach myself something new or I go to a class.

2 // Become stronger and healthier. I'm on track for this. Up until the blizzard a week ago, I was active in some way six days out of the week. Then the blizzard came along, and I got a little off track. We couldn't get off of our block due to the snow, so that put a damper on our gym routine. However, I still did yoga a couple days at home and we got back on the gym train on Saturday morning. So far, I'm feeling stronger, but feel as though my cardiovascular health could get better. I'll have to share more about some of the things I've noticed in terms of my strength in a different post. In addition, I've done a lot of research to figure out a better weightlifting program that I'm going to start this week.

3 // Streamline my wholesale program. Baby steps. One of the first things I'm doing is creating a more cohesive line. This takes time because it means redesigning some of my cards and retiring others. It's hard not to get attached to designs even if they don't sell well. In addition, part of making a better wholesale program has included outsourcing some of my cards. I'm working toward building an inventory rather than printing stock when I need it, and so far, I'm on the right track with this. In February, I'd like to focus on taking new photographs as needed and putting together a catalog.

4 // Identify when I'm sabotaging myself and take active steps to change that. Slowly, but surely I'm getting better at this. I still know when I'm sabotaging myself, but I still need work in changing that. I started the month off really well, but again, sort of let the blizzard blues win last week. This week I'm focusing on sticking to my routines and just starting tasks that I don't especially like just for five minutes. I've found that if I can get myself to do something for five minutes, then I usually forget that it was as awful as it seemed to begin with and the task gets completed. I've also tried a few new productivity apps that I learned about during a recent networking event, and those have helped me from entering the rabbit hole of the interwebs when I should be getting work done instead.

5 // Start blogging regularly again. So far, this has been a success. I went big on this goal, and committed to blogging every week day this year. And I have. I've really enjoyed the conversations that have been sparked by some of my posts, and in general, I feel as though I finally have an outlet again for some of the tougher subjects and issues I deal with on a daily basis.

6 // Take more photos. I'm not on track here at all. Aside from snapping a few photos for my blog posts and for product shots, the camera has been in the camera bag. I'm thinking about doing a personal photo challenge this month to get myself back in the mindset of doing more photography.

7 // Make time for myself and the people in my life. I'm doing ok with the, but could do better. One thing that seems to help me is doing yoga almost daily. It gives me 45 minutes to myself to get some exercise and clear my mind. I think that I need to be a bit more intentional with my time in the evenings. It can be really easy to waste 30 minutes scrolling on my phone right before bed instead of doing something else more productive and sane for my health. It's time to break that habit.

8 // Spend more time traveling. We're already taking steps toward this goal. I've gathered everything necessary to renew my passport, but just need to have Andrew snap my photo so that I can crop and size it and send it in. We've also been looking at options for some sort of beach vacation in the coming months. We're torn in terms of pricing though. It seems like all-inclusive trips to places in the Caribbean are some of the most cost effective even in comparison to renting an AirBnB and cooking for ourselves. However, they don't offer quite the off the beaten path vibe that Andrew and I tend to prefer. So in that frame of mind, we've been trying to decide just what to do.

9 // Continue to minimize and organize our house. This is happening. During the blizzard, I spent an entire night in my studio clearing out things that I no longer use. It felt damn good. There are still a lot of things that I need to get rid of, but unfortunately I'll need to wait to do that. A lot of what I got rid of were old cards and other paper materials that I no longer use or keep in stock. They went straight into our recycling bin. Right now, recycling in Baltimore is on hold because of the blizzard, so until they start that up again next week or so, I can't continue with the purge. There are a lot of paper goods that I still need to get rid of, but I refuse to throw out something that can be recycled. We also have two bags of clothes that need to go to Goodwill, and I plan on doing another closet purge this month. I purchased a few more items for my wardrobe that can act as staples, so I need to get rid of the items I no longer wear.

And that's my quick update on my goals. How are your goals coming along? Any progress?

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