As 2014 draws to a close, I’m definitely feeling the frazzle of the holidays, and some pressure to sit down and make those ever-important New Year Resolutions. Dah-dah-daaah. As I thought about the resolutions that I made last year, it occurred to me, that I can’t think of a single one. I am sure they were well-considered and well-intentioned, and yet completely forgettable.
Does this mean that I didn’t follow through? Possibly. And I don’t think that matters either. This year I am going to try something new. It’s more of an “end of the year review” meets “way to go list”. Here goes… Since January 2014, what have you accomplished? Did you start or grow a handmade business? How many sales did you make this year? Did you improve your website, or grow your social media following? Did you volunteer your time? Did you finish knitting that scarf that you started in 2005? Maybe you joined an artists’ group? List everything that is a step forward. Big and small. Personal and professional.
If you still need convincing, here are 3 good reasons:
1) The way-to-go list says, “Look how fantastic and accomplished you’ve been in 2014,” while a resolution says, “This is where you fell short last year”. I don’t know about you, but I am well-aware of my shortcomings, and do not need the help of a snarky list to remind me.
2) In the middle of holiday madness, who doesn’t need a reminder that there were 11 months before this one, and that a lot has gone down. It’s easy to lose perspective when we are all rushing around like maniacs.
3) It’s much easier to sit down and evaluate your current goals when you are also aware of your accomplishments. Don’t be your own grinch who ruins any remaining holiday spirit.
I started my list last week, and have been adding to it when I think of something. Not only do I feel a boost when I add to the list, but seeing everything in writing that I’ve done over the past year feels pretty amazing. That’s not to say that I don’t have goals for 2015. I have a list of goals and objectives, and I am not at risk of forgetting any of those higher level goals and will also add to that list all year long. But this year, I am not going to make any short term/forgettable resolutions.
It is so much easier to point out your problem areas than it is to celebrate the wins. I think this is particularly true for small business owners, especially when you are a solopreneuer. So, please, for the love of Christmas trees, Menorahs and everything else, take a minute to celebrate your wins as you navigate the end of the year rush.
Erin “Wren” Duncan is the owner and handmaker behind wrenbirdarts. She is a former bookseller, barista, grantwriter, event planner, and real estate agent with a Master’s in Social Work. Erin is known for her sometimes cheeky, hand embroidered hankies. Her work has been featured on Buzzfeed, HuffPost, Glamour Magazine, and in several local and international print magazines. Erin lives in Seattle, where you’ll find her walking around exploring farmers markets, the local craft beer scene, and scoping out local businesses. You can follow her on social media @wrenbirdarts.