New Year Smell


When I was a teenager, back in the last century, I decided that I was anti-resolution.  I think I thought that this stance made me unique or insightful or something.  Of course I wasn't either of those things but I think I did have the right idea. Why start the new year off setting yourself up for disappointment?  I mean, you and I both know that you're not going to stop skipping first period or clean your room, right? 

I'm still not a fan of the resolution.  Of course now I realize that different methods work for different people and some folks thrive on the motivation that a new year and a clean slate bring.  It's just not for me.  BUT and that's a big but (which, I cannot lie, I do like) I've learned to embrace list making and at least the idea of goal setting.  And the new year seems like a great time to reflect, regroup and start forging a path towards something meaningful.

And that's where I freeze up.

Too much pressure, folks.  Keep moving, nothing to see here, I'll just be curled up in a ball in the corner avoiding the idea of doing anything and everything.  Wait, before you go, hand me those chips and that wine.  

I just couldn't get rid of that nagging feeling that I needed to spend a little time thinking about how I want to spend the next year of my life.  It's a lot harder to be on autopilot when you've got a kid to think about and new business to build. But how to tackle identifying these non-resolutions?  How to make goals that aren't too lofty or too paltry?  How? How to avoid seizing up again?

I did a lot of reading online about creating priorities for new businesses and work life balance (an idea that has terrified me about as long as I've been hearing about it).

There's a lot of good stuff out there, but this is what worked best for me:

Real Simple Magazine's January issue has lots of great advice (and beautiful pictures).  This is one you'll probably want to pick up and keep on your bedside table for inspiration.

Braid Creative has lots of practical advice for creative entrepreneurs.  I've been enjoying their newsletter for the last couple of months and am very excited to be taking an e-course with them this month! Action!

Clever Girls Collective's online magazine The Cleverist is chock full of great advice and conversation. Check them out on Facebook if you haven't already.

The Queen of the Life List, Maggie Mason offers this post about a system for goal setting.  This is the most practical, straightforward advice I've seen on the topic.  If, like me, you don't know where to start this is a great way to get over your goal setting writer's block.

I love the internet.

Maggie's system suggests that you break your goals down into three sections, Directions (where you want to be), Actions (how you're going to get there) and Appetites (so you remember to make time for fun).

I'm really pretty good at being creative and relaxed and accepting change.  I'm not the best at maintaining control.  It's not something I've ever really craved, until quite recently.  Staying organized and creating a schedule is the only way I'm going to function and thrive now that I'm working for myself.  It's no longer really an option.  So, my Directions goals are all related to finding this new state of control.  Calm in the chaos, if you will.

1. Directions

Be in control
- Organized
- Proactive
- Prepared

How do I think I might be able to do this?

2.  Actions
- Organized
  • Set up a new photo archiving system
  • Have better systems in place for freelance work reporting and invoicing
  • Create a schedule for daily work
- Proactive
  • Work at finding more work (this is the biggest part of my job right now) weddings to shoot, speaking engagements, more writing time.
- Prepared
  • Work ahead whenever possible.  Avoid procrastination (remember how lousy being behind makes you feel).
  • Save money.  Be prepared for dry spells.

And now, for the fun part!

3.  Appetites
  • Do some of the things that I've pinned to do with Lenny here and here.
  • Learn to make really good bread from scratch.
  • More date nights with the Robeau.
  • More solo coffee dates where I bring a book and not my laptop.
  • Drink more water (yeah that old chestnut, but I started making an effort with this in December at the advice of my Chiropractor and it's helping!)
  • Shoot more pictures that are for fun and not for work, remember where you find creative inspiration and go get some, already!
Hope that 2013 provides all of you with more of what you crave and the guidance, determination and luck to get there!

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