Another year has flown by and 2015 is here! This is normally the time of year that I look at where I am in life and where I thought I would be and then feel disappointed in myself. But this year I am determined to not feel that way. Instead of looking at all the things that didn’t happen this year I’m choosing to look at how much progress I did make (both in my business and personal life.) Because when I look at what I didn’t accomplish it is so easy to miss how much I did accomplish, and how much I grew. So positive thoughts from here on out.
On that note… I’m thrilled for 2015! I’ve got some wonderful weddings, some even more fabulous business groups and events, and it looks like I’ll be taking a vacation this summer! Crazy talk! I’m super excited to jump back into work this week!
So let’s take a look back at my December goals and see how I did…
Business Goals (December):
- Go to some industry holiday parties. I did! I was so tired by the end of December that I really didn’t want to go. But it was a goal so I forced myself, and actually had a lovely time and met some wonderful people.
- Order some sample albums. Nope… I just didn’t have the time, and the album companies are so backlogged right now I figured it would be ok if I waited until January. Of course now I really need to get on that!
- Get a styled shoot on the calendar for January. Done! It’s happening January 27th. Any couples want to model? Cause it’s gonna be fabulous! I can’t wait to share it!
- Be brave and try new things at my December styled shoot. I did! I shot almost the entire day with off camera flash… and if you know anything about photography and my work that is 100% not my style. But I did it and make some cool images with it. I also made some images that I bet you’d never guess were taken with all OCF. So I’m proud of myself. And it goes to show exactly how much I’ve learned in the last two years as I’ve been pushing myself to get better with flash.
Personal Goals (December):
- Try not to get overwhelmed and stressed out by the holidays! Well I sure wasn’t perfect about this, but I think for as tired as I was I did a good job of not getting too overwhelmed! I think it helped to make small goals… go to this event… go to that event… enjoy seeing friends that you only see once a year… it IS worth it (even when all you want to do is hide under a blanket and take a nap!)
- Bake cookies! I did! They weren’t as good as my cookies normally are.. or should be… I think I’m out of practice. Maybe I should bake more this coming year?
- Get all my Christmas shopping done! Shockingly I didn’t actually finish this until January… whoops. But it’s all done now… so that counts… right?
- Do something fun! I did lots of fun things! (the DC Holiday Market in the rain was NOT one of them) But I saw Into the Woods with friends, went out for tea and crepes, had an impromptu photo shoot, decorated gingerbread houses and much more. A busy but fun holiday season. 🙂
Not too bad! Personally I think I did a great job with December! Especially remembering how much I just wanted to hibernate for the whole month 🙂 Now onto some goals for January…
- Get those sample albums designed and ordered! Sadly it takes a while for them to be printed and bound, so the sooner I get them done the sooner I can show off my beautiful albums to clients!
- Meet with at least one wedding professional a week. Last year things got busy and time flew by and I realized that I didn’t get to spend nearly enough time with the fabulous ladies I work with (outside of the wedding day) I want to make sure that I am taking the time to meet with someone every week. I can always spare enough time for a cup of coffee or lunch. So if you want to get together let me know!
- Get back into blogging! I kinda took an unexpected hiatus in December just trying to finish the year and be present with family and friends. But (as much as I hate writing) I enjoy blogging and I’ve got some great stuff bouncing around my head for the blog this month!
- Get my first newsletter out! It’s coming!!! So make sure you sign up 🙂
- Cook more from scratch. I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t have any allergies to food. What my body doesn’t like are all the additives and preservatives. And the only way to keep from eating that is to make everything from scratch. I do a lot of it already, but I want to do even more.
- Raise the cold frames in the garden. When we installed the cold frames in my garden we thought they would be the perfect way to grow some greens over the cold winter months. The problem is that because they sit lower than the ground (and because my yard is soooo flood prone) every time it rains they fill up with water. So I need to raise them a foot or two so that the dirt in them is higher than the surrounding ground. Than maybe they will work.
- Get some new music and make some fun playlists… it’s been a while since I got some new music. And I really need something new to listen too. Thanks to a Christmas iTunes gift card I can do that! Any suggestions?
- Finish the binding on my quilt. I actually have two quilts that I need to finish sewing the binding on. The catch is I have to do it by hand so it takes a long time… and I just finished sewing the binding on 5 quilts in December so my hands don’t really want to do this now. But I’d love to have my fuzzy winter quilt all finished so I can use it!
I feel like I’m making the post really long… but since it is the beginning of the new year I want to share some of my goals for 2015 so maybe you can help hold me to them!
2015 Goals! (Business & Personal):
- Photograph a lot more family and anniversary sessions! I love engagement sessions and weddings, but I also love what comes after all that! I want to photograph my couples after they have been married a year, two years, many years! With or without kids. Your love story continues and just gets better with time and I want to photograph that too! (I realize I used a lot of !!!! Just goes to show how excited I am about that idea!)
- Streamline my business. It’s an ongoing process, but the more I can get into a rhythm and make everything on the back end (contracts, payments, emails) simpler and easier the better the process for everyone. And it will let me focus more on the photography and even doing more sessions! Win win!
- Encourage other small business owners! It can be very rewarding and fulfilling to own your own business. But it can also be hard. You suddenly have to be an expert at all sorts of things and you do it all on your own. I want to help other small businesses improve and be the best they can be. I think there is room for everyone in this industry to kick ass and be amazing. And I want so much to help everyone with that. On that note I will be holding monthly meeting at my office to discuss one small habit that I want you to learn each month. This month it will be on blogging (This Thursday so go on Facebook to get the invite!). I can’t wait to see everyone!
- Grow more food, and make more food. Not that I need to eat more food, but I’d like to make more of my own organic food. I’ve gotten better at gardening, but I still haven’t reached a point where I can make enough food to eat all summer long. Right now I get a few meals out of a veggie but not a ton. Which makes me wonder how people used to do it! (Or how farmers do it now for that matter.) I’d like to produce more food in my garden and I’d like to make more of my food from scratch. (Including things like bread, yogurt and cheese! Stay tuned to see if that works out!)
- Collaborate with some new wedding professionals on some styled shoots. Yes, I have a fabulous team that I tend to work with most of the time! And I love them all and would work with them all the time if I could. But I know there are other fabulous professionals out there that I’ve never gotten the chance to work with. I’d love to work with them this year and see how it all goes! Maybe there will be even more fabulous collaborations in the future!
- Do some styled shoots that push and inspire me. This is always a goal when I do styled shoots. I don’t want to be boring in them, because this is the one chance to push yourself in a professional environment. However, they are collaborations and normally wedding based. I have a few ideas tumbling around my head that aren’t and I’d love the chance to see one of my visions come to fruition 100%. 🙂
- Use my blog for education. I’ve done this every so often in the past, but I hope that this year I can create a lot more educational content for brides, families, photographers and small business owners. With lots of pretty photos in-between of course! I’ve got a few ideas so keep an eye for them this month. Is there anything you’d like me to discuss?
Phew! That was long, and if you stuck it out this long you are a serious blog reader and I thank you!! Please feel free to leave me suggestions in the comments! I read them all and they mean so much 🙂
And now an Instagram look back at December 2014. Follow me at LeliaMariePhoto