How to Feel Truly Content with Your Scrapbooking Progress

Jennifer Wilson

I’m your guide here at Simple Scrapper. Our community helps people find what fills you up and fits your life in memory keeping.

June 6, 2016

Over the years I’ve written a variety of posts sharing the status of my scrapbooking projects. They’ve been among the most popular, I suppose because we all have a bit of voyeur in us. We love to peek in the window.

This is not one of those posts.

I could tell you how I started a mini album for a class three years ago and finished just enough to teach it. I could tell you how I’ve been meaning to scrapbook a story about meeting my husband a decade ago, but I keep getting intimidated by the significance. I could run down the list of all the projects I wish I had started or finished.

Just like yours, my hobby is forever in progress.

The difference, perhaps, is that I’ve completely embraced where I’m at. I don’t feel behind. I’m proud that, as a memory keeper, I do something with some of my photos. (Thank you for that phrase Stacy.)

If you’re on board and at ease with this approach to simplifying scrapbooking, I’m so thrilled for you. You should go make something after you check out what I’m sharing at the bottom of this post.

How to Feel Truly Content with Your Scrapbooking Progress

However, if you’re still struggling to feel truly content with your progress (or lack thereof) then I hope that this post can make a difference for you. Below I’m sharing specific actions you can take this season to shift your thinking and consequently, get more done.

Creativity loves when you embrace what’s real.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a crafter, it’s that guilt and operating from a “lack” mindset will zap your motivation. However, when you see today for what it is, abundant and imperfectly beautiful, it’s must easier to find creative flow. Here’s how you can adjust your mindset in an impactful way:

1. Seek real, literal focus. When there are too many tasks swirling around in your head, it can feel challenging to get started. Thus making any progress becomes next to impossible. However, when you fight for concentration it will reward you with visible success.

Focus begins with selecting one single task to complete. Then, if needed you can use a timer or one of the many apps that use the Pomodoro Technique to help block out distractions and stay in the moment with your task.

2. Know that every victory counts. There’s often a temptation to only judge success by finishes. However, the creative journey becomes that much more enjoyable when you celebrate every milestone along the way. Even if you can only scrapbook for 15 minutes or finish a single page, it counts and it moves you forward.

Feeling content with your progress means finding genuine satisfaction in the act of showing up and any baby steps you take. Try letting go of the “all or nothing” perspective to start view the fruits of your focus.

3. Be confident in your way. It’s important to also remember that only you can define what progress really looks like. As a scrapbooker, you get to write the rules and use products/formats that best meet your needs. Sometimes that looks like what everyone else does, but more often it simply looks like what you do.

When you trust the methods that come naturally to you, you’ll not only feel more positive about your hobby but also leverage those strengths to make progress quicker. Your way is the only way that really works.

Do you know what’s important?

The book-end to this attitude adjustment is far more practical. (Cue sigh of relief.)

It’s a lot easier to embrace what’s real if you know what that is. In other words, make lists of what you want to start, work on, or finish. You may have noticed that I mention this often here.

Then, look into the future and ask “What will I most want to remember?” Those are the projects that deserve your attention and will help you continue to keep guilt at bay. If you can’t do everything (and I assure you, you cannot), then you can at least make purposeful choices about what you will do.

Finding peace with your progress doesn’t have to be difficult, but it might require adjusting your expectations. No matter what’s unfinished or not yet begun, you are doing enough.

You simply have to believe it.

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17 Comments

  1. Amee

    How encouraging!

    Reply
    • Jennifer Wilson

      Thank you Amee.

      Reply
  2. Sheree Kimes

    Thanks! I truly needed those words of wisdom TODAY!

    Reply
    • Jennifer Wilson

      I keep reminding myself too. So glad this post was perfectly-timed for you Sheree.

      Reply
  3. Sheri Berke

    Whew…what a relief to have reassurance I am enough!

    Reply
    • Jennifer Wilson

      You are!

      Reply
  4. LCJinRoslynPA

    I keep reminding myself that nobody in my family did this before — any memories I honor with a scrapbook page are that many more than were honored and handed down by my predecessors — that many more I can give with joy to my family and (hopefully) to their descendants, by way of telling them that THEIR lives matter, and are worth honoring, too. That is a lot, and it is enough, too.

    Reply
    • Jennifer Wilson

      YES to all of this!

      Reply
  5. Ammi Dearnont

    This is something I really needed! I have been struggling with album styles,
    embellishments and layouts. This is what truly hit home for me …

    “When you trust the methods that come naturally to you, you’ll not only feel more positive about your hobby but also leverage those strengths to make progress quicker. Your way is the only way that really works.”

    Thank you so much Jennifer! This is why I believe you are brilliant and love this group!

    Reply
    • Jennifer Wilson

      If there’s one single message I’d love for women to take away from Simple Scrapper, it’s that one. I’m so thrilled it hit the mark for you.

      Reply
  6. SHERYN Hodges

    I know exactly how you feel, I put off documenting the year we got my daughter by adoption because it was such a big deal. I wanted it to be special. I ended up going on a weekend trip and dedicated it to finishing that year! Whew 2007 is now a beautiful history book. Now I am able to move on. Now I am working on a 2013 Italy vacation with hundreds of photos and memories. I am having fun completing it !

    Reply
    • Jennifer Wilson

      Sometimes we’re on our worst enemy. Congrats on fending off that fear to create with satisfaction and success!!

      Reply
  7. K. Ann Guinn

    I really like this post, Jennifer! You are correct that we can never get it all done (in scrapbooking or in life!), so we might as well enjoy the journey and each small victory along the way! I also appreciate the “no guilt” concept. So often it’s easy to put so much pressure on ourselves, so that we cannot even enjoy ourselves! Since I tend towards perfectionism, these points are important to remember.

    Reply
    • Jennifer Wilson

      As a recovering perfectionist myself I hear you!

      Reply
  8. Jeanette Jones

    I started scrapbook albums for my grandaughters when they were born eight and nine years ago. So how life got in the way and they are far from “being up to date”. Your article helps me make peace with that and embrace the concept that my project is allowed to be a continued work in progress. Thank you

    Reply
    • Jennifer Wilson

      They will treasure whatever you are able to finish. In scrapbooking we get to choose what is a priority because it all can’t be at once.

      Reply
  9. Dawn F

    “When you trust the methods that come naturally to you, you’ll not only feel more positive about your hobby but also leverage those strengths to make progress quicker. Your way is the only way that really works.”

    This really resonates with me. I find that my pages don’t often look like the pages from others that most inspire me. When I try to be very artsy, for example, because I love those style of pages, I end up feeling frustrated and stuck. But when I just let go and let the page evolve in my own way, things go smoothly and I feel very happy and lighter afterwards.

    Reply

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