Happy New Years, everyone! I have to admit, I have been procrastinating on writing this blog post for a few days because I know I did not do well on my goals for this year. This is understandable, right? I was busy surviving a pandemic and my beading schedule and routines were disrupted. Not going to my weekly bead night was a huge blow to my productivity and increased workload at my day job and increase of general stress didn’t do great things for my creative drive. I’m certain a lot of you felt the same way this year.
So, owning up to my goals from last January might be a little painful here, but we’re gonna do it anyway!
Read and Review 135 Books on Goodreads – A+
I’m happy to start with the easy one here. I pretty much always make my reading goals because I have the privilege of working at Beads Direct USA in a type of job where I can have my headphones in almost all day. While the long list of podcasts I listen to definitely bit into my audiobook time this year, I still managed to read and review 137 books and discovered a whole bunch of new favorites.
Here’s a cool infographic that Goodreads generated showing all the books I read along with fun stats, like the longest and shortest books, and which ones were more common.
Write Two Blog Posts a Month – C
I make this same goal every year and this was the first year that I really wasn’t able to cope with it. There were four months when I only managed to make one blog post and I know there were a few others where the only posts were either very small updates or brief announcements.
I think the main struggle was that I just didn’t have anything to write about because I wasn’t beading as much. That’s going to be something that I have to think about for next year, since my beading schedule is going to continue to be different now that Beaded Bliss is closed.
Finish Remaking and Evaluating Each of my Original Patterns – F
Ugh, this would have been so easy since I only had four patterns left to review! I did one of them in February and then just forgot about this completely. I might just do a quick look at the patterns and if the photos and diagrams are up to snuff, they might just not get a makeover. I think it’s time to move on from this project.
This is the pattern that I did review and update, which was very satisfying, since it did really need new samples and a better pattern photo.
Actually Do Your Expense Reports EVERY Month – A
I did this one! It was actually a little bit less work than usual since I wasn’t visiting bead stores as often. I had one or two private appointments and it is much easier to log a few very big receipts instead of weekly smallish ones. I still need to do December, but that only ended three days ago, so I think I still earned an A!
Don’t Procrastinate on Etsy Listings! – D
This was no good. I still have SOOOOOO many unlisted pieces. I need to figure out some sort of system to keep myself motivated.
Make at Least One Kumihimo, Embroidery, & Macrame Piece – C
So, I actually forgot about this challenge. I did do an embroidery piece and it was actually one of my favorite projects of the year! I did do one kumihimo braid (although I haven’t listed it), but it was completing an abandoned project from 2019, so I’m not sure it counts?
I liked the spirit of this goal though and I really enjoyed learning to bead loom this year, which fits the idea to continue my beady education with new techniques and styles.
Do at Least Two Challenges, Swaps, or Collabs of Some Kind – B
I was going to give myself a big, fat F for this one because I barely even saw other beaders this year, let alone setting up a swap like the one I did with Danielle Wickes in the summer of 2019, but I actually did this one too??
At the beginning of the first lockdown, I decided to issue my own challenge, which I had never done before, and the Isolation Beading Challenge was born! I was feeling lonely without my weekly beading group and wanted to make a set of challenges that other people could play along with at home. It was fun and even though not very many people picked it up, I had a good time completing it and the updates gave me something to post about.
And before that, I was approached by Gina of Orchid and Opal – a super fun beading YouTube channel about featuring a tutorial on one of my patterns. I’d almost hesitate to call it a collab, since Gina did ALL of the work and I just gave my permission for her to share my design. But it was really cool to see one of my patterns come to life in a video.
- Read and Review 125 Books on Goodreads
- Find a New Blogging Schedule that Feels Comfortable
- Stop Procrastinating on Etsy Listings
- Continue Keeping on Top of Etsy Expense Reports
You might notice that I am reeeeally paring back on my goals for the upcoming year and that is on purpose. I am under no illusions that the things that have stifled my beading energy this year are going to magically evaporate now that 2020 is over. I’m still not going to be able to resume bead night and even if the bead ladies from the shop decide to keep meeting, it will be months of continuing vaccine rollout before I’m comfortable spending times in other people’s homes. Work is going to continue to be stressful as online shopping stays high and I know that not visiting bead shops or bead shows will probably not help with inspiration.
So, I want to give myself this upcoming year to find a new rhythm and create a new normal. My beading pace may change now that I mostly do it at home and alone. I want to keep this blog active, but holding myself to a strict two-post-a-month schedule isn’t going to help me feel fresh and inspired. This is going to be a year of healing and re-adjustment, so I want to take a very light touch to my personal expectations this year. I want to be gentle with myself.
So, what about you? Did you make goals for 2020? Got any new ones for 2021?
it’s been a rough year! I think we all as beaders will agree. I’m not a pattern maker but do enjoy making jewelry from my favorite creators, you, Carole Ohl, etc. I have just been able to start working on jewelry, of course it happened to be your tubelet bracelet. The loss of Bead Stash and then Beaded Bliss (which we just got to visit for the first time in 2020 and hear they were closing too). Is such a loss. Not being able to sit and bead with fellow beaders, shop at an actual bead store makes it rough! I have still followed these ladies on Etsy. It’s good but not the same. I miss the store, the people, sharing, talking. My friend and I have made it a resolution to do more beading together and hope we can get back into the groove again. I know it’s not easy but we as beaders still need you, Carole and other designers to keep us beaders going. Your patterns are our inspiration. You all inspire us to keep beading. We know how hard it is to get back to some kind of normalcy, but we look forward to future new designs from our creators. We love you all!!
I NEVER set goals as I seem to do just the opposite of what I want to do!!!!get more done just doing!!!
Happy New Year, Sam! I always always always enjoy your blogs. You don’t need to do them under a strict schedule, but when you have something to say, I love reading it. You are learning that making fewer goals for yourself doesn’t always mean you are less productive. So many of us are moving like “cows with their feet stuck in deep mud”……or, we are in the health care industry and don’t have enough time to consider things. Personally, I have learned to appreciate the time I am given while isolating. I realize even more that every moment we have never will return again…..may as well not waste them. I have priority demands on each day. I am primary caregiver, cook, and secretary for my nearly blind 90 year old mother who is losing her short-term memory (that one requires lots of patience) who was a successful romance writer and artist in her day (lots of secretarial work there). I have two radio features each week, one of them an hour-long Celtic music program. Neither of those has really changed with the pandemic, although I take a lot more care in how I go about doing them. My joy and sanity come from the beading……at night, after all other demands have been addressed. I work on a few of my own designs, but mainly, on tutorials by others and many of my favorites are yours, Sam. So, if you don’t meet all your goals, just please know that you have had an important influence on my therapy and productivity, and my goals of bringing something beautiful into this world each day. That should count for something. Liz
Liz, you are such a sweetheart and I always look forward to your comments. Thanks for your continued support. <3
YOU are ok wth you goals and doing. Just breath, stay safe. Beaders all over the world are sitting home, walking, We all are lost…where are our routines, missing our friends, family members living abroad and trying to help our elderly loved ones.
Thank you Sam I also enjoy blog
regards from Finland