Haven’t we been told since the beginning of time how important goals are. The experts all shout –
“You need goals!”
“How will you ever amount to anything without goals?”
“Goals are a girl’s best friend!” Wait a minute… I might have messed that one up!
Goals are a Good Thing
There’s nothing wrong with goals. Actually I think they are a really good thing. I have lots and lots of them, both personal and for Le Petit Saint Crochet! Some of my goals include learning how to knit Fair Isle fingerless mittens, improving my mattress seaming, losing weight, and shaving my legs more than once a month…et cetera, et cetera.
But maybe you find yourself with goals that aren’t serving you or anyone else for that matter. Maybe you’re like I was and are focusing on things that really aren’t important in the grand scheme of things. Maybe you just need a little tough love from your friendly neighborhood yarn addict!
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5 Maker Goals to Ditch Today!
1. To Gain More Likes and Followers on Instagram
Now don’t get me wrong, I lurrrve Instagram! I adore how it connects people from all over the world. It is wonderful being able to find inspiration, friendship, and laughter all in one place! I love being able to share what I’m doing and know that I’m reaching people I never could have without this app!
But gaining more Instagram followers isn’t necessarily the best goal to have. Making that goal a priority changes how you create and it changes what you share. It leaves you feeling completely uninspired. For a while this was my goal, I wanted to have more and more followers. I wanted to see those numbers tick up and up. I looked at my analytics over and over. My emotions were tied to how many followers I gained on a weekly and even a daily basis. What a waste of creative energy!
The real problem with making Instagram growth a goal is that you are have very little control over how and when you grow. How many times have you posted a photo and thought for sure it would do well only to watch it sizzle out completely? On the contrary have you ever posted something expecting absolutely nothing only to find high engagement? It’s so weird and if you’re anything like me, predicting how folks will respond to your IG posts is a lot like trying to read the tea leaves!
There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to build an audience. That’s what I’m doing! I’m working on building an audience for my blog and YouTube channel. But first the focus is on creating the best content I can and the second one is serving the followers I already have. It’s just a shift in mindset more than anything.
What’s funny is that by NOT focusing on growing my own Instagram account is when I really started seeing the gain I had been seeking all along!
If you’re interested in seeing how I have grown my following organically check out my blog post, 12 Simple Rules for Growing a Handmade Business Instagram Account.
Also check out Jenna Kutcher’s guide, Our Best Instagram Tips Ever. She is an expert on all things social media and gives fantastic advice about succeeding on Instagram!
2. To Be Just like Someone Else
I think we all start out trying to be like someone else. In the beginning we look at inspirational makers and try to imitate them! I don’t think there’s a dang thing wrong with that. But at some point you need to develop your own voice! The world needs to hear from you, not just a copycat of someone else!
I actually didn’t do this in the very beginning, because I didn’t even know better! But over time I began to doubt who I was and started trying to be like the Instagram accounts I loved and admired. What I found was that I am a poor imitator. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t be like them. My photos just looked odd when I tried to replicate someone else’s. My captions fell flat when I wrote in their voice.
It was only when I stopped trying to be someone else that I really began to feel those creative juices flowing! I chose colors and patterns that I loved, not just the ones I saw others using.
Maybe you are at the beginning of your maker journey and you don’t know how to be yourself yet! That’s ok! Don’t worry, your own voice will begin to develop the more you experiment!
3. Doing What You’ve Always Done
So often it feels way too comfortable to do what you’ve always done rather than stepping out into the unknown. I know that I’ve felt this way before! Once I began crocheting amigurumi I felt like that was the only thing I SHOULD do. Honestly, I have no idea why I felt that way! No one said I couldn’t do anything else, I imposed that restraint on myself!
Crocheting toys is one of my passions, but it’s not the only one! I seriously want to improve my knitting skills and learn how to do stranded color work like a boss! But by having the word “crochet” in the name of my business, I’ve been afraid to branch out!
Thankfully I stopped giving a rip and started doing what makes my heart sing! Doing something new has breathed new life into my passion and inspired me to share even more with others! Branching out definitely doesn’t mean that I have no plans to continue crocheting, quite the contrary! Doing something new has given me the motivation I need to keep crocheting!
If you would like to read more about how I’m exploring my interest in knitting check out my blog post, Knitting Toys on Double Point Needles.
4. Never Failing
I have always been afraid of failure, which is kind of surprising since I’m so dang good at it! Lol! Never failing is a terrible goal to attempt to achieve. I consider myself a recovering failure-phobe. I’ve lived a lot of my life trying to avoid anything that even resembles failure. Ultimately I believe that has inhibited me in many ways.
Recently I decided to design a new teddy bear. I am a relatively inexperienced designer and get pretty discouraged if it’s not perfect right away. I was really excited about this design because until I got to the head I was super happy with it! Then I began crocheting the head and it all fell apart. I now call him “Alien Bear” and I think you can probably see why! He is a failure in one respect that he is not what I wanted him to be.
But there’s another way to look at it! I actually really really like how he looks from the neck down. I even like that I tried using felt for the snout instead of the typical add crocheted nose and mouth. So instead of failing I learned something new. My plan is to go back and rework the head and see if I can make him exactly the way he looks in my head, or at least something close!
5. No Pain = No Gain
Using this phrase may be dating myself! I grew up in a time when “No Pain. No Gain” was quite popular and everyone just accepted it as truth. Unfortunately some of us are still trying to get that mantra out of our highlighted blonde heads!
It has taken me considerable time to give myself permission to enjoy life. I always felt selfish if I liked what I was doing. It seemed that only when you were truly miserable were you actually doing something important. Doesn’t that sound silly?
I’ve finally learned that its ok to love what you’re doing! It doesn’t mean you aren’t doing something difficult or challenging. The No Pain/No Gain expression is as outdated as spiral perms and shoulder pads. (Please let’s not let those come back in style!!)