That darn F word keeps popping up for me everywhere - and I need to pay attention to it. The word is focus. I touched on somethings that will be refocused this year in this post, but I wanted to go a little bit further & give some full on plans for all of 516 this year and let you know why focus is going to be my word for the year:
|Get this poster from the Five Sixteenths Stationery shop here|
First off, I'm bad with setting goals. Secondly, I like to set them because I feel like the act gives me a little bit of a guideline throughout the year. This is where the word focus comes in. Instead of just setting a long goal for the entire year - that I would inevitably forget in the next two weeks - I decided that one word might be able to sum it up for me this year. (You can read more about my one word inspiration from Cam on Campfire Chic here & learn more about the original project here.) A lot changed through 2013 mainly because the thing called life gets in the way of lots of plans. At first I knew that in order to make this self-employed thing work I needed to avoid putting all my eggs in one basket. So as soon as I moved up north with Zach we opened up the 516VINTAGE shop. It was something we totally talked about for a while & decided why not? We made our first sale in a week & I was excited to have it go on into 2013. Then I worked to expand the Five Sixteenths Blog Design shop & offer custom work. I found that this took off too! After teaching myself how to work with the blogger platform in 2012, I was excited to offer more & learn more in 2013. It worked because soon I was coding the Five One Six storefront on Storenvy and doing custom design work here & there. I was seeing all my hard work pay off, hooray! I opened the Five One Six handmade shop & started work on a stationery shop through Zazzle. It was becoming real. But the pressure got too much for me & I started looking for a real job. I found one & that's when everything changed.
I could no longer keep up with design or the vintage shop. The design shop got ignored, slowly I took down my custom offerings, & soon no more new stuff was added. Finally I put it on vacation - it's still on vacation, a permanent vacation. Then I tried to get into the vintage shop again, but that headed south too. 516VINTAGE has now closed it's online doors. I wallowed for a while sad that all that I'd worked for went down the drain all because I wanted something called stability & to be a 100% able to be a part of the team called Zach & I. At first (and sometimes still) I felt like I gave up. I felt like I just quit because it got too hard. But I think it was more complicated than that. I think the first realization I had was that I was lacking the time to do all these things & that's why they were headed no where. It was time to just let the end of the year take it's course. It was time to step back & figure out what wasn't working. I needed to figure out how to channel my energy into something I would love. It's time to start a new chapter, turn a new leaf, etc, etc.
|Get this print from the Society6 shop here!|
So now I'm back at it, hopefully with a level head & and idea to refocus in the new year. So, I have this full time job & I have this desire to create. It's time to figure out balance between life, work, & creativity - a struggle I've had for quite a while. So this year I'm going to focus on improving my life & relationship with Zach, focus on keeping work at work & making time for all the things I need to do (like focus on our relationship & focus on creativity - pretty much stop making the excuse of 'work is exhausting' and just freaking do what I want!), and focus on dedicating time to being creative on the blog, the shop, & with Zach. I've touched on the Four Simple Goals project to get this focusing done in this blog post but I plan on setting four goals a month - two for the home (we've got a lot to work on still!), one for our relationship, and one blog/shop goal. My main reasoning behind four goals is that there are four weekends in a month (five if I'm lucky) so that's the time I can focus on it!
As for the shop refocusing - 516VINTAGE is closed (I don't know if it's permanent, but it's definitely gone, for now), custom blog design work is on the back burner (maybe a blog button here if anyone asks, but seriously nothing major), the blog design shop may reopen but blogger has made some changes & I don't have time to troubleshoot old templates, so that's done for now. What will I be focusing on for 2014? The Stationery Shop through Zazzle. Zazzle has added a lot of new options & I'm excited to try them out! For custom stationery to leggings, Zazzle offers a fun way for me to design with no pressure. I feel like if sales are trickling in with no effort that means what I'm designing is (maybe) timeless - it applies across the years/trends/etc. My most popular item is the hilarious poster used in the beginning of this post! Zazzle has been giving me consistent - all be it small - sales with literally no effort. So imagine what I could do with actual effort. I like that I can design & you can customize. It's fun to try out new things so I hope to see that develop more through 2014.
Some of my Four Simple Goals will touch on the Zazzle shop this year as well. The blog is also going to feature more beauty related posts & I'm going to try to get back into fashion posts. I'm also going to refocus on sharing more of life realness & less filler. Some fun stuff though, some wish list posts, & also working with brands/affiliate links. I want to blog in a real way about things I love but also want to pull in a little bit of something here & there as well. Speaking of that, I want to avoid what I did earlier this month & later in December of pulling out a lot of posts where I received something to review. Influesnter can be fun to work with but the challenges can really sneak up on you - I'm not going to blog/tweet/instagram so much sponsored stuff in that short amount of time! Hey, I'm all for honesty.
Another endeavor is focusing on YouTube videos. Not too frequent but enough to do something fun. This will be a lot of beauty/skincare/hair/fashion as well as some home & cooking videos. Zach really wants to get into doing cooking videos! So be on the look out for those. I think that would be a fun way to spend creative time together!
So there you have it, my word for 2014 is focus and I plan on putting it to work!
What word will you focus on this year? Any specific goals?