2018 Accomplishments & Best Practices

Always at the end of any year, I assess and grade myself. It’s a little game I play but it’s a serious deal too. I usually set goals for every year and by the end of it, I like to check off what I accomplished and how close I came to my other goals.

This year brought a lot of personal stuff that kinda set me back. However, I tried not to let those problems get the better of me so some goals that weren’t met will roll into 2019. Also, the my list below combines business, personal and spiritual achievements. And, at the end of this post, I’ll list some of my best practices for the year too (stuff I learned along the way), so let’s get started:

My 10 Accomplishments for 2018

  1. Business income. While I didn’t see a significant upward jump in our income, we didn’t go below either so I feel this is an accomplishment. We were able to sustain our living while keeping our expenses down. 
  2. Florence Fest. We put in three of hubby’s photo prints into the annual art show and two made it and sold.
  3. Debt free. We accomplished getting to 90% debt free. Paid off our 2017 taxes which were high but was so glad to have that behind us. Now we’re working on the 10% left.
  4. Celebrated 10 years on my day job. Pretty proud to have remained committed to an organization for that long and I’ve grown so much as a designer. 
  5. Crafty detour. While I can’t crochet and knit anymore like I used to, cardmaking quickly has replaced that so I’m not feeling lost like when you lose a pet. Anyone who knows me knows I love to create. 
  6. New computer for work. We were sad that my old computer broke and had to be replaced with a new one (took all our savings), but on the flip side the new PC is so fast, so nice and so much larger so that I can do all my graphics and web design work. I looked for a new white computer to replace the old one but couldn’t find one. But, I found the next best color: silver!
  7. Staying on track. Our photo business went through many turns as we were looking at our products lines, how to better market them, how to produce better artwork, listening to what our customers say…etc. With that said, hubby began a new project to allow his images to be downloaded for stock usage which is where we ultimately want to go. Excited that he found a company and he’s building his library to launch early 2019.
  8. Organized the office. I’m giving away bags of my yarn to a wonderful crochet group in town that makes items for the local hospital + gave away arts and crafts back in April. This allowed me to make space for new products that I want to work with. I bought some more shelving so that now I have my cardmaking supplies I use often right where I sit. Plus, I put away larger items like my photography lighting and office equipment. 
  9. A Healthier Me. I injured my left knee around April and couldn’t walk everyday, however I’m all healed now. I watch my carbs and sugar intake so I’ve been able to maintain my weight. Overall, I lost about 45 – 50 lbs.
  10. More impersonal interaction/less virtual interaction. I made it a point to get out more in front of people and try to offer encouragement, laughter and conversation. All I did was when I ran errands or grocery shopped, I looked for opportunities to converse with people that I ran into. I tried to also offer help where I could just to talk and even offer prayer as needed. I felt in my heart that all the time I spend in front of the computer wasn’t good. I’m not trying to pat myself on the back, I just wanted to reach out more and ministry isn’t just in the church building or among the saints. The ministry work is in the field…meaning our neighborhoods and community. People need love, genuine love and that only comes through Jesus Christ working through His believers. I was nervous at first but as I did it more, I looked forward to it and it got easier.

My 5 Best Practices for 2018

  1. Never buy on impulse. I say this all the time but man is it hard not to do. I have a tendency to buy things when I’m feeling down and I know those items don’t bring lasting joy. The momentary delight only lasts a day at the most. So, I’m trying to make sure that; (a) I really need the item; (b) it will help me do my jobs better; (c) that it’s affordable; and (d) that hubby and I agree on the purchase. Otherwise, I’m wasting monies that we need towards more important things.
  2. Some goals aren’t possible to achieve in a year. It’s seriously okay if some goals I wanted to do this year weren’t met. For example, I wanted my crafty sales to reach a certain amount and that didn’t happen. However, it’s one of those goals that I will keep working at. Maybe I was reaching too high and I need to be more realistic. The main thing is not to be upset or feel I failed.
  3. Creative slumps happen. There were days and even weeks that I couldn’t create anything. I was just not in the mood and at first it made me feel guilty. But, then I came across a video on YouTube from another artist that said she goes through the same thing and that it’s normal to have those days. That made me feel better because sometimes we as entrepreneurs can feel we’re all alone in our craft. 
  4. Taking adequate time off was essential. Hubby knows I’m very much a workaholic but as I get older, I need more time away to rest. So this year I took longer vacations and even a 2-1/2 month sabbatical in August – September which was wonderful. This was the first year in a long time that I didn’t experience many work burnouts.
  5. More doesn’t mean more. I did a lot of de-cluttering not only with our supplies but also clothing. If we hadn’t worn or used something in a year or more, it was donated. With that done, it just made me feel less overwhelmed.

I think after writing down all this I don’t feel as unaccomplished as when I first began this post! In fact, I think after everything that happened this year, it was pretty good after all. I’m so thankful to my hubby for always being there for me through the good and bad. He makes my life interesting. 

I thank God for allowing me to do what I do everyday and for being my Lord and my Savior. He’s been good to me strengthening me in the hard times and going before me in the good times. He never stops working on me and doesn’t give up on me. I’m so appreciative for my faith in Him cause without Him I am nothing. Thank you Lord Jesus for walking me through another year.