Friday, January 3, 2014

2014 - Goals, Resolutions & Reflections

One of my favourite blog posts every year has to be my New Years Goals & Reflections post.  I know it's sort of cheesy and most ppl hate resolutions so for the most part I make a habit to not call them resolutions (although I know it says resolutions in the title).

I still really like the idea of starting fresh and having a good look back at the year to kind of take stock in how I did, how I'm doing...what I want to do or achieve in the next year.  Sometimes even when I think I haven't accomplished much or I'm feeling a bit down about my progress I find it really does help to look back at the goals I set for myself...sometimes I even surprise myself and I'm actually pretty impressed w/ some of the things I've achieved.

So first I'd like to take a look back at last year's goals and see how I did on them!

Well my first goal for last year was To Live More In The Moment...I'll be honest I'm not actually quite sure how I did on this one.  I did travel a bit in the beginning of the year - took a trip to Malaysia and Singapore so I def. think that was spontaneous and adventurous.  The Summer was so busy it definitely felt like a big blur to be honest...I may have been living in the moment but that's only b/c I barely had any time to plan before something else came up lol!  I feel overall I enjoyed my year and did some fun and exciting things but I think I could have worked on this one a bit more.

Stop Comparing Myself To Others - This is definitely one that I'm going to have to keep w/ me for next year b/c I'll be honest in the beginning of the year or during the Summer when I was super busy this was easy to do but it's when it gets slower or I'm not as busy that this sort of thing can eat away at me and it's not helpful or productive for myself or my well-being.

Grow My Wedding Business - This is one goal I can definitely say I achieved. I didn't quite reach my 80 wedding mark but I did do 76 weddings this year...even though it was only 4 more wedding than last year the big difference here was that all 76 weddings were MINE...compared to other years where some of the weddings were wedding I worked for other artists and companies.  As well I did start to grow my wedding business roster and booked an additional 20 weddings w/ my staff!

Re-looking at my goals for last year I can kind of see why I've been feeling a bit down on myself the last couple of mths...the Summer was amazing but I'm not going to lie Nov & Dec were not great for me...I think a lot of it had to do w/ the fact that I really didn't achieve my goals for Commercial Work & Productivity.  Overall did I make more money this year - business grew quite a bit but I know there is still so much more I can do!

One thing I definitely feel proud for finally getting on track w/ is Saving Money.  I pay my credit card in full every month.  All my debt besides one small student loan is paid off (and I'm working on that loan).  Plus I started saving for my future this year and even got a financial planner.

So re-looking at the year I definitely think I started out strong but then sort of lost steam near the end.  I need to look at why this happened...perhaps I was just a bit burnt out from the crazy Summer...perhaps it's other reasons.  All I know is that I have to make sure that doesn't happen again this year!  Which leads me to this years GOALS!  This years goals are a few from the past, a few that I want to continue to build on my from last year and a couple of new ones...lots to achieve in the upcoming mths!

GOALS for 2014

Cut Out Toxic Influences or People - If a person or thing isn't a positive influence on my life or pulls me into any sort of negative mindset or direction I need to cut it or them out.  Sometimes I find myself getting too caught up in negative things or people that don't actually matter when I should be focusing on and striving to improve relations w/ people and things that do matter. Overall I try to live a fairly optimistic and positive life so I don't want negative things creeping in and affecting that.

Live A Healthier and More Balanced Life - I think an overall theme for this year might be cutting out the bad and embracing the good.  Despite feeling somewhat down professional the last couple of mths I would say I've definitely gotten more balance in my health and well being.  I feel I'm finally on track to reach a few weight loss goals I've set for myself.  And before xmas I was down 15-20 pounds from the year before and even fitting into some jeans I haven't worn since my time in Shanghai! (I've put on a few pounds over the holidays though).  I want to keep on track and eat a cleaner and healthier diet...cut down on my sugar and bad carbs and exercise more.  I just need to find the balance between my personal life and my work life lol!  I have a problem where when one is good the other sort of falls away and vice versa...I need to work on this!

Exercise More - My boyfriend and I have started playing squash which is a good start and I'm happy to be doing that again.  We were running outside before this awful cold weather set in.  I really want to get back into the running and I want to run a half marathon this year at some point.  I don't know when exactly but I want to find one either in the Spring or Fall.  Plus I want to start doing my Insanity workout dvds's freakin' cold out right now so I need to do something to keep me active!

Travel More...Even If It's Just Small Trips - The last few years I've definitely been traveling more and seen some really interesting places and met some really interesting people.  I think this year I'd like to mix it up w/ doing some small trips mixed in w/ some larger and more adventurous ones!  There might be a trip to Vancouver, Vegas and NYC this also the possibility of something in South America at some point...have to make sure these things become a reality and not just something that's talked about though!

Read More -  I got a Kobo for Christmas and I've already downloaded a bunch of books.  I know it's almost like working out to me (but for my mind)...once I get back into it it's not that hard I just need to get back in the habit of reading again.  I got a Kobo b/c I'll be honest I hate clutter and I just didn't want to collect anymore books in my place.  I think the idea of getting more books was actually holding me back from silly as it is.

Get More Commercial Work - I know I say this one EVERY year but it's an important one and to be honest the one I'm usually least satisfied w/ my success in.  I really need to network more...I know this...and I sort of hate this.  I'll be honest I'm somewhat of an introvert and this is probably one of things I have the most trouble w/ but I need to get over that and start making some new connections and meeting new photographers and production companies.  Plus I have to do a better job and keeping and building the business relationships I already have established.  I need to get over this idea that I'm "bugging people" lol.

Do More Creatives & Get Published More - In years past I've actually done a lot of creatives and seen my work in a bunch of publications but that is definitely something I let fall behind this year.  A large part of it had to do w/ the fact that I was spending so much time focusing on my wedding business and having that grow that I wasn't looking to do creatives or see my work in magazines...b/c well it doesn't actually pay anything lol!  I did however get editorials in both Magazine and MEGA Man Magazine so that was pretty cool!  Plus I have plans to go to NYC this Aug. to work w/ Todd Anthony Tyler for a few upcoming projects for Numero Thailand so that could be pretty exciting!

Network More Within The Bridal Industry - My wedding biz has been growing steadily and somewhat rapidly over the past couple of years which if nothing else in my business life is something I'm pretty proud of.  But of course with anything there is always room for improvement. I want to bring my bridal business to the next level.  I want to do 80 weddings this year and I want to grow my team and the number of weddings they do as well!  I need to reach out to more wedding photographers and planners and possibly do some wedding creatives for publication and what not as I really want to elevate the level of my business.

Blog More - I'll admit I was somewhat lazy w/ this blog this year and there have even been points where I wondered if I wanted to keep it going.  Like working out sometimes I find it hard to start but once I get into the groove of blogging I really do enjoy it so I need to remember that and not look at it as such a chore sometimes b/c in truth it's suppose to be fun.  Plus I really need to make sure I do my Product Review blogs quicker...sometimes I've taken FAR too long to write a review on products I've received from companies.

Stop Living In the Past - I can't change certain decisions or outcomes for things that happened both personally or professionally in my past so I need to stop replaying them in my mind sometimes.  It's not productive to anyone and in fact it can be quite detrimental to not only my present but also my future.  I can only control the things I do today and how they will build for things in the future.

Stop Concerning Myself So Much With Other People - I need to really focus on ME...and stop comparing myself to everyone else out there.  I can only control my actions and my outcome so I need to block out the negativity I feel creeping in when I get jealous of other people's success.  I need to remember to be happy for other people's success whether it be personal or professional and not angry about it.  That's just a negative downward cycle that I don't want to be part of..and I'm actually a bit disappointed in myself that I've let it affect me at various times this year!

Be More Productive - Again another repeat from last year...but it's a big one and there is always room for improvement on this one!  Sometimes I feel the busier I am the more productive I am w/ my time.  It's when I'm less busy that I start wasting time more.  There are always things I can be doing for my business and I need to remember this instead of spending countless hours playing Candy Crush ;)

So that's a pretty big list for the year!  I feel good about it though and I think 2014 is going to be my best year yet!

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