I’ve been trying to make time to contemplate my 2019 word of the year but this has been such a busy end of year for us! After forcing myself to pause and look back on my last words-of-the-year I realized how important it was to choose a word and choose one with intention. It turned out to be very fortuitous to have 2018’s word be “reset.” Sticking to it was sometimes a challenge but having it, especially mid year, as a guide for some decision making was very helpful. I wanted to reset a lot of the foundations in my business and life for that matter, since so many things in my life were changing (a new baby, a shift in my business, and new desires for a work-life balance). Turns out I also needed a ‘reset’ to tidy up my life because I would be preparing for ANOTHER baby! It has been quite the year for setting new ground work on all fronts and I’m glad to feel like I’m starting out strong.
My 2019 will bring a lot of hurdles so I want a word that I can frequently look back on to keep myself on track and answer any looming doubts on ‘is this the right time for such and such.’ I’ve decided my word for 2019 is *Present.* I want to be truly present in all the work and projects I take on while still being present for my family and every milestone we encounter. I don’t want to lose sight of any special moments in my daughter’s (or son’s😳) young life because I am helping someone else prepare for their special moment. Additionally, I don’t want to lose myself and what is important for me to do and build during this time when I know my babies won’t be little forever and I’ll need to have things of my own.
You might be wondering HOW I’m planning to stay present. I admit I haven’t totally figured that out yet for every turn but I think just recognizing the necessity is the first step. I’ll be checking in with myself every month to be sure the decisions I’m making are staying true to my word and philosophy for the year. I still want to make goals but goals on my terms. I hope I won’t be afraid to quit something or pass on an opportunity if it isn’t aligning.
A few personal goals:
- Read Present over Perfect– I hear its great and this seems like the perfect time to give it a try.
- Reassess my podcasts- I love podcasts but a few are becoming a distraction. Sometimes I feel I need to listen through to the end even if I’m not interested so I want to get rid of that pressure.
- Collaborate- I’m not sure how I’m going to do this this year but I’m enjoying brainstorming and hope to seek out some cool opportunities.
- Continue to engage locally / in person- It takes some additional effort but I think it is so important to keep up with friends/people in the biz and my best way to do that is in person. I just can’t replace or come close any other way.
I’m excited for all the juggling that will be going on this year and to see where it takes me. I definitely plan to let things happen more organically than try to force too much on myself during a year filled with some many adjustments to be made.
What wasn’t successful or I didn’t enjoy:
Only working on digital graphics/assets.
I was advised several times by several knowledgeable people to only dabble in digital products because it’s easier on your time, taxes and sanity. Once I launched, I knew I couldn’t only sell digital graphics. I missed that extra design component that I was encouraging so many others to do. I also kept coming up with ideas and ways to use my graphics that made me feel like I was missing out or holding back. Launching my product line at the end of the year has made me appreciate what my digital products are and knowing there is a place for both digital and tangible products at MALWEST design.
Relying on naptime to do work.
Maybe with two naps a day I could get a few things done but with a toddler and going down to a single nap (and not a very good one at that) working and keeping the house together was a struggle. I didn’t like choosing between a tidying and working because working in my business always suffered.
What surprised me:
Friends make the best clients.
I always thought my clients had to be strangers that could look at my work and just know and trust me with an instant connection. That initially chemistry is very hard to find especially in the saturated online sphere. I worked with so many more clients this year that we’re friends or people I knew in other capacities and I think it made all the difference. My favorite aspect of working with any of my clients is the ongoing relationship we build so I’m happy to get a jump start on that with people I already know and love.
What’s ahead for 2019:
Keeping my shop going not growing. With a baby soon to make his debut I don’t want to over commit myself. My word of the year is *present* and I want to keep myself present for every project, event, endeavor I take on without losing these precious early moments with my kiddos. I still want to only take clients/projects I love and that align with my aesthetic. I want to push myself creatively, but I’ve loved having my voice and style come through and want to keep that momentum going.
Courses: I’ve purchased two courses in 2018 that I want to work through in 2019. First is Ashlyn Carter’s
hefty course: Copywriting For Creatives that helped me with my website but a course and I need and want to finis h that will apply to many aspects of my business.
Second, is Paper and Spark’s
Asana For Makers. So many good tips and tricks in this for staying organized and working in varying lengths of time. I’ve started but I can’t wait to implement more.
Goals: keep my website and Etsy shop up to date. I want to use both of those more and learn how to maximize growth from them as tools.
These are my work and life goals. I plan to revisit them each quarter and add to them, amend them or just make sure I’m accomplishing something! Any must haves send my way!
- Read more novels (I guess a business book or two too)
- Visit the beach more– it’s only 15 minutes away!
- Share more of my work and process
- Get my studio lookin’ good!
- Travel! Get something fun going on every month even if its just a day trip
- Spruce up my brand
- Get some awesome copy — taking copywriter suggestions!
- Invite friends over for drinks/dinner more often
- Keep up with my online friends! Do some skyping/direct connections. “Likes” are great but don’t count!
- Get more involved in the local art scene
If you follow me, by now you know my word for the year is “reset.”
I’m very excited for what 2018 will bring to my business and family. I hope to make decisions in my business remembering the word I chose to guide me throughout the year.
I don’t need more or bigger or new —I just want to focus on better. This is not a year of pitching, searching or starting fresh (I hope!!) but one where I use my non-client time in MALWEST to grease the hinges of my business. By that handy metaphor I mean refinement. I want to get back to my core values and apply avenues to uphold them moving forward.
To set again or differently
- to move (something) back to an original place or position
- : to put (a broken bone) back in the correct position for healing
- : to put (a gem) into a new piece of jewelry
So often we are pressed for time and have to make a snap decision on programs we use or subscriptions we sign up for. This year I want to re-examine and choose the best options after more research. Things may run efficiently but there may be an even better way—as business owners there is no one over our shoulder telling us what is right or best so I want to take the time and figure it out for me and my biz.
Questions I’ll ask myself:
How am I spending my time and energy?
How can I make little things better— processes?
What is important to me? Not just what is in right now or trending.
Do you or your business have a word of the year? Any helpful ways to keep it top of mind all year long?