So it’s mid-January and I am JUST now beginning to reflect on what worked and what DID NOT work in 2012! First off, with almost 2 months left in 2012, I made a list of goals I was going to accomplish before the clock struck midnight on New Year’s 2013.

On that list were:

Ten: Create and order new sample albums (I ordered one version, I will be ordering the other in the next month)

Nine: Book flights for an international vacation (I didn’t quite make this one, but as of today, I did!)

Eight: Read 3 books, 2 non-fiction, 1 fiction (ohmygoodness, this was a major #fail!)

Seven: Take one frame per day, on film (ummmm…not even close)

Six: Re-work my blog (This is first up on the list this year)

Five: Book 1 (or more) destination weddings (Oh yes I did!)

Four: Submit to be published on a national wedding blog (Check…AND it was accepted!)

Three: No social media on the weekends! Except Instagram…;) (This one started off strong, but got difficult when I was working on the weekends…)
Two: Avoid ALL refined sugar for the rest of the year…whoa…yeah…this is happening. I’ve done it before and I will do it again. (I absolutely did this..though my end of the year was Christmas eve…that last week of the year was all down hill!)
One: Run that half marathon I’ve been talking about! (Done and done!)
All in all, I feel really good about this. I am pretty surprised with myself that I was able to do so much in such a short period of time. But, I believe this is why it worked for me.
SO, going forward this year, I plan to make SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely) goals, just like the goals above were, and really focus on the “A” (Attainable) and  “T” (Timely).
The goals will be set for 2 months out, and then again two months out, and so on until the end of the year. And, if the goals need to be revised based on circumstances I hadn’t foreseen, or it just makes more sense to change to another time of year, or get rid of all together, I will definitely feel free to do so.
Overall, last year was an A-mazing year! I mean, honestly I couldn’t have asked for better clients for 2012! On top of that, I feel like last year was a huge learning curve for me when it came to my business, as well as my personal life. I think I grew a lot and I feel like I know who I am just a bit better going into this new year.
In general, here is my “What Worked and What Didn’t list”
What Worked:
1. Setting office hours (I worked from 7am to 6pm, Monday -Friday with lots of breaks for coffee, dog walking, and hanging out with friends) This has made me feel a little more in control of work.
2. James and I shooting weddings together! James just rocks and keeps me focused and prepared for the next thing…Go Team!
3. Moving out of an office into a home office. Working from an office was unnecessary and distracting, it turns out! I did enjoy having a place for clients to meet me, so I might work on something like this in the coming year, but in general, working from home has been more than fantastic for me!
4. In-person client meetings. I LOVE setting up for client meetings. I love choosing what we’ll eat, what images to display, whether we’ll have wine or bubbly 🙂 or coffee, what candle to burn, what music to play, etcetera! I also love just getting to know my couples well from the very first meeting. It is ultra-important to me that we really connect the first time we meet!
5. Wedding-Day Timelines (I am kind of staunch with my couples about the timelines! And, so far, people love it! I do too..having a playbook for the day is essential to keeping it stress-free and fun!
What Didn’t:
1. Sticking to my daily schedule (written on a mirror in my office, I have a schedule of what I should be working on throughout the day…I don’t think I’ve followed it once, which is definitely a problem…I’m going to fix this by changing the way I work all together!)
2. Trying to do everything myself! (This includes editing, office management, taxes, cleaning, branding, blogging, client care, vendor care…and the list goes on. So, this year, I have a few goals that relate to this!)
3. Skype/FaceTime meetings (These actually have worked WHEN I’ve had them. Trying to convince clients to meet with me this way for the first time, seems to be like pulling teeth. I am not sure if I’ll continue to make that offer. I might decide to offer to meet them in person OR on Skype, whichever they prefer.)
4. Creating systems that map out my workflow on all aspects of my business. I keep saying to myself, “I totally need to create a system for that” and then I continue to put it on the back-burner! If I had a system for everything, I practically wouldn’t have to think about it! Instead I would just DO IT! One of my major priorities for the year is to make my business work for me. This is probably the number one thing that will get me there. (Hold me to this, internets!)
5. My branding. My website, my blog, my logo, are all done by me, and it shows! Ick! Technically, I’ve only been in business for 1 year and a half, so I think it’s okay that I started out this way, but it’s time to put some effort, energy and MONEY into this really important aspect of my business!
As I said in this follow up post last November, the key to attaining the goals I set out, has been to work on them a little, daily, rather than procrastinating, and allowing myself to think I’ll change ALLATONCE, overnight, I’ll just BE the kind of person who “Doesn’t eat carbs” or the person who “Follows Through” or “Is on top of everything”…No, these are ways of being that take constant and consistant practice. These are choices, that turn into habits that turn you into the person you want to be.
I am SUPER excited for this weekend because we’re having our annual “Goal Party” with our good friends, where we will dedicate a night to writing out our big goals for the year. Last year, I had but one goal on the list. It was to shoot 15 weddings last year. Well, I failed. I only shot 11. But, at the beginning of last year, 15 was a HUGE goal…one I never thought I would even come close to. The point, of course, is to achieve the goal, but maybe more, it is to think BIGGER and reach HIGHER than you ever had thought of doing before. So this year, I plan to go BIG…real BIG!
And, I want to invite everyone, as I did last year, to come join the party! Okay, not in person. Afterall, it’s not even at my house! But, to virtually join the party! Tell me what your goals are for 2013!! Or, maybe even just the first 2 months of 2013.
Write in the comments below what you plan to accomplish this year! I will randomly pick one winner from the commenters who will win my very favorite (Voluspa Santiago Huckleberry) candle from Anthropologie (because amazing candles make goal setting just that much easier)! I will announce the winner next Tuesday when I will also share my goals for the year!!!

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