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My One Hobby Resolution for 2024

This time every year, we all do it.


“I’m going to work out more.”


“I’m going to eat better.”


“Dry January, here I come.”


Also, for those of us in The Hobby:


“I’m going to consolidate.”


“I’m going to buy less (and/or sell more) cards.”


“I’m going to build community.”


And yet, we all know that 95% of resolutions fail by February (70% of all statistics are made up).


According to researchers (don’t ask me for any citations), the most effective way to set a goal is the SMART method.


S is for Specific

M is for Measurable

A is for Achievable

R is for Relevant

T is for Time (Based)


So with this article being published on January 8, 2024, a day by which 50% of Americans say the time has passed where you can say “Happy New Year” as a salutation, I can say that I did not submit my Hobby New Year’s Resolution on time…or is there still enough time and if not, is that even such a bad thing?  Let’s give it a shot anyway, even if it’s to consider for 2025.


Let’s say I want to set myself a goal up to sell more cards in 2024, but refine the above general resolution utilizing this SMART method.


Specific - “I want to sell $5,000 worth of cards.”  That’s pretty specific!  It’s already better than “I want to sell more cards.”  More specific goals allow for more effective preparation and planning.  (I know some of you may already be thinking, this is way too much or way too little.  Don’t worry for now, the number does not matter and we will get into this more at Achievable.)


Measurable - I have to admit, this sounds a lot like Specific, but when a goal is measurable, there is a value or unit of measurement, and so in this case, it helps that our specific goal has a dollar value.  It could also help to have milestones or small steps to measure and track how you are progressing in your goal.  Perhaps creating a spreadsheet for your goal tracking will help you along the way.


Achievable - This is where that $5,000 number can be considered too much or too little, depending on the amount and value of cards you have.  If you’re a high roller in The Hobby, this could be easily achieved by just one or two cards.  If you’re a low end collector, this could mean selling hundreds of cards.  You adjust this number how you see fit. You can also change your “I want” language to “I am.”


Relevant - This one doesn’t add more words to the specific goal we set, but reminds us that our goal should align with our value system and any long term objectives we have in mind (which we will get to in the last one, Time).  So the question would become what is your value system, which long term objectives do you have in mind?


Time (Based) - This is where we refine the above, more specific goal and add a time period.  “I want to sell $5,000 worth of cards by X date.”  What is your X date?  Is it the end of 2024?  Is it by the time of The National in Cleveland, OH in July?  Knowing what your X date is will help motivate you, because you have set yourself with a specific time period.


So putting it all together, you can go from “I want to sell more cards,” to 


“I am going to sell $5,000 worth of cards by July 24, the start of The National in Cleveland.”


How’s that sound?


It would be even better if you had a method in mind, whether it’s through a new or existing eBay store front, setting up as a dealer at local card shows, selling to dealers at card shows and being more willing to negotiate, or finally submitting that stack of cards to a consignment company.  But even if you don’t include the method, the refined version already sounds a lot better, doesn’t it?


However, maybe your goal instead is:  “I want to go to more card shows.”  


You can refine this to: “I am going to attend Culture Collision, The National, and the Chantilly Card Show, and I am going budget $3,000 for transportation and lodging.”


Sounds doable, but for me, the main reason (out of the SMART acronym) I struggle with making any Hobby Resolutions is Achievable.  The thing for me is that I just got done with my first full year back into The Hobby in 2023 (came back in September 2022 to a whole new landscape, especially with social media, that I had not encountered as a kid or young adult in The Hobby).  And so in many ways, it’s almost as if I don’t know what I don’t know, including I don’t know whether certain goals are achievable or not.  Is selling $5,000 worth of cards too easy or too hard?  Is trying to have a podcast reach 10,000 people too much?  


I know I don’t have any resolutions for social media, because I am happy with my social media presence.  I don’t have any desire for it to grow.  I love my community, I love just where I am and I know my value system and am going to allow it to guide me through The Hobby and not the other way around.  I don’t have any resolutions for growing my PC, because I love my PC.  Could I add more cards to it?  Sure, but I don’t know which cards I want to actively pursue.  I don’t have a clear goal in mind and certainly not one to utilize the SMART method in.  


If anything, the one Hobby Resolution I want to set for myself is to have more balance, which would mean less time in The Hobby, one that I’ve become almost addicted to.  But what does that mean?  Some % less time per week?  What kind of timeline?  For those reasons, it’s on my mind a lot, but I don’t have a resolution for it.


So if you got this far, I suppose you may be wondering, what is indeed your one hobby resolution?  Using the SMART method, here is my one hobby resolution for 2024:


“I am going to write one monthly article for Hobby News Daily for the entirety of 2024.”


I’m already off to a good start.


Happy 2024 card fam!


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