2016. Feels so weird to say (and read!) it doesn’t it? This time of year always feels like there’s so much to be excited about! What opportunities will come our way? Where will we travel? What new couples will we be meeting? There are so many memories yet to be made. This is just the start!
Maybe it’s just me, but I think it can also be a little scary to start a new year. All of the same unknowns that we get excited about are also easy to get anxious about. I’m not a fan of the unknown myself, but I’ve learned that writing out specific goals and planning things out helps assuage my fears of what might (and might not) happen. I think it’s smart to make our goals things that are both attainable and intentional. Meaning, let’s not set ourselves up to fail AND let’s be sure that we have a good reason for putting a goal on our list.
It’s taken me a little bit to think up what I wanted to add to my goal list for this year, but I’ve finally got a few things going! I also really want to try to make a monthly goal list to work on each month, sort of a micro goal list, so to speak.
Without further adieu, here are my 2016 goals!
- Meet booking goal – Duh, I think this goes without saying! We have 5 wedding weekends left available in 2016 and we’re also starting to book for 2017, which is exciting!
- Be consistent with submissions – I’ve talked about this before, but I have yet to find a really great, really easy and user friendly solution for submitting my wedding work to publications. I once thought TBL was the answer, but it’s just not very user friendly and it’s kind of clunky and time consuming, in my opinion. I’m looking for another way to make this simpler and will report back when I find it!
- Professional branded headshots – This is something I really want to carve out the time for! Our “headshots” on the site now are more or less just a hodgepodge of photos our professional photographer friends have been kind enough to snap for us, but I’d really like a full session of branded images to use on my website and all of our social media platforms because I believe that branding should be really cohesive!
- Collaborate more with fellow wedding vendors – I tend to be a bit of an introvert and a homebody, so it’s tough to get me out to wedding industry events when I could be at home cuddling with Lucy in my free time. I would love to work on projects with other wedding folks though this year! If you are reading this and would like to work together on something, let me know!
- Secret project – Ooh la la! Shhhh I have a secret!!! I’m working on something behind the scenes that I’m not quite ready to announce or share yet…but hopefully it will be ready soon! Off season gives me a bit more time to work on things like this, which helps.
- Re-examine each part of our wedding day shooting flow and see what we can do better. I think it goes without saying that you should always be focused on improving and getting better. I think there are so many areas where we are doing great, but there are also a few where we could be better, or just do things differently. I’d like to sit down and really look at each part of how we approach wedding days and figure out if there’s a way to do it better and/or be more creative.
- Education of some kind – I think it’s really important to continue learning every year, but I’m finding it harder and harder to find education that fits my needs as a photographer and business owner right now. I feel like almost everyone offers mentoring or workshops for newer or intermediate photographers, but when it comes to education opportunities for people who have been in business 4-5+ years, there’s really not much out there! I’m on the hunt for something that’s a good fit for me!
- Read a business book a month and blog about it. I keep meaning to read some of the business related books that I hear are so good, but then Harry Potter looks so good sitting there on my shelf and I cave in and spend my time at Hogwarts instead! I think it might help convince me to read some of these business books if I designate a time to read them where I’m technically “on the clock” so that I still have time for fun reads when I’m “off”. We’ll see how it goes!! I’d like to end the year having read 12 business related books though, so if you have suggestions on good reads, feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email!
- Cut out unnecessary business spending. This is more of a chore than any of the other things on my list, but it’s something that I’ve got to do if I want to have a successful, profitable business. I think so many of us run our businesses in a way that puts having a certain “appearance” at a higher priority than having a bigger profit margin. I’m guilty of this myself. I’ve taken trips to workshops, bought fancy leather camera bags, spent money on really nice business cards that I almost NEVER hand out, and more. I’m lucky in that the business has made it to it’s fifth year, HOWEVER, I want it to last many more years, so I’ve got to be prudent where my finances stand and think more like a CFO.
- Do a strict pull up. I have NEVER been able to do a pull up! Not a real one, at least! It was the ONE thing keeping me from completing the Presidential Fitness test in elementary school and it still haunts me! Okay, that’s a bit dramatic, but I’d really like to be able to do a strict unassisted pull up or two by the end of the year!
- Pay off our car. This one is not a fun goal at all, but I can only imagine how good it will feel to not have a car payment every month!
- Get a second tattoo. This is a carry over from last year. I really want to get a tattoo that commemorates my marathon in 2013!
- Take two trips. We don’t have anything planned right now, but a lot of my trips last year were somewhat spur of the moment, so I’m sure that travel opportunities will arise throughout the year 🙂
- Shoot one roll of film a month. I had this on my list last year and I didn’t keep up with it. I added it again because, well, I just thought it sounded like fun! I don’t have a lot of hobbies, but film photos can kind of be a hobby, right?