Today many people are setting resolutions for the 2016 year and some will stick to those resolutions. I am not a resolution person. I am a results guy. Last year I set out two big hairy audacious goals for the year. I had just started a new business and set out some targets for that business and I also set a goal to generate some revenue from this blog. This year my goals are not quite so audacious, or hairy for that matter.
First a review of results from 2015.
Build Thomas Woodcrafts, develop 15 products and generate $5000 in revenue
I developed 19 products, ditched one, designed 9 custom products (10 actually, but the requestor for the 10th disappeared so it was never turned into a final product). I have another two as prototypes and the next two in the design stage – that is – floating around in my head waiting for me to build them or commit the design to paper. I participated in five craft shows, refined my craft show booth display and sold products throughout North America. I learned a lot about online craft product marketing and still have a lot to learn. I was able to find supplies of wood that I could recycle and re-learned some rusty woodworking skills. I haven’t entered all of my final expenses and sales numbers for 2015 so I am not yet certain of my final numbers. I didn’t hit my $5000 target. I am somewhere around $3ooo, which is not bad considering most of my products retail for between $25 and $50 – or at least they did for most of the year. I realized in the fall that I wasn’t paying myself enough for the work I was putting into producing each product and as a result wasn’t giving myself enough time to focus on producing good quality products. I increased most of my prices to better reflect the work required to produce them. It was a great year of learning and growth. I got a better sense of what products people are looking for and even though I didn’t hit my revenue target for 2015 I have a better sense of where to find my target audience and how to market my products.
Expanding DadGoesRound, increase frequency of writing and generate income
I did increase the frequency of my writing and posting. For a while I was even writing a new blog post every day as a part of a writing challenge. I had settled into a fairly regular routine of writing two – three posts per week and then September hit and with it a crazier work and home schedule, plus preparation for two craft shows. My frequency has dropped significantly since then. I also managed to generate a small amount of income from the blog this year. I enjoyed some of the paid writing, and some I did not. It was a good learning experience. I certainly preferred the opportunity to participate in events and take my kids to activities that I would not have otherwise known about or been able to afford. I participated in a blogging conference this year and learned a lot. I am still working through implementing some of the lessons I learned there. I started writing for other sites and appeared in more traditional media as a result of my efforts to expand my reach. I was invited to join several blogger groups and had the opportunity to meet (in person and virtually) local bloggers and other bloggers around the world. Overall, I feel good about the outcomes of this process.
My Goals for 2016
Get Back In Shape
As mentioned above, the fall of 2015 was busy. My day job involves regional travel and I spent quite a bit of time in a car this fall. With car time comes road food. I was generally not very respectful of my body this fall and as a result I have put on more weight than I am comfortable with. I have a long running battle with weight and while I am generally comfortable with my body image, I am not comfortable with my current state. I have not been to the gym very much this past year and have done a poor job monitoring my food intake. Now too many of my shirts and pants are too tight and my belly gets in the way when I bend down to tie my shoes.
A couple of years ago I was successful in losing 25 lbs. and I think I need to do that again. I need to get back to the gym on a regular basis and start monitoring my calorie intake again. I know I can do it since I have done it before. I need to make this a priority. In the past I have used this blog as an accountability tool to report on my progress. That worked reasonably well for me. I am going to do that again. I don’t have travel-heavy schedule over the next couple of months so I am going to return to the gym on Monday and today I started tracking the food I am eating – luckily I shovelled snow for two hours to counteract my chocolate intake…
Expand Thomas Woodcrafts
I learned a great deal in my first year of business and even made a profit, although I still have to run my final numbers for the year. In 2016 I will continue to develop new products. This year I will design another 10 products and I will generate $7500 in revenue. I am going to build a new website and continue to find new and innovate ways to market my products. My primary goal for Thomas Woodcrafts this year is to focus more strictly on quality and ensure that all products that leave my shop are of excellent quality.
Continue Growing DadGoesRound
I will finish creating images for all of my older blog posts to make them more shareable. I am going to develop a publishing schedule for myself and publish two blog posts a week. I will also be renovating my blog website to update the look and feel of the site. These are a more realistic goal for me and will help me to better achieve my next goal.
More Family Time
As you might expect, building a business and trying to expand a blog both require a certain amount of computer time to promote both of those items. The result in 2015 was a negative impact on the amount of direct time that I spent actually talking with my family and playing with my kids. I am going to change that by scheduling my time better and ensuring that I focus more time on my kids and my partner and less time on the computer. I can do this by being more efficient in my computer time. I highly schedule my time during my work day. I have not transferred this kind of scheduling to my non-work life and as a result I spend too much time aimlessly wandering the internet. Over the next week I will work with my partner to determine a schedule that works for our family.
I am going to smile more and spend more time thinking about how good I have it. Not really a goal I can measure and that is ok. I have a good life and I need to take time out from being busy to just think about all the good stuff in my life. I’m sure I can make some sort of regular blog post out of this once I think about it a little more!
Five goals is enough. I need to achieve these things and too many goals means scattered focus.
All the best to all of you in your resolutions, goals and life in general for 2016!