It’s December and I’ve already begun to think about my goals for this upcoming new year! In these last few months, I’ve been inspired by a lot of different things. I’ve been inspired by the people around me, friends and neighbors and people I don’t even know but follow on social media or favorite authors etc. I’ve been inspired by books and music. I’ve been inspired by food (yes food!) and even in the images that I’ve seen around me. So, in all that inspiration, I’ve been keeping track of things that I hope for myself and for my family in this upcoming new year.
Now I believe very deeply in the power of putting it out there in the universe. If you want something, you have to put it out there, if nothing but to motivate yourself! You have to say it out loud! I also believe that writing down what you hope for helps to keep you focused and accountable. It makes it real and not just in a wish list kind of way. It makes it real in a tangible, let’s make this happen kind of way.
So here goes it! These are my goals. These are my hopes for this new year, personally, for my business and for my family!
- Start and finally follow through with a 365 day project! I’ve always wanted to do this and I start (gosh, I start every single year) but I find that I forget one or two days… or three weeks and then I beat myself up and never pick u the camera for the project again. This time however, I’m in a different place. I’m finding that right now, this December, I’m a point where I truly might just need this project! I need to push myself both creatively and in certain low light or tricky situations in order to grow. I also am realizing that Linc is growing. He’s not home very much anymore and my opportunities to photograph him are dwindling. He also is asserting his will and doesn’t want to be photographed and that just breaks my heart. I need to be willing to use my camera in more creative and stealthy ways. This type of project challenges you to capture your entire day in one single frame, so let’s see if I can do that this time!
- Travel more spend less: We have realized the value of travel and we’ve been bitten by that bug BIG TIME! We have so many plans already including Iceland coming in March and Normandy in the summer. A big part of traveling for us is making sure we are spending money where it counts. We are huge amazon lovers and that can be tricky sometimes. I mean come on, who doesn’t find themselves spending more money on amazon than they want! You can get EVERYTHING on amazon and usually prime! My goal is to stop the amazon one click, and save so we can spend that money on the places we want to go! Places like: Africa, Japan, The Mediterranean, Greece, Russia, Transatlantic Disney Cruise, Alaska etc! There are so many places we want to see! Obviously we won’t be traveling to all these places anytime soon but our next stop after this summer will be Africa 2019! We realized when we started studying with Dave Ramsey, and looked at our actual budget that we spend way more on material things than we actual need. We spend way more on food than we actual eat and it usually ends up going to waste. We also realized the value of quality time with Linc verses just buying him things. Kids don’t need or necessarily WANT toys. They just want time with you and that’s why we’ve decided to purchase less and DO more! We want to see more of the world and give him the gift of culture!
- Pause and take TIME when shooting my own family vacation portraits: Coming home from this past Disney Cruise, I learned one valuable lesson: I do not show my own family the same professional curtesy that I do my clients in capturing memories. I am inpatient. I am rushed. I don’t take the time and pay attention to what I am seeing through my lens. I don’t pay attention to the 3 L’s (something I learned from Katelyn James, Light, Location, Layout). I just point and shoot, and ya’ll that SUCKS. I’ve been photographing children and families for almost a decade and my own family photos from a beautiful bahamian location don’t even show it! IT IS SAD! And I have to be honest, I was mad and ashamed with myself. I also don’t carry my camera with me enough. Yes it’s my vacation and I need a break. Yes I had just photographed over 20 sessions in less than 3 weeks and I was a little burnt out from my camera. It’s still no excuse, I always say I want what I give to my clients and here was my chance. In fact I had even promised myself I was going to get video and put together a slide show like I give to my clients, and I failed. NO MORE! I learned my lesson from this trip especially! It’s time to slow down and really appreciate where we are and what we are doing. It’s time to breathe it all in and capture the shot. I may not get as many but what I will have will be quality! I, too deserve the best I have to offer, not just my clients!
- Get to the gym or workout at least 3 times a week minimum! I used to be great at this but man, now that Linc is 5 and I’m running him to and fro, I’m finding it harder and harder to get myself there! There’s no excuse because once he’s in school, I have the morning to myself. I just need to schedule the business tasks with the home life tasks so I can get in the door! It’s all about time management! This also is all about health for me. I have some pretty rough genetics coming at me and I need to make sure I’m going to the gym and taking care of myself the best that I can so that I can take care of my family for years to come!
- Finish Linc’s photo albums! You can really tell when my business started to pick up because that’s when I stopped keeping up with Linc’s yearly photo albums. It’s so sad really because I really enjoy putting them together. It’s time I actually MADE the time to finish them. I stopped at year 3 so I have to catch up soon otherwise it will just become a giant snowball.
- Map of the world: Tuck and I were inspired by our friends who have traveled the world with their twins so I can’t take credit here. They have a giant map of the world framed and they have pins placed wherever they have been! Tuck and I would like to do this in our kitchen dining nook surrounded by a gallery wall of images from those places we’ve traveled. It will be a work in progress, probably for the rest of our lives, but it’s something that we are both really excited about!
- Family Traditions: It’s always the little things that matter the most and now that Linc is 5 and growing these are starting to matter more and more, especially to him. I want to start creating little family traditions that will last! Things like my mom and dad created with me. Family picnics/romantic dinners (ya’ll this was just a blanket on the floor, potted meat or hot dogs, and 7-up in plastic champagne flutes but it meant the world to me!), Sunday night family movie night, game night with just us and with family friends! Weekly check-in’s with Tuck on our second floor porch. I want to create little routine traditions that will stick out in Linc’s memory and create a lasting impression!
- Family Walks: This may go along with Family Traditions but I’m putting it down separately because I want to create a habit of taking nightly walks. I don’t want it to fall under family traditions, even though it will become one, I want it to become something that is just a habit by it itself. Linc always seems to have an “energy hour” after dinner rather than a witching hour and living in Florida we can take advantage of this beautiful weather by allowing him to ride his bike in our small town neighborhood while Tuck and I trail behind him. It’s a nice chance for Linc to get rid of some of that wild energy while Aaron and I can use the time to connect and chat.
- Morning “Miracle Hour” : My friend Allie has coined this term or at least I think she has and I want to take a page out of her amazing book! Every Monday she sets aside time for herself where she has a few things she does routinely to help her stay focused. She has quiet time with her bible, she reads a book, she journals for her son and she takes a moment to look over her schedule. I need to learn time management in a big way and this is one thing I need to start doing for myself: scheduling time in my own schedule for myself to do the things that I want to do to better myself. I want to read more books, I want to take time to write and use my power sheets, I want to work on Linc’s albums and our own family albums and the way that I can do that is to start using Alli’s Monday Miracle time! I just have to schedule it in there for myself and make it a priority!
- Utilize my word for the year in every choice, interaction and decision this year! Each year for the past 6 years or so, I’ve come up with a word for the year to guide me and each year about half way through the year, that word gets lots in the chaos of the day to day. I always find my way back to that word at the end of the year and can reflect on it and usually that word has a lasting impact that can been seen throughout the year, but it isn’t something that I have truly embraced through the entire year. It hasn’t been something I can honestly say I’ve been intentional about which is kind of ironic since intentional was the word I chose for last year! This year, I want to truly pick a word that I can embrace for the entire year and be truly guided by in my day to day surroundings and work! I think I already know what I’m going to choose but I want to reflect on it a bit more to make sure it’s the right message to guide my year!
There are so many hopes and wishes I have for this new year! So many big dreams and big intentions, especially for my family, but for right now these are the tangible goals I have for us as this upcoming new year approaches!
What about you? What are your dreams for yourself and for your family?