Maker Objectives and Key Results

Work made me do a training on “Objectives and Key Results” which is just a business-y version of the goal setting techniques I learned in grade school: choose something big you want to do, even if you’re not sure all the steps to get you there or it’s not a thing that ever finishes, then choose some concrete things you can do that you think might move yourself in the right direction. Then learn from what you do and adjust and iterate.

I’m starting to brainstorm about Fiber Goals for the year, and it’s got me thinking that they often fall into a few “objective” style categories:

1. Use what I have.

Like many crafters, I aquire supplies faster than I use them. I don’t necessarily consider this a bad thing: I like having the materials on hand when I get an idea or have to pivot late at night when something doesn’t work out. I also find I need a certain amount of materials on hand or I get too anxious about using things up. But there’s only so much space in my house so I don’t want to collect indefinitely! Plus I have good taste and I like using my stuff.

Example previous fiber goals that fit with this objective: using my self striping and gradient yarns, using kits.

2. Try something new.

I like learning new things, and sometimes making one into a goal for the year helps me set aside time to do it! A lot of these have been things I could take classes in like learning to spin.

3. Do something hard / push my limits

“Hard” here doesn’t always mean that the action has to be hard. Often it means doing projects that are bigger or require more concentration, or can’t be done with my kid in the room. Sometimes it means just doing something I wouldn’t normally do.

The hardest example was finishing my sabbatical quilt, which was a slog for many reasons. A fun one was revisiting brioche.

4. Have fun.

Sometimes the goals are just something I think would be fun to do! Like making more toys for my kid this year.

And also…

There’s nothing wrong with fiber goals that fit into multiple categories: Knitting rainbows, for example, used stash and was fun and was pushed my habits to do something I hadn’t been doing naturally.

I don’t know that every fiber goal I set or brainstorm quite fits into these “objectives” but I do find them useful for brainstorming next year’s goals so I can get a mix of types of fiber goals in my draft doc before I choose four.

This will be my ninth year of doing fiber goals rather than new years resolutions and I love this tradition for myself.