S.M.A.R.T.E.R. Goals for a Spectacular 2018

What's your biggest frustration when it comes to pursuing your needlework hobby?

Did you make a list of your most frustrating problems and challenges when it comes to pursuing your needlework hobby?

Great! What I’d like you to do now is look at that list and make some notes, so grab a pencil and a red pen – and let’s get started.

Last week, I asked you to rate your frustrations using a “star” system – beginning with 1 star for anything that’s mildly annoying, all the way up to 5 stars for those things that really, really drive you nuts. If you didn’t do that, now’s the time.

Go ahead…I’ll wait for you. 🙂

Now, let’s look and see if there are any items on your list that are out of your control.

Say, for example, one of your biggest frustrations is that you have a hard time finding needlepoint canvases, or threads, or yarn, or knitting needles – all because there’s not a needlework shop in your hometown. (Maybe there’s not even one nearby…eek!) That’s one of those things that you can’t do much about.

If, on the other hand, your biggest frustration is finding time to stitch, then there are definitely some things you can do to carve out some time to work on your projects.

In fact, here’s an app you can download to help you organize your daily tasks.

Now, go through your list and use that red pen to put a little star beside those items that are out of your control. (We’ll talk about them later.)

Next, get a fresh sheet of paper and write down the items that you CAN do something about. (And yes, I mean even if you think you can’t begin to tackle it/them by yourself!)

Then, prioritize them. Put a #1 beside the thing you most want to overcome, followed by a #2 beside the next most important thing, and so on, until you’ve worked your way through the entire list.

Setting goals is waaaay different from making resolutions…

How? It’s really quite simple – resolutions are usually very vague. For example, a classic New Year’s Resolution is “lose weight”. Now, don’t get me wrong…wanting to lose weight is a valid thing to want to do. The problem is that it’s too broad and open ended. A better option would be to turn “lose weight” into a S.M.A.R.T.E.R. goal.

What the heck is a S.M.A.R.T.E.R. goal?

That’s a great question, too! Let me explain…

S.M.A.R.T.E.R. goals are

SPECIFIC: not too broad or general
MEASURABLE: includes an objective criterion by which your progress can be evaluated
ACTIONABLE: begins with a verb
RISKY: set high enough to demand your best effort
TIME-KEYED: assign dates (but not the same date) to each goal
EXCITING: not boring
RELEVANT: in alignment with the season of life you’re in right now

Make sure, when writing out your goals, that you ask yourself if it’s a “SMARTER” goal.

In other words, is it specific, measurable, actionable, risky, time-keyed, exciting, and relevant?

Here are a couple of examples, to help you get started:

Remember that resolution to “lose weight”? Well, if we turn it into a S.M.A.R.T.E.R. goal, it becomes “Lose 10 pounds by March 31, 2018.” See…you now have a specific amount of weight you want to lose and a date by which to accomplish your goal. You can now begin to make a list of things you can do to achieve that goal. For example, reduce your caloric intake to 1500 calories per day (or whatever your doctor deems safe), add 30 minutes of brisk walking to your daily routine 5 times a week, etc.

And, of course, here are a couple that are specific for our hobbies:

Practice one new decorative stitch each week for 30 minutes at 9:00 a.m.

Knit one new gift-able project every month starting February 1, so I have my holiday knitting finished in plenty of time for Christmas 2018.

The words in turquoise are the “changeable” elements…you can fill in whatever you want, according to what best fits your current situation. And if you need some more suggestions, you can download my free quick-start guide. Just click on the button below.

Click here to download your free quick start guide.

Oh – and limit your goals to 7. I don’t want you to get overwhelmed. Remember, you can always add new ones later. 🙂

And now, my friend, you’ve completed another step toward a happier and more productive year. Be sure and visit me again here next week to wrap things up with our goal setting for 2018 – and please share your #1 goal in the comments box below! I’d love to see what you’re plans for the new year are. 🙂

Until next time, happy stitching!


Stitch with a smile!

2 thoughts on “S.M.A.R.T.E.R. Goals for a Spectacular 2018”

    • Great goal, Ellie! And I’m sure you’ll master it, too, especially since you’re a member of The Stitcher’s Club. 😉
      Thank you for sharing your goal with me. I’m here to help! 🙂


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Serendipity Needleworks

Hi, I’m Ellen. A needlepoint teacher and author dedicated to helping motivated but overwhelmed stitchers at every stage find exactly what they need to stitch with confidence. Whether you’re just dipping your toe into the needlepoint world or you’re ready to take your skills to the next level, I’ve fine-tuned a learning experience just for you.

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