Every year I sit down between Christmas and New Years to type up my goals for the year, and this year is no different. It’s funny, though. Looking back over the past years’ posts, it seems that a lot of my goals each winter focus on the same things. Saying no to things that don’t bring me joy, to blogging more (hah, still never happens), to setting boundaries for myself, to being healthier. I, like most people I suppose, always see the areas of life that I’d like to improve on.
Unlike some people, however, is that I actually *do* make progress on a lot of my goals each year. So while it’s true that a lot of them seem to repeat over and over, what is really happening is that I’m refining the goals I’ve had for myself for a long time.
It’s a nice word, isn’t it? It’s the word that came to mind this year while I was thinking about what I want the upcoming year to hold. I kept coming back to it, over and over, rolling it around in my head. According to the (online) dictionary, to refine means “to free from impurities and imperfection. To become pure or perfected.” I read that and I liked how it sounded. It resonated with my soul.
This year I want to refine the parts of my life that I’m already good at. And part of that also means turning down the things that I’m just not good at (or that I don’t enjoy as much). I want to perfect my workflow with film, I want to keep saying yes to the people and things that bring me JOY, and I want to set boundaries for myself so I can look back on the upcoming decade and know that I lived life to its fullest potential.
So without further ado, my official (albeit somewhat repetitive) goals for 2020:
Take more personal photos. I want to do a better job of using my talent to serve my family. I want to have photos to remember my own life. It’s difficult for me sometimes to take photos for myself because I always want everything to be perfect – perfect lighting, perfect outfits, perfect composition. And I don’t know if you’ve figured it out yet, but life’s not perfect! So if I’m going to succeed at this, I’m going to have to throw perfection out the window. And that’s hard for me (I’m an enneagram Type 1), but I am promising to try. I have a horrible memory, so this is an investment for myself to remember what my life looks like now.
Prioritize our marriage. I’ll be honest, having a kiddo is hard on a marriage! All of our free time and focus goes towards Jack, and I think it’s important to realize that that is okay – life is just like that now! BUT I want to try to do better in 2020. Going to propose at least 2 date nights a month, plus a couple of nights a week where we turn off our devices and spend quality time together (playing a game? making dinner at home? watching a movie and holding hands on the couch?). We tried out Nancy Ray’s Weekly Marriage Questions a few weeks ago and it was so wonderful to connect in that way! I definitely want to make that a weekly goal.
Work towards sticking to a budget. I don’t know WHY this is so hard because I swear I have the hardest time spending money on things. I hardly ever buy myself clothes or things, and one of the reasons why John and I haven’t been going on dates lately is because it costs so much to get a babysitter. BUT we still overspend, mainly on restaurants. So we’ve been working on cutting that back – less runs through Chick-Fil-A drive-through and less last-minute dinner pickups from Sky Sushi after long days. Kind of stinks but I want to have a healthy bank account so this is definitely a goal for 2020!
Spend more time unplugging. Honestly this is so hard for me because so much of my business takes place online. Yet I find myself addicted to checking Instagram, constantly feeling pulled to reply to texts and emails, and lost when my phone isn’t within arms reach. I don’t want to be like that. I really want to do better at making Sundays unplugged days. And I want to choose one weekend a month to uninstall Instagram from my phone – just to give myself a break.
Refine my routines. I like routines. I want to work with John to refine our home routines – who gets Jack, who makes breakfast, who does the dishes – but I also need to refine my work routines. Mondays are going to be work from home days (no sessions during the day so I can reset for the week). Tuesdays and Thursdays will be open for daytime newborn sessions (although I only do 2-4 a month). Wednesdays and Fridays will be days with Jack. I’ll do evening sessions on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays (but no more than 2-3 a week). Saturdays are going to be for weddings. And Sundays are for family.
Develop a post-wedding editing workflow that is EASY and consistent. I don’t think I really need to explain that here (but hello of course I will!). Basically I just want to create a system for sending sneak peeks, editing full galleries, and matching film that is faster than what I’ve been doing this past year.
Home > Hustle. I love my job so sooooo much!! I wouldn’t want to do anything else in the whole world, and I wouldn’t even give up being a photographer to stay at home full time (I think I’d go crazy!). But every year I end up saying yes to more than I mean to. This year I really want to set boundaries for myself – which means going back to some of my roots. In my 7 years of business, my focus has always been weddings with a side of newborns. It’s what I truly love shooting. I threw family photography into the mix in 2018/2019 but I’ll be cutting back on that this year so I can shoot what I love most. And so that when I’m not shooting, I’m at home with my baby and my husband. HOME OVER HUSTLE. I gotta remember it’s okay to not be the busiest person I know. It’s okay to miss out on cool work opportunities and get a glass of wine with friends instead. It’s okay to say no. So I’ll be doing more of that this year.
Renovate our kitchen. We’ve been waiting to do this for almost 4 years and I think 2020 is the year we’re going to do it! I cannotttttt wait!
This is me committing to taking more personal photos in terrible lighting with foot chops. If you know me, you know it pains me not have this shot be perfect. BUT GOSH THEN I LOOK AT IT AND REALIZE IT ALREADY IS. More of this in 2020.
Happy New Year! I hope the first year in this new decade is absolute magic for you.
LITTLE ROCK ARKANSAS WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER, FAYETTEVILLE NWA ARKANSAS WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER, SOUTHERN WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER