There's something about the start of a brand-new year. Even though it's just another day, a continuation of Monday into Tuesday, I always view it as a clean slate. I think this resetting is important for me to get into the right frame of mind for my business and my personal life. It's the push I need to tackle big projects that seemed daunting in the middle of October. In the last week I've reflect on the last year ... my first full year as Lane Baldwin Photography. So many things exceeded my wildest imaginations. I've also learned a ton along the way—especially things that didn't work, things I want to change in 2013. Just by brainstorming new goals I feel re-centered and ready to tackle the year with lots of motivation and inspiration. One key goal is to set boundaries for myself so I can keep up this motivation all year long.
Before I look forward though, I told myself I would look back at the goals I set on Jan. 1, 2012, just to see how far I've come and hold myself accountable:
- Be more purposeful with my blogging schedule/calendar. This will be a running goal, but I definitely upped the ante in 2012. Hopefully 2013 will be even better (see below)!
- Link my e-mail addresses and clean up my Inbox. All I can say is, THANK GOODNESS that's done!
- Upgrade my computer and Photoshop software. Check and mark!
- Work on telling a story at EVERY shoot I do. Another running goal, but I feel as though I progressed with the storytelling as the year went on.
- Start an online gallery that includes printing options for clients. Check and mark!
- Start offering various-sized, self-designed albums. SUPER excited to share my albums with you all next week!
- Make a concerted effort to be interactive on social media sites and other blogs. I slacked here. This goal is rolling over to 2013.
- See growth in myself, my photos and my business from the beginning of the year to the end. Totally. I'll be sharing my favorites from the year later this week. Maybe you'll see the growth for yourself!
And without further ado, my goals for 2013 ... both professional and personal:
- Blog every weekday and schedule blogs the day before. I got stressed out with blogging in 2012 because I was scrambling to get something up at 10 a.m. some days. And of course my content suffers when I try to cram writing into my day. My goal is to better utilize my blogging calendar in 2013 by staying organized and being purposeful with my posts.
- Turn around weddings in two weeks. Ohhhh boy, this one makes me nervous, but I SO want to wow my clients with a fast turnaround. Plus, this will help me stay organized when I start shooting weddings every weekend. I love the idea of being able to tie up loose ends from one wedding with only ONE other wedding sitting in the queue. Wish me luck!
- Schedule and STICK TO office hours. By far, the biggest thing I learned in 2012 is that your business will get the best of you if you let it. I can't tell you how many nights I was up until 2 a.m. editing photos. NOT THIS YEAR. I know I'm most productive when I can shut off my computer and have some downtime before waking up and doing it all over again. I'm streamlining some things this year to allow me go unplugged in the evenings.
- Learn to say no. One of the reasons I had trouble setting boundaries for myself this last year is because I had no idea where to draw the line. I hadn't done the photography thing completely on my own for a full season yet, and I didn't know that taking five portrait sessions a week in October was going to test my limits. It's hard to say no, but in the long run it benefits both me and my clients.
- Make a concerted effort to be interactive on social media sites and other blogs. My carry over from 2012. I will be more social this year. :)
- Start gathering ideas for new branding/website. Yes. Yes, I will be upgrading my website in the next couple years. When that happens, I want to make sure I have a clear idea of where I'm headed. I'm really excited to dream up all kinds of possibilities.
- See growth in myself, my photos and my business from the beginning of the year to the end. Above all, this is most important.
- Eat a more balanced diet, and cook real meals 3/week. There were days last year when I would forget to eat lunch. Or I would grab carbs because they were quick. I know I'll feel more energetic and productive if I take care of my body ... so I'm going to!
- Work out at least 4/week. I just read in my most recent Real Simple that when people have a lot to do, they think they don't have time to work out and it's the first thing to get cut. Uhhhh, yeah! In actuality, you should make time to work out because it improves your productivity. Plus, it's healthy. See #1. :)
- Get organized. Working on a house is so much fun, but it's also super messy. We have a room that's dedicated to the junk we don't know what to do with while we slowly work on other rooms. I need to organize the junk room, along with receipts, clothes, files, etc., etc. Help!
- Make an effort to connect with family and friends. Because I worked so much this last year, I let personal phone calls, e-mails and get-togethers slide ... and that is NOT OK. My goal is to reach out to a family member and/or friend, in some way, shape or form, at least once a day.
- Get involved. Just like #4, I let extracurriculars take a backseat this last year. I want to get involved in the Cleveland community and pursue some of my other passions.
- Do a full 365-day photo project. I did half of one in 2011, and I WILL do a full one in 2013. :)
- Do a devotional every day. And finally, to make myself more well-rounded, I want to make my spiritual life more of a priority. No excuses this time.
If you've made it this far, you really are a rock star. This post is more for me than anyone because I work best when I'm held accountable for my goals. Just posting them on this blog gives me the little kick I need to get.stuff.done.
To keep me going, I'm going to start a monthly check in—or goals if you will. Because January's a slower month around here, I'm hoping to get caught up on quite a bit:
- Back up website.
- Finish editing the last 2012 wedding.
- Back up 2012 files and clean off computer.
- Organize all files for taxes.
- Finish 2014 pricing guide.
- Update website portfolio.
- Blog every weekday.
- Design OUR wedding album (whoo!).
- Clean out my closet.
- Clean out my car.
- Unsubscribe from all the junk e-mail that comes to my Inbox.
- Read at least two books (Love Does, Life of Pi).
- Complete 95% of my office (i.e., everything should at least be ordered).
- Work out 5/week.
- Ski down a moderately sized hill without falling.