GHDR Review 10: Wrapping Up the Year

GHDR Review 10: Wrapping Up the Year

ZOMG, it’s the final Groundhog Day Resolution Review of 2013! After today, I stop worrying about 2013 about my resolutions and surrender to holiday madness until February 2nd rolls around.

I have a feeling that I didn’t really make any progress, but let me do a quick review.

Last Month’s Last Gasp

In November I wrote out this list of projects that I considered to be “in the queue”. I’m using my text file todo list notation where o = not done, x = done, and . = in-progress:

o  Consolidating all the digital projects on one store.
x  Updating calendars for 2014.
o  Creating “how to use” collateral for all the productivity tools I’ve designed.
.  Creating wholesale packages for the Shopify store.
o  Adding more products.
.  Blogging frequently, and more accessibly.
x  Clearing the backlog of reader emails and conversations that need to be shared!

So I didn’t do much for the store or for collateral, though I did put some effort into catching up with email and preparing for physical wholesale fulfillment. Last time I also wrote a list of specific tasks hoping that I could get them out of the way:

.  Create new packaging SKUs for Shopify Store
.  Create Wholesale Packages
o  Create Collateral for a Productivity Tool or Three

Again, not that much progress. The best I can say is that I got a few things done, but didn’t finish anything concrete that I would consider a new asset. I wish I was faster at getting these done, but it’s been a challenge to maintain energy and enthusiasm for e-commerce. Bah.

Reviewing the Year as a Whole

It’s more interesting to look back at the overall pattern of the past 10 months, so I can see what I did accomplish. Here is a summary of my activity in chronological order:

  1. Started the year by defining a joyful state of creative making as my desired “state of being” goal. To attain this, I hypothesized that creating a system of “creative independence”, where my creative work generated an income through creating products rather than services, was the way to do this. 2. I started by creating a large number of products in February, and then reorganized the website to showcase them more effectively on the front page.
  2. I established a new e-commerce outlet through Shopify, and put some test products on it.
  3. Mid-year, I hit a wall as I lost enthusiasm for e-commerce and marketing activities. In hindsight, I felt overwhelmed and demoralized by the sheer amount of work and uncertainty in how best to do the work. I tried to treat this as a “fun problem” to solve, but it just isn’t that enjoyable. It’s hard to make great marketing material if you’re not enjoying the process.
  4. The lack of enjoyment led to a slump from the summer through the fall, and what I did get done exacted a very high energy cost. I managed to get International shipping working (though without products in the store), and got a CPA to help me track finances going forward in the business, but creating better collateral materials just didn’t happen.
  5. Toward the end of the year, not realizing that I was just bummed out by e-commerce and marketing, I spent a lot of time tinkering with sleeping schedules, attitude adjustment, and being more disciplined.

I feel a mild sense of accomplishment for 2013, but I don’t feel a sense of closure. I think that I’m on the right path, but I don’t have the right attitude or spirit. I did come up with new (to me) ways to get unstuck and persevere through uncertainty. I also have some new ways of dealing with the feeling of being overwhelmed and tuning-out those parts of me that make me feel bad. And, I have accepted that many tasks just take a lot of time, particularly when they are unfamiliar.

For 2014, I think I need to learn to have fun getting those important e-commerce and marketing projects done. I might also benefit from regular sleeping habits too. The most satisfying way I know of to fall asleep is to have gotten something significant done during the day. Additionally, there are many unresolved challenging projects that are before me, and I grow increasingly perturbed at my lack of progress on them. Achieving creative independence is one of the major ones, but there are other projects (like programming my own video game) that have eluded me since I was in secondary school. I want to get some work done there with a community of like-minded creatives, and I have some ideas on how to make that happen using a simple social sharing mechanism.

Summary

It’s been an eventful year, and I think I have confirmed that I am on the right path. I think creative independence can work. However, I have not found my groove. I’m not having fun, I’m not inspired, and I’m not able to kick-back and enjoy the fruits of my labor in sweet luxury. In 2014, I should be able to make some progress and have a better time doing it. Maybe not be so serious about it?

Anyway, HAPPY HOLIDAYS to all, and let’s pick it up again come February 2nd!


Groundhog Day Resolution Posts for 2013

Here are other posts about Groundhog Day Resolutions for the 2013 season.

  • 02/02 Kickoff - Setting 30 Products in 30 days.
  • 03/03 Review - The Aftermath of 30 Products in 30 Days; What's Next?
  • 04/04 Review - New Website, Increasing Opportunity
  • 05/05 Review - Winding down a long chain of external commitments, getting ready for a hopefully-productive month.
  • 06/06 Review - Reducing Friction from internal struggle, picking the winning attitudes and tasks that produce tangible assets.
  • 07/07 Review - Mid-year Review, Focusing Process
  • 08/08 Review - An unexpected vacation for me, Relaxed Progress Made
  • 09/09 Review - Slow progress made, but that's OK; I'm accepting the slow and mindful way!
  • 10/10 Review - After a month of experimenting with early rising, I realize that prioritizing my mission of creative independence might actually be what I need to do. Duh.
  • 11/11 Review - Not much progress made on Creative Independence, but I have attained a sense of surety and calm about what needs to be done--and how to approach it--while maintaining balance between external commitments and personal goals by accepting that they take time and that's OK.
  • 12/12 Review - The year ends without closure, but looking back I see that I've made progress. More importantly, I believe that I'm generally on the right path.

4 Comments

  1. cricketB 6 years ago

    Just a question:

    Are you focusing too much on the “has to be fun” side of the equation? Is it worth choosing something you won’t hate, and gaining satisfaction from getting it done, rather than trying to gain satisfaction from doing something you love. It seems the second approach isn’t working at the moment.

    I find that if I don’t get things done, it doesn’t matter how much or why I love doing them. I no longer love them. Also, if too many things aren’t getting done, that lowers how much I can enjoy anything.

    It’s a very fuzzy decision. It’s hard to tell when all it needs is a small push to open something wonderful, as opposed to a long, unhappy, and ultimately unrewarding slog.

    You forgot to mention your decluttering adventure. Given the things you were tossing and the room you were freeing, I’d count that as a success, and something worth repeating in one way or another.

  2. Author
    Dave Seah 6 years ago

    Cricket: Good question. Perhaps “fun” isn’t the right word. I really mean having a better attitude, one that is lighter and more nimble, and not so weighed down in spirit. I feel I have lost some of my optimism and positivity. I think I’m pursuing a different option: get satisfaction by completing something I don’t love (marketing, e-commerce) because they are essential to my plan. I suspect that my lack of love is contributing to the undercurrent of negativity that I associate with these tasks. E-commerce fills me with rage every time I look at some new aspect of it, and I have always had a strong allergic reaction to marketing. It’s tough going! I am looking for a way to lessen it, and it is perhaps by learning to love my enemy (or at least tolerate it with good humor). Because they’re not REALLY my enemy, they are my means to a more prosperous future.

    Maybe one way to put it is that I am on a long, unhappy slog that FEELS unrewarding, but in reality it is a deferred reward. I need to persevere through it. I don’t see another option, as this is not the kind of thing I can easily outsource or pay for yet…that’s what the e-commerce machinery is supposed to pay for once it’s working :-) I see the progress happening, slowly. I can take some pleasure and draw strength from that this year.

  3. Sue 6 years ago

    Have fun by rewarding yourself when you complete a task or project. The bigger the challenge – the bigger the reward. Rewards keep me motivated. I think I am really just a big kid-at-heart.

  4. Alex 6 years ago

    I’ve been watching you do this for a few years now (maybe ALL the years!), and I’m finally joining you. I modified little pieces to make it my own, but the basic idea of setting goals, strategies, and review dates is there.

    Thanks for the inspiration!