2019 Planning

Being the list maker I am, it is a strong part of my nature to plan.  Of course plans don’t always go the way I hope but still, I try! Last year I set a list of a few goals I wanted to achieve with my business and I think it is helpful to take a look at those to see what was achieved before creating a plan for 2019.  Here goes! I set five goals for 2018.

  1. Continue to grow both of my shops.
  2. Work on my free motion and long arm quilting skills.
  3. I have three quilts in process right now and I want to finish them.
  4. I want to set a goal to send birthday cards to my family and friends.
  5. Most importantly, I need to work on acceptance of the limitations I experience due to my health.

Looking at these I think I did well for the most part.  First one was so rewarding!  I worked very hard to expand both my fabric and my pattern shops. I am very happy to see the growth that has happened this year.  I achieved 33% growth in sales for the fabric shop.  Also, the average order value increased from $21 to $27.  Looking at the increase in average order value is pleasing – it doesn’t look like a huge increase but considering the number of $10-$12 orders I ship, it really is.  There have been many more large orders which is great for the health of my shop.  The pattern shop did well too.  However I only have 6 months of numbers from 2017 to compare to 2018 so I didn’t get exact numbers.  But I feel like I have a solid base of customers for that shop and the orders are quite steady.

The second goal was not achieved.  Not even close!!  I did almost no free motion quilting and didn’t get to the long arm shop more than a couple of times.  So, that one still needs work!!

Goal number 3 – I finished two of the three quilts I had on the list.  Both my Twisted and my Scrappy HST quilt are done.  However, I didn’t touch the Ring Me project.  I do love this pattern and hope to finish it this year.

Number 4 seemed so easy.  But it fell off the radar by summer time.  I have such a huge family and really hoped to stay in touch more by doing this.  I will try again.  I sent off a card just yesterday.  Sending and receiving ‘real’ mail is becoming less and less common so I want to try this one again!

Number 5 – by far the most important goal of all.  I think I knocked this one out of the park.  I really tried to stay in the moment and not sink into that dark misery that chronic illness often causes.  My  neurologist and I worked diligently together and adjusted meds a few times.  The migraines are still constant (2-3 each week) but they are far less intense and I am able to deal with them better.  I am also much better about working within the limitations my health sets for me. I missed a quilt show that I was supposed to vend at (huge expense there but I just couldn’t do it). Also missed my sister’s 60th birthday party and was incredibly sad about that.  However, this is life.  And so many people out there have it much worse than I.  Keeping things in perspective has been really helpful.  So, yes – I rocked this one!

 

OK – Now to look forward!

  1. Continue to grow my shops.  I have a some fun things in store for you, my loyal customers and friends. I have some great giveaways coming your way, quilt kits that will be created and offered to you, and the occasional blogger bundle planned.  I will give details to you soon but it will be such a fun year!!
  2. Stay involved with charitable projects.  These make me feel satisfied and provide the perspective I need to always appreciate the blessings I receive.  Last year I loved working on my Spread the Love campaign with Amy at A Doll Like Me.  Now I am working with Mercy Hospital on the #MercyfulQuilts project.  Both of these are near and dear to my heart.  Again, you will continue to hear about these wonderful organizations in 2019.
  3. Finish UFO’s.  I have four at the moment (hmm….  I had three at the end of last year and here I am again!). I need to quilt and bind my Postage Plus quilt top (remember the hop for the Modern Plus Quilts book?  I have not yet finished my project!!). Also, I need to finish the Fireburst Mystery quilt.  The top is done and basted, so just quilting and binding remain.  Then I need to finish the Ring Me quilt. Finally I have a quilt top I had made for #MercyfulQuilts which I need to finish up. Also, since clearly this isn’t enough…  I am adding two projects to the quilting list this year.  I plan to make a whole cloth quilt for my bed and also want to make a Quilt of Valor for the #MercyfulQuilts project.  I have never made a QOV so I am looking forward to that one!
  4. Practice garment sewing. I made a number of things to wear this year.  Some were successes and others, not so much!!  But I have a couple of patterns lined up and will keep on sewing.  I love making clothes so this is a fun one to plan!
  5. Same as last year….  strive to accept my limitations caused by chronic illness.  One big adjustment for this year is I will not be vending at quilt shows (with the exception of possibly our local quilt guild’s show in May.) I cannot reliably plan to feel well on any given day.  In 2017 I had to forfeit my booth at one show and the same happened in 2018.  Between the two shows there was a loss of $300.  This is too much for a small shop like mine.  The work involved in these shows is quite a lot.  I have had to look hard at this and accept that it isn’t the right thing for me.  Kind of disappointing because I enjoy the shows and talking with all the wonderful quilters but such is life.  Making the decision has actually been a relief which tells me it is the right thing to do.

OK – that is it for this year.  How about you?  Do you have something you hope to work on or work toward?  Tell me in the comments!  Let’s encourage each other along the way.  Happy New Year friends!

Linking to Quilting Jetgirl’s 2019 Planning Party! Be sure to visit this link up.  It is quite inspiring to see what everyone is working on.

24 thoughts on “2019 Planning

  1. Wendy

    I think you had a great year, Bernie, even if you didn’t meet all of your goals. I have appreciated your honesty throughout the year as you have dealt with the migraines, and I think you have had a positive year as far as trying to figure out how to live with them. I’m sorry that you have to give up shows, but also understand how that is a relief now rather than a stressor. I love your shop, and I’m happy to hear that it is growing along with your other one. One of my goals for 2019 is better self care. I tend to ignore that part of me, and I can no longer do that and get by with it. As for quilting goals, I’m still processing them, but one that continues is trying to get my UFOs done.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Self care….. such a tough one – often because I am lazy. Cooking better, taking more walks etc. Really for me it involves planning and forcing myself to get outside. Sometimes I realize I have been sewing for a long while or on the computer too long which means long bouts of sitting. Not good. So, hoping both of us can do better with that one this year!

      Thanks so much for your kind words Wendy. I appreciate it so much! Happy New Year to you and your family.

      Reply
  2. Quiltdivajulie

    My planning list for 2019 will be up on the blog on January 1st. I’m a planner and a list maker at heart so my biggest goal for 2019 is to sew more and spreadsheet less (grin). I’m with you about the physical birthday cards – I try VERY hard to send cards to the nieces and nephews and their little ones along with our own boys and families. Sometimes I have to resort to e-cards but I keep trying to use my sewn cards via USPS. Elder son dealt with migraines for many years – it is NOT fun or easy. Hang in there!!

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Hi Julie – Thanks for the note. Cards are such a treat and I think kids (well, adults too) love to receive mail. So, this year I will keep that one going. Sewn cards – that is a great added bonus. I have received one or two of those lately and it was such a gift. I still have them in my sewing room. As for the migraines, they are not a whole lot of fun but I am getting better at dealing with them and working around them – so that is progress. Take care and Happy New Year!

      Reply
  3. Yvonne from Quilting Jetgirl

    When I make a decision and feel relief, I always know it is the right choice even if it was a difficult one to make. I wish you a wonderful, productive, and joyful 2019, Bernie. Thank you for sharing and linking up with the Planning Party!

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      So true – and I do know this is the right decision. Between the physical work of packing bolts, creating the booth, working the show, tearing down the booth, putting my shop back in order – it all takes a solid week. Since I rarely have a whole week of normal health, it is not the right thing for me. Freed of this and the planning involved, I feel a lot of relief so it is surely the right decision. I am glad I tried it though – now on to other things. 🙂 Happy New Year to you as well. Cannot wait to read about your adventures Yvonne – you and Michael are in for a fantastic year!!

      Reply
  4. B2

    Happy New Years to you, Bernie. I love that you reviewed your goals with your readers. So sorry to hear how bad your migraines still are but it sounds like you’re handling that as best you can. I haven’t made NY resolutions in years–that would be a sure way to NOT accomplish anything for me! One day at a time, try to be a better person in so many ways is about it for me. Lots of love to you all! B2

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Love to you too Bernie. I think your resolutions (whether you call them that or not) sound just perfect! Hope 2019 is a wonderful year for you and Randy!

      Reply
  5. Anja @ Anja Quilts

    I think 2018 was a good year, even though you didn’t accomplish everything you had hoped. Here’s to a wonderful 2019. Looking forward to following along with your adventures.

    Reply
  6. Louise Hornor

    I’m glad to hear that you are finding more peace and acceptance of your health. I also suffer from migraines, but not nearly as often as you do. They are so debilitating in the moment! I hope you have been able to fine tune your treatment. Here’s to less pain and more joy in 2019!

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Thank you Louise. It is always a process – changing meds and figuring things out. But honestly, I am dealing with it so much better now. I appreciate your thoughts. Take care.

      Reply
  7. Danice

    Excellent goals Bernie. You are very realistic and honest. That #5, health limitations, is one that many of us deal with. Your attitude is admirable. Always looking forward to seeing all that you create.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Hi Danice, I try to stay realistic. Sometimes it works and others I am not as successful. But I will say that since I have tried to focus on working around the limitations rather than fighting them, I do much better. It is a work in process for sure. Take care and Happy New Year!!!

      Reply
  8. Diana @ Red Delicious Life

    All of these are great goals, Bernie. And congrats on the growth of your businesses. That’s fantastic! I think I need to add your final goal to my own set of goals. I’m really hard on myself when my chronic migraines sideline me from doing the things I want. Best wishes to you in the new year.

    Reply
  9. Mari

    Everybody loves to get real mail, so I love the birthday cards idea! With big families this can be a huge challenge, but I do send e-cards to the siblings. They don’t seem to mind. The teenagers like cards best with a few dollars tucked in. I do like your goal of garment sewing, and the others seem like great goals for you, too. I always admire your charitable endeavors! I’m sorry you had to give up quilt shows, but maybe instead of vending you can go and just enjoy them if you feel well enough. Everything is a trade-off and this seems like a good decision for you. I do wish you all the best for 2019. Sure to be a magnificent year! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Another thing I have been doing is sending mail to my grand daughter H. It is silly, I know but I love that she finds an envelope in the mailbox every once in a while. I put a few stickers in it. She then puts them all over her clothes or on some paper and FaceTimes to show me what she made. It is sweet and gives us another connection. 🙂
      I do plan to go to quilt shows as a visitor this year. When I am working at one, I rarely have time to walk around and look at the actual quilts. So, that is something to look forward to!

      Reply
  10. Lisa

    I think you have had a great year Bernie and it is good to read about how you manage with chronic illness and its limitations. My young daughter in law lives with chronic illness and it is so difficult and frustrating for her. She is learning to accept help although it is difficult for her. There will always be ufos Bernie so don’t worry about having 4 this year, as we get them done we just add to the pile.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Hi Lisa, I have had these migraines since my daughter was 8. When I would have plans derailed or have to cancel things which disappointed her, it was just awful. Now that she is 17 and so much more independent, it has become much simpler. I think your DIL has small children, right? That really makes it much more complicated. It is hard to be sick when you have little ones to take care of. I hope she experiences many good days in 2019. Happy New Year to you Lisa.

      Reply
  11. Patricia Ludwiczak

    Congratulations on your goals – you did a great job, and they look good for next year. Thank you for inspiring me to work on my own goals, and thanks again for a terrific blog!

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Thanks Pat! How nice to hear from you – it has been a while. I hope all is well with you. How were your holidays? Have you set a goal or two for 2019? Good luck with those and wishing you a 2019 filled with good health, creative sewing projects and much joy.

      Reply
  12. Allison Reid

    So interesting and encouraging to read your 2018 review and your plans for 2019. You have such a good balance of ambition with realism. Yvonne put it well when she says you can be sure you’ve made a good decision when there is a sense of relief and freedom – even when it is ‘giving up’ opportunities.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Thank you Allison. That balance is a hard one to maintain. Gets frustrating at times. But revisiting that goal and looking at it now and again is a good reminder of what has been achieved. Life is too short to dwell on the negative. There is plenty to be grateful for. Hope you have a wonderful 2019!!

      Reply

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