At the start of every year, I love looking back at what my intentions were for the previous year. I am lucky enough to have cataloged my mindset and goals for the last few years, so I have something concrete to look back on and mull over.
On January 1, 2020, I was brimming with all sorts of hope and excitement over the possibilities the year might bring! We had a wedding date set (that eventually got pushed back, then reset), I had turned my patterning hobby into a legit business (happy 1 year to me!), and I felt as if my path was brimming with potential shining from all directions! Re-reading my blog post from the start of 2020 reminded me exactly how excited I felt about the start of this new year.
I bet this is how a lot of us felt at the start of 2020. I've chatted with quite a few people who were so ready for this new year. Though 2020 came with a lot of change and a huge set of challenges, it has been inspiring seeing so many people coming together to make the best of a dark situation. Which is a big reason why I still have loads of hope and excitement for what this new year might become!
But with the dawn of a new year comes looking back at what worked - as well as what didn't - and making changes for the year to follow. One of the biggest things I realized wasn't working for me was my relationship with social media, and it'll be one of the biggest things I hope to change in the new year. Don't get me wrong - I absolutely LOVE the doors social media has opened for me. It has introduced me to this wonderful sewing community that I cannot believe I went years without knowing about. For a long long time, I was one of the few people I knew who sewed regularly. Even when I was in college and everyone was sewing, I didn't meet many other designers who loved the sewing process more than the designing process. There were a few, but it was a rather small crowd.
I also really appreciate social media for it's ability to help spread empowering messages throughout the community! This year I have seen a huge rise in both social and environmental awareness. I have seen loads of people stepping up and asking big questions, getting things wrong and trying their best to do better, and uplifting others who haven't always had their voices being heard. It's been mind blowing to see the community band together to promote positive change and keep striving for greater inclusivity.
On the flip side, what I don't love about social media is the constant feeling that I am not enough. I talked about my feelings a bit more in depth over the past summer when I put my social media on pause, so I won't dive too deeply into those feelings here. Instead, I want to focus on the fun changes I have planned for my own social media page and Untitled Thoughts as a whole!
1. Creating Content with Value
My number 1 priority when putting out content next year will be putting out content that has value. Before my social media pause, I would sometimes post images just to get something posted. I felt pressured to constantly be connected and not go too many days without having a story to share or an image on the grid.
Not only was this super stressful to me and had me running around frantically trying to find a nice photo in my archives and come up with a witty caption, but it also meant the content I was delivering was subpar. It was fluff when I wanted to deliver something with meaning. I'm not saying this happened with every post, but it happened with enough of them that I decided to take a step back and ask myself... What do I hope to achieve by utilizing social media? And the answer was simple:
I want to spread knowledge.
I realized that I am most passionate about sharing all that I have learned with those who follow along in my journey. It lights me up inside to help others grow in the various aspects of their own lives. Whether that is through a new sewing technique or pattern hack, a gardening tip, or learning different ways to come at living sustainably, I want to share all that I have learned. I want to engage in meaningful conversations with the community, inspire others to try something new or different or intimidating, and learn even more in the process!
2. Mixing Things Up
What I love about the sewing community is that we all share one major thing in common: Sewing. It's something that unites us all in one way or another. However, what I love equally is knowing that even though we all share this common thread (yep, I said it!), we also all have lives outside of sewing.
I have seen a few small trends popping up within the sewing community this year that has helped to celebrate those outside lives including #CookingWithSewists (Started by @winmichele), #SewAndRoll (Not sure who started this one!), an increased awareness of environmental + social concerns, voting, and even the cross over between knitting and sewing! It's been really fun seeing what other interests we all have outside of our common interest of sewing.
That being said, I hope to mix up my own content a LOT more. Like, a lot a lot. I love sewing as much as the next sewist, but let's be real. I don't sew 24/7, even if that's what my feed might otherwise suggest. As a person, I have varying interests that all intermingle with one another to create not only who I am as a person, but also the ethos behind my business. But I haven't been showing you all enough of that!
I've been sharing little glimpses here and there in stories or here on the blog, but up to this point, I have yet to fully arrive. I have yet to walk into the room saying "HERE I AM!" Part of this is because, like most everyone, I have my own set of insecurities that make me question everything I say or do (I'm working on getting better!), and part of this is because there has always been this sort of pressure to pick one lane and stick to it, especially with regards to building a brand and a presence on social media. I am not sure where that comes from, but I'd like to challenge the notion a bit and share more than just one thing. Because we are all made up of many things and that's what makes people so interesting!
3. Telling a Story
Combining the two bits above, I hope to tell a story. I am not sure what that story might be, and whether it will even have a beginning, middle, or end. But I hope to tell one anyway.
It'll be non-fiction (of course, my favorite!) and will hopefully be one that inspires. With any luck, it will weave together adventures as well as teachable moments; Magic with a little dose of reality; And it will constantly evolve and grow and capture our hearts along the way.
4. Giving Back
Finally, I hope to continue my efforts in giving back. Right now, I feel like such a small potato (idk if that's a term, but I have @minimalistmachinist's IG stories on my mind!) when it comes to giving back. I've donated to a handful of charities in the form of $$ as well as items, but I know there is so much more I can do. I haven't sorted out exactly what giving back might mean going into this new year (aside from the continued donations I have planned), but I hope to work out a plan over the coming weeks. One goal I do already have in mind is donating actual food to a local food bank. Each year I get better at home gardening and I think this summer might be the summer that I grow more than I need and can actually give some of the excess to those who need it most!
Those are my intentions for 2021. I'm purposefully keeping things light and optimistic, yet flexible for the new year because if last year taught me anything it was that you've got to stay constantly on your toes. Things may alter slightly, but I hope to come back to these ideas and my core values to help guide me and Untitled Thoughts through 2021.
How about you? Do you have any grand plans for the new year or are you keeping it flexible and seeing what might come?