Sharing my goals is always so intimidating- I hope I'm not the only one that gets overwhelmed with sharing my successes and failures from the past year, and my big goals for the future. I absolutely love taking the time and filling out my power sheets for the year, as well as filling out the monthly goals and breaking them down into manageable pieces to actually accomplish things, bit by bit. Before I go into my Power Sheet work and goals for 2017, let's chat about what worked in 2016 and what didn't.
My 2016 word for the year was INTENTIONAL. I choose this because 2015 was rough. I traveled often and worked way too much. I was going through all the motions of hustle without taking the time for my family, relationships, friendships, or wise business decisions. So for 2016, I knew I wanted to handle the year very intentionally- by taking time off, limiting my travel, taking time off, creating a workflow and plan for the year, and being okay with saying no. And let me tell you, 2016 was a HUGE improvement for me. Here's what worked:
I cut off my bookings at 25 weddings for the year, which means a minimum of 50 shoots just from my weddings alone. I am so thankful I cut off bookings, and that most of my weddings were spread out throughout the year, with the exception of fall, which is always crazy. Limiting my bookings meant I was able to give 100% to each and every bride. I also started outsourcing in 2016- best. decision. ever. Shout out to Ashley Sue for doing an amazing job and giving me my life back! I rebranded in 2016, which helped me in narrowing down the exact clients I love working with, and brought my passions to life.
What didn't work as well was scheduling consistent time off. I had the best intentions and penciled in time off for each month, but usually ended up booking those days anyways. This was one of my biggest mishaps for the year, as I ended the year totally burnt out after working 15 weekends in a row, and shooting 3-4 other sessions each week. There are always going to be slower and busier seasons, and there's nothing wrong with hustling during those busy busy seasons, but taking time off for myself during those busy seasons is crucial.
For 2017, I'm excited to be bringing in new perspective and goals that are a little different. This part brings me slight anxiety because so many others are aiming to accomplish gigantic goals for the year, but this is just another reminder that I cannot compare me, my family, or my business to anyone else.
My word for 2017 is TENDING. I want to use this word throughout the year to remind me that things never happen overnight, and take a lot of slow, work tending to them over time to see results. Tending means to pay attention to and apply oneself to something, which is exactly what I want to do with my goals this year!
So, without further ado, my goals for 2017:
1- Relationships. The phrase, 'wherever you are, be all there' hits me here. I don't want to be blurring the boundaries of Emmie time by answering emails on my laptop, or my work hours by just cleaning the kitchen real fast. I'm going to be taking more days off, unplugging more at night, and making sure I plan some dates with Michael.
2- Making my house a Home. I'm such a planner and can't function well with a mess, so I want to take the time to get my office and home in order. I did the KonMarie process about 2 years ago, and am aiming to complete another round this year!
3- Wellness. I need to take better care of myself. Start working out again, swimming with Emerson, eating better as a family, going to sleep on time, and taking care of my mental health as well. This is always really difficult in the busy season, but implementing healthy habits now to carry through the rest of the year.
4- Planning, systems and workflows. A dream for a type-A personality! ;) 2016 was the first time I really had a plan, block scheduling, and workflows. I want and need to take a look over what didn't work and make the changes. I love blocking out time in my day to make sure priorities are getting done. Planning blogging and social media posts to really set myself up for success without working all the time.
5- Be Intentional. Here's this word popping up again, but how can it not. I want to cut off wedding bookings at 20 this year. Be intentional about taking time off, taking time for me, etc.
Phew! That was a super long and personal blog post, but I'm so excited to get these goals out there! SO now, tell me... what are your goals for 2017?! What's your word for the year?
Ashley Eiban is a wedding and portrait photographerbased in Central Virginia. Serving Lynchburg, Charlottesville, Farmville, Richmond, Roanoke, and surrounding areas. Currently booking a limited number of weddings and portrait sessions for 2017. Available for travel world-wide.
Ashley is passionate about capturing moments as they authentically happen to ensure a successful session that gives you time to enjoy each other and savor the wedding day moments. Contact me today for additional information!