Ah, a fresh new year. I seriously love this time. Some may say that we all do because we have these hopes and aspirations, and we all start out with good intentions. We’re all going to eat right and exercise every day. And bring world peace. “Resolutions.” Hmm. I’m not a fan of that word. Resolutions, to me, were always more like things I thought would be nice to do but lacked in any kind of plan to achieve them. Like in 7th grade, when I said I decided it would be really cool to become ambidextrous. That one definitely made it to the top of my 1998 New Year’s Resolutions. I’ll just leave you guessing forever as to whether I am actually, or have ever been, ambidextrous.
Over the past few years, though, I’ve been using the new year as time to reflect, and then move forward. Yes, we all start off super-motivated, but what can KEEP you focused throughout the year? Since I read one of Jasmine Star’s blog posts a few years ago, I started doing something similar to what she did at the end of each year. I reflect on (and write down) the things I accomplished or am proud of from that year, the things I could have done better (if they were goals I didn’t accomplish, what were the roadblocks?), and my goals for the new year. You’d be surprised at how much has really happened in a year, and I find it so rejuvenating and uplifting for my spirit.
Once I’ve reflected on (and written down) these things, I write the goals for this year somewhere that I can see them, every day. On the wall. They’re with my monthly calendar (on a white board), so when get ready to start a new month with writing in appointments, events, etc., I also take time to look at my goals for the year to see what I’ll be working on this month. And I break it down and write my monthly goals section (most of which are steps towards achieving the yearly goals, although other random ones do pop in here and there). And the best part? CROSSING GOALS OFF THE LIST.
Have I accomplished all my goals for the year? No. But the process of setting goals, seeing them every day, and reflecting on them at the end of the year helps keep me focused. And once you’ve done it the first year, the cool thing is looking at goals from last year and saying, “Hey, I accomplished that one. And that one. And I made progress on this one.” In all of this organizing and making goals attainable, don’t forget to set some lofty ones for yourself, too. Dare to dream! If your goals don’t scare you a bit, you’re not dreaming hard enough.
Anyway, here are a few of my reflections from 2012….And here’s to 2013!
Things I accomplished or am proud of:
–My first humanitarian photography trip–planned completely by myself! From finding an organization, to raising funds, to actually traveling–I didn’t have a team leader telling me what was next or what timeline to follow. (Although I am SO thankful for the outpouring of support and love from so many friends and family!). ps. This trip will be blogged this month, but for now, you can check out my Facebook page for some details.
–Mapped out my client workflow/process and made checklists for my wall to keep track of where I’m at with each shoot (definitely a rough draft and needs to be refined, but I did it….one of my goals for the year!)
–Getting a welcome kit together (also a yearly goal)
–Developing a clear vision statement for my humanitarian work (thanks to Fast Track Photographer: Business Plan)
–Shooting film. For fun. So refreshing.
–Getting clearer about my vision, brand, and style for seniors.
Things that didn’t go well or I could have done better:
–Create and follow a consistent photography work schedule (one of my goals)
–Blogging and maintaining social media consistently
–Staying on top of editing
–Taking a Spanish class. As in, I didn’t do it at all. And traveling to Guatemala reminded me of how much I want to become advanced, if not fluent.
–Getting head shots. What is wrong with me? Good news is that I’m going to NYC in a couple weeks with a photog friend, and we’re hoping to have extra time to shoot each other for a little bit. Hoping to cross this off EARLY in 2013!
There are more, but I think 5 is my max for putting myself out there for now.
2013 GOALS (these are just a few–the rest are on my white board!):
–Finish Fast Track Photographer: Business Plan (seriously, I’ve been creeping through it this year, but it’s because I’ve been taking the time to do the exercises and actually apply things as I go along. And it’s been an incredible book!)
–Develop a clear brand and make everything cohesive (logo, website, marketing materials)
–Work schedule! Develop it and stick to it.
–Get head shots. Do it.
–Humanitarian: book 2 hired jobs
–Get accepted to a stock photo site and begin building stock portfolio.
–Shoot a crazy amount of senior portrait sessions (I have a number. Written down. But I’m not ready to be that vulnerable with you, Internet).
If this seems overwhelming for you, just think of your 3 THINGS–3 things you’re proud of, 3 things that you could have done better, and 3 goals for the year. Start small. The best thing for me has been having these things on my wall by my desk, and taking time every month to revisit them and consider what steps to take in that month. Good luck! And I’d love for you to share YOUR 3 things in the comments!