How did we get to the end of the year so fast? Oh… right, I am preoccupied with moving my life across state. And moving across state is filled with an insane number of unknowns. Where we will live? Will I be able to have my studio in my home or will I need to find space? What will my day look like? It is pretty exciting, but completely maddening as it is time for me to plan for my 2016.

While purging through my studio stuff, I found this little journal filled with plans for 2012. As I sifted though my dreams from 4 years ago, I was surprised to see how many of them came to fruition. Of course many of them evolved into new forms as I worked through implementation. But the reality is, I did it!! I completed so many of the goals I had set forth when I first decided to really get to the heart of what I wanted to achieve not just for my business, but for me to be a happy working artist. And I did it! Not in a year…but by reconnecting with my core desired feelings each year for four years and adjusting my plans to align with those desires, I was able to follow through on so many big goals.

It was through my planning in this journal, that I knew I wanted to be more than just a yarn dyer. It was here I discovered what I really want was to be a fiber artist and to help other creatives see their crochet, knitting and spinning as fiber art as well. Many of those ideas ideas became blog articles, in fact it was that year that I decided to send my newsletter weekly. It was in this journal, where I decided to venture into video. It was here where I started to compile the list of patterns that work with hand made yarn (which eventually became my 115 ways ebook)

It was this particular page that made my heart swell with pride.

Be an Artist, The artist you are,

Gluten Free Guide ( maybe will happen…probably not…)

30 Days of Encouragement for Knitters

True Guide to Creativity

All of these ideas? (okay minus the gluten free thing) Became the 30 Day Art Journal Challenge. It was not the physical content I originally planned, but the heart and feelings behind the 30 day art journal challenge is exactly what I was aiming for.

There are times when I feel like I am spinning my wheels (oh boy and this move has been a crazy wrench in the wheels). But looking back I can see how consistency was key to following through. Yep I did not execute the plans perfectly. Yep they ideas evolved to fit the core desires, and some ideas took way longer to implement. But It is there. It is done. And you know what? my heart about my work is still the same. And some ideas from 2012 that I did not complete are definitely worth revisiting.

So this is actually the way I have been planning my year in business and for my art for the last 4 years. And it is what I am doing again throughout the month of December. Because even if my 2016 is full of unknowns connected with  huge new life waiting for me, I can with out a doubt know that when it comes to my art, and my business, and why I want to connect with you guys will be the same.

So here is how it will all go down:

No need to think huge, just significant TO YOU.

Yearly planning is not just for those looking to become a fiber arts rock star. It can be as simple as tackling a new knitting technique, making sure you get in a set amount of time to enjoy your knitting weekly, or promising yourself to knit 48% of your stash (because 50% might be taking things a little to far…) These are all very important goals, because they matter to you and where you want to go creatively.

Looking back and looking forward.

I learned this from Leonie Dawson’s Creating Your Shining Year Workbooks. It is crazy important when planning for your new year to take inventory of your prior year to right now. Your prior year holds so much awesome information about why you are creating your 2015 creative goals. I know for me personally, it can be painful looking at the parts that were not good. But being able to carry what I learned in 2015 makes my 2016 goals that much more laser focused.

What are your core feelings? 

Danielle La Porte has a great book, Desire Map, that dives deeper into taking action based on how you want to feel. And I have to say ,especially for creative work, it is so important to look at how you want your plans to make you feel. ACCOMPLISHED, for having tackled a difficult technique. BLISS, because you have been spending a full afternoon a week just knitting. ENERGIZED, because you have so many new freeform crochet ideas.

Once you have a goal in mind, what are the steps?

There may not be many steps. But it is super important to think it through completely. For example, if my goal is to knit for 30 minutes everyday, then what do I need to make that happen? Pull together a portable bag? Create a special inviting space at home? Start a lunch time Stitch and Bitch at work? Line up some projects to work on for the first 3 months?

Schedule those steps.

This is probably the most important step. Break out the calendar and SCHEDULE THE STEPS IN. Even if you are scheduling things for October 2016. If it is not in your calendar, then you have NOT made time for it. Don’t just assume it will happen when you can fit it in. Fit it in now. Besides, you may see that, realistically, you might need to consider smaller chunks. Just remember, even if you are scheduling a super baby step, super baby steps are still moving you forward, and that is awesome.

I invite you to join me in planning for your most creatively fulfilling 2016, no matter what that looks like for you. I have personally used Leonie Dawson’s Create Your Shining Year Workbooks for the last 4 years. And after looking at my goals from 4 years ago, I can actually track how this consistency has worked for me. Leonie’s brilliant workbooks guide you through some probing questions and helps to really build a solid plan. You can order digital or spiral bound versions of those workbooks here.

So what do you want for yourself and your art in 2016? Leave me a comment below or shoot me and email.

Full disclosure:

The links to Leonie Dawson’s Create Your Shining Year Workbooks, and Danielle La Porte’s Desire Map Book are both affiliate links. I only recommend products I completely stand behind and have personally used. These two products totally rock my world.

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