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2014 Goals

Heidi goals

As always, I like to set some new goals for the new year. I don't like to think of them as resolutions because I feel as though I am setting myself up for failure. I'm a goal-driven person and if I set my eye on something that I truly want to do, then I often will work to accomplish it. In addition, I feel that resolutions are not really reasonable for the most part. They don't allow you to get...

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2014 Goals

Heidi Shenk "goals"

As always, I like to set some new goals for the new year. I don't like to think of them as resolutions because I feel as though I am setting myself up for failure. I'm a goal-driven person and if I set my eye on something that I truly want to do, then I often will work to accomplish it. In addition, I feel that resolutions are not really reasonable for the most part. They don't allow you to get halfway there or slip up. Goals, on the other hand, are always a work in progress. After looking back on my 2013 goals, I felt good about how far I've progressed in the past year. And as 2014 is beginning, it's time for me to find a new focus.

1. Be showered and dressed by 9:30am. This may sound crazy, but it needs to happen. It makes me feel awful when I have realized that I spent half of the day in yoga pants. I was warned this would happen when I started working from home, and it has. Now it needs to stop. Being fabulously dressed makes me feel fabulous, and I prefer feeling fabulous than gross.

2. Follow through. There are a lot of ideas that I write down or verbalize. Sometimes they don't happen or they happen months later. I want to seize the moment and follow through on these ideas rather than just sitting on them and thinking that maybe they should happen. I will go back and forth in my mind about whether or not to do something. It's wishy-washy. I need to stop bullshitting myself and just do it. I was off to a better start with this already in the latter part of 2013, but I need to keep the ball rolling. I have big projects I want to accomplish for my business this year and it's time to just do it.

3. Cut out negativity. Time to let go of anything or anyone that is causing unnecessary negativity in my life. This is something I started after we got back from Australia. If the habit wasn't good, I stopped. If the relationship wasn't productive or was giving me negative vibes, I moved on. I decided that it was time to stop worrying about whether or not I was stepping on the toes of others and just do what is true to myself. That in itself has already generated a lot of positive vibes in my life and I hope to continue to cut back on that negativity as I continue to seek a positive, creative, and fulfilling lifestyle.

4. Live like I'm on vacation. I wrote about my new found perspective after our return from Australia. I want to enjoy every aspect of my life. I don't want life to feel like a burden. I want it to feel light and enjoyable, so I'll continue to think about how I can make every day feel like vacation. What can I do each day, even if just for a few minutes, that will help me depart from the idea of life being a daily grind? That is what I'll continue to challenge myself to do.

5. Unplug and spend more time in the moment. This is easier said than done as my business is an online based business. I was good about this when I first quit teaching. When the work day was done, it was done. No more responding to clients after hours. My brain turned off the work day. That hasn't been the case recently, and I would like to make that a priority again. I also want to be more purposeful in the time I spend using social media with my business. Rather than checking in constantly, I want to think of it more as a scheduled use of time. In other words, hello productivity and goodbye time suck.

This year I'm feeling more positive than ever about my goals! I feel as though 2014 has a lot of momentum that has built up from the previous year, and I'm excited for what is to come.

Do you set goals for the new year? What do you hope to accomplish in the year to come?

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Staying Positive for the New Year

Heidi Shenk "goals"

Never before have I felt more motivated to make some things happen in my life. Maybe it's partly the new year, but I'm trying to ride on this motivation as much as possible these days. It is hard to always stay positive, but I think that's really been the key in continuing to feel as though I can take on the world. A little more than a week into this new year, I've found a few things that have helped to keep me going.

1. Take control of your life. It is so easy to not do things just because you don't feel like doing them. I've often fallen into that rut where I told myself that I couldn't get something accomplished when it was such a simple task. I've been spending a lot more time telling myself that if it is something that I am physically or mentally able to do then I have absolutely no excuse, even if it pushes the boundaries of my comfort zone.
2. Find one thing to do for yourself each day. These might be simple things, but it has helped to either give me a few moments to relax or keep me motivated. One day I made myself a cup of tea, changed into sweat pants, and just sat and relaxed in a comfy chair for a good while with nothing else to worry about. I set a reminder on my phone to help me remember that Thursday will now be coffee shop day and that I will be leaving school right away on that day. I've made myself turn off for the 25 minutes during my lunch break to read a book. These things are definitely helping!
 3. Pay a compliment toward someone once a day. It'll make you feel so much better! Instead of dwelling just on your own life or the negative things happening around you it will help you focus on the positives. And you never know what could come from making someone's day!

4. Take a step toward at least one of your goals. New Year's resolutions are kind of like bullies. They make you feel bad all of the time and then you just want to curl up in a ball and never do anything again. I set goals instead of resolutions because I felt as though they were more manageable and would be something I could work toward and still feel good about. I have a daily planner that I use to help me out with this. I'm such a list maker that I have one for school and one for my blog and business. I list everything that I want to get done and in the end get to feel a sense of accomplishment when I cross it off the list.
5. Plan like crazy. It is nearly impossible to stay positive about what you want to accomplish if don't don't know what or how you're going to accomplish things. Make a plan with a timeline in terms of when things will get done. Break bigger goals into smaller tasks and chip away at them over a few days, weeks, or months. I tend to use a daily planner for this as well. I like to have a month calendar in which I can plot out what I'm going to get done over time, and then I use the daily section for my to do lists as mentioned before. Think ahead in terms of what you want to get done. For example, I started planning my Valentine's Day line at the beginning of December knowing that I wanted it to be finished by the beginning of January. It then became a priority to work on this new goal a little bit each day.

These things may seem simple, but they have really been helping me stay positive and motivated so far. I really hope that this will help you as well if you needed an extra little push to get something done!

How do stay motivated? Have you been able to stick to your goals so far?

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Happy New Year!

Heidi Shenk "goals"

Happy New Year to you all! I'm really looking forward to what 2013 has in store and I have a whole new list of goals I want to accomplish. A new year is always so incredibly inspiring, yet it is often hard for me to stick to what I want to get done. I know I'm not alone in this.

Looking back on my goals for 2012, I was able to accomplish most of them. At one point in time I had over 200 items in my shop which was a big one on the list. I'm back down to 190 and would consider that a pretty awesome success. I well surpassed my sales goal of 400 (thank you, thank you, thank you guys!!!!). I didn't design a website, but I started working on a Storenvy shop which is definitely in its infant stages. The studio is still a work in progress, but is mostly set up. I did pretty well with posting more than three time a week on this blog and it has grown much more than I had expected (again, thank you guys!!!). And last but not least I came up with a new packaging concept for my cards and stationery that I love and my customers love.

So what are my goals for 2013? (This is going to be a long one. Just warning you? And no fancy schmancy photos, sorry.)

1. Stop apologizing for not blogging when I just simply haven't had the time. See how I didn't apologize at the beginning of this post for being MIA over the holidays? I have a life sometimes people! We all do!

2. Stop being embarrassed about my Etsy shop and blog. You may not know that I'm embarrassed by it on this blog, but in real life I struggle. Andrew is always trying to promote me and it embarrasses me. Sometimes I think my friends think I'm crazy and that they think what I'm trying to accomplish are just pipe dreams. The reality is that once my student loans are paid off, I will probably quit teaching and do what I do creatively as a full time endeavor. Most of my friends give me that look like, "that's really cool, but I think you're completely nuts and not being realistic." The truth is that I hate working for institutions and don't want to feel stifled like I do now. I am resourceful with money and could easily live on a very small salary-- my parents, both self-employed, taught me well in that regard. They also taught me to do what I do because I love what I do. I'm not sure I love teaching anymore. Bottom line, if I continue to feel embarrassed I'm holding myself back. Ok.... super long, but I'm done now. :)

3. Be healthier. I'm talking about exercise and stress. I eat very healthily and always have. I lack a regular exercise schedule and tend to exercise in spurts. I want to be more consistent. I also need to make it a priority to find ways to deal with stress. Lately stress has been a major problem and has wreaked havoc on my health. That will end. It has to.

4. Double my sales for my shop again this year. If I did it in 2012, I can do it again, right? ;)

5. Design at least 20 new stationery sets. I've been focusing a lot on greeting cards lately because they are so fun to come up with! However, I've missed designing stationery and find that kind of a design to be a completely different challenge.

6. Enjoy Baltimore again. Several years ago, the architecture firm Andrew works for wasn't doing so well due to the recession. Pretty much every architecture firm out there suffered during the recession. Recession meant pay cuts so we stopped doing a lot of things that we did regularly that required money. We used to go to the coffee shop every Saturday morning or go on day trips around the area or in the city. We stopped doing those things because we didn't have the money. The pay cuts were reversed a few years ago, yet we never got back into these routines and we've missed them.

7. Read more. Maybe a book a month? I've already started doing this in the last few months, but I want the trend to continue.

8. Be in my first craft show. This was a goal last year that never happened. Part of it is because of lack of time. Another part of it is fear. I'm kind of scared to take that leap, but it is a leap I need to take in order to take my business to a new level.

9. Travel more. This might mean less impulse buys (think clothes and shoes, especially shoes) and more saving. I'm good at saving money already, but I probably could save even more if I backed off on the shoe addiction. After spending time in Colorado over Christmas, I realized that we could be doing a lot more of that. I seemed quite fine with paying a ridiculous amount of money for the new booties that I desperately wanted when that could have been half of a round trip plane ticket to somewhere awesome.

10. Take more photos. I've been slacking off with this because I've focused so much on my greeting cards and stationery. I miss photography. I need to get back in the routine of taking my camera with me everywhere and not being afraid to use it! Anyone up for a photo challenge? I'm thinking that may be just the kick in the butt that I need!

These are my main goals for this new year. If you've made it this far, I'm pretty impressed. I hope the rest of my blog posts in 2013 are a fair more entertaining!

What goals or resolutions do you have for 2013?

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Checking in on My Goals

Heidi Shenk "etsy shop" "goals"

At the beginning of the new year, I made ten goals that I wanted to accomplish by the end of this year or throughout the year. Seeing that we're almost halfway through March, I thought I'd check to see how I was doing. I know that there are some I'm not doing so well with, so I revisited my list to find out if I'm at least making headway with some of them.

1. Have 200 designs in my shop.

This has proven to be a bit more difficult that I had thought. Since a lot of my note card sets are one of a kind sets, if I sell one I'm not making progress forward in this department. Rather, I take one step back and have to replenish the one that was sold. In addition, a lot of my sale items sold during my February Sale Event, so that didn't help me out with my goal of 200 either. I'll soon be adding some more made to order designs which hopefully will help me out!

2. Double my sales for the year with 400 sales.

I'm making good progress here thanks to this Valentine's Day card. I sold about 100 of them and since the beginning of the year have had about a total of 150 sales. So that means I'm about a third of the way to reaching my goal.

3. Complete my first craft show.

This hasn't happened yet, but I probably won't be able to work on this goal until summer vacation comes around.

4. Design a website other than Etsy to sell my cards.

Nope. Still haven't looked any further into this. And still wondering what others use for their websites if they have one.

5. Design at least one new design per week.

This is a bit spotty. On average, I probably design one thing per week. Some weeks I just don't have time, other weeks (like this one) I design five or six things in one day. Either way, I feel as though I'm staying on track with this one.

6. Finish setting up my studio.

I haven't given a studio update on my blog for a while because there hasn't been much going on in that department lately. Last weekend, I emptied out the closet in that room in order to provide space for my paper, crafting supplies, and shipping supplies. I'm hoping to continue working on this today and tomorrow. There is progress happening and I'll be updating you soon!

7. Complete at least three blog posts per week. (I'm trying not to let this blog fall between the cracks).

I did a great job with this in January, blogging almost every day. Then February came around and it was an extremely busy month, socially. One week I even realized that I had spent 6 of the previous 10 days with other people. People overload. This month I've been able to balance the social life with personal time and have gotten a little back on track with the blog this week. I'm finding that making lists of blog ideas in a notebook helps me stay on track.

8. In that same grain, I want to work on gaining more followers-- maybe up to 300!

Right now I'm at 91 GFC followers and 98 subscribers. However, I'm realizing more and more that this doesn't matter a whole lot to me. I'm going to blog no matter how many people are reading (I've done it for the past year or so haven't I?) so if I end up at 300 by the end of the year then it's just a bonus! :)

9. Create a new packaging concept for my cards and stationery-- something that looks more professional than just a cellophane sleeve.

Progress is being made here. I have some clear boxes that I've been using as trials for larger sets of stationery and so far, I like the look. I want to work on making some labels for the boxes next.

10. Create one treasury per week to amp up exposure.

I think I'm going to scratch this one. In the new year, I've made 2 treasuries and that's it. I've realized that I'd rather put my energy into something else that feels a little more worthwhile. Thinking of something to replace this goal... hmmmmm.

Did you make goals for this year? Are you making progress with them? Also, and I'm open to any suggestions you may have to help me improve on some of my goals. Sometimes all we need is a good swift kick in the butt! :)

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