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…you will hit it every time” Zig Ziglar.

This is part 4 in a series on organizing your sewing and was published on the Stashbusting Sew A Long fb page in January 2016. Click to read part 1, part 2 and part 3.

Now that you have organized and counted your fabric, found homes for your books, magazines and patterns, and tidied up your sewing area; it is time to put pencil to paper and write out some sewing related goals for the upcoming year.

For some this may be the hardest part, for others, the easiest. Just like I love the promise a new year brings, I love setting goals and making my plan.

A quick way to greatly improve your sewing is by implementing two simple ideas: set some goals and have a plan. Following are some ideas to think about prior to setting out in your goal setting.

Give yourself an honest evaluation. If you have trouble sticking to your goals only set a few the first time around. Make them short term and very easy to achieve! Once you have succeeded with those goals, set new ones a little more aggressive and more difficult. Keep inching your way toward your big goals.

Don’t set goals you absolutely know you will/can not attain or that you don’t really care about.  Don’t treat yourself in a haphazard fashion! You and your goals are important and treat them as such!

When setting goals taking a look at the big picture is important. I find the Zig Ziglar quote at the top of this post to be especially true. It is important to know what you are aiming at, or at least have a very good idea before setting out. For example, now that I know how much stash I have and what is in my stash is documented, keeping my fabric purchases to a minimum is an immediate and long term goal for me.  (A little brag here, I haven’t purchased fabric since Dec. 20, 2015!)

Be a bit flexible until you have things nailed down.  Initially as I counted my stash I had the idea of not purchasing any fabric through out the entire year. While that is possible, it may conflict with another goal and that is to replace my wardrobe with one that fits, is sewn well and lasts! I also have a business idea in mind and it will require some fabric purchases. I don’t want to set my “no fabric purchase” goal so rigid it prevents me from pursuing other well defined goals or feel like I have abandoned the goal. I find there is nothing so demoralizing as regularly giving up or walking away from goals I have set.

Set short term and long term goals with firm deadlines.  As the month of January winds down I want to finish up some projects before I begin new ones – short term. In February, I plan to participate in a sew a long on the Sew A Long and Sewing Contest fb page for a table runner and place mats. It has a “hard” end, February 29th. But I also will be participating in another sew a long for a 8 piece wardrobe with a deadline in May – deadline further away. All the while, working toward even longer term goals such as building my business or reducing stash which don’t have a specific end date but instead more benchmarks.

Plan your goals in detail. All of the above is great but if I have not planned out some details such as what fabric I plan on using, times I can sew, the who, what, where details of starting my business the goals don’t really mean much. Write down all the details where it is convenient for you find and review them.

Allow yourself some mistakes and adjust as necessary. A big problem for me has been taking on too many sewing projects or trying to branch out in too many areas, not getting anywhere and then feeling like a failure. In the past I have had to give on some things to make others work. Now that I am more in tune with where I am going and what I personally hope to gain from my sewing it happens less but it is still a danger! It is okay to miss the mark occasionally, the bigger issue is understanding why you did and adjusting your behavior accordingly.

If you go off the rails, hit the reset button. Even if you stray far from your goal, you can always come back! Look at what went wrong and why, maybe that was the wrong goal or something has changed which you had no control over. Just acknowledge and move on.

Check in on yourself. You went through the trouble of setting, planning and writing down your goal now make sure you check in with yourself. I try to do this weekly. While it is nice to have an accountability partner, that is not always practical. Look at what you wrote down, contemplate on what you have finished.

Document your achievement. Keep a diary or log all that you have done! When you are feeling overwhelmed go take a look. Sometimes we need to be reminded of what we are capable. Use your log to motivate you to go further!

I think it was Anthony Robbins who said, people over estimate what they can do in one year but underestimate what they can do in five years! Just imagine what you can do in the next several months, years or five years! The possibilities are limitless!

Now go set those sewing goals in your beautiful tidy sewing area and give yourself a big pat on the back for a great month of organizing and goal setting!!