I cannot believe that in just two short days, 2014 will be over. I feel like I was just celebrating last New Years, drinking champagne and thinking about my hopes, plans and dreams for 2014. And now bam! Get ready for 2015.
2014 really was a great year for me. It was the year Melissa and I moved into our dream apartment. I did my first guest post on another blog. It was the first year I attempted a weekly Project Life album. I celebrated my second Blogiversary (here here and here). I became a contributor for Pretty Well Organized. Perhaps the most exciting change, I made the big switch from Label Me Organized to Label Me Merrit. I celebrated 1 year of the Merrit Elizabeth Shop being open. And most recently, I became a part of the first ever Studio l2e Making Planning Fun Creative Team!!
So 2014 was definitely jam packed full of awesome new adventures, big changes, and huge blesssings! It will certainly be one heck of an act to follow, and I intend to try my hardest to do just that. The one thing I wish I had done for 2014 was have a set of concrete goals set out for myself. While I did get a lot accomplished, I feel I could have done so much more with just a little more direction from myself.
So I have decided to set myself some goals for the new year, both personal and professional, to stick to and focus on. I’m hoping that by thinking out and writing down my specific goals that I hope to accomplish in 2015, I can stay focused and on track throughout the year. There will be no more second guessing what I should be working on next, or struggling with uncertainty or a lack of direction. By writing out both my personal and professional goals, I hope to make 2015 be my best year yet!
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Personal Goals for the New Year
1. Start doing yoga & light exercise
Exercise is basically a dirty word in my mind. I would much rather sit at a desk all day crafting than run a marathon. However I do know that exercise is a necessity for living a healthy life, and it can have so freaking many positive benefits. So this year I’m going to try and start easing into it. I’m challenging myself to do half an hour of yoga three times a week, plus 25 sit-ups and 25 push-ups each night before bed. You can see how I plan to track my progress here.
2. Stay up to date on Project Life
So I pretty much failed miserably at this in 2014, finishing only 12 weeks out of a total 52. But I had an absolute ball completing the weeks I did get to, so I am definitely not giving up this hobby in 2015! You can see how I plan to stay caught up on my 2015 album here. I also hope to finish at least half of my 2014 album (26 weeks) by the end of 2015.
3. Cook 1 dinner per week
Melissa is the cook in our house. And historically, I’m the one who burns Easy Mac. I have never had an intense interest in learning how to cook, but I always did plan on learning the basics eventually. Well the time has come. In 2015 I will cook 1 dinner a week. This will let Melissa have a break once a week, and I won’t have to eat frozen meals whenever she goes out of town. Win win.
4. Complete 1 sketch per week
I love drawing. I have been sketching since I was in elementary school, and just love how calm and relaxing it is. I’ve never really taken the time to truly practice and cultivate this skill, so I’d like to try and start that in 2015. I’m challenging myself to complete 1 sketch each week. They don’t all have to be masterpieces, but I at least want to get in the habit of drawing regularly.
5. Start journaling regularly
Another thing I have struggled to keep up with over the years is journaling. I have always loved keeping journals, and then looking back and reading about my life at different periods of time. Journaling is another form of memory keeping, in what I believe to be its truest form. With a busy adult life however, it can be hard to make time to journal. I would like to initially aim for writing a short paragraph or page three times a week.
6. Continue healthy eating
Over the last year or so, Melissa and I have begun to really pay attention to what we eat. While we haven’t turned into health nuts by any means, we have been trying to be more conscious about our decisions of what goes into our bodies. I don’t believe jumping in all organic, no sugar, no preservatives, no trans fat etc. diet all at once is the way to go, and I’d be setting myself up for failure if I tried. So I’ve been slowly working healthier decisions into my life over time. Less soda, then more water, then more fruits and veggies, then less sugar in my coffee etc. I’m hoping to continue making and building on these healthy decisions in 2015.
7. Drink 8 glasses of water daily
Going with the goal above, I want to specifically make sure I drink enough water each day. There are just countless benefits water provides your body, and drinking enough H2O is the kindest thing you can do for yourself. I plan to use the handy dandy (and adorable) water tracker that comes with the Plan It stamps from Studio l2e, to track my water intake in my planner.
8. Maintain healthy nails & cuticles
I have had this horrible habit for forever of picking at my nails and cuticles. I have gotten a lot better with picking at my nails in recent years, but my cuticles are still a mess. By the end of 2015 I want to have completely kicked this habit, and have beautiful and healthy nails!
9. Improve beauty regime
Currently my beauty routine is pretty basic. Besides the obvious of showering, all I really do it wash my face and put lotion on my hands at night. I really want to bulk up my beauty routine in 2015, adding regular manicures, exfoliation, face masks and all sorts of other pampering goodness! I’m planning on sharing all this good stuff in my Label Me Pretty section.
10. Consciously create the life of my dreams
This isn’t a specific goal per say, but more of a mindset I’d like to maintain throughout the year. I am a firm believer that you can create the life you want to live. I don’t intend to settle with my life. I plan to build, and create a life I love and can be truly proud of. This will not happen though without conscious effort, and a little sweat and tears on my part. I just need to remember the end goal when the going gets tough!
11. Live in the present
Another mindset I’d like to incorporate into my daily life is truly living in and appreciating the present. I am definitely one of those people who can focus way to much on the past or the future, so I completely miss the present. I want to slow myself down, and just take in life as it happens.
12. Participate in extra crafting challenges
I would just love to participate in December Daily and Week in the Life in 2015. I decided against tackling these challenges in 2014 since I wasn’t even up to date on my regular album. I knew adding one more project to my plate was unrealistic. However, with my plans to stay current in 2015 (see goal #2) I will hopefully have enough time to take on a few extra side projects!
13. Work on finishing abandoned projects
Going along with the previous goal, I want to work on finishing up some previous projects I started but never finished. First and foremost, I want to finish up my #30lists mini album. After that, the projects I want to focus on are:
- Dakota’s scrapbook (started a few years ago… has one completed page)
- Vacation mini album (bought supplies… haven’t started)
- Our Dreams scrapbook (started with Melissa a few years ago… has 3-4 complete pages)
And I’m sure I’ll stumble across other incomplete projects throughout the year. Starting shiny new projects then forgetting about them is another bad habit of mine…
14. Make or break 1 habit each month
This goal is a little more general. I want to either create one good habit or break one bad habit each month of this year. Some of these habits I’d like to make or break have already been outlined in these goals. But I don’t plan on trying to immediately start EVERYTHING on January 1st, because well, I’d fail. This goal is to help me spread out the positive changes I’d like to make throughout the year.
15. Be grateful for the gifts in my life
And maybe most importantly, I’d like to remember to be grateful for the blessings I do have in my life. It can be so easy to get caught up with what you want, or what you don’t have, or what someone else has, that you forget what you already are lucky enough to have. I want to remember this, and be consciously grateful for all the wonderful things I already have in my life.
Professional Goals for the New Year
1. Design and solidify branding
Since Label Me Organized has become Label Me Merrit, I have been a little lost with nailing down my ideal image for my brand. As soon as possible, I want to have a finalized design of Label Me Merrit’s brand. This includes the blog’s header, logo, colors, and overall package that is Label Me Merrit. Once that’s put together, I can finally share a full tour of the new site like I promised here.
2. Write an official business plan
Since my dream is to have Label Me Merrit and the Merrit Elizabeth Shop become my full time forever job, I need to start treating it like a business. That means writing out a solid and thought out business plan. This business plan will hopefully do for my business what this list of goals will do for my new year, and give me direction and a path to follow.
3. More structured office hours
Again going along with making my business more business-like, I want to structure my days a little more. One of the benefits of being your own boss is doing whatever you’d like all day everyday. However, this isn’t always efficient, and the boss (me) doesn’t always crack down when they (I) should. I want to develop a regular work routine for my days. Not necessarily as strict as ‘check email from 9-10, take pictures 10-11, write posts 11-12’, but more of a general guide or outline for my days to make sure I get everything done and stay on task.
4. Blog regularly 3x/week
I have been teetering between posting 2-3 times per week pretty steadily for the last few months. I’d like to make that final push and really start regularly posting 3 times a week. My long term goal is 5 days a week, but I will be happy if I’ve consistently posted 3 time a week for the next 52 weeks.
5. Increase monthly pageviews
The main statistic a blog is judged by is the number of pageviews it receives each month. I would like to set a goal to reach 25,000 pageviews per month by the end of the year. This will take time to build up to it, so it will not happen over night. I’ll consider this goal complete if I have 25,000+ pageviews in December.
6. Work with 3 blog sponsors
Running a blog take a lot of hard work, a ton of time and even some money to keep everything going. I’m hoping to work with at least 3 sponsors in 2015, to help support and grow Label Me Merrit. I plan to stick to certain standards when accepting sponsors. These sponsors would be companies that I love and support, and want to share with you guys. You will never have to worry about me promoting or sharing a brand or product that I don’t personally believe in.
7. Support myself full time from blog/Etsy
Oh, this one’s the big one. I have had the idea of starting and building my own business in my mind for as long as I can remember. And discovering that I could do just that by sharing the things I love with other super awesome people that love those same things, well it just about made my heart explode. This blog and the Merrit Elizabeth shop are my babies, and it is my absolute dream to be able to do this to support myself and my family for the rest of my life.
8. Start YouTube channel
I have really been wanting to start a YouTube channel for the last couple of months. It had been lingering in the back of my mind for a while, and then a fire was lit under me once Melissa started her channel. I haven’t been able to find the time to get my own started yet, but in 2015 I’m going to make time! (I don’t have any videos yet, but my channel is set up. So if you want to subscribe to be sure you catch my first video when I do post it, you can do that here).
9. Expand products offered in Merrit Elizabeth Shop
This is another one that has been on the books for quite some time. Pretty much since I launched the Merrit Elizabeth Shop, I have wanted to add more and more products to the shop. I would love to eventually add a physical planner to my listings, as well as some typographical prints. I have so many ideas in my head, I want to get started on a least a couple of them!
10. Make 100 sales in Merrit Elizabeth Shop
I made almost 50 sales so far in 2014 in the Merrit Elizabeth Shop. I am hoping to double this in 2015, with a grand total of 100 sales by the end of the year! I’m hoping goal #9 will help me along with this goal.
11. Learn to digitize my drawings
There are so many reasons I want to do this. I’d love to be able to draw and design my own graphics for the site, for my printables, for new art prints in the Merrit Elizabeth Shop, and the list goes on. Learning how to turn my hand drawn sketches into digital images would be a skill I’d love to add to my professional portfolio.
12. Make my own WordPress child theme
This is my one reach for the clouds goal. Recently I have become super enamored with coding and the idea of building an entire website from scratch. I would super love to learn how to do that, and to design my very own child theme for the Genesis Framework from scratch.
13. Continue to make blogging friends
I have met so, so many wonderful and talented and awesome people through this blogging journey. It has been one of my favorite parts of creating this space of mine, and I hope to continue to meet and get to know many more of you!
14. Build up my social media
I couldn’t be writing blog goals without challenging myself to build up my social media accounts. As it currently stands, my Facebook and Twitter are the places I’d like to focus the most on beefing things up. Are you friends with me over there? Hint, hint 😉
15. Be grateful and proud of what I have built
Again, when focusing on what I want to build and accomplish, it can be easy to forget what an amazing digital home I already have. It is easy to celebrate a milestone one day, then completely forget it happened and move onto a bigger goal the next day. This can lead to discouragement, since forgetting exciting milestones or accomplishments makes it seem like they didn’t happen.
I want to be grateful for all the blessings I have received through this blogging journey, and also give myself a pat on the back every once in a while. I work super hard creating this amazing blog space I call home, and sometimes I don’t give myself enough credit for what I’ve already accomplished. In 2015 I want to be more aware of what I have built, rather than focusing on what I haven’t yet built.
So there are my official goals for the new year, both personal and professional. I’m hoping that by sharing them with you guys and the world this way, I will hold myself accountable throughout the year!
What goals have you set for yourself to complete in 2015? Share them in the comments below, and we can help keep each other motivated. Let’s make 2015 the best year yet!!