It’s that time of year again when everyone is making their resolutions and more people are about to get run over because they’re out running in the middle of our neighborhood streets (we have a lot of people in this neighborhood…and cars). But instead of just thinking of things I would like to do this year, I decided to go through Lara Casey‘s goal setting process again since I found it so helpful last year. I’ll be posting most of the steps here now and then will take time over the week to really pray and chew on what I want my goals to be for 2014 and come back and post them on Monday. In case you want to follow along with your own goal setting, you can find Lara’s steps here:
Part 1: Let’s Do This!
Part 2: Get Fired Up
Part 3: Your 2014 Vision
Part 4: Get Radical
I’m so mentally exhausted from 2013. Good riddens. It’s time to start over. Thank the Lord. So many good things are to come in 2014. Lucy should be having puppies, Michael is turning the big 3-0, and it will be my first official year working for myself! I hope everyone had a great New Year’s Eve. I want to start this year off right and spend some time planning and goal setting so the year just doesn’t fly by with nothing important getting accomplished. 

Step 1: What Worked in 2013?

– networking. i’m so glad i pushed myself to get over my shyness and go out and meet new people. i just have to trust that other people wants new friends just like i do and are happy to talk to you. i even attended events by myself! say what?! i know, it was frightening, trust me. and i don’t know if it will ever get better
-social media schedule. i planned more of my social media posts and blogging schedule this year and it really helped. i’ll be doing more of that this year
-having a system. this is huge. it’s so daunting and it takes a lot of time to setup but once it’s in place, everything runs like clockwork and i’m going to fine tune it even more and make systemize more things this year
-responding to brides quickly. is the day of immediate satisfaction, people want an answer and they want it now. i found that the faster i responded to brides/clients the better. i just setup a new alert on my phone to make this easier for me and will help me out with one of my “No’s” 😉
-meeting clients at the house. this was great! hello, i have an in-home studio and office for a reason! why not use it? it only took me 3 months to figure this out. meeting clients here has been great and forces me to clean the house more often 🙂
-using google calendar. a lot.
-technology. it paid off to invest in programs i needed and help me organize 
-working in the office. actually working in my office instead of on the couch and in front of the tv always worked the best. i just need to remind myself of that
-getting up early. ok vacation is over. dana should be caught up on her beauty sleep by now. there are some days where you need to catch up on sleep but days when i was up the earliest i always felt the best and was most productive
-specializing. removing family, baby, etc. from my work has been a blessing. i can now focus on what i’m passionate about 
-doing personal work. i have personal work that i’ll hopefully be sharing soon and didn’t get to do any until the very end of the year and i was so grateful i even go to do it! what a motivator and release of creativity that has been dying to get out! will be certainly scheduling personal work and shoots in this year
-shooting video. love video and will be doing more of that this year
-using the “to-do” list. i wrote about this pad in an earlier post and need to use it more! it’s so helpful. i found that when i planned and wrote everything out the night before was worked best. 
-keeping up with taxes and invoices. i did a good job of doing this quarterly this year and will continue to do this. so much less stressful when it only takes an hour each time versus 6-8 hours. 
-couponing and using i took a couponing class at church this year and it has changed grocery shopping drastically for me! i love it and i love knowing how to shop and spend more wisely. this has been such a huge blessing. 
Grateful For:
-supportive husband
-loving family
-great clients
-reading the Bible
-getting to be more active
-trying to eat healthy
-no debt
-great church family
-a faithful and merciful God
-having everything we need and more
Step 2: What Didn’t Work in 2013?
-reading the Bible whenever I felt like it
-not checking and double checking information
-not praying enough
-not making time for personal work
-not having patience and understanding that things take longer to get done that what i expect
-not working out
-holding feelings in and not communicating
-not saying “no” and become overcommitted
-working on 2 different computers
Step 4: What I Learned From What Did Work
-to go with my gut. i don’t know if hindsight is 20/20 or what but there were way too many times I thought “i knew i should done that!” My gut or instinct was right and i need to follow it more. or the Lord’s leading was right and i need to trust Him more
-making time for myself is important. reading, working out, going to the beach. it’s better for me in the long run. I’m more energized and motivated. haven’t i neglected myself for way too long? isn’t this what i longed for and looked forward to quitting for?
-it’s worth paying for systems and marketing/branding help and saves time
-be proactive. schedule social media posts, send out cards in batches, make better schedule, blog schedule, weekly work schedule, meal schedule
-work in the office! you’re more productive and you’re happier! there are no distractions there!
-get up early. ‘nough said
-give God your first fruits. need to make a dedicated time to spend with the Lord and preferably in the morning before the day begins
-take Sundays off. take off of photography and social media. i need that day (at least) to recharge
-if i plan better and am able to be more productive then i don’t feel bad taking time for myself
Step 5: What I Learned From What Didn’t Work
-need to communicate better and spend time planning the week out
-need to tackle problems that will affect me all year earlier like multiple computer issues and system updates
-tackle things that can alleviate worry like getting more data backups
-need to plan, plan, plan, schedule, schedule, schedule! reading, working out, bible time, date nights. it only happens if i write it down or put it on the calendar
-my phone takes up too much time. need to get alerts for important emails. spend less time on social media
-need to put God and time with Him first. 
-can’t forget to take care of Michael. it’s a perk of being at home and i need to remember that. 
-need to make more of a plan for the things i want to accomplish and write out baby steps and deadlines to accomplish them
Step 6: What Fires Me Up
– reading a good book
-going to the beach
-spending time with my husband
-making a new friend
-working out, being active
-seeing answers to prayers
-being outside
-helping others succeed
-giving gifts and doing things for others
-being supported
Step 7: What is My Vision for 2014?
being happy, truly joyful, healthy, loving, and humble
God-centered and focused
organized, mentally and physically
Step 8: I’m Saying “NO” to:
laziness, self-doubt, unhealthy eating, shyness, negative thought life, not taking personal time, being flippant with money/spending in excess, TV
Step 9: I’m Saying “Yes” to:
writing, journaling, reaching out, more prayer, being still, bible time, finishing the bible in 2014, putting  myself higher on the priority list, starting a garden, hire someone to help with web/blog design, less social media and checking my phone
Bonus Step: My One Word is:
Happy Friday, everyone! Hope 2014 is shaping up to be a good year for you. I’m going to chew and prayer over all of this over the weekend and hopefully stay off of social media so I can’t wait to check back in on Monday and share my goals!
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