Sorry I have been quiet lately. We have been enjoying the beautiful holidays with friends and family, and I have been soaking up this slower season. I hope to get back into a more regular schedule soon.
I love the New Year. It’s a time to reflect on all the goodness from the past year, but we often get caught up in a list of goals that must start on January 1st. And how long do those goals last? One week if I’m lucky. Life catches up, and I find myself disappointed in my “failures.” My friend, Lara, recently blogged about goal setting and making things happen. She gives step by step instructions on how to put pen to paper in looking forward but also being grateful for the past twelve months. Thank you Lara for your inspiration! Instead of making a list of specific goals, I am going to spend the New Year focusing on my vision for 2013. Here is a recap of my reflections so far.
Step 1: Evaluate what did work in 2012.
This past year has been beyond amazing. Todd and I have been blessed in ways we never thought imaginable.
1. One full year of beautiful marriage. I love my husband. A lot. And it keeps getting better every day.
2. Health and happiness. Other than a few sick days, we have been feeling great.
3. One year closer to graduation. It is hard to believe that I am in year six of seven. I am ready to be done, but the time has flown.
4. Our small group. We took part in a church journey this fall with our same group from last year. It was incredible to grow stronger and create great relationships with other married couples.
5. Writing down my dreams and taking baby steps to make them a reality. Going to Chicago for Making Things Happen was truly life changing. I knew what I wanted, but I kept pushing it off for “someday.” Saying things out loud to a room of thirty amazing ladies, helped me to face my fears and just go for it.
6. Second shooting with a good friend. Darlene has been so gracious with her time and knowledge, and I am so thankful for her friendship this year!
7. Photographing beautiful friends and family. I have been incredibly blessed with the opportunity to “practice” this year. Thank you everyone for taking a chance on me and believing in my future.
8. Developing friendships. I have grown closer to new and old friends this year and am realizing how beneficial it is to surround yourself with people that inspire and encourage you.
9. Starting this blog. I have loved journaling for years, but I have truly enjoyed crafting each of these posts to share. It is like sharing a little piece of my heart each week.
10. Spending each day with my amazing husband. He supports me in a way no one else can. I never would have made any of these other things happen without his love and encouragement.
Step 2: Evaluate what didn’t work.
1. I am still fearful of becoming a full time photographer. I know it is going to be a ton of work, and doubt continues to creep in.
2. I didn’t spend nearly enough time in the Word. I know I need it desperately, every morning. But I often allow other things to take precedence.
3. I settled. In schoolwork, business, and life in general. I want to be done with being “okay.”
4. I didn’t cook as often as I wanted. You know that my husband does a lot of cooking (and I am so grateful), but I want to spend more time in the kitchen, making healthy meals for our family.
5. I didn’t run/workout like I needed. The first step is always the hardest, but I always feel amazing after a long run. We did a few races this year, but nothing that truly challenged me like I crave.
6. I wasted too much time comparing myself to others. I’m sure you’ve heard the quote “comparison is the thief of joy,” but I’ve truly felt it this year. It is so easy to think you are finding “inspiration,” but really I am just draining myself and feel like a failure. I need to spend more time developing my own style instead of trying to copy.
Step 3: Pinterest Vision Board.
You can see mine here. I am a visual person, and putting pretty images together helps me so much!
These three simple steps have brought so much clarity and focus. As I look ahead, I want to align my focus with my Creator. God has been teaching me to slow down, enjoy the little things, and trust Him completely. But most of all, He is calling me to love. To love my husband, my family, friends, and strangers. To allow my business to be focused on showering my clients with love. To give freely and love on the poor. To see through His eyes. He is teaching me little by little every day, and I am continually praying that I can truly love unconditionally. Because He loved me first.
Thank you for your love and support this year. This blog would still be a mere dream without the help of incredible friends and family. I am forever grateful for YOU! Enjoy a sweet kiss from someone you love tonight, and tell me what you are looking forward to in 2013.