Resolutions...not sure I like that term
So much of my resolutions over the years have failed. In December, you end the year on a high, full of joy and cheer. Excited about the next year, you start it all with motivation that propels you forward. You start out great and then...something stops that momentum and you struggle to start up again. "Ugh, I guess I will try to start again Monday." Been there? Yeah, me too. A year ago, one of my favorite local radio show hosts, Mandy Connell, talked to one of her monthly segment guests, Michelle Zellner, a Health and Happiness Strategist. Michelle was talking about mindset that day and how it tied into your new years resolutions. She used "workout" as an example. "Workout" to me is stressful, a task that makes me feel not excited, something I have to do, and punishment for what I ate or want to eat later. She said, "tell yourself to "move" instead". Let me tell you, that changed my life! This last year, I was more successful then ever at maintaining a healthy movement every day then I ever have before. I attribute so much to the mindset change, the momentum I gained from that, and little strategies I did visually to keep things going and I am so grateful because now, I am applying it to so many other aspects on my life.
One other big thing that came from this same show was a comment from Mandy about the book, 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins. HUGE game changer as well. Not only talking about mindset, but also practical ways to get that momentum to get going and keep going. I just read it again this January because I got so much out of it last year that I needed a refresher after letting my guard down during the busy season and end of the year hustle. You see, working for yourself, by yourself, while at home when sometimes now one else is around, isn't all it's cracked up to be. It's a challenge every single day. I wouldn't say I was born a self starter, I mean, ask my husband, haha, if I don't have to be up in the morning, I won't be. I am a night owl, a lot of you see that when I email you at midnight. This book doesn't just help the work from home or entrepreneur folk, it helps with every aspect of life. From being a mom, wife, friend, employee and much more. If you haven't read it, pick it up. It will jump start you in ways you never thought before.
These two things have sent a wave through my system that I hope to keep going into 2024. Taking out the "resolutions" pressure and inserting a changed mindset to keep me in a routine that helps me succeed is all I need to be successful in the changes I want to make this year.
But, in the spirit of the New Year, what am I working on?
Keeping ROUTINES. I tell you what, if I have learned one thing from being a mom and trying to juggle all life throws at you, it's routines. I am far from getting this all reigned in but, I am really seeing the peace it brings to my home, work and personal life. From waking up every morning and reading the bible, to sticking to a once a month blog post, it's all making such drastic difference in my life and work, I can't help but share.
Home + Family
Since the girls were born, minimalism has been all the rage. So much of it I love and align with but a lot of it is a challenge, especially with young kids. Since I tried adopting this after moving into a home we envision ourselves in for a long time and also having the kids stuff already, we have had to work backwards a little bit with decluttering. For years I have done a annual challenge that is put on by Allie Casazza. Every January she teaches you the art of decluttering in small steps around your home. We have not decluttered everything, and probably never will, as things are always coming into the home, but, it has become such a habit and ROUTINE now that I do it without even following her plan. I can now walk around my house and declutter spaces in 5 mins because I know exactly what I haven't touched since doing this a year ago. But...even though this has become a routine, my goals for this year is to not only dig a little deeper in my purge, but also document our home for the first time for disaster purposes. This has been on my list of things to do since the fires that happened in 2022 in Superior, CO. Not only document what we have but also have a space that has our most important items stored and ready to go if needed.
The girls are really beginning to get these routines too. Every Christmas we put out Santa bags with our old toys on Christmas Eve. The bags read, "Dear Santa, these are toys I no longer need, please share them with those in need". The bags are empty Christmas morning and although they don't fully understand this concept yet I know they will someday, but for now, they understand that we can't have everything, it becomes overwhelming for us all and we are creating a routine that helps us all start the year off in a better place. Another thing we are working on with the girls and myself is our school papers. This is something I never expected to be so challenging. I am sentimental and I think one of kids is too. But we are working on being better about digitally storing some items this year and keeping keepsake file boxes for other things.
By mid year I hope to have family pictures in our home. It's been 5 years since the last "in home newborn session". I miss the documentation of real life attributes. I am excited to get that on the calendar with our long time photographer Twig + Fig Photography
I can write so much in here it's not even funny, But I will try to keep it short and sweet.
Biggest thing, keeping up with my kids. After my knee injury (while playing with my kids at the trampoline park) I am realizing that in order to keep up with them I need to keep myself in shape. I have learned so much over the last two years of that rehab experience (thanks a lot to my friends at CSIM). As I mentioned about about the word "workout" and the word "move", I have been more successful this last year with making the time to do something active. It might not be an hour long lifting session but it might be a hike to my photo shoot spot. It might not be the incline but it might be a 15 min Zumba workout with my girls at home or hitting some balls with them at the tennis court. I have learned to give myself grace in order to keep the momentum going and not stop dead in my tracks and give up. I do hope to keep up with a 30g of protein meal, 3 times a day as well as 120oz of water on top of just simply moving. I feel like these two additions will be easier this year after keeping my "move" routine in 2023. P.S. for those that follow my stories on social media, do you know how much sharing that I worked out on there has helped me stay motivated? I can't even tell you how many of you comment about that at sessions or in my DMs. Truly if this is a goal for you to "move" everyday, share it. Helps so much with accountability.
Continuing to strengthen my faith was big last year and will continue this year as I wrap my head around being hurt by a church. As of today I am on day 123 of the Bible in a Year podcast, with Fr. Mike Schmitz. I am learning so much and committed to finishing this year, the momentum is there even though it's not as fast as it should be, I am not stopping. My husband and I sit and talk about the podcasts too, it's such a bonding experience going through it together.
Next on the list is my NOKBOX. I got this box as a gift from my husband in 2021. It's essentially estate planning. It was actually created by a lady that lives in Littleton, CO and yes, I heard about her from Mandy Connell's show. haha! This thing is amazing. But it has been collecting dust for far to long. We have had far to many friends and family have tragic unexpected loss to wait any longer on this. I'm putting it in here for someone to hold me accountable.
Biggest of them all for my personal life, is my digital clutter, I have 4 email address, 3 social media accounts x 2 (FB and INSTA), 4 computers, 6 hard drives, and so on and so on. All are filled with things that I panic to look at and struggle to purge. Most of all, it's the photos. I am the keeper of the family photos, extended on both sides due to being the one holding the camera most of the time. Super sentimental so I can't purge my iPhone gallery to save my life. I have no problem keeping and organizing photos for clients but for myself, I can't seem to figure it out. It's the biggest and pretty important task I have for myself this year. I hope to learn enough to share all the tips and tricks with you all. This is a routine we can all utilize, for sure.
When It comes to work, my routines are pretty good. I am so dang excited I started using Canva last year because it has made my life so easy due to templates just needing minor tweaks and also recording all my plans in one place. For instance, I won't have to panic and look through galleries to remember the week that the blossoms came out on the trees this year cause I have those mini session dates saved! I can't tell you how much time, energy and stress that saves me. I hope to run another successful year of fun mini sessions, as well as giving updated and consistent communication to what's happening and coming up in a timely manor that allows you all to take advantage of all the cool things I have in store.
Communication is going to be huge this year! With a new email list I started last year via flodesk, and the encouragement from a class I took at Kindle COS last year in starting a blog, I am officially making huge strides in communicating more effectively and efficiently with all of you. This year, I hope to make the monthly blog posts less about photography and more about things you might all enjoy learning about. I am super excited about my plans to team up with some of my clients/friends that have careers or interesting topics all of us might really enjoy. As far as emails go, I hope to add one more a month, capping them around 2, as well as making email the first chain of communication for last minute openings and deals. Reality is, we all have email and not everyone has Instagram, Time to make it more of a priority.
Education is always something I do in slow season (1st quarter). I have two things in mind this year. One is always a class for outdoor session. This year I am also hoping to learn more about flash and strobe photography to up my wedding and studio game. Specifically, I hope I can continue to grow in storytelling and detail work for all of my sessions.
Keeping my personal calendar and plans a priority is very important. Don't hate me for saying this but it's a must. I have moved far to many personal things in order to fit in a session. In order to be the best for you, I need to be the best me and If I am run down or missing family events to make a session work, it's probably going to show. I was so good last year at holding firm on the dates I had saved for myself and family. It takes a lot of planning ahead but it's so worth it and I can't forget it.
Because of all the routines I have already set up and/or still learning over the last 8 years, I am so dang excited for my creativity to unleash this year. I feel so much more in control of the business side of things than I ever have and I hope that sparks more creativity and less "work" this year!
I have some "bucket list" session ideas coming to "stories" here soon!! So make sure you are folling my social media if you have it. Enough dreaming, it's time to get out there and make these visions come to life! They come with discounts friends....check them out! They will be up in the next week.
Last But Not Least
This is year 4 for me with having a physical paper planner and 2023 was a game changer for me due to this Laurel Denise, vertical, Monday start planner. I can't even tell you how much I loved this thing last year. I have so much more to say about if but I might have to do it another day (or follow me on Instagram for a reel someday). Just know that I owe some much of my organization around last year to this planner company! So grateful and excited for year 2!