Lesson 06 | Setting Goals

Hi guys and welcome to the next lesson, the halfway point in our class! Today I wanted to revisit a topic we discussed briefly in the Introduction, namely prioritizing and its close friend, setting goals.

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One of the biggest lessons I have learned in life about setting goals is that accomplishing our goals sometimes looks nothing like what we thought it would! This has been particularly true for me in blogging and sharing videos and processes online, and even in sharing this class with you here, and it has helped me with my scrapbook process so I want to share a little of that with you. Almost three years ago I started creating YouTube videos and sharing them here on my blog. In the beginning I set goals for myself that were mostly numerical goals - I thought I would have a certain number of subscribers or a certain number of views per video or a dollar amount generated via my videos. Three years later those goals are so very different, and I have since learned different ways of setting goals, because I found those goals weren't really suited to what I could actually accomplish. 

For me, even in completing this class, setting goals has been an important part of my learning experience. I had no idea how much earnings I might be able to generate, BUT I could set goals of what I needed to accomplish just to get the class completed. My goals for this class looked something like an action plan: 1. learn how to host a class on my blog. 2. learn how to be able to charge customers. 3. learn how to set up log ins for class members. And as I tackled each action item, I was working towards the goal of creating an online class.

Larkindesign In My Pocket Memory Keeping Class Lesson 06

"So I began to realize that goal setting was not so much about where I ended up, but about setting up action goals to get where I wanted to be."

In scrapbooking, that means several things that we are going to talk about here. We talked earlier about setting priorities, meaning to determine what is most important to you in your family documenting, and then establish what albums will help you accomplish that. For me it became very clear that I wanted to document the stories and events that are relevant to our family as our family is now, to tell the stories of how we got to where we are now.

Years ago in our old house we had a white board up in our kitchen. It was the place where bus schedules and karate schedules were noted, and I also took over a corner to write out my lists of ongoing projects. Some of the projects came and went, and the ones that stayed up on that board became the projects that I realized were the most important to me. Namely, Project Life for 2012 going forward, Disney, and several other albums. You guys saw last week how I now have a current project list that I keep in conjunction with my product list to keep me on track to complete those projects. I love those project lists and love seeing them, one by one, little by little, get checked off. Those are long term scrapbooking goals.

In order to get each album completed, I also figured out that I needed to create action lists. That became the starting point for my album outlines - a set of action items for each album so I knew exactly what I needed to do in order to finish my albums.

In the process of working through my albums I learned that it is important to assess where I am with that project. I mentioned in my video a podcast that I had found via Becky Higgins' Instagram and Facebook:  Lizzy Jensen on About Progress. In this podcast Lizzy speaks about measuring our accomplishments as part of goal setting. I know this applies to our memory keeping when going back to older albums, because we have to assess what we have completed in order to know what we still need to do. So when you are setting goals in your memory keeping, it is important to go back and identify what you have already accomplished. What layouts have you done? What albums do you consider complete? What photos do you have?

"Once you have assessed your accomplishments, give yourself a huge pat on the back! Way to go! Celebrate that accomplishment!"

Then after that assessment, listing goals to completion almost comes intuitively. This is where our album outline - remember in Lesson 01?! - comes in really handy. Sitting down and going through the photos, writing out a list of the layouts you wish to create, easily generates your action items, and therefore your goals to complete your album. It is almost easy.

Speaking of easy, which albums or projects do we start with? I say start with the easiest project to finish. We are working on our kids' albums right now and I automatically began with my son Nick's album because it was easy: his albums have the most layouts done. His infant and toddler years are pretty much done, so I can mark those off the list! Yay! Now, for his albums, I defined easy as having most layouts done, but there are other ways to define easy as well.

Larkindesign In My Pocket Memory Keeping Class Lesson 06

Maybe easy means start with a certain project because you have product chosen for it. I was able to start my Disney project last year because I had finally (after years of obsessing and shopping and worrying) found Project Mouse and felt like it was THE product that would help me tell those Disney stories. I was totally correct and am so happy to have marked that project off my list, after five years! Hooray! 

Another definition of easy can be to work on the project that you are most inspired to work on. Maybe you can already visualize the layouts, maybe you have class content that you want to work through at the same time, maybe you saw someone else working on their album and that inspired you. Go with that inspiration when it hits you. 

On the flip side of easy is the hardest. Sometimes there are projects we almost dread. I almost hesitate to use that word because it's a really negative word, but I have to admit I have had those projects and I have put off projects because I dreaded them. So if you have experienced that, know you are not alone. What can be helpful in that instance, my dear friend, is to simply name what it is that causes you to dread that project. For my Disney album, I dreaded working on it because I was afraid we didn't have enough photos, or that our photos weren't good enough. If you followed along with any of my Disney Project Life album, you will see that all of those fears evaporated as I tackled each layout and I now have a full album with all of our Disney photos and stories! 

Fears and dreads notwithstanding, nothing is better than just simply taking on the project and getting it done. I am a big fan of biting off tiny bite size pieces, one layout per week, until it is complete. That means whatever your negative feelings are, ball them up and throw them out! Turn those negative feelings into motivation and productivity. Write out your goals and stick to them. You will be so glad you did!

So I know you are wondering, are there projects or albums I would ever redo? Yes. Actually. I have two that come easily to mind, my 2012 December Daily and my 2013 Project Life albums both drive me crazy and make me not want to pull them off the shelf. My 2012 December Daily is in a tray, it is so big and bulky and has so much ridiculous product in it, one of these days I want to remake it. 2013 Project Life is also very similar, too much product and it just drives me crazy to think about it. I had mentioned that album in the beginning of this class and thought I might start working on it as part of this class, but I think I will leave that for another time (another class, possibly?!) and just stay on course with 2012 for now.

So, I hope this has been a timely and helpful reminder to you on setting goals, and how to view our goals as tools to help us accomplish things we want to accomplish, rather than simply as a destination. Enjoy your processes, enjoy your craft, friends. Let's have a look at this lesson's process videos!