Art Print (pictured above) by Ashlee Proffitt
1. Collaborate on a Styled Shoot - I am so excited that this one is already in the works!! I'm working with some lovely ladies (or should I say 'creative hearts'?!) that I met at the Creative at Heart Conference in January! I can't wait to share what we've dreamed up in a few months! Stay tuned ;)
2. Branding- This is another goal that is in the works!! I'm working with Lauren Hooker of Elle & Company to redesign my website. If you don't already follow her blog, you should hop on over there right now! She has so many excellent tips for bloggers, small business owners, people who are trying to get organized, and so many other helpful things!
3. Create and Follow a Consistent Blog Schedule- Last year I blogged after each of my photo sessions when I had content. This year my goal is to blog more often and more consistently. Specifically, two days a week- Tuesdays and Thursdays! We'll see how this goes! The great thing is that now that I've put it out there, I'll be held accountable to do it!
4. Learn More About SEO- At C@H Krista Jones spoke about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and how to get your website to appear more frequently in Google searches! This BLEW. MY. MIND. I didn't know that some of the things she talked about were even possible! That being said, a lot of it was over my head. My goal for this year is to learn more about SEO (and actually understand it) and to use it to get my name & my business out there!
5. Book 20 Sessions- I really started putting more time and energy into my business last year after our wedding. It was August when I decided to take the leap and really start making things happen. So, last year I booked several wonderful clients during the fall, but because of my late start, I missed out on a whopping six months of working with people!! This year my goal is to book 20 sessions (maybe even more! But I'll start at 20) throughout the year. Pssst... 2016 SENIORS...I'm beginning to book for portraits this summer! Head over to my 'Let's Chat!' page if you're interested in working with me!!
6. Find a Better Work/Life Balance- Bonnie Bakhtiari spoke about finding balance at C@H and it hit home. This is something that I REALLY struggled with last year. Between Nannying, starting my business, trying to keep up with our house, meal planning, etc. I didn't put enough emphasis on quality time with my husband (and that makes me really sad!) ...we are newlyweds!! So, this year, I am going to try my best to put my phone AWAY when we're on a date, watching a movie, playing a board game, whatever! I want to really focus on PEOPLE and relationships this year, and when I actually get to have time with someone face to face...I want to soak up every minute of it! So to everyone that I am corresponding with via email, text, Facebook, or instagram, you are so very important to me, but if I don't respond immediately, now you know why! ;) Because I do a lot of my photography work at home, it is HARD to separate downtime from work time, so in addition to keeping my 'phone/social media time' in check, I am going to create office hours! I'm excited for this change, because I know that it will help me so much with my time management, and ultimately, it will create a better client experience and a more relaxed home life! :)
7. Spend More Time Reading Scripture- I am so excited about this goal! I recently started following Kristin Schmucker on instagram, and I absolutely love her #lampandlight hashtag and the way she studies the Bible using the SOAP method! She obviously explains it way better than I could, so you can find her post here. She also recently posted about her favorite Bible study tools. I have always struggled a bit when it comes to reading scripture, but I love her blog and she has inspired me to start using the SOAP method and to study scripture more often. Having quiet time daily is going to be high on my priority list this year!
8. Travel- This one is a favorite! Robert and I sat down at the beginning of this year and had a 'meeting'. We used Emily Ley's 'New Years Family Meeting' printable and talked about 2014 and our goals and dreams for 2015 (and beyond!). It was SO neat to hear what Robert had to say and to get his perspective on our year! (By the way- that meeting is going to become a yearly tradition for us!) When talking about our dreams for this year, we both expressed that we wanted to travel more! We both have the 'bug' and want to travel to several places before we have kiddos running around the house! ;) So, this year we're going to travel more, and we're already starting to plan a big trip for 2016! So exciting!
9. Find a Great Cleaning Routine- Does anyone have an awesome cleaning routine?! I really need one. I DO clean our house, I promise, ha! But I don't feel like I'm doing it the most efficient way. I usually pick a day once a week (sometimes every two or three weeks- when I'm busy! yikes- that's embarrassing) and I clean for a few hours. I'd love to have a huge chunk of cleaning time only once a month or so... to do the major stuff. And then I'd like to have something small (30 minutes or so) that I do every day for up-keep. That way each week I won't have to spend a chunk of time on Friday or Saturday cleaning our house. (PS- Robert will not be happy if I don't tell you that he helps...because he does!! He actually really likes vacuuming, which works out great, because I do not!) Any suggestions for a daily/weekly cleaning routine are welcome! We want to find something that works for US and our schedule!
10. Finish Lingering House Projects- Oh man. I am so ready to have all of our major projects finished! We really don't have too many more to do, but they are all big projects, and I am tired, ha! My goal this year is to complete them one at a time...month by month! If we have a few little things left, that's okay (because, is the work ever really done?!) but by this time next year I want those major things to be completed.
Whew! That's a big list! Now, I also wanted to have a 'word' for 2015...something that I would be continuously thinking about this year....
I have been trying to decide for several days now what my 'word' should be for this year…a lot of words were bouncing around in my head (listen, intentional, follow, grace, joy…etc.) and all of them are GREAT words to live by! How was I supposed to choose just one? Well, I was pretty frustrated when I sat down to write my '2015 goals' post and I still hadn't decided on a word. My first thought was to just give up on it. To say 'oh well' and just list my goals…and I truly almost did that. But something inside me told me to pick up my Bible (one of my goals is to spend more time reading Scripture, after all) and I decided to pick up where I had left off a few days ago in the first chapter of John- John 1:35 to be exact. In this passage Jesus called the first disciples and they FOLLOWED him! And just like that, I found my word! Pretty awesome, huh? It doesn't always work like that, obviously, but today it did. Today I felt like God put that right in front of my eyes, and that it was something that I really needed to see.
This year my goal is to FOLLOW God's plan for my business…for my marriage…for my life! I don't know what that will look like, but I am excited and if I'm being totally honest…a little nervous. My plans may not be God's plans, and when that happens, life can be scary, tough, and uncomfortable. My husband and I experienced a lot of those feelings when we were both job searching. It was so hard to pray and wait and pray and wait for months. Thank goodness we had each other continuously reminding the other to follow and to be patient. Looking back, we understand now why we needed to stay at those other jobs, learn the things we did, and why we needed to wait. We are all made to serve a bigger purpose…and through all of the tough stuff He is with us, and even though it may not feel like it at the moment, His timing is perfect. He calls us to trust Him and to follow Him…even when it's hard.
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9
One of my absolute favorite songs is Oceans by Hillsong…and I've decided that it will be my anthem for this year! Any time I feel anxious or feel myself beginning to stray away from what God is calling me to do…this song will be my reminder to trust and FOLLOW.
"Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders. Let me walk upon the waters, wherever You would call me. Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander, and my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior."
Have a great rest of your week, and a great year, friends! xo