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Thursday, February 06, 2014

Goals for 2014

Before I get in to what I want to blog about today, I thought I'd let you know that I've listed some more hand-dyed yarn and there's a 15% off sale on yarn going on right now. Quite a few yarns are missing photos. The weather has been so awful this week that taking photos has been impossible. The South West of England has been battered by severe storms and there's been huge damages and flooding to many coastal communities including our nearest coastal town, Looe. We're fine though. No damage here, apart from our neighbour's tree falling down on Tuesday evening.

I will take photos later today despite the still gloomy weather and upload them tomorrow. If you place an order and then decide to place a further order before i have a chance to post your first order then I'll combine postage and refund you if applicable via Paypal. My next postage day will be Monday as I don't have the car tomorrow. Happy shopping. 


Following my 2013 round up post last month, I thought I should do some goals for 2014. Last year I wrote a post about goals for 2013 but I never went back to check them, until I wrote the round up post last month. This time I've written my goals down in a notebook so I can refer back to them throughout the year.

My main goal this year is to write my book. That'll take me up to June and will keep me very busy but I still want to continue to work for my favourite magazines and yarn companies and do some self-publishing. I need to design a pattern a month for the Lace Lovers club too. Sign ups will open for the next Lace Lovers Club starting in May soon.

Goals for 2014:
  • Self-publish a pattern once a month
This was one of my goals last year which I failed on. I will be publishing a club pattern each month but I'd like to do one self-published pattern in addition to that each month but I will be kind to myself on this goal. Writing the book is more important!

I've made a good start though and have already self-published two patterns so far this year: Glacier and Starlight

  • Write & submit another book proposal
I've got an idea for another book. Ideally I'd love to have another book lined up to start work on next autumn. Having submitted one book proposal, doing another one doesn't seem so scary. The problem is finding time to design and knit the samples to go with the proposal.
  • Submit more to US magazines
Over the last 6 months I've not submitted to many magazines because my workload was very heavy so I did't have time to focus on developing new stuff. This is a difficult balance to find as a designer. Current deadlines must come first but you must also always look forward and submit to calls for designs otherwise you run out of work. As my book is being published by a US publisher it would be good for me to do more work for US magazines, so this year I will make an effort to submit to more US magazines and to some US magazines I've not been published in yet. I've made a good start on this so far and submitted to several US magazines during January. I haven't heard anything back yet though..... which may or may not be bad news as some magazines take a long time to decide on commissions.
  • Improve my blog, newsletter and social media
I'll be working on improving my blogging, aiming to blog 3-4 times a week, and also improve my newsletter and send it out regularly. I'd love to send out a newsletter weekly or fortnightly but I don't want to send one out just for the sake of it. I need to have something new to share to make it woth it. 

I'd also like to improve my use of social media. I enjoy Twitter and I'm on there a lot. I've recently added a Facebook page and getting the hang of that. I have joined Pinterest but still don't have any idea of how to effectively use Pinterest and learning to use Pinterest properly as well as Instagram (which I've just joined) is my social media focus for this year.

  • Teach more
I'm booked to teach more workshops this spring than I've ever taught before. I'm excited about teaching at my regular venues and new venues like the Jersey Textile Showcase in March and La Mercerie in Wales. I'd love to teach abroad, especially in the US. Maybe at some of the big shows like VK Live and Stitches - Yes I'm aiming high! I also want to develop some more online classes. They take a lot of time to develop and time is something I struggle with these days. Plus, I've lost my table top tripod which i use to film classes. I tidied it away last year when we re-decorated the lounge and I haven't seen it since. You can see all my current classes here.

I've also got some personal goals:
  • Get fit and healthy
I really need to loose weight but I don't want to go on another diet. I'd prefer to aim for healthy eating and improve my fitness. I love my bike and want to aim to go out for a bike ride 2-3 times a week, which I'm failing at so far this year. I need to find a local route I can cycle which takes about 30 mins and do it twice a week and then on weekends, if the weather is dry, make an effort to load the bikes on the car and go to a cycle track somewhere and go for a ride with Simon and Emily.

I also want to start Pilates again. I'm not sure whether to try to find a class or do a DVD. I've done classes before so I know the basics and I've got several good DVDs. I've also just bought the 30 Day Shred DVD and I'm planning to start tomorrow. Today was going to be day 1 but my back/neck is not good so I've decided to wait till tomorrow.

Foodwise, I need to continue to eat low fat, cut down on chocs and increase the amount of fruit and veg I eat. Sounds easy, doesn't it???

  • Make more time for reading my Bible and prayer
I'm a Christian and Christians should make regular time to read their Bible and to pray. Spending time with God daily is ideal but something I'm really not very good at. So this year I've signed up to a reading plan on my Bible app. I got off to a good start but this week I've slipped majorly. But I will get back on track. 

That's about it for goals for this year. It's going to be a busy year. So far in my knitting design career my philosphy has been about saying yes to opportunities. Many of the things I've done so far weren't things I planned to do. I was offered opportunities and I grabbed them. Saying yes to one thing lead to another. Meeting someone from one yarn company led to being introduced to others etc. I've also said yes to most things I've been offered so far. Now I think the time has come to be a bit more selective. Say no to things that aren't right for me and the direction I'd like my career to go in. Focus on where I want my career to go and actively pursue opportunities in that direction. 

First I need to decide exactly what that is. Do I want to focus on writing books? Design for magazines and yarn companies? Teach more? Self-publish? Those are the questions I'm pondering these days as I'm swatching for book designs. I'm hoping to order the first batch of book yarn next week. That's very exciting.

What are your goals for 2014? Why not share them in the comments.

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