You Can Do Everything

by | Productivity Advice

Welcome to our first Brown Bag Series, a sequence of lessons on a particular topic posted at noon EST. On December 9, 11, 13, and 16 we will discuss how to confidently achieve your 2014 scrapbook goalsMake sure to check out the other lessons in this series.

Simple Scrapper's Brown Bag Series | You Can Do Everything

This year I started a mini book (or two) that I didn’t finish. I bought more supplies than I could use. I felt bad that I wasn’t scrapbooking fast enough, skillfully enough, or enough at all. And I’m still not finished with some of the journaling from my 2012 pocket page album.

I also completed more layouts than I ever thought I would. I discovered the range of styles I’m comfortable working with. I created a gift for my husband that he treasures. I figured out how I want my albums to come together. And I learned more tricks for getting myself to get up and make something, even when I’d rather sit on the couch.

Few other hobbies are as tied to the core of our emotions as memory keeping. Whether you create for self-care or document for your family (or both), we all experience challenges and victories in scrapbooking – and we take them very personally. It effects our motivation and our ability to focus, especially as the year comes to a close.

It is common to begin the new year with grand ambitions of how we’ll do things differently this time. This year you won’t…. fill in the blank. This year you’ll finally…. fill in the blank. One of the reasons this approach doesn’t work is because it begins from a place of lack, with a signal that despite giving your best you weren’t enough last year.

But what if you began the year with a new kind of declaration, what if you started fresh by saying “I can do everything!”; how would that change your year?

At this point I’m sure you’re probably saying “But I can’t do everything, that’s my whole problem… I often try and fail. I only have so much time and energy and it’s never enough.”

Here’s the deal: You can do everything you want to do, just not all at once. You don’t ever hear anyone regret dreaming too big or having too much confidence. It’s not your goals that are the problem, it’s just that you try to achieve them all in January right after giving yourself a mental flogging for your failures.

Confidence begins with the words you use in support of your actions. A bold positive declaration sets you up for success because it builds on your victories rather than trying to erase your mistakes. 

How to Do Everything in 2014

Yes, of course there’s more to it than giving your ego a boost. From this place of positivity and richness, you can establish conditions that support you in scrapbooking. In examining what you have already achieved, you can better understand how to replicate that success.

I rely on these four tools to stay confident and productive all year:

Rules – When you impose them on yourself, rules can be considered a fun challenge and not at all a burden. They help buffer your desires and wanderings with focus and practicality. For example, I will often not allow myself to start a new project -including making purchases for it – until the last is complete. Rules create a filter so that only the things you really want to do end up on the list.

Triggers – I am easily distracted, often forgetting why I went into another room by the time I arrive. This means I have to leave myself notes and other visible reminders of the projects I want to be working on. I leave scrapbooking in my way so that my motivation is triggered by reminders of how much I love it and what needs to be done next. It can be as simple as a sticky note.

Support System – Every other week I meet virtually with a small group of women to share our victories and challenges in scrapbooking. These chats are bright spots in my month because I always come away with new ideas, fresh perspective, and a rekindled desire to keep working towards my goals. Strength comes not just from receiving support but also giving.

Flexible Plans – I don’t believe in rigidity, but I do believe in thinking ahead… because you can’t do everything at once. I finished the gift album for my husband because I decided in January when I would work on it. This meant that when a new idea sprung up (as they always do) I had to decide where the album would fit in, if at all. The album got bumped from February to March, but it still got done.

Let’s Talk

You can pave the way for achieving your 2014 goals by first acknowledging your accomplishments, big or small.

So tell me, what 2013 scrapbooking victories are you celebrating? Note: I’ve closed comments on this post, in lieu of fostering a more dynamic conversation on Facebook. Click here to join in.

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