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I hate to say this again, but 2018 was a WHIRLWIND. I honestly don’t remember much of it because I was in “GO GO” mode for a good portion of it. However, looking back at my 2017 post about the year ahead, I realize I did a lot of what I wanted to get done. Granted, I failed a lot (think epic style like rolling down a hill and unable to stop kind of fails), but I’ve also had some amazing and uplifting moments that I will never, ever regret! And as Lara Casey says,
“Progress, not Perfection”
And I believe that is true with all my heart. I have to tell myself over and over that, I cannot be perfect (no matter how much I wish it). But step by step, you move FORWARD and that is what matters at this point. Here are a couple of ways that I moved forward in 2018:
I found Powersheets
Both of my role models, Laura Watson Photography and Ashlyn Carter of Ashlyn Writes, have talked about the wonder that is Powersheets by Lara Casey of Cultivate What Matters. When they first talked about it, I really didn’t believe them. But thankfully, Lara Casey knew that there were girls like me and created a six-month version so I could try it out. It was the best decision I EVER made! I got so much accomplished because of it, and it was simply because it helps you focus. I always had such an issue wanting to do #AllTheThings, but I physically couldn’t. Powersheets has led me on a path of focus and clarity. I now can lay everything in front of me and know exactly what needs to be done now and what can wait.
Reina & Co Social Glue Mastermind
Early last year, I had found out about these things called “Masterminds” from my friend, Lindsey Larue Photography. She said that she does these “Masterminds” all the time with her fellow creative friends and that is how she is able to better improve her business. I was honestly curious. I had even made it a goal last year to try and participate in one. It wasn’t until I stumbled across Kat Schmoyer’s post about masterminds that I finally knew how I was going to complete it. Kat had talked of Reina’s Social Glue sessions and I knew it was what I needed to kick off my 2018. I participated in her Round 2 Winter Session and it was honestly the best thing ever. I met some amazing creatives from across North America and I had never seen my business soar as much as it did during that Mastermind!
I honestly can’t remember how I first stumbled across Mike Michalowicz’s book Profit First. It has taught me how to have a sustainable business banking system, and I can’t praise this book enough. I now know how to pay myself, save for emergencies in my business, and budget for all of my expenses through the year!
I have followed multiple film photographers for a long time. I have always envied how the skin tones on their photographs just look so clear and creamy. Well thankfully Santa brought me a 35mm camera last year and it has brought me such joy! Then, earlier this Fall, I invested in a Pentax 645, and every photo I’ve taken with it has been absolutely breathtaking. I can’t wait to use it more in 2019!
Creative at Heart Round 8
I met my learning goal two ways this year. The first was the mastermind that I mentioned earlier. The second was by attending Creative at Heart Round 8 this past November in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Creative at Heart was an eye-opening experience and I met so many of my favorite mentors and teachers. I think it was probably my best investment ever!
The other great thing about this conference was that it gave me a moment to learn further about myself through my time with my panel leaders, Lauren Carnes, Shay Cochrane, and Hope Taylor. After spilling my whole life and business story to them, all three of them said that I needed margin and space to breathe in 2019. I tried to do much this year and I need to figure out how to create breathing room so that I don’t get the BOS (burnt out syndrome).
Outsourcing My Work
When the Boyfriend was injured earlier this year, I honestly didn’t know how I was going to be able to go through the Fall wedding season and take care of him. Thankfully, I had a wonderful friend who I could depend on to take care of my editing. Because of her, I wouldn’t have made it through the Fall season!
Taking a vacation!
Last August, I purposely didn’t do any paying jobs, and I took a well-needed BREAK. It wasn’t a full-on sabbatical, but man, it was perfect. I got to travel, sleep in, catch up on client work, and photograph some beautiful creative projects that re-lit my inner fire (see one of them on Aisle Perfect).
And because of how successful it was in August, I’m doing a bigger break from mid-January to the middle of March!
Writing everything down
The last thing that I learned in 2018 was to write everything down. This mainly has to do with my to-do list. I had originally tried to keep everything in Trello and I ended up being overwhelmed because I could keep seeing my “Someday” list. It made me realize all the things I wanted to do, but I didn’t have time for. While Powersheets was great for deciding on the bigger projects, I still had issues with deciding on how to get the small things done each day. Should I work on my Newsletter or write a blog post? What about photo edits? Or answering emails? Thankfully, Ashlyn Writes had a solution. Its called the Eisenhower Matrix, and it is a godsend. Now, anytime I feel overwhelmed, I can take 5-10 minutes and write everything down to see its priority right there in black and white on the paper in front of me.
Challenges of 2018
While I wish I could keep talking about everything that went positively in 2018, that would just be a big fat lie. 2018 introduced some new challenges for me and brought some old ones back that I’m honestly not proud to talk about. However, you need to hear them because I want you to know that you aren’t alone if you are facing some of these issues too.
This is a big one for me. I became so focused on moving my business forward that I kind of lost sight of the friendships that I was neglecting. Thankfully, I have a couple of friends who reminded me that I should come out of my photography bat cave so I can still be human, but a lot of relationships were neglected in 2018. I plan to try and fix this in 2019.
Using my Credit Card
The other big one that I actually ashamed to say out loud was that I continued to use my credit card. Many “get rid of debt textbooks”, including Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover*, talk about not using the credit cards anymore. And while I have been better than previous years, I still slipped at times and used the credit card instead of using cash. I’m not going to say that 2019 will be perfect, but I will promise to do better going forward.
Not planning for Christmas
This is actually the challenge that I am most ashamed of. Why you ask? Because I love the Christmas season more than anything!!! But this year, with the boyfriend’s surgery, Creative at Heart, and a family vacation occurring in November, I just found myself so tired that I couldn’t do any of it. I looked over the list of everything I would need to get done to get the house ready and just thought “Why?”. So this year, I didn’t do any of it. No Christmas Tree, no Christmas Wreaths, no sugar cookies. It was just too much to do. I did make Buck-eyes, but that was because some wonderful friends wanted to know how to make them, and, of course, I had to show them. I am going to try and make my Grandmother’s lemon cake cookies before the year is out (aka the 18 hours I have left). Not sure if they will make it though!
Jumping from Task to Task
Like I stated above, I wanted to do #allthethings this year. So it led me to be a little ADOS (Attention Deficit Oh SHINY!) with my tasks. Heck, even as I write this post, I have also been checking my Instagram, my email, and my text messages. But writing down my top three things that I need to get done each day really does help! Maybe by the end of 2019, I will be much more focused on what needs to be done!
Thanks for reading all the way through. As a big ole “Thank You hug”, here are my favorite photos from 2018! Cause you can’t review 2018 without some photos!
Make sure to stay tuned for tomorrow’s post where I reveal my Word of the Year for 2019!