#96 Happy New Year!

Happy New Year BHooked Podcast Listeners!

I want to keep it short and sweet today so you can spend time with your loved ones this holiday season. Today it’s just you and me in a quick catch up session – I’ll chat about what’s on my mind in the New Year and most of all, thank you for being so amazing.

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#96 Happy New Year!

Brittany: Well hello there, and welcome to episode 96 of The BHooked Podcast, the last episode in 2018. We are here, my friend. We've made it to the end of another year. Now, I want to take this time to reflect a little, but also to look forward. This may be a shorter episode than most, but the message here is really simple. Let's learn from our past and apply that to our future.

Now, this episode is sponsored by Red Heart Yarns, one of America's favorite yarn brands, certainly one of my favorite yarn brands as well. You've heard me talk about a lot of different red heart products over these last several episodes, and I just want to thank you for being a loyal supporter and a red heart fan yourself.

I wanted to mention in this segment, some of my favorite red heart yarns and they're not necessarily all the new ones. One of my all time favorite red heart yarns is unforgettable. I simply love Unforgettable yarn. And it really has a special place in my heart because one of the first patterns that I really became known for was the broomstick lace infinity scarf, and I used Unforgettable for that project. Now, don't get me wrong, broomstick lace is an amazing technique and it's beautiful, but that project would not have been the same if it weren't for Unforgettable yarn.

In addition to unforgettable, kind of like my old favorite, my new favorite, there's really a toss up. I love Hygge because it's so soft, but I love Colorscape because it's so pretty and the color transitions are gorgeous.

I live in an area where the yarn stores are a little smaller than I would like, and perhaps the options aren't as great. So that's why I like to order from red heart .com. I can order any color I want, and I'm not limited by what's in stock. So visit Red Heart.com today. Check out some of the amazing things the free patterns that they have available there, and let's just join together and say thank you to them for sponsoring the show.

OK, so it doesn't matter if you've been planning your new year for months or if you're just starting out. Let's all just start with a blank slate. I want us to be in the same place right here in the moment. Now, it might sound a little cheesy to say, but how do you feel right now? And really spend some time tapping into that.

Do you feel happy? Are you tired? Are you stressed? We can learn so much about our past and our future by simply thinking about the present - what's going on right now. Now after you do that, let's look back - we don't want to spend too much time reflecting on the past, on what happened because it happened. It is what it is. But we can learn a great deal about how to move forward by reflecting. So first, I want you to think about two amazing things that happened this year. And just hold on to those.

Keep them close in your memory. Now think about when you felt really frustrated or really stressed out throughout the year. These are our reference points as we move into the new year. We have a couple of examples of when we were at our best, when we were so happy. And then we have a couple of examples where maybe we were at our worst. We need to find as many opportunities as we can to do more of the good and less of the bad.

Now let's take a little turn here. Think about the projects you made this year. What were some of your favorites? What were some that weren't your favorite? Did you learn anything new, do you learn a new skill, new stitch, a new technique? Now, if you have to, you can write some of this stuff down, and I would encourage you to do so because something about getting it onto paper really solidifies things.

So once you're aware of the things that filled you up this year and that drained you, we can look into 2019 with a different perspective, through a different lens. The question I have to ask you right now to really think about is how can you do more of the good and less of the bad? And you might be thinking, Well, Brittany, I don't always have control over the bad things that happen, and I get it. There were some things that I went through this year that I wish I didn't.

But we also need to recognize that in some situations, there could possibly be something we could have done differently to avoid a bad or stressful situation. Being aware of these things is a first step to the new year, and we're doing this together.

One of the most amazing things that happened to me in 2018 was that I got to speak with Vicky Howell. I remember when I first started crocheting, I bought one of her yarns called Sheep-ish. And this yarn is has been recently discontinued but I remember looking at that skein of yarn and seeing her face on the label and thinking, how on earth did she get to do such a cool job? How did she get her own yarn line? And I started looking into her a little bit more and learning about all the amazing things that she's done for our industry. And she became sort of like a celebrity in my mind. Well, I mean, she kind of is a celebrity. But I thought never in a million years would I get to talk with Vicky Howell. Even as I sent her that first email, I knew the chances would be pretty slim that she would have the time to be on my little old podcast. I didn't have a lot of downloads or impressive stats to share with her, so I thought, I'm just going to do it because I'm pressing my comfort zone a little bit. I feel like the answer's probably going to be no, but I'm going to ask anyway. And you know what? It paid off. As you know, Vicki was on the show and it was amazing. It was such a great opportunity.

Another really great thing that happened in 2018 was I got to speak on stage for the first time ever and give my first keynote presentation. And that was both a terrifying and thrilling experience. I always knew that I wanted to try speaking, but I didn't expect that it would happen this year.

Every year I try to set a couple of pretty big goals that are really stretching my comfort zone. And for me, I expected that 2019 would be the year that I would speak. But I was presented with this opportunity and I just couldn't say no. Even though I was terrified and everything inside of me was saying, No, no, that's so scary. I said yes because it was so scary. And it was an amazing experience. Another great thing that happened this year was that we passed 200,000 downloads for this show.

That is amazing. I really had no idea going into podcasting what the potential would be like. There aren't a whole lot of craft related podcasts, and there certainly aren't a whole lot of crochet podcasts, so I had very few people to speak to about it. And not everybody wants to share their numbers, so that wasn't something I would just ask them. So without any frame of reference, I just decided that 200,000 downloads is amazing and I couldn't be more happy and I can't even believe it, to be honest with you.

Another amazing thing that hasn't happened yet, but will happen in the next few days, is that my husband and I will be celebrating eight years of marriage. Now, it does feel a little weird to say that I will be married for eight years because I still see myself as in that in-between phase where I'm not really an adult, but I'm also not a kid either. Well, I think I'm definitely an adult, even though I don't feel that way. I'm certainly young at heart and I have this amazing partner to share this journey with. And I never thought it would be possible to love somebody more than I did on the day that I married him. But I do, and it's just crazy how that happens.

Well, let me just say that 2018 wasn't all rainbows and unicorns either. There were certainly a lot of challenges. One of the things I struggled to constantly improve on was time management. We've talked about that a little bit here on the show because it was so top of mind for me. I'm really intrigued by the idea of how one can spend their time, how some people are more productive than others. And I like to learn from as many experiences as I possibly can. But even though I found myself so interested in this topic, I wasn't always great at managing my time. And that's just the honest truth of it.

I want to be really great at that, but I'm not always great at it, and I have to be OK with that and learn from this year. Another challenge I faced was balancing projects. And this comes from a health and wellness perspective. Now, you know, our craft involves a lot of repetitive motions of our hands and our wrists and sitting for long times. And I didn't always take that into consideration. Or perhaps I didn't put enough importance on that. Now, because of that, I have experienced a lot of hand and wrist fatigue.

You all know that I have had some issues with my shoulder here in the recent months, and to be honest, I just don't feel like I'm at a level of fitness that I want to be. Another big challenge that my husband and I both faced this year.

And if you follow me on Instagram, you have heard about this. But in July, we had to say goodbye to our beloved fur baby of twelve years. Now, being a pet owner is really difficult because we go into it knowing that hopefully we will outlive them. You know, they have a shorter lifespan than we do. And even though we have that in our mind and we expect that, it doesn't make it any easier when that time actually comes. So we had a black lab that I adopted when he was eight weeks old.

Logan grew up with me for a few years, and when he was three, I met my husband, Mike, and he was no longer my dog, but he was our dog. I'll never forget. At the beginning of February, I saw a lump in his mouth and normally with my health background I don't typically freak out about health things, but I really freaked out about this. It didn't look good. I showed my husband, and so we took him to the vet the next day and we arranged for that lump to be removed and then biopsy to see what it was.

Well, they told us it was a malignant melanoma and that is a very aggressive form of cancer. So we did everything that we could for him. But the prognosis was about six months. And that's about how much time we had with him. And so just two weeks after I came back from my trip to Chicago, where I spoke at the Our Maker Life event, we said our final goodbyes. And that was one of the most difficult times that we have ever been through.

So 2018 was both a wonderful year and a very challenging year. But the most important takeaway is that I learned from each of these experiences and I will take that with me as I move into 2019 a little wiser than I was moving into 2018.

With this little exercise that we've done over the last couple of minutes where we think about the present, we look at the past just a little bit. We find those amazing things, we find those challenging things. And then what I want you to do after you've heard today's show is just spend a little time thinking about the lessons that were involved in those good and bad situations and then take those with you into 2019.

So now let's transition a little bit and talk about the show. Now the show here has had some amazing moments. We've had some great guests. We've heard some wonderful tips, and I hope you have been able to apply a lot of that into your crochet and your knitting experiences. I love this show. But it does have its challenges. However, knowing that you are counting on me is what drives me forward. So when you have a challenge, find your motivation and let that hold you accountable.

You may not know it, but you hold me accountable to publish this show every single week. Even if I don't have a guest lined up, even if I have no idea what I want to talk about, or if I have no time to make it all happen, I know that no matter what I have to do it because you're here and you're counting on listening to the show.

Now, on that note, one challenge that I have faced this year with the show in the planning of it is not being able to measure what you, my listener likes and what you don't like. That's just the nature of podcasting. But to remedy this, I have created a survey, and it's really quick, it will only take a few minutes to complete. But I ask that you complete that today after you've listened to the show.

I will be able to no longer guess what you want. I will know what you want because it's the questions are designed to tell me exactly who you are and what you want, because that is my goal.

I want nothing more than to produce a show that you love and that you look forward to listening to. And the first step that in helping me is to fill out this survey. So you can get to the survey really quickly by typing in bhooked. Com/podcast survey.

I think there's eight or nine questions, but they're super quick. Some are multiple choice. Some will give you the option to fill in the blank and tell me exactly what you want. But it will only take a few minutes and it will make all the difference to me - what I do and how I plan the show for 2019. So you literally have the show in your hands at this point.

You may have also noticed something new there. I said, bhooked. com /podcast survey. Hello! bhooked.com. My husband and I have been trying to get this domain for so long, and we finally got it. Now I'm able to use bhooked.com as well as bhookedcrochet.com. So I want to spend a couple of minutes explaining this because nothing has really changed. There's just a couple of options.

The reason why it was important for me to get this domain was because, well, we're more than just crochet now. I have some knitting patterns. We have, of course, have the podcast, so B.Hooked feels like it encompasses things a little bit more.

I also love the domain because it's shorter. Every single week we have a show notes page and I always encourage you to go check that out for the resources and to leave some questions and comments there. And I ask you to type in, bhookedcrochet.com/session zero, whatever that is. That's a lot of letters for you to type, and it's a lot of stuff for you to remember. So moving forward, we have the ability to just type and bhooked.com. So if you want to just go to the website to see what new patterns are there, you can type and bhooked.com. It'll take you to the same website you're familiar with, but you can also type bhookedcrochet.com and get to the same website. So on the back end of things, they point to each other, but to you just know that nothing has really changed. We just have another option.

Now finally, I want to leave you with a little thought experiment. Have you ever heard of the pick your one word strategy moving into a new year? I've heard about it before, but I've never tried it until this year. What I like about the pick your one word frame of mind is that it challenges you to do what we did today. Think about your present. Think about your past. So it encompasses the good and the bad. But it also gives you a reference point when you're looking into the future.

After I took some time to reflect on what was great this year, what was not so great this year, my word for 2019 is intentional. In 2019, I want to do everything with intention. Some of the amazing things that I can think of that happened this year were the result of me being intentional, taking action on something no matter what the outcome was going to be. And that means something. And then on the flip side, some of the challenges that I faced this year were due to a lack of intention, maybe just going with the flow and just letting life happen instead of being intentional about it.

So my word for 2019 is intentional. I will take that with me everywhere I go in all walks of life and certainly through what I have going on at B.Hooked, with this podcast, with new patterns, with new videos and everything that you can find on my website, I will do it all with intention.

So what is your word for 2019? I would love to know. I hope you share it with me on the show notes page. And let's get some practice in here. If you head over to bhooked.com /096, that's the show notes page for this episode. Super short. I hope it's so much easier for you to not only memorize but also type into your browser. So tell me on the show notes page, bhooked.com/0 9,6 what your word is for 2019.

Now, just a reminder that this episode was sponsored by Red Heart Yarns. I know it's a yarn company that you and I love so dearly, and I would also challenge you to let me know what your favorite Red Heart yarn is. You can also leave that for me on the show notes page, so we'll have a nice big list of our words and our favorite Red Heart yarns. I think that's a great way to celebrate the episodes that they have scheduled and to celebrate them as one amazing yarn company.

I also want to remind you about the survey for the podcast, and I am asking from the bottom of my heart, Will you please take just a few minutes of your day to fill out that survey so I can serve you better?

That's the whole point. I want to know what you love and what you want, what you expect, and the only way for me to know that is for you to fill out this survey. So once again, if you go to bhooked.com/podcast survey, you'll find it there.

And this survey will only be open for one week, so please take the survey before January third, 2019. And that way, I'll have some time to go over the results to look at everything and still plan out the episodes for 2019. Okay, so bhooked.com/podcast survey.

Thank you so much. I just want to tell you from the bottom of my heart, from my family to yours, Happy holidays, happy new year. We love you and we appreciate you and I will see you next year, my friend.

On the show, Brittany aims to inspire you and help you grow in your craft. Through her own stories and the stories of special guests, you’ll discover tips and tricks to improve your crochet and knitting skills and find inspiration to make something that makes you happy.

When you want to kick back and learn from yarn industry experts, grab some yarn, your favorite cozy beverage and turn on The BHooked Podcast. There’s never a shortage of all things crochet, knitting or yarn. Listen & subscribe on your favorite podcast player!

Your Host, Brittany

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