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Boundaries for Success

By Tuesday, July 30, 2019 (MDT) 18 Comments

Today, I’m sharing some thoughts on Boundaries and Success in order to help you with your scrapbooking and photo artistry goals.

I’m also announcing some changes at Anna Aspnes Designs based on these principles.

Boundaries for Success

Yes to Boundaries

They protect us and enable us to have what we want most.

Last week in my Beginner Lessons in Artistry post, I mentioned setting boundaries and how this can help in making the magic happen in your scrapbooking and artistry.

The idea is to:

  • Let some things go.
  • And simplify.
  • So you can focus on what matters.
  • Create space for something else.
  • To really make an impact.
  • To do what is most important.

And it’s super-hard if you happen to be an empath, highly sensitive person and/or people-pleaser, which many creatives are – We usually want to do it ALL which leaves us depleted, overwhelmed and completely unproductive.

Boundaries are necessary to take care of yourself and remove a LOT of the frustration you may be feeling in your craft.

Simply Simplify

You can can only do so much. Period.

For years, have been trying to fit more into my day.

Just recently, I have been waking at 5 am every day in attempt to become more efficient, only to find myself still working until 8.30 pm or later.

It’s only taken me 44 years, but I have FINALLY accepted the fact that there are time limitations to what I can achieve on any given day.

Everyone gets the same amount of time.

And this can quickly be consumed by life commitments such as jobs, family and and all those things that creep into your life due to ‘not having boundaries.’

So it’s REALLY important to protect ANY of that remaining time for YOU.

  • Decide what is MOST important.
  • Prioritize.
  • Make the space for the THINGS you NEED/WANT to do.

This results in:

  • Reduced depletion.
  • Minimization of frustration.
  • Enabling you to actually feel like you have the time, to do the things you need and want to do, in order to be a balanced and happy Human.

Take an inventory, remove excess and make space.

  • Look at what you do in a day.
  • Prioritize in order of importance.
  • Trim the stuff that matters LESS by letting some things go.
  • Say ‘No’ sometimes.
  • Find yourself some FREE time.

How This Relates to You

Apply this same theory to your artistry/scrapbooking.

The dilemma of being a creative is that there is just SO much we could be doing in our artistry and scrapbooking.

But just because you CAN, does NOT mean you SHOULD.

Frustration happens when you are not achieving your scrapbooking/artistry goals.

  • No matter how much you create, it might not feel like you’re making progress.
  • Perhaps you are paralyzed by the overwhelm of there being too much.
  • Or you simply don’t think you have the time?

The truth is your’re trying to do TOO much.

  • When you narrow your focus.
  • Set realistic expectations.
  • Identify what is truly important in your memory keeping/photo artistry.
  • Remove what is LESS important.
  • You create the space for the ‘stuff’ that REALLY matters.

Try it and let me know how it goes.

How this Effects Anna Aspnes Designs

Boundaries are universal.

They work for life – personally, creatively and professionally.

Having successfully integrated some of these principles at home,  for a much happier Anna, I am now actively creating space in which I can better serve the community.

Change leads to Change.

Lots of changes have been implemented over the last few months at Anna Aspnes Designs.

I have embraced these changes and LOVE nothing more than listening to the community.

My number #1 aim is to ALWAYS create and inspire you, so that you can make the magic happen.

What I LOVE:

  • New ideas revive and refresh the process..
  • Always provide the opportunity to learn.
  • Ultimately lead to growth regardless of success of failure.

The problem with change is that it’s perpetual.

Nothing is ever static or stays the same.

And while I am always HAPPY to try something new.

I also need to recognize when those changes are, not working for me, or the majority at Anna Aspnes Designs.

I can only do so much in a day and it’s one of my core values, to do those takes as well as I am able.

Everything Comes at a Cost.

In implementing all these new ideas, I have been pulled away from the greater ways I  can serve the community.

This has led to some frustration in feeling there is no TIME to:

  • Create the ever-growing list of classes/blueprints/e-books,  I want to share with you.
  • Get to the core of helping you with your scrapbooking/artistry.
  • Revisit the Heritage project series I started last year.

Walking the Talk.

Last week I applied the ‘setting boundaries’ principle to Anna Aspnes Designs.

I did a ‘inventory’ on all the things I do around here in any given month.

It’s a LOT when you write it down.

Hard decisions then had to be made for the better good of this community.

And ensure I am taking care of myself in the process.

Letting some things go to make way for the new.

This leads some immediate changes at Anna Aspnes Designs:

1. ArtsyKardz and DoubleMaker Paperie.

Sadly these will no longer be added to the store.

  • Not because I don’t enjoy making or using them.
  • But because they consume so much of my time.
  • And there is simply not enough community support for them.
  • There will be a Creating ArtsyKardz from ArtsyTransfers video at some point sharing how you can create your own ArtsyKardz.
  • I am also percolating ideas on creating a class for the Double Maker Paperie if there is enough interest.

2. Fewer MidWeek Release DigitalART Products

Do less in general in this area, so that I can do MORE with classes and other projects I am passionate about.

  • The idea here is to free up some time for class creation and other projects that will advance your scrapbooking and artistry.
  • Relieve me from working all weekend as well as during the week (I currently work 7 days a week and have done for the last 17 years.)
  • Please STILL send me your requests, however, as it’s the only feedback I have on the offerings I provide at Anna Aspnes Designs.

3. The Blog

Simplify without sacrificing content.

  • I recently lost my admin assistant which has it’s pros and cons.
  • This change has, however, enabled me to reconnect with some of the tasks I previously delegated.
  • You will notice some simplification in the Monday inspiration posts, and these will sometimes be combined with the ArtPlay Videos I have been doing over the past couple of months.
  • This change is in response to a recent poll, what community members want, and the simple fact that I can provide more information in less time in video format.
  • Thursday tutorial posts will be more detailed to provide you with more information in the techniques shared.

I realize that all these changes will create some disappointment, and for that I apologize.

But let’s focus on the positive here, however, and that’s the ‘space’ to bring you perhaps something better?

I’m hoping that what I create in place of these offerings, will bring you even GREATER joy.

Again, please continue to share your ideas and connect with me.

  • While I realize I cannot please everyone.
  • I will ALWAYS listen to YOU.
  • Make changes that are most aligned with the community.
  • Modify any of those decisions when needed.
  • Remember that nothing ever stays the same.

If you have any concerns/comments/questions about this post, please feel free in the comments section below or email me. I am always happy to hear from you.

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Anna Aspnes

Author Anna Aspnes

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Join the discussion 18 Comments

  • Kim Pay says:

    Thank you for sharing. Your thoughts, experience and ideas about boundaries are wonderful and personally come at a time when I too have been reflecting on change. The plans for 2019 have changed several times and unexpectedly the plans all went out the window in June. As I recover from an injury that has left me somewhat immobile for the past 7 weeks I’m thankful for your reminder that nothing is static & there is always change. I’ve been forced to put my to do list on hold and what a blessing in disguise that has been. It is so important for all of us to make time to reflect, focus, let go, change and mentally clean house regularly.
    PS: I love the new art palettes & look forward to using them as my recovery changes into a rehabilitation phase where I can play more.

  • Viv says:

    Anna you do so much for your creative community. I will always be grateful for discovering you and your artsy approach. Your enthusiasm and care for your people is second to none. You deserve a life outside of aA Designs, you need to recharge your creativity. So onwards to a new chapter, I’ll be with you!

  • Beverly says:

    Anna, you are by far, one of the wisest people I’ve met (online), and you have my appreciation for all you do to keep everything running at the aA Design store and blog. Some people run and hide behind the scenes when things change, good or bad, and sometimes disappear. Your work ethic is above all I’ve ever seen. Kudos to you!!

    • Anna Aspnes says:

      Haha! I have been called a lot of things in my lifetime including stubborn and hard-headed but I wise take the ‘wise’ complement too. I suppose there is some advantage that comes with the age line. I believe in being open and honest as there is always much we can learn from each other.

  • Nancy Kimbrough says:

    Good for you Anna! Change is hard (and even harder to initiate!). You can not always make everyone happy- even though many of us are constantly trying :)! It is a constant “realignment” process to keep life in balance and what works this month may not work next month. Right now you have two wonderful young people in your house- enjoy them now- it all goes too quickly! Your community will be there with you through the changes and support you along the way!

  • Terri Fullerton says:

    What an interesting post. I am trying to retire, and have trouble saying “no.” So I can relate to what you are feeling and trying to do. I say, “good for you,” and I think, ‘I need to follow suit.’ I appreciate you insightful information.

  • Sarah Geiger says:

    Thanks for your honesty. I think you are right in simplifying and streamlining. Your FotoInspired work has been a Godsend to me to get scrapbooking done quickly so that I can concentrate on helping in my community.
    I was thinking about how your daughter will be a junior next year, and how important it is to have a bit of extra time to ruminate about this change, to have time for impromptu adventures with her and college visits. This is part of your new season. Enjoy!

  • Kay Gregory-Clark says:

    Oh, Anna. As always, you are such an inspiration. I’ve never thought of boundaries in reference to artistry and the many, many creative things I want to do—yet I seem to accomplish so little. I can’t get them out of my head. I need a good sit-down with myself and your writings are encouraging, allowing me to see it as an “adventure” with NEW on the horizon, rather than “giving up.”

    I relate to Kim, who posted above. I was on a roll with my heritage pages, thanks to you and the wonderful classes I’ve recently taken—as well as some I had purchased during a sale and not taken time for (I almost said I didn’t have the time). And your products have been such wonderful and helpful additions to my stash that I was cranking out the layouts.

    Then, mid-June, I got stopped in my tracks like Kim. I was hit with a very bad case of shingles covering the left side of my face and head. That in turn caused Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, which left that side paralyzed—but worse, it has affected my eye, taken away my hearing, and the facial, ear and temple pain have sometimes been unbearable. With my doctor’s help, I’ve been experimenting with drugs and dosage. This condition may be permanent or take months or years to subside. No way of knowing and little actual treatment. And of course it saps my energy. I’ve had to increase the drug (it targets the nerves in my face), and I’m hoping it will provide more relief.

    The worst part of all of this is losing use of my eye. Yes, the vision is still there, but comes and goes (mostly goes). But it is so weak and painful that my use of the computer is very limited; I have to rest it every couple of minutes and sometimes quit altogether. I see the hours and days and weeks speeding by, with so little progress towards my goals.

    But….reading your blog with its very positive theme helps me with perspective. I have already made changes in the way I do physical things like housework and cooking (!), and I don’t have many responsibilities other than an organization I’m active in—DAR—and being present for my husband, who has been a rock. It’s my creative life that I’m so concerned about at this point. (That does spill over into DAR, since I’m the chapter photographer and I do the newsletter.)

    I need to reassess my goals and priorities as far as creative projects and genealogy work. I have been trying “to do it ALL,” as well as experiencing some confusion about direction and organization with the latter. Somehow doing the heritage layouts with your products, techniques and direction make those flow for me without much effort.

    So, again Anna, I thank you from the bottom of my heart! And I apologize for the length of this post.
    p.s. I meant also to say you need to take care of yourself and your family. Echoing someone else here, I encourage you to spend as much time with those kids as possible because that time is so fleeting. They go from toddlers to adults in the blink of an eye! I’m seeing that now with my precious granddaughters whom I rarely see because of the distance between us.

    • Anna Aspnes says:

      Yes. Yes and yes! Happy to inspire you. Being positive is a skill that must be practiced but so worth it. Life has its challenges and we get to choose how we adapt. Let me know if I can help further.
      And time with my people? It’s always my first priority. Thanks for your kind words.

  • Kay Gregory-Clark says:

    Another P.S. I love your second layout with the contemplative photos.

  • Myra Taylor says:

    Hi Anna, I can really relate to this. This year has been a rather up and down year for me. My husband had a mini stroke, and consequently I took on the task of keeping all the balls in the air with the I am OK I can do attitude i.e. additional looking after my husband, looking after twin three year old grandsons twice weekly, responsible for my elderly older sister who has dementia plus all the usual life tasks. Everyone relying on me. Consequentially my health broke down about three weeks ago. It made me realise that I was pushing myself (with my own very high standards) and I simply have to let go and focus on the most important things. Lesson learnt. I am slowly coming to terms with it all and hopefully will soon be back to 100%, but with a totally different outlook on life i.e. slow down and allow time for yourself.
    We all really appreciate everything you do and how you find the time to do it all amazes me. Your products are second to none, you are a great teacher and generous to a fault with your time and products. So Anna do simplify, slow down and spend more time doing what you want with your family.

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