Ah a new year. A time to reflect on the craziness that was 2014, and hold promise for things to come. I've been a bit goal-less this past year, so when I sat down to map out 2015 goals, it led to some major pivotal moments. It's no secret that I am obsessed with planning, so I've been a bit giddy the last few weeks with my planning tools and color coded pens. Whenever I see a pin or a blog article about planning or goal setting or worksheets, I am instantly hooked! I have tried several business planning and goal setting activities over the years, and this time was no different.
I started in November with Lisa Jacobs' Productivity Workbook and Creative Business Planner. I could order the softcover workbook from Amazon, which I loved, and it was great to have all my notes in one place. The workbook was great for reflecting on my business to date and discovering what goals I was secretly craving. But I knew I needed to create a solid plan of action for the upcoming year if I was going to make those goals a reality.
Enter Stationery Academy's free worksheets. Sometimes I need the steps spelled out for me. The instructions made it super easy to plug in my big goals and break them down by month. I ran into a few problems since several of my goals will run year-round, but this exercise helped me get on the right track with mapping out my goals over the course of the year.
So I started organizing my goal ideas into groups (because everything gets organized around here...) to share with you in a blog post. When I started to write about my first over-arching goal, things got real.
Cue big momentous thought.
This one requires some back story so bear with me here. I remember in middle school, I attended a one day workshop for young girls to learn from real women scientists, chemists, engineers, physicists, etc. My eyes were opened in two ways that day: that ice cream is a chemical reaction and that I can do anything. While I may not have become a marine biologist (like my parents), I recognized the large gap in equality for young women in technology and science-related careers.
I took a few courses in college on anthropology and women in the media that continued my fascination with gender inequality and society's view of women. I read books like Can't Buy My Love and Queen Bees & Wannabes that kept the issue in the back of my mind. I started working at an ad agency with a female CEO because I thought things would be better for women there. One month for the book group we read Lean In; only women attended. We agreed changes needed to happen in the agency, and we were the ones that could start it. Nothing changed, at least not for me.
After working in the male-dominated field of advertising, my ego was pretty beat up, despite the fact that I was able to do Excel circles around most of the men. Being told frequently to "not take things so seriously" and being asked to make secretarial phone calls by my supervisor didn't sit well with me. So I turned in my resignation to pursue starting my own business (a dream I've always thought was unrealistic) and wasn't surprised to receive offers from several other departments within the agency to stay. One was to work on algorithms all day long, something that brings me alive (statistics are my jam). Still, I walked, without looking back.
A few months later, when I was in the middle of a frustrating time of start-up and doubting my abilities to start a company from scratch, I was prepping to move to California and in need of boxes. My mom's friend, who she hadn't seen in years, offered to give us her unused moving boxes that she no longer needed. Her generosity touched my heart, but it was our meeting that woke me up. You see, she is a programmer for a power company. When something goes wrong with the computers, she is the badass that they call to fix it. Her confidence in her career, and attitude about life were awe-inspiring. She is even a huge Disney nerd and loves horses... how had we never met?!?
The moment that I will never forget (and that brings tears to my eyes even now) was when I made an off-handed remark about not being a "math person", "it's just something I've never been good at". She stopped me mid-sentence, "Yes you are". I stumbled, assuring her that I struggled through math in school, frequently napping during morning calculus (I am not a morning person...). She held firm, "Anyone can be good at math. I'm sure you are too".
The conversation evolved and carried on. At some point the subject of my old career came up, and how I had been asked to stay. I mentioned the algorithms (where I'm sure my eyes lit up), and she stopped me again, "See, you are good at math". Her smile was infectious. I walked away beaming.
Something changed in me that day. I was once again that little girl, who believed I could do anything. But first I had to fight off those pesky boys & naysayers.
I realized at that point that making my business successful was no longer optional, but pivotal to finding my purpose. I have been struggling to explain my why for going into business. The original reason was to escape. But the reason to continue, to make it a thriving, powerful business, is to share this message:
You can do anything you believe in. The only person that can hold you back is yourself.
So 2015 goal setting turned into business vision realizations. I create with the hope that it will make one mom's birthday party planning easier, one bride's wedding vision a possibility, one friend's best intentions a reality. I write with the hope that it will make one of you smile, reminisce, dream bigger, or finally find the inspiration you need to go after those big dreams.
This year, these words are important to me, but I hope they also inspire you to set goals for yourself. Because you deserve to dream big.
So now, without further ado, my 2015 goals!
- Inspire children to dream big, and women to make dreams happen
- Grow online community of dreamers
- Create inspiration art prints
- Create coordinating invitations & printable items
- Grow as a business owner
- Taking online courses (like CreativeLive)
- Reach 2,000 sales on Etsy
- Capture (and organize) lots of photos
- Grow personally and creatively
- Learn how to watercolor
- Explore my new home
- Visit Disneyland once a week
You may wonder how the last one will help me grow, other than the obvious fact that Disneyland is amazing. Being in Disneyland floods me with creative ideas, which certainly helps when you are a designer. I feel at home inside those gates, like I've finally found where I belong. Like I can do anything. It also helps me hit my daily step goal of 10,000 just in an evening trip. Staying active can be tricky when you work from home, so this is my creative way of staying motivated (best gym membership on the planet in my opinion!).