I hope everyone is having a great year so far. Mine has been busy, as my part-time position at the library has temporarily become a weekly thing instead of bi-weekly. After losing time in December when Mom passed away, I’m okay with the extra hours. Plus it’s winter, so there isn’t a lot that I can do outside as far as yard work and landscaping is concerned. It’s amazing how quickly the first month of 2018 has slipped by. Is it going by this fast for everyone, or is it just me?

I have been crocheting, revamping my Not Just Alpaca Etsy Shop and creating printables during the evenings and on days off. So far the printables are geared more toward crochet artists, but I will customize them to cater to other handcrafted business as well. I quite enjoy the process, and am learning some new tricks as I go along. When I graduated from high school, I enrolled in a Desktop Publishing course at a small college. Unfortunately not enough people were interested so the course was cancelled. It has been over 30 years, but I still love how copy and paste works. In high school it was up to me to write articles and design the layout of one issue of our school paper; I did it all on a typewriter and actually cut and pasted with real scissors and glue. My how times have changed.

In addition to creating printables for my shop and my own use, I have drawn up a new logo for Not Just Alpaca. It’s not perfect, but I am pleased with the results so far. I know it needs some tweaking, but it turned out well considering I did it freehand using a drawing app on my iPad. I only wish I could have used a pen on the screen, because I can’t get the detail I wanted with my fingers in the way. If anyone has a gadget that works just like a pen, I’d love to hear about it. I’m not overly artistic when it comes to drawing, so I can use all the help I can get.

I gave up on making New Year’s Resolutions years ago; if you don’t make them you can’t break them is my thinking. I am, however, going to set some goals for myself this year. I know many may think it’s the same thing, but I don’t think it is. To me, a resolution is a drastic change to our regular lifestyle, while a goal is achieved by making small changes over time to achieve the results we want. Plus, the word goal doesn’t seem so intimidating either.

Goal #1 is to start utilizing my bullet journal again. It kind of went wayside a few months ago, and it’s time to get back on track. On the upside, I have been still writing in my Morning Pages, so the important events, thoughts and frustrations have been documented. I did realize I was making it more complicated than necessary, so my new layout will be much simpler. Plus I did develop some good habits while using my Habit Tracker, so those no longer need to be tracked. They are now just a part of my daily/weekly routine. (Posting here still has to be in my HT, as I haven’t been consistent.)

Goal #2 is to build my Not Just Alpaca business, one sale at a time. I have sat through webinars, read countless blogs and downloaded eBooks claiming to have all of the answers. I will say this: what works for one person doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for the next. Don’t change everything you do just because the experts say it will work. If you want to make changes to your business, make them one at a time so you know what is working and what isn’t. A stationery business isn’t going to have the same target market a crochet business does. And remember to take each bit of advice with a grain of salt. If you read enough posts and watch enough webinars, you will find conflicting information. The question is, who’s right? Do what works for YOUR business, and document it. Who knows, it could become the material for an eBook or training course of your very own.

And, Goal #3 (I think three is plenty for the first half of the year) is to enjoy life. I find myself so caught up in making things work I may be borderline workaholic. Spring is coming, which means a greenhouse, garden and some landscaping. I am also quite tempted to build a gazebo or pergola so I can enjoy this beautiful yard we now call home. So, if you see more printables surfacing in my Etsy Shop, you’ll know I am trying hard to enjoy the fruits of my labour. Life’s too short, so it’s time to take a step back, breathe deep and smell the roses. Me being able to do that is going to be the hardest goal to achieve.

Now that I have bored you all to tears, what are your goals for the first six months of 2018? Well, I guess there are only five months left of that now; I’m a little slow this year.

Have a good week, and thanks for sticking it out til the end,

Diane

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