I’m one of those guys who writes out my new years goals. I don’t say resolutions because that is a firm act of choosing to do or not do something and I want to be flexible and make changes or adjustments to my goals. For me, writing out goals is a way to clarify my thoughts and helps me make a plan to achieve them.
Writing out the goals also helps me stay on track. I can review them from time to time and it allows me to make changes or adjustments. But most of all, writing out my goals gets me excited and motivated to make a change. Some of those changes will be in my shop and most of these changes will benefit me, but some will benefit you too.
So far, it’s been 5 years in my current shop, and during that time I’m realizing things have changed. Along the way, I’ve filled it with “stuff.” And on top of what I’ve accumulated, I’m also going to be getting some new equipment. Some will be brand new, while others are used. This also means I need to move things around and change my workflow. So I need to prioritize my stuff. Once again, writing out a list of the items in my shop allows me to assess their usefulness and importance. This can help me declutter and make more efficient use of my space. The list will help me categorize the tools by how often I use them, how necessary they are, and how much I value them. Then I can decide which items to keep, donate, or sell.
So far in this article, most of these changes will be for my personal gain, but I do have other changes that you might benefit from. Starting in the new year, I will have a new website. My old website was almost 10 years old. Hopefully, the new one will be cleaner, faster, and friendlier to use.
Another change I’m going to do is to pay more attention to my Youtube channel. Most of you realize that I am not a professional YouTuber. I make my money designing and building furniture. Youtube is a hobby that I like to do. But youtube has so many changes and updates, and I have been lazy just neglecting them. I have realized that ignoring the changes makes it more difficult for you to get the information you want to be a better woodworker. So I will try to improve in this area. Already I have made some simple changes that you might benefit from. I organized videos and put similar related topics together. For instance, I made a playlist of the different dovetail videos and there are a total of 11 to watch. I also have geometry, tenon & mortises, tips, and project videos in new playlists. I will continue to go through my videos and organize them more to make topics easier for you to find so they can assist you to learn what you want when you want.
Speaking of videos, I bought a new camera with 4K resolution. My old camera did good, but it’s starting to give me trouble. I considered just using my iPhone, but a good camera allows me to use professional microphones and a video monitor. I want to provide you with high-quality videos that have proper planning, scripting, and good content while paying attention to lighting audio, and composition. This is all in an effort to create clear and engaging videos that will communicate the lesson more effectively to you.
Lastly, I figure out how much money I made last year and try to earn more for the following year. But I never accomplished that. I would get discouraged not hitting a certain money amount and then realize that I can’t increase my earnings. So at the beginning of 2021, I did something different. I figured out how much money I needed to keep my business open and how much money I needed for personal expenses. That’s It! Surprisingly, that number was rather low and I knew I could easily achieve that. Once I hit that number, I had the choice of taking on more jobs that I truly wanted to do, versus work because I had to do. I want to take on a project that will challenge me to create something that makes me proud. I realized for myself, it’s not about money but about freedom. And now I had the opportunity to explore new things.
If you haven’t written out goals for yourself I would encourage you to try it. I once read, “If you don’t write and set a date for a goal, it’s just a wish.” Physically writing the goal and giving it a date makes the plan move into action. YOu can always change the date, just don’t give up on the goal.
Whatever you choose to do this year I want to wish you a happy and healthy one, and thank you for continuing this wonderful craft of woodworking.
Chad Stanton- Owner of Stanton Fine Furniture 12-31-2022