how breaking my rules is helping me get my goals in 2024

I have a confession to make...

For the first time in maybe ever, I didn’t set specific goals for the new year in January. I KNOW! I preach so much about setting clear actionable goals and here I am, it’s February and I haven’t written a single goal for the year down. Here’s why . . .


I spent a good portion of my January on a dream vacation at a resort in Mexico while watching a literal angel of kindness and craftiness (AKA Craftcation presenter Natalie) get hitched. And while I thought I’d use that quiet time away from real life to reflect and goal-set, I chose instead to:

  • paint on the beach
  • have drinks at a swim-up bar for the first time in my life
  • spend lots of non-work time with our COO KatieMac & her husband
  • wake up early and walk the empty beach alone
  • read a book without interruption
  • get to know many of the “strangers” (including Craftcation presenter Kate Kryder & her partner) who were also guests at the wedding who by the end of week I had inside jokes with and genuinely cared about
  • and generally be present in the moment instead of looking back and ahead to goal-set while in paradise

When I got home, still on my vacation high and missing the “HOLA” exchange that happened dozens of times with every person I encountered and the all-you-can-eat everything I reminded myself. . .  it was a new year and therefore time to solidify my goals. Then… I just didn’t. Instead, I allowed myself the luxury that I had in Mexico that I usually withhold from myself at home. I took the pressure off myself and tried to be in the moment in my regular life the way I was in my vacation life. Cut to now, a mere three weeks since I got home and somehow, miraculously I’ve started working towards my 2024 goals without writing a single one down. 

how did I do it?

The bottom line is…. I know what I need and want to adjust in 2024. I also know myself and know that when it comes to work, a project plan, clear goals, tracking things in a spreadsheet, etc. are what work for me. Yet when it comes to personal goals, writing them down rarely works for me. What has worked has been knowing what I need to do and being intentional about every decision I make. My intentions don’t have to be written down but I need to keep them front of mind. 


Here’s what that looks like. . .

  • This means paying attention to the fact that what I eat and drink affects my health and rallying against my hedonistic desire to eat cheeseburgers, tacos, pasta, Korean BBQ and ice cream for every meal (and wash it all down with tequila)
  • It means that because I don’t ever want to give up my 770+ credit score and go back to having a 325 credit score (I bet you didn’t know they went that low!) I’m not going to max out my credit cards traveling right for months straight to eat the aforementioned foods in the places where they make the very best versions of them. 
  • It’s also about not working from bed seven days a week in my pajamas even though I technically could. 

Instead I shift from auto-pilot decisions to taking a breath and intentionally choosing my destiny. 


Here’s how this played out today. I let myself languish in bed and cuddle my son when I could have got up right when I woke up. I ignored the delicious smell of bacon frying as my husband was making breakfast and threw kale, blueberries, nonfat yogurt and a handful of other healthy foods in the blender and had a smoothie for breakfast. I forced myself onto my exercise bike desk and pedaled for 1.5 hours during meetings. When my husband texted me that he had a taco craving, I went to lunch and ate lots of cheese and chips even though we had perfectly good leftovers in the fridge. 


Was everything I did today supporting my vision of my 2024? Nope. Was some of it? Yes! I stayed in bed and ate Mexican food with abandon but I also had a smoothie and was active. For me, that’s success. Committing to extreme goals whether they’re personal or professional doesn’t work for me. What does is simply slowing down, giving myself grace and making small changes that align with my intentions for myself and my life. That’s my wish for you as we inch toward the end of the first quarter of 2024. Don’t beat yourself up for not doing it all or not doing it right or not doing it fast enough. 


Show yourself the same grace you’d give a loved one who was trying to progress. And remember what my dad (AKA the infamous genius modern philosopher/barber/biker) told me when I was in my wild and traumatic 20s and trying to make a relationship with an addict work, “If someone tried really really hard, they may be able to change about 10%.” 


If your 10% includes getting expert mentorship for your creative business, finding a community of supporters who understand what you’re dealing with and having a place in the creative business community to call your own then join us in Dear Handmade Life: The Club. 

DHL: The Club is our Members-Only community for creatives and passionate small business owners where we provide the tools, mindset, accountability and support to help you take your next big leap. Membership only opens a few times a year and our next enrollment period is now through March 5, 2024.

when you join the club...

. . . you’ll be guided through an activity to assess where you are in your business journey, where you want it to be and how you can get there. 


You’ll also have the opportunity to join an accountability group so you can get that kick in pants to motivate you when your old ways are feeling extra comfy. If you’re still reading this and wondering if The Club is right for you, chances are it is. If you have questions, reservations or concerns, email me! I’d love to help you decide if The Club is a good fit for you. If it’s not, I’ll let you know. 


P.S. – Enrollment only opens a few times a year so join us now!


  • Group coaching in our monthly mentorship sessions where you get personalized help from me, Nicole, as well as support and advice from your peers
  • Monthly business classes featuring an expert-led workshop in an essential business skill that matches our monthly theme: social media, goal-setting, newsletters, hiring help, etc.
  • 24/7 support through our online community where you get support, encouragement and resources from members and us
  • Our creative business boss book club where we have guided discussions about what we’re learning
  • Unlimited access to our class library with on-demand classes and workshops led by some of the most sought-after teachers in our community
  • Access to the resource hub – our curated list of the service providers, platforms and services that we love and use

Enrollment is open now through March 5, 2024. After that, it won’t open again until the summer.

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