Goals for 2014; What I Accomplished in 2013

Goals for 2014; What I accomplished in 2013

{click on images for source}

Remember when I spent that Saturday in December planting tulip bulbs? Well, as I was kneeling in the dirt, digging holes one-by-one, I had this epiphany about goals and visualizing and here's what it was:

If there's something you really want in your life, and you have it written down, and you're visualizing, but you're not DOING anything towards acheiving it? It's just like planting bulbs. You could sit there, staring at a mound of dirt and visualize tulips growing out of it, but if you didn't plant them months in advance? Well, they aren't going appear, no matter how strong your intention.

When Terreeia works with her clients on goal setting, she says if you are not achieving your goals, it means they are not clearly defined. People who accomplish things, have clearly defined goals. Goals have to be followed by clearly defined action, just like planting bulbs.

My biggest and most fervent goal this past year was the landscaping job we did. Our yard was so freakin ugly, I would even have these occasional thoughts about how I would survive the ugliness, if the world suddenly (almost) came to an end or something bad happened and that concrete had to stay for even another year.

So whenever, those thoughts came into my head, I would block them out instantly and just visualize it all happening, and writing checks for everything. That was the big one. We knew it would be expensive, and we didn't want to be in debt at the end, so whenever I would wake up at night (which is when I get my best worrying done) I would visualize myself sitting at my desk, writing checks, with money in the bank for everything we needed to get this yard done. If you haven't seen it yet, here is the entire before & after on my landscape architects blog.

And that's exactly how it went. And it took some creativity and hard work for sure. If anyone ever thinks having an internet based business is easy, it's not. Like any other self-employed person, I work a lot! And to me, it doesn't feel like I'm working because I'm working my talents and doing what I love.

Having a business I can work from anywhere, as long as my laptop is with me, is a dream come true. I have an exciting new course, I'm working on right now, launching this year that will teach decorators and designers how to do the same thing.

Goals for 2014

So a big check on our yard. Thanks again so much to MaryAnne White, my brilliant designer who created the vision and helped me bring it to life (all the way from New York)!

Other accomplishments this year:

1. I started learning the world of webinars. I said I wanted to have an exterior webinar this year and that was the first one we launched last year. We'll have another one this Spring.

2. I said I wanted my house published in a national magazine and it was in two. Here and here. Funny, when I wrote that goal last year I was thinking about our current house (but didn't say it). It was my townhouse in North Vancouver that made it into the magazines. Again, being specific is so important. I got what I said I wanted but it was different than what I thought it would be.

Master Bedroom

Photography by Jennifer Houghton

And, it was pretty hard for this house to get published in 2013 because I didn't actually have time to start thinking about drapery until the landscaping was done in the fall and they did not get installed until October!

As many of you know, I gave up going to Italy (Terreeia went instead) for finishing the house and that was a good decision in the end because then I had it photographed right after the drapes were installed and then again at Christmas and both sets of images will be published this year by national magazines, I'm so excited!

When it happens, I'll be sure to post about it! Everything's always tentative until it goes to print.

3. In 2013 I named my year my 'Year of Friends' and one of the smartest things I did to build some new friendships was joining the Canadian Decorators Association (CDECA). I spoke at their annual AGM this past year and discovered many of these women are my people! Hooray!

I also have a new pal (Jacqueline) in Chilliwack so that's pretty fun since my friends from Vancouver mostly say "When are you coming to town so we can have dinner?", haha instead of driving all the way out here (I get it).

And I have to mention our neighbours. This is the first house I have ever owned so I've never experienced the feeling of having neighbours. People who look out for you and wave as you drive/walk by, it's really a great feeling.

We are so lucky to be surrounded by such a lovely group of wonderful people. When I arrived home with a heavy new wool carpet one day, Darryl picked it up out of my car like it was a bag of feathers and installed it in my family room. When we had our Christmas open house in December, our neighbours Kristen & PL, and Jeremy & Hanne were the first to arrive, which made me feel all warm and fuzzy!

Here's my list for 2014:

If there's two regrets that I have about what I haven't learned so far as a design blogger it's these two things:

Photoshop & Photography. I'm not taking on Photoshop this year but photography, yes.

Goals for 2014; Accomplishments in 2013

It's so pathetic that I still can only point and shoot. So Terreeia bought me lessons for Christmas. My course starts next weekend and goes weekly until the middle of March. I am going to learn to use my DSLR camera come hell or high water.

Get ready kids, for some excellent photos taken-by-me to appear on this blog!

Let this be a lesson to anyone who wants to start a design blog. Both Photoshop and good photos are critical if your work  is visual. I've said I don't have time to do either but this year one of my commitments is working smarter not harder.

Let me be clear, learning how to be a better photographer does not replace a professional photo shoot when you're finished a project. My house immediately got into two national magazines for 2014 when my photographer sent in the images. It's one of the best investments to make in your business.

Recently, I was talking about this book that I've been reading a couple weeks ago and I'm learning a lot about how create more time by being more efficient.

Goals for 2014; What I Accomplished in 2013

Tim Ferris has this note on his desk (above)

I loved these questions in the book to ask yourself every day:

1. What is the one goal, if completed, that could change everything?

2. What is the most urgent thing right now that you feel you "must" or "should" do?

3. Can you let the urgent "fail" – even for a day – to get to the next milestone of your potential life-changing tasks?

4. What's been on your to-do list the longest? Start it first thing in the morning and don't allow interruptions or lunch until you finish.

Oh, I just got it. We're sitting here, on the Lanai in Kauai and I've been yapping at Terreeia and my Mom trying to work out what I should call my year and here it is:

I am not a planner. One of my clients Crystal, is a big planner. So she's always doing fun things with her friends and family! Terreeia and I have paid rack rate at hotels many times because I'll decide we should go away for the weekend at the very last minute.

I have achieved a lot in the last five years since I've started this blog but I can only do so much in one day so in order to accomplish more, I need to plan better and work more efficiently.

So I'm making this year my Year of Implementation (follow through, follow up, carry out, complete, finish). Making shit happen! I'm going to make some major leaps and bounds in my business this year.

Make sure you join me in February to become a True Colour Expert™ and this could be the year your design business moves forward in a big way! This will be the last time the course is offered for the early bird rate of $1,600, so jump in now, this price expires Wednesday! Register here.

Related posts:

Review of Last Years Goals and a New List for 2013

Review of Last Years Goals and a New List for 2012

Review of Last Years Goals and a New List for 2011

22 Responses to Goals for 2014; What I Accomplished in 2013

  1. Donna Frasca says:

    Same here! My plan is to work smarter not harder.

  2. Those are all major accomplishments, Maria!! What an amazing year!! Now to see what 2014 brings; I'm sure it will only be more fabulous!
    xoxo,
    Traci

  3. Very inspirational, Maria. I too, am ready to take leaps and bounds with my business. Your honest sharing really helps me to be realistic and to also to push myself to do bigger and better things. Here's to a bigger year! Thank you Maria!!

  4. Thanks Maria for the inspiration, I just took account of what I accomplished and set priorities for what to accomplish in 2014.
    For me- Finish my book, complete design cottage, and move my office into design cottage.
    Thanks again!

  5. Norine says:

    I really needed this insight – just a few days after the news was reporting that it was the day that resolutions fall by the wayside. Thanks Maria!

  6. Linda says:

    Since I first met you it seems like you have rocketed to the mom! Looking forward to how much farther you will go in 2014.

  7. Linda says:

    Oops…meant "to the moon"

  8. Maggie S says:

    Maria,
    I have been reading everywhere about having a "word of the year" and I thought of several but nothing grabbed me.

    Well, I have my word now "Implementation"- the perfect word for a procrastinator –or as I like to call myself "an idea person" ;-)

    I'm very impressed that you make your goals for the year happen!!
    Good luck with 2014!
    Maggie S

  9. Maria, this is a very inspirational post! You've accomplished a lot this past year, and I'm sure 2014 will be even better. I agree with work smarter, not harder. That's something I'll be working on this year too.

  10. Sheri says:

    Maria,
    I always love how truthful and honest you are. When I was reading this I am finding that I'm a little opposite of you. I plan TOO much! My goal for this year is to not be so tied into a plan – to give myself some flexibility – to go with the flow.

    My goal for this year is to attend your True Color Expert class in May in Vancouver. My February is completely tied up. That being said, I enjoy having that specific goal for myself to work towards and then to celebrate after.

  11. franki says:

    *WHEW!* franki

  12. Beth says:

    If you're willing to come to LA to do your class, I will help you make arrangements!

  13. Kathi williamson says:

    Any advice on how to get photos of work published? Have the professional photos just need to know what's next? (Designer in Texas for 25 yrs)

  14. sandyc says:

    Maria, congratulations and thank!!! Congrats on all you marvelous accomplishments in 2013. And thanks for the gift of a word for 2014 (very I Ching hexagram-oriented):

    Year of Implementation (follow through, follow up, carry out, complete, finish).

    Can't think of anything more appropriate for myself. 2012 was the requisite "take stock" first year of widowhood, ending up with the absolutely unexpected purchase of a house. 2013 was a wise year of "think, consider, evaluate" over and over before making any significant decisions. 2014 is the perfect year to "implement" and it's going to be so much easier thanks to my activities in 2013 plus your continual inspirations along the way. Looking forward to 2014 for all of us.

  15. amanda gates says:

    What great goals. I'm so proud of all that you have accomplished! And I am jealous of the photography classes. I have looked for those in my area for years and have never found one…so I sold my expensive camera. What do you want to bet those classes will pop up now?

    As for the risks….I feel like I take a lot of risks and they never pan out! bah! My most recent one was to hire a new assistant and a marketing expert. Both fell off the rails within two months, so it's back to the drawing board. Or rather vision board! xoxo

  16. kelly says:

    You have had a wonderful year Maria! So happy for you professionally as well as personally. I always said that you were going to be a superstar!

  17. April says:

    Thanks for the honest sharing of what it takes!

  18. Carol says:

    So do you think that if I hope and plan and visualize you
    making your courses more affordable for an average
    person that it will happen? Or if I visualize you writing your second book beyond the Understanding Undertones
    about neutrals that will happen??
    Just wondering?

  19. Scarlett says:

    Love your honesty and transparency! I wrote a similar post about 14 goals for 2014! It is nice to have it in writing to keep reminding yourself of it.
    S

  20. Deborah J. Morgan says:

    Great post! Would def. be even more professional without the "s" word though… just saying. :)

  21. Dan Lane says:

    Congratulations on all of your accomplishments for 2013!

  22. I love your energy Maria – we all want to do our best no matter what. I wish you abundance in the new year and hope the photography class is another dimension to your already successful career.

    Have you done any Landmark lately?

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