Setting Goals for 2016

Having a clear idea of what you want to achieve is crucial in running a small business as it can help keep focused and in a direction you hope to go. For 2015, I set three goals for myself for the entire year which were: 1) Publish at least one pattern a month, 2) Get published in at least one knitting publication, 3) Learn as much as I can about fibers.

I wrote about my 2015 Year in Review in my previous post and gave my three goals for 2016, but in this post, I want to re-visit those goals and share some tips for more effective goal settings that help prevent burn-out and better keep you on track.

First, in addition to setting goals for the entire year, do so for each quarter. This helps with motivation and allows for self-assessments and flexibility. A year is a really long period of time and expecting our motivation, drive and even what we want from our business to remain the same throughout can set us up for failure. 

Next, I use the S.M.A.R.T. system to determine my goals for the quarter. S.M.A.R.T. stands for:

  • Specific (What do you want to achieve in your area of focus?)
  • Meaningful (Why is this goal important to you?)
  • Action Oriented (What steps will you take to achieve it?)
  • Realistic (How do you know that you can achieve this goal?)
  • Timely (By when do you want to achieve this goal?)

This helps me make sure that the goals I have set for myself for each quarter have a higher chance of success (or at least have been completed).

So now that I have those guidelines in place, are my revisited goals for the first quarter of 2016 (January - March).

Publish at least one paid-for pattern each month. My monthly pattern releases are my main source of income. This is a goal I know I'll be able to achieve if I continue my stream-lined process of designing as I did last year. And as an added goal to this, use up the yarn from my stash for these patterns!

Upload one free beta pattern each month. These patterns are done in collaboration with small indie yarn dyers around the world. In addition to the free pattern, I also post a Yarn Cakes and Tea episode review of the yarn. This is to bring exposure and new followers to the yarn maker as well as build my e-mail list.

Launch my Pattern Design and Writing E-Course. The aim of this e-course is to help aspiring designers make the transition from knitting to designing and pattern writing. I believe that I'll be making this e-course evergreen, to help with the monthly income. Realistically, I plan to launch the course in March, and aim to have at least 10 students sign up.

Launch my Shawl Design E-Book. This e-book will be a part of the e-course but will also be sold as a separate single-item. Like the e-course, this will help with the monthly income. A week before launching I'm going to host an IG challenge, "5 Shawls, 5 Days" (stay tuned for that!). I aim to launch the e-book by the end of February.

What are your goals for this first quarter?Are they S.M.A.R.T.?  Share them in the comments below!