Let’s face it, 2020 didn’t exactly go to plan. All those optimistic goals set at the beginning of the year were suddenly hanging in the balance as the pandemic hit and it made working towards them an uphill struggle. What 2020 has taught us though is that we need to be adaptable, flexible and innovative. Should we change the goals? Never! We might have to consider changing the plan though in order to achieve them.
We’ve all learnt many new ways of adapting in 2020. From Zoom guild meetings, online quilting classes, socially distanced meet ups, a rise in online buying and selling, virtual quilt shows; pretty much everything has changed. We’ve innovated, risen to the occasion and not been defeated.
Now, with the benefit of nearly a year’s pandemic experience under our collective belts, we can enter into 2021 with a determined mindset, knowing that we can adapt our goals and plans to get there, should we need to. So let’s start thinking about goal setting!
Setting goals for a whole year can seem a little overwhelming, so it’s useful to break it up into different areas of your life that you want to focus on. For example, they might be work, personal, and quilting. Or social, wellbeing and creativity.
A personal goal might be; ‘I want to be more sociable.’ A creative goal might be; ‘I want to make a queen sized quilt.’ A health and wellbeing goal might be; ‘I want to improve my fitness.’ Write your goals down on the goal planning page of your planner.
Congratulations! You have taken the first step in identifying what you’d like to achieve, and by writing it down, you’ve made that commitment to yourself. Now you need to break it down into actionable steps. Let’s use the example of ‘I want to be more sociable.’ This is an excellent example of how you might have to get creative, given that, depending on where you live, your social activities may well be restricted or completely banned right now. We won’t let that stop us! Your steps could be:
Join a quilt guild and meet with them either in real life, or on video call meetings
Video call or see a different friend or family member at least 4 times a week
Join a sew-along or BOM and get to know fellow quilters online, while learning new skills together
Make sure you write these actionable steps down in your planner on the goal planning page. Then mark in the diary pages the days when you are going to action them. It might be that in the first week of January, you are going to research local quilting groups or guilds to join. You could also jot down reminders to call certain friends. On the second week of January you could research sew-alongs that are running in the new year and narrow down which ones you might like to consider. Then the following week, you could make a final decision about which one to join and sign up. Write it down, and this will help ensure it happens.
By breaking down your goals in this way, and allocating days and weeks to work towards them, suddenly they are a lot less daunting, and sometimes actually quite exciting!
It’s also useful at various intervals throughout the year to look back on your goals and reflect on them, to see how far you’ve got towards smashing them. Try writing reminders at the beginning of each month to refer back to your goals and review them. Sometimes life gets in the way and you can find that you’ve gone off track. But don’t beat yourself up. It’s never too late, just keep looking forwards, and take the steps you need to get back on track again.
Once you’ve finally achieved a goal, take a little time out to celebrate. Give yourself a pat on the back, share your success with friends and family and feel proud of your accomplishments!
Hopefully that’s helped you get started on making plans and setting goals for 2021. We need to go into the new year confidently, with the ability to be adaptable, while keeping our goals in mind. You can do it! Let’s make the very best of 2021.