I often make a very long list of things I want to achieve at the beginning of the new year….imprinting it in my brain and then forget to tell anyone. Or only mention it in passing… but I know that by telling it to anyone who will listen means I suddenly, have made myself accountable for actually doing it. So here I am…telling you.

In August of this year, I made a deal with myself that this was going to be the year of learning for Make and Do. Running a business on my own for three years was leaving me tired and a bit cranky. But I knew there was a better way of running my business so I opened myself up to finding out how I could do it. And many of these resolutions are a direct reflection of “my year of learning”.  So here is my list!

1. Get my desktop organised!  This is what it looked like two minutes ago –  you will see my latest banner for the website, my emails, a Minecraft printout my six year old has left open (!!!) and these loads of files that are just sitting there.  I spend WAY too much time trying to find things on my computer and it is time I need to be doing other things. So my number one priority in January is to put everything in its place or delete it!

desktop_screenshot_resolution2. I have always been a “back of the envelope” kind of girl, but that hasn’t been working very well lately (mainly because I can never find the blasted envelope!).  So I have made an intention  to piece together what 12 months of an organised business would look like (the main thrust for this has been the last four months of my enrolment in an intensive business strategy coaching course run by the renowned Tara Gentile). This has really helped me sharpen what we as a portal for creativity have to offer and I look forward to sharing this slightly different, but exciting, direction in the new year.

3. Take more photos.  I took a fantastic workshop by Lyndsey James and it has completely reignited my creative photographic spark by demystifying DSLR’s. I used to take photos many many years ago – back when you actually had a darkroom- but as with anything that you don’t use, you forget.  And then as fate would have it, one of the ladies in my group on the Tara Gentile course was Catherine Just – an amazing photographer who has had her prints published in National Geographic and O Magazine. I took this photo of my daughter Sydney using a filter she suggested for my humble iPhone and I love it. She has really inspired me to connect with my camera whenever I can.


4. Catherine also took the photos for one of my favourite business mentors/gurus  Danielle LaPorte . Danielle has written one of the books I have made it a resolution to read this year – The Desire Map.  It comes out in January and I can hardly wait for it!


5. Fiona Pullen, who runs the Sewing Directory, said that one of her new years resolutions was to sew more. I know that might sound a bit like telling a fish to swim, but when you run a small business you start to spend your time on things like marketing and admin and less on the thing that got you interested in the industry in the first place, you suddenly realise that you aren’t sewing anything like as much as you did before. My main interest is in quilting – I find myself designing them in my head, scribbling them on paper and then doing nothing with them. The other thing is my Mom is a master quilter and I have made it a resolution that when I am back in the States this summer, we will make a quilt together – even if it is a small one – as I don’t want to let that opportunity pass me by. I am looking forward to blogging about it.

6. This is the year that I make a commitment to getting active again. Much of what I do involves sitting down – either on a sewing machine or on my computer and I have noticed what I would call “spread” creeping in. I also found a journal of mine from not that long ago and I wrote about going out for an easy, enjoyable 4 mile run. I can assure you – going out for a 4 mile run now would not be easy nor enjoyable!  I have always been an athletic person but I guess my commitment to my business overtook that priority. So this January, I am opening myself up to different ways of moving (I have always fancied boxing oddly enough!) to try and regain some of my muscle slippage.

7. Write more. I really love writing but I tend to do it in my head more than on paper or screen. So this year, I am going to put together my writing schedule – I want to write more magazine articles for higher profile magazines across several industries and want to write more guest blog articles.  So this year, my commitment is to take the writing out of my head.

8.Even though this is the last one, it is the most important – be open enough to ask for help.  I am the first to put myself forward to help  a person in need but shy off asking for or saying yes to offers of help. This year, I am making big changes on that front.

So that is my list of intentions – what I will make a commitment to happen in 2014. I will check back in and tick some of them off the list or let you know how I progress on some of the others.

How about you? Do you make commitments at this time of year? Do you stick to them?


Maeri Howard is the founder of the Make & Do Studio where women learn to make their Pinterest boards reality. She teaches sewing skills to hundreds of women every year in a fun & friendly environment.

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