2017 + January Goals (and a little announcement)

Um, hello. I feel a little bit like a dog crawling back to its owner with its tail between its legs. It's been FOUR months since I posted a blog. Four?! A little embarrassing that I let this blog of mine get away from me, but I had a pretty good reason.

Baby Photographer

Yep. Nathan and I are expecting and will be welcoming a little boy into our family in early April (or maybe late March or mid-April? Who knows)! We are very excited although it still seems a bit surreal! My pregnancy has been very smooth sailing so far and while that in itself didn't keep me from the blog, working my tail off this fall to make sure I could take a maternity leave (most likely from mid-March through May with VERY limited booking through June, although I'm still ironing out the details) in the spring DID. If I didn't know the definition of "hustle" before, I do now, and I am so grateful to everyone who booked me and showed me grace over the last season.

Needless to say, this upcoming year will be full of changes and new normals and surprises. You know I love goal setting and while I initially wasn't going to set any major resolutions or goals for this year, I realized that I would need the focus more than ever! Nathan and I accomplished some really big things in 2016 with slow and steady progress, and I want to keep that going in 2017.

So, here they are. My 2017 goals. Probably my most important ones yet!

1)   Put my family first. (I've never felt such a big pull for something. This is the most important thing I will do this year.)

  • Add another member to our clan!
  • Find a new normal routine.
  • Continue date nights with Nathan 2 times a month (even if it’s just dessert in our backyard).

2)   Take care of my body. (It's amazing what the human body can do; I realize that more than ever now that I'm pregnant. Not only do I need to continue taking care of my body over the next three months, I've also started to think about loving my body post-baby.)

  • Prep meals/snacks as much as possible on Sundays.
  • Start a dinner log so meal planning isn’t quite as tedious.
  • Drink two canteens of water a day.
  • Complete Insanity by the end of the year.

3)   Tend to my intellectual and spiritual health. (This may be the biggest struggle for me once the baby is here, but I'm determined to do a little bit each day. Baby steps add up!)

  • Create a "To Do Before Baby" list and work on it a little each day.
  • Do our annual house decluttering before April.
  • Read 15 books.
  • Get back into a morning devotional/quiet time habit.

4)   Continue working towards financial freedom. (It's not especially exciting to talk about, but Nathan and I have been working towards paying off our debt for a few years now. It's definitely slow and steady progress, and we've seen that a little bit here and there really makes a difference.)

  • Continue paying extra towards our mortgage.
  • Save [$x,xxx] towards exterior house projects.
  • Finish off our emergency savings once again.

5)   Find a joyful balance with the business so that it’s life-giving but not all consuming. (I'm embarrassed to admit that the business has been my priority over the last few years. It should always exist to enhance our lives but NOT be my end-all and be-all. A full calendar made me feel successful in the past and now I'm working towards being at peace with extra white space and margin.)

  • Finish booking 2017 weddings and be OK with the fact that my calendar looks a little different than in years past.
  • Blog ahead and do templates for just about any recurring e-mail/form possible.
  • Update my website.
Cleveland Wedding Photographer

And my January goals:

  • Finish For the Love by Jen Hatmaker and read What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty and Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline by Becky Bailey
  • Create a "To Do Before Baby" list
  • Finish our baby registry
  • Start a dinner log
  • De-clutter and clean out my office (oh boy ...) and our bedroom
  • Clean off/organize computer
  • Create e-mail templates
  • Finish 2016 editing and loose ends

Nathan and I are extreme noobies when it comes to this baby thing. We don't have any nieces or nephews and aside from our friends' babies, we aren't around little ones very much. If you're a parent, nanny, grandparent, teacher or ANYONE who knows little kids well, we are all ears when it comes to planning for a little one to join the family. Leave a comment below, and please share your own 2017 goals, as well!