Let it Go: The Top 5 New Year's Absolutions

Look around the internet and you’ll see hundreds of posts dedicated to New Year’s Resolutions. List after list of promises to get fit, quit bad habits, spend more time doing X and less time doing Y. We write it all down with the best of intentions but almost all of those grand ideas fizzle before the end of spring.

Then the guilt rolls in. This year was going to be different! And to assuage the guilt you turn to one or more of the bad habits that got you in this mess in the first place. The diet’s already blown so why not treat yourself to that double fudge brownie? Then the guilt starts all over again.

Get off the merry-go-round right now. This year, instead of crafting a list of unattainable New Year’s Resolutions, set yourself up with these New Year’s Absolutions.

  1. I will not feel guilty about taking time for myself once a week.

Work, family, household chores; there’s no end to the modern To Do list. If you wait for a good day to take a break, that break will never happen. It’s important to schedule a date with yourself at least once a week for at least an hour. Take a walk. Go window shopping. Go to a movie. Just get away from the computer, your work room, the house and even your family. That might sound harsh, but the reality is, we all need a little downtime and you’ll be surprised by how energizing an hour away from it all can be.

  1. It’s okay if I don’t post on Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest and Instagram and. . . .

Somewhere along the way, social media went from a fun option to an aggravating must have for the small business owner. And it’s not enough to update Facebook now and then. You have to have one of every type of account and they have to be updated every day – otherwise you’re not really serious about your business.

Baloney. Social media platforms are tools for keeping in touch with the world and for promoting your business, but no one ever went out of business because they didn’t have a Twitter account. Pick the one or two platforms you like the best and make an effort to post a few times a week. You can use a scheduling tool like Buffer or Hootsuite to write all of your posts in one sitting.  Social media should be fun. If you dread it, forget it and concentrate your efforts on other forms of marketing.  Really, it’s okay not to post on Facebook.

  1. I’m not a bad person if I say no now and then.

Participate in that complicated blog hop? Thanks for thinking of me, but I’ll have to pass this year.

Bake two dozen cupcakes for the soccer team? Sorry, I can’t. But I’d be happy to pay for pizza delivery.

Back to back craft shows? Would be great for business, but I can only do one of the two weekends.

If the thought of saying no makes your chest hurt, go practice in front of a mirror. Say no and then smile. Do it over and over until you’re comfortable saying it because you’re going to say it a lot more in 2015. Saying no is hard but juggling work and family when you’ve overbooked yourself is even harder.

  1. I deserve to be paid for my work but how much and how often is totally up to me.

Most crafters and artists do what they do for the love of the work. They’d do it even if they didn’t get paid so asking someone to hand over $50 for a necklace or a painting feels strange. But you deserve to get paid for your work just as a plumber gets paid, or a fashion designer or bus driver. Taking money doesn’t diminish the value of the art but how much money, is up to you. If you’re satisfied selling a necklace for nothing more than the cost of the parts, that’s okay. If you want to add on $100 for your time, that’s okay, too. It’s your decision, so don’t let anyone push you into charging more or less.

  1. Just because I can have it all, doesn’t mean I have to have it all.

Take a moment to think about the life your grandmother led. It was pretty different from the life you’re leading.  There were strict gender roles and limited opportunities. There were plenty of handmade products but you couldn’t sell them beyond your own neighborhood. Now you can sell your wares to people on the other side of the world and you can run your business out of your home after spending the day with your family. Wife, mother; husband, father – business owner and artisan; you really can have it all.

Or not.

Just because you can have a full-time business doesn’t mean you have to. Use your IndieMade site to run a business on your terms. That might mean closing the doors while the kids are home for the summer or selling just enough to pay for a trip to Disneyland. If you want to run a part-time business, do it. Maybe later it’ll become a full-time gig or maybe it will always just be a fun sideline. It’s all up to you.

Finally, here’s a blanket absolution for all the guilt, doubt and questions that are bound to plague you in 2015. To quote a famous Disney princess, it’s time to let it go.

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