Monday, January 6, 2014

2013 Goal Wrap Up

2013 was my second year of setting long-term goals for myself, and I'm excited to share how things have gone this past year.

1. Work out twice a week. I met this goal for all but a few months of the year. Many of you already know that I had to let a lot of things slide this fall to keep up with a demanding freelance writing load, wedding happenings, and craft fairs. Working out was one of those things that just didn't happen sometimes. However, overall, I'm still pretty happy about my progress with this area of my life. Also, Jake and I finally got an exercise bike in December, which is something that we've been talking about doing ever since we bought a house (two and a half years ago). It is already completely revolutionizing indoor workouts around here.

2. Create a weekly cleaning schedule and stick with it. I have done a good job sticking to a weekly schedule for cat chores and daily tasks. I've followed more of an every other week schedule for the other cleaning that has to get done around the house at least a few times per month. While it would be amazing to fit everything into a weekly schedule, I'm not sure that it's feasible for a house of this size with three cats and me and Jake both working full-time. That's okay. I've still made a lot of progress in this area of my life.

3. Double my December 2012 HubPages earnings. This just doesn't happen this year. It was a letdown after making so much growth in my earnings during 2012, but it's simply the nature of passive income earning. I also didn't have the time to devote to building and maintaining passive earnings in 2013 that I did in 2012 due to expanding my freelance client load so much and the time that I had to spend elsewhere (again, wedding). I think I could have had higher numbers in the fall if I'd been able to write new seasonal articles and do more promotion...but I didn't. My numbers were still solid, and I'm confident that I can maintain, if not continue to increase, my earnings in 2014.

4. Maintain a minimum of 2,000-3,000 words per day on weekdays. I've already discussed at some length this year that I solidly met this goal, which was a huge accomplishment. No matter what type of writing you do, if you're serious about doing it full-time, this should be your minimum. The bottom line is that you simply won't pull substantial earnings and won't improve your craft if you aren't maintaining this level. No, it certainly wasn't always easy, and there have been times this year that I seriously burned out. But I kept with it and am stronger for it.

5. Participate in 10 craft fairs. I ended up with 9 craft fairs for 2013. I'm glad that I stuck with 9 solid shows and didn't take a chance on a new one just to hit that number. I recently figured out my total for the year so I could file my state sales tax and was shocked to learn that I earned more at shows in 2013 than 2012. It didn't always feel like I was achieving that. There are still changes that I want to make for 2014, but I have a lot more confidence going into the next year of shows than I did when I wrapped up my 2013 shows a month ago.

6. Learn one new Photoshop Elements skill per week. If you've been keeping up with my goal updates, you already know that I changed the focus of this goal during the summer when I purchased Lightroom. Shooting in RAW and using Lightroom almost exclusively for my photo editing has taken my photography to a whole new level. I do still continue to learn new Elements skills as needed, and I continue to open Picasa (my old default) to do simple editing (largely adding borders and text to photos for articles, taking screen captures, and making collages) pretty regularly as well. I've found a mix that works for my photo editing and am excited to keep learning new Elements and Lightroom skills as I further my photography.

7. Start to monetize my photography. I have Zazzle, deviantART, and SmugMug accounts going, and I launched my Etsy photography shop in September. Getting all of these accounts / shops going was something of an accomplishment in and of itself. I have had a couple sales. It would have been nice to push new products and do more holiday promotions in the fall, but again, that just didn't happen this year. As I have so much in place now, it won't be hard to further it in 2014.

8. Participate in 6 BBA challenges. I had reached 4 challenges by my third quarter check in during September. Not long after that, our team decided to drop the challenge requirement to 4 challenges per year. With everything else going on this fall, I was happy to keep my total of 4 and not push a couple more of them. I found plenty of other ways to challenge myself in 2013 and don't feel like I'm lacking in any way.

9. Maintain focus on expanding my best selling lines/items. This concept remains something of a struggle for me. I am so happy to have items and lines that do well, but I also want to keep trying new ideas. It's tough to find a balance to keep my creative side happy and still keep my shop going. I know that many of you face similar challenges. While it's nice not to get crazy stressed out during these holiday rushes, it's also nice not to stress about creating loads of inventory all year long. Overall I did a good job meeting this goal, particularly during the times that it mattered the most, namely the fall / holiday show season and the height of holiday sales on Etsy. There were times that I had to keep items off of Etsy so I could have them in stock for shows, but that's okay.

10. Maintain focus on ensuring consistency for my craft fair booth and my business in general. I am very happy with the new branding that I created for 2013 and am sticking with it for 2014. I have a very good idea what is and isn't working about my business and am ready to make some changes for 2014 that will hopefully be for the better and that will build on my branding and the other good things that I do have in place for my business.

How did your 2013 goals go? I have been reading a lot of great goal wrap up posts the past couple weeks. If you wrote one, feel free to leave a link the comments!

Stay tuned tomorrow for my 2014 goals!

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  1. You've accomplished so much, Rose! I'm pretty disappointed myself that I didn't stick to my exercise routine last year. I'm going to try really hard this year :)
    Same as you I'd like to introduce new items, but most of the time I'm busy sewing the bestsellers...

  2. Hi Rose, new here. Clicked over from the etsy blog team. You got a lot done in 2013!! Exercise and routine cleaning is definitely on my list of to do's this year! It's interesting to see goal lists from others because they're always so many similarities! Can't wait to see what's in store for you in 2014 ;)

  3. You really have accomplished a lot! People who haven't done it seem to assume that working for yourself is a cake walk and you have all sorts of free time, but my limited experience so far shows that to be far from true, and you prove it! Best of luck with 2014 =)

  4. You not only had a busy year but a really good one as far as meeting most of your goals! Congrats on doing better at shows this year than last! I wish you even more success in 2014!

  5. Sounds like you have met several of your goals and are on your way to more success in 2014. I accomplished several of my goals as well and am working hard to create a new plan for 2014. Happy New Year Rose!
    Everyday Inspired

  6. Dear Rose, Wonderful. You have set goals and that is great that you have these to reach and go beyond. It is also good that you realize if perchance you should not meet these goals you are not going to be unhappy but know that you tried.
    I am trying to monetize and reach new goals for my blog and Avon, though with Hurricane Sandy and the house being flooded I was not able to reach the goals I was hoping for. I will try again this year.
    Blessings dear. Catherine xo

  7. Looks like it was a great year Rose! Even with all the crazy busyness of the fall, you met so many of your goals.
    Getting all your photography shops up and running is such a huge accomplishment...congrats!

  8. You've had a great year!! Here's to another solid year in 2014.

  9. It's hard to keep exercise going, isn't it? That's always the first thing I let slide, too, but I shouldn't. You did really well with all of these! And even if you didn't exactly meet a few of them, I think you're looking at them in a really objective way. Sometimes you just can't do everything!

  10. Met my goal of publishing my first book last year. I must say that I didn't really have very many goals last year. This year I have 3 children's poetry/story books that I hope to get published. The first one is written, and illustrated and now I need to decide which way I'm going to go as far as publishing it.
    I never set excising goals because I never ever stick with them. Kudos to you though for meeting all the goals that you did.

  11. Congrats on all of your accomplishments this past year. You set high goals, and really hit a lot of them.


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