Last week I was thrilled to join Steph, Katie, and Peppermint as a guest on The Digi Show podcast. In our fun discussion, we tackled project goals and planning for the new year.

To find out why Peppermint called me “the Yoda of scrapbooking”, click here to listen.

I shared that I made more than 60 paper layouts in 2013 and that I really wanted to do fewer next year. I also mentioned that I hoped to work on a family album for 2008-2012.

In this post I want to share a little more about my goals for 2014 and why I actually want to scrapbook less. But first, I’d like to review my accomplishments as well as what didn’t go so well.

What I Accomplished in 2013

Truth be told, I had felt like I didn’t do enough this year. (Do you ever feel that way?) But seeing this list makes me feel proud of what I achieved, even if I didn’t finish everything. There is so much power in celebrating the victories.

  • finished: 30+ layouts for 2013 family album
  • finished: 10+ layouts for 2008-2012 family album
  • finished: 20+ layouts for 2011-2012 baby book
  • finished: Story of Maggie Wilson (our dog) album
  • finished: scanned 175+ photos from 1980-1998
  • finished: Before Your Story childhood album
  • in-progress: pocket pages for 2013 family album
  • in-progress: pocket pages for 2011-2012 baby book
  • in-progress: March 30 Days of Lists journal
  • in-progress: Stories of the Summer mini book
  • in-progress: Love the Midwest mini book

What Could Have Gone Better

In addition to recognizing successes, I believe in the value of self-assessment so you can do better next time. Here are some of the high-level reflections for my scrapbooking in 2013:

Photo Library – I did great through May. I was offloading regularly, pruning the collection, and completing basic edits. Then our June was absolutely huge and I took 900 photos. I’ve since been working backward but I need to better prepare for times when life is busy.

Pocket Pages – I absolutely love working with pocket pages and believe they are a huge scrapbooking solution. However, I’ve found that I don’t enjoy the fuss of embellishing in such a small space. So I tend to put it off, feeling pressure to do more than just write on the pretty cards since I started that way.

Layouts – It’s pretty clear  that layouts are sometimes the easy route for me. It can be a lot quicker to wrap your head around a single page than it is to get back into a larger project. I need to work on finding a better balance between seeing rapid progress with layouts and devoting energy to projects.

Large Albums – My big revelation for 2013 was that I like my albums to be chronological and represent time periods, even if I don’t feel the need to work that way and even if the insides are organized non-chronologically. What this has meant is that I want to do a better job of planning layouts that fill a clear gap in each album.

I’ll share more on how I’ve changed my thinking on albums soon!

Mini Books – I find the most success and enjoyment from mini books when they are retrospective and can be completed in a short period of time. I have a lot of difficulty working on mini books in real time and maintaining energy from start to finish. I need to take this into account more often when committing to projects.

Everything I’d Love to Do in 2014

I don’t yet know exactly what I will achieve next year, but I do have a lot of ideas. Between unfinished projects and fun new things I’d like to start, I’m flush with possibilities. In addition to an eager effort to create layouts and pocket pages for my 2008-2012 family album, I’d love to:

  • finish 2011 pregnancy/baby mini book
  • finish pocket pages for 2013 family album
  • finish pocket pages for 2011-2012 baby book
  • finish March 30 Days of Lists journal
  • finish Stories of the Summer mini book
  • finish Love the Midwest mini book
  • start/finish 2011+ All About Me album
  • start/finish 2014-2015 family album
  • start/finish 6×8 simplicity pocket  journal
  • start/finish Before Your Story photo book
  • start/finish 2013 Emily photo book
  • start/finish 2011-2013 Emily photo book
  • start/finish husband’s childhood pocket album
  • start/finish stepsons’ childhood pocket albums

Why I’ll Make Fewer Layouts

You probably have a list like the one above, in your head if not on paper. You also know there is always more you’d love to accomplish than you actually can.

During Start Fresh, I’ll use the planning exercises and worksheets to take the list from above and turn it into a realistic action plan.

I’ll figure out which projects are most important to me and how I can make them happen. I’ll even have a plan for staying on track when new project ideas, classes, and other opportunities pop up.

But even now, what stands out most is that I really want to finish more of what I start. I don’t like having projects linger on, adding more guilt to the pile.

To move in that direction, I’ll need to really focus on wrapping up older projects and be even more intentional about anything new. If you look at my initial list, there are a lot of mini books and pocket albums I’d love to work on.

The math is simple. In order to achieve my goals in 2014 using the same amount of time, I’ll need to create fewer layouts.

Is there one thing YOU want/need to do differently next year?