Happy 2017!

Oh my goodness. Well, first of all, I realize that I’m three days late. GASP. But the thing is that I flew home from Jamaica (shooting a wedding with Krista of Six Foot Photography!) on the 1st and literally went to bed at 7pm, and then Cameron had the day off yesterday so it seemed more important to hang out with him since he’s my husband and I like him. (And also I cleaned the house for like five hours. Oops.) But I’m here now and so ready to talk about the new year and the magic of a fresh start!

First, I’d like to revisit my 2016 goals. Last year was my very first time setting goals at all, let alone sharing them publicly, and I honestly think it was the best decision.

2016 Goals

1. Shoot 10 weddings.
I booked 16 of my own weddings and second shot 15 weddings.
2. Travel to Italy.
Best trip ever, and you can see recaps on the blog of Rome, Florence, Manarola, and Venice.
3. Limit social media usage.
I didn’t necessarily limit my usage, but over the past year I have absolutely redefined my relationship with social media. I now do a better job of viewing it as a tool rather than a reflection of my identity/success, and it has made the most wonderful difference in my attitude and perspective.
4. Work out 3 times per week.
This went great until September/October, and I have no valid excuses. Here’s to exercising better in 2017!
5. Photograph a styled shoot.
I sort of reevaluated this goal and decided that styled shoots aren’t a priority at this point in my business. But if the right opportunity comes along, I would still love to be part of one!
6. Read one book per month.
YES. I am so thankful that I made this goal. I do admit that there were a few books I didn’t finish, but all in all I spent an incredible amount of time reading in 2016 compared to 2015.
7. Plan 4 weekend trips.
We spent weekends in D.C., Greensboro (which sounds lame, but we stayed at the O.Henry!), Wilmington, and Boone, and took several longer trips as well. My forever motto is that I would rather spend money on experiences than things.
8. Have a “quiet time” every weekday.
I did not meet this goal, and it’s a big part of my vision for 2017. More on that next!
9. Book two mentor sessions.
I did book a mentor session with Robyn Van Dyke, which was so wonderful, and I then decided to wait and see how my wedding season went before seeking out any others. I’m currently considering a business-related coaching session and will of course keep ya posted.
10. Get published.
This technically happened, but not intentionally. Similar to my stance on styled shoots, I’m not actually sure that getting published is still a priority, but of course it would be awesome! Maybe 2017 will have something in store.

Throughout the year, I also added several smaller goals that I think truly made the difference. 2016 was a great test run for this process, which made me super excited about 2017!

My bottom line is that setting goals can be GREAT, and if it interests you I highly recommend it. I had a much clearer direction for my business and for my personal growth because I was actually forced to think about it and to revisit my goals each month. I often had to force myself to sit down and write those monthly goals, but it was so worth it. I was actually excited to think about 2017 and to see how my values have shifted even within just one year. If you’re considering something similar, I also suggest reading The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy. I was inspired to read it because of Nancy Ray (definitely stalk her if you need some goal-setting inspiration) and am so glad that I did! As you read, he points out free resources available on his website. I printed literally all of them and sat on my living room floor surrounded by paper and thinking super hard about life. It was actually fantastic. And as a result of lots of consolidation on my many December plane rides, here are my 2017 goals!

2017 Goals

1. Read 18 books.
I’ve decided to once again read one book per month, but I am also planning to participate in The Beloved Book Club.
2. Run a 10K.
3. Define a mission statement and policies/procedures for my business.
4. Develop and track three daily habits:
5. Keep an address book.
6. Plan a trip to France.
7. Learn and implement more effective marketing strategies.
8. Serve my clients well.
9. Celebrate others.
10. Increase our financial giving.

The most effective aspect of last year’s goal setting was the idea that I had to share my goals on the first day of every month. I’m perfectionistic/OCD enough that I never missed a post, and it kept me focused on my progress because I always revisited my initial goals for the year in order to set those smaller goals for the month. So here we go!

January Goals

1. Read The Unwinding and The Rosie Project.
2. Set a system in place for tracking daily habits.
3. Begin drafting a mission statement and policies/procedures.
4. Deliver all 2016 weddings and sessions.
5. Enjoy a weekend in Charleston! (Cannot wait. Check out our last trip here.)

Happy 2017, everyone. I hope you are all looking forward to this brand new year!

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