The Chevalier mittens begin to look like a dragon’s tail. #1 daugther’s birthday scarf is coming along, but I definitely will have trouble getting it finished in time.

I need to spend more time knitting, I guess.

We had our annual meeting yesterday, #1 daughter and I. We identified the areas we need to improve and came up with plans for making those changes. We sorted out the goals for the company and the steps to reach those goals, and also talked a bit about our own personal goals.

There was a moment of overlap.

“We can’t treat ourselves like machines just because we work with machines,” #1 said. It’s true. If either of us got sick or burnt out or just jumped ship for a more enjoyable job, the business would be gone. She said we need to take an hour in the day for exercise, time to shop for and cook healthy meals, time with friends, and some time for ourselves, and that doesn’t seem like an unreasonable plan.

I think we also need to make sure the work time doesn’t become unpleasant. I know that I need to have time to think and to learn new things. All of us have different sources of satisfaction, and we all need to get that satisfaction in our work, or it stops being fun and becomes stressful.

“We’ve been operating in crisis mode for years,” #1 daughter said. To a large extent that’s true — not that we actually have crises all the time, but we have very little margin. We often feel like we’re scrambling to keep up, and that’s not the feeling that leads to the best work — or to taking time out for exercise, or even for a haircut.

We need to get the work sorted out: better training for the team, better instructions and oversight, automation of what can be automated effectively. Once that’s done, we’ll be able to take the time to care care of ourselves.

I did pretty well on most of my goals last year. So did the business. We also had fun, some surprises, and did good work.

We have good plans for 2013.

Personally, I’m looking forward to seeing both of the boys graduate, teaching a new class, taking a vacation, learning some new stuff, writing a book, and meeting some health-related goals. I also look forward to finding out about the surprises that lie in wait for me this year– I’m sure there are some.