Every year, I spend pretty much the entire month of November reflecting on the past year and what I want the following year to look like.
In some ways, it’s fun and enjoyable. I get to buy new planners. And let’s be honest, that’s really the highlight of my entire year, second only to filling out those said planners.
But more often, it’s a task I dread. Mainly because that’s when I run through my business numbers. Which is not fun for someone like me who hates/ can’t understand math.
It’s a daunting task. Figuring out the average price I spend per month on things like electric, water, groceries, Starbucks (yes, I have a Starbucks category in my budget), real estate taxes, blah, blah, blah. I also get to do the super fun number crunching for my business, like what I spend per year on website hosting, editing software, gifts for clients, getting my gear professionally cleaned, upgrading things like lenses, batteries, memory cards, blah, blah, blah.
But once all that mathing is done, I can think more about my goals. See, now I know the numbers. That means I know what I need to make next year, which translates into if and how much I’ll need to raise my prices. So now I can paint a picture of what I want the following year to be. I think about the specific education I want to invest in, how many Saturdays I want to work (also how many Buckeye games I’m willing to miss lol), what marketing I want to put my efforts into, and also things like my personal life, spiritual goals, relationships, etc. And THEN we get to the good part.
Writing that crap down.
Which is where today’s blog post comes in. I’m not shy about being honest and real with you. I’ll share what is and isn’t working in my life, and what needs to change. It helps the goals and plans feel like they’re actually going to happen and it keeps me accountable. So here is what I want 2020 to look like:
This was honestly a goal I probably needed to have a couple years ago. I’m what they refer to as a “work-a-holic.” I don’t know how to say No because I’m so terrified of disappointing people or people thinking I’m less than x, y, or z. And truth be told, I LIKE working. Being busy is good for me in a lot of ways.
For the last three years, I’ve been shooting around 35 weddings a year. From May until November, I might only have one or two weekends off. I often will shoot two weddings back to back in one weekend.
Not only is it lonely working every Saturday when all your friends and family are off work, but it is physically debilitating for me. I’m pretty open about my health issues, and having an auto-immune disease that drains my energy and causes pain means it takes me about three full days to recover from a wedding. Being on my feet eight or more hours a day, toting around heavy gear, and only getting to rest during the 10 or 15 minutes I spend eating dinner has got to stop. Before I literally work myself into a hospital stay.
So instead of taking every wedding and second shooting request that comes my way, I will learn the word No. I’ll be limiting how much I’m shooting in a month. Doing this will let me spend time with friends and family more, allow me to fully rest between weddings, and give me the mental clarity to give each and every couple my BEST on their special day.
Back in September, I started a remote position as a stylist with Stitch Fix. This is something I don’t plan on quitting!
I actually saw this opportunity as a way that I could cut back on the amount of second shooting I do each year. Financially, I can give up second shooting entirely if I want. Which I don’t plan to do, but it will allow me to cut back on the shooting jobs I decide to take.
It’s also nice to be getting consistent and predictable income. And yeah- the discount on clothes isn’t too bad either 🙂
I’ve talked a little about this before, but I volunteer time participating in a Bible education work. In September of 2018, I committed to doing this ministry work for 70 hours each month, known as “pioneering.”
I wasn’t sure how long I’d able to keep up with that type of schedule. I had the desire to pioneer for the next several years, but didn’t know if I would have the circumstances or stamina to do it.
But thanks to the above two changes, I’m able to continue in my ministry work for the foreseeable future! Doing this has been such a blessing to me and my family. Devoting that much time immersed in spiritual activity has been nothing but wonderful!
It’s no secret that I use and love essential oils. But something I’ve been more passionate about is total wellness education, not just oils.
I have some amazing supporters in the oil industry, and I’ve made some incredible friends! Something I’ve learned in this past year of building an essential oil business is that it isn’t just about oils. There are so many more aspects to why we use essential oils. It isn’t just because they smell good or help you relax, or help you fight off germs. Understanding the science and the chemical makeup helps me see that everything else around me is contributing to my wellness level- either by harming it or helping it.
What I put in and on my body matters. What I clean my house with matters. What I eat, what makeup I use, what vitamins I take. It all matters. Essential oils won’t heal or give you a miracle. It takes analyzing and changing other parts of your life to give you a better quality of life.
Do I love essential oils? Yes. Will I always talk about them and share amazing ways they have helped me? Yes. But my goal is to share so much more than just oils. I want to share the little life improvements that anyone can make without costing them more money. I want to help others make smarter and healthier choices.
You Know, Be a Wife
I almost feel bad putting this as the last category in my 2020 plans. We’ll just say I saved the best for last, k?
I’ll admit, all of my personal relationships have suffered a lot this year, but especially my marriage. It seems like after all the priorities and necessities are taken care of, it leaves me with little to give.
Unfortunately, a lot in my personal life has suffered over the last year. Being busy has meant there is always a sink full of dishes, piles of laundry that need done, and something that needs to be taken care of. I used to clean my entire house every week. Now I’m doing good if I can scrub the toilet once a month.
I can’t believe I just said that on the internet.
It seems like I’ve had enough time to just scrape by, and I hope with all my heart that isn’t going to be the case next year. My goal is to be intentional in my marriage. To work when my husband works- which so far is going good because it’s currently 7:33 on a Sunday night, my husband is working, and I’m sitting in the dining room writing this, sending emails to clients, and organizing my to-do list for the week instead of laying on the couch watching a movie- and to rest when my husband rests.
To have weekends off together be the majority instead of the rarity. To have the mental ability to establish a work/ life balance and shut my computer when the weather in Ohio is nice enough to go outside and take a family walk. I can’t even tell you how many times this spring/ summer/ fall when Jon would ask if I wanted to take Speedy to the park or go for a walk. You know what my answer was? “If I can get everything done I need to for work.” You know how many times I actually got everything done? Zero. Zero times. I do not want the best years of my life with my husband to be spent in separate rooms.
So there you have it. Secrets, plans, goals. And hopefully when I write another post like this for 2021, I’ll be able to see how much I’ve accomplished.
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