Just four days into 2013, I already feel a bit behind and a little worn out. I’m finding that it doesn’t help one bit to sit and think about how rested, accomplished, and in-control I had expected to feel upon returning to work after a full week off. Sometimes life likes to remind you, in a very big way, that no matter how much you plan or how many to-do lists you make, you are rarely in control.
So, I’m a few days behind, but I wanted to put my goals for 2013, both personal and professional, in writing. I want to hit the publish button on this post and feel like I am accountable to more than just myself for actively trying to work towards these goals. One thing these past few days have reinforced in me is that life is far too short to not go after your dreams, not matter how impossible they might seem on the cusp of that first big jump.
When 2012 began, instead of an actual list of goals, I had one phrase that kept repeating itself over and over in my mind: "Be kind to yourself." That became my goal for the year ahead, recognizing that I had developed an alarming tendency to be quite harsh on myself. There were definitely moments when I failed at this, but with each passing month, I started to be easier on and kinder to myself.
Similarly, this year there is a phrase – somewhat an extension of what I worked towards last year - that resonated with me as soon as I read it on Emily Ley's site: "I will hold myself to a standard of grace, not perfection." So fitting. This is a tall order for any perfectionist, but is a much healthier way to approach life. It’s time to realize that though I might wish and think that I can do it all, I just can’t – and that doesn’t mean I am a terrible wife (to be) or person. Some days I just need to give myself credit for the things I am already doing, besides being part of a family, I’m also working full-time, planning a wedding, launching a business, and gearing up for a potential move – and those are just the big things! So maybe it’s time that I stop trying to make everything just perfect, maybe it’s okay if the laundry is a little (okay, a lot) overflowing and the dishes are piling up in the sink. It will all get done, maybe not as soon as I want, but it will all get done.
On the professional side, I have a long list of goals of where I would like to take my business over the next year:
Make it viable.
Though just in the start-up phase, I aim to make my photography business a viable part-time job by the end of the year. The other goals are all smaller parts of making this overarching goal actually happen. In addition, I need to file everything to ensure my business is set-up to protect everyone involved.
This goal is intentionally a bit vague. To save money, I will be responsible for all of my initial branding, which I need to complete and be aware enough to update as needed. Eventually (whether this year or further down the road) I want to invest in a designer to truly perfect my branding.
This goal is also a bit vague, because, while I have a few ideas of what I would like to do with my website/blog, the truth is that I am not exactly sure. I need to talk with other people in the field and then just trust my gut enough to make whatever changes I need. What I know right this moment is that I am not motivated to update my current website, which is potentially hurting my business. So I either need to make myself motivated or find a new system that works better.
This might seem a little strange given the lateness in this post, but I need to create a consistent schedule for blogging, Monday through Friday.
Invest in my business, smartly.
Mike is definitely the voice in my ear on this goal, as he is the biggest proponent of spending money to make money. But as an emerging photographer, I sometimes feel completely overwhelmed about all of the investments that seem to be part of taking a business to the next level – top notch equipment, website, blog, packaging, and workshops. Since I am just at the beginning, I will need to pick-and-chose which investments will help me bring in the most business.
Network with area photographers.
I’m not sure why, but this is one of the scariest goals to me! It wasn’t even until last month that I would admit to some of our family and closest friends that I was starting my own photography business! But I’ve realized you can’t just put up a website and a blog and hope that people flock to you to have you capture their day. It’s time to meet some people who do this successfully for a living, learn from them, and create some meaningful relationships.
Second shoot a wedding.
This goal completely relies on the previous, because it’s tough to second shoot a wedding if you don’t know any photographers! I have shot some portions of wedding days, but never from the beginning to end and never under the continuous time constraints of the day.
Staring out at 2013, I feel a mix of emotions - excited, anxious, scared - about everything that lies ahead. It promises to be a year of adventure and new beginnings!