Whew... 2014, I sure am glad to see you. This past week, as we entered the new year, I spent a lot of my time setting goals. Not your typical resolution to lose 5 pounds or book 20 weddings, but real, achievable, important goals that actually mean something.
In the spirit of transparency, 2013 was a doozy of a year for me, particularly in the beginning. I went through the goal setting process then, too, but quite honestly, I wasn't in the right mindset for it. I started off the year in a funk, of sorts, suddenly unsure of my vision for the business and what I was working toward and having plans I had made for myself flipped on their head. Turns out, all of these were good things that made me think harder and work harder to figure out what I really wanted, brought me closer to Josh and friends, and made me rely less on myself and more on my faith and the people around me, but at the time, it felt like everything I had control of was falling apart. I didn't share anything about this on my blog or social media last year, because quite honestly, it was scary, difficult, and embarrassing - here I am with my own business that allows me so much freedom, amazing clients, a loving husband, great friends, supportive family, a roof over my head and food on the table - what right do I have to be anything less than thrilled?
Then, I realized, much of the problem, for me, was I was playing life too safe. I had a neat little 5 year plan and my photography work had become consistent in quality and style. I was going through the motions perfectly, and I was BORED. Like bored out of my mind.
Eventually, as the year progressed, I made a conscious effort to try new (sometimes scary) things in business (like doing branding work for colleagues and going to WPPI in Vegas for the first time) and in my personal life (like Bikram Yoga and my failed 3 Day Detox), expand my photography skill set and take part in more educational opportunities, and open myself up to letting things happen that weren't part of my well-planned, tidy ideas for life.
All that said, as I dove headfirst into my friend Lara Casey's Goal Setting series last week, I found direction for the year ahead. After writing down all the good things that happened over the last year, seeing what didn't work for me, and taking time to really think on everything, I arrived at my word for 2014. INTENTION.
in.ten.tion : n. : the thing that you plan to do or achieve : an aim or purpose (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
It brings to mind the poem below (which I've been fond of for quite a long time) by Mary Anne Radmacher. Really, I want all of the things she mentions to be part of my story for this year...
Everything that I didn't love about 2013 involved going through the motions, speeding through life on cruise control, wasting precious time watching complete seasons of Brothers and Sisters on Netflix, or honing my avoidance skills by spending an afternoon on Facebook/Pinterest/Twitter/Blogs. I felt the guilt, the boredom, and the procrastination of it all.
But this year, I want more. This year, I strive to do, speak, think, work, live, love with intention. I want all of my time to be spent serving/inspiring/helping/loving others and improving my own quality of life on purpose. I want to read books that make me strive to be a better business person, write letters or send messages to friends that encourage them to keep pushing forward, spend time with my husband to continue building a great marriage, and show my clients the love and appreciation that we have for them while providing them with a beautiful legacy of love proven in their photographs.
If you're still here, thanks for sticking around. Please share your goals for the year (or the month or just today ... baby steps, people) if you'd like - I'd love to follow your ambitions and provide encouragement as we both work to achieve great things throughout the year!
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