Dreaming and Scheming 2014

Tree Art - Shiver

I spend at least as much time thinking about business as I do thinking about photography. Clearly I have a problem. I can’t help it, I’m a researcher and an organizer by nature and there are things that need to be figured out and planned. So every year over the holiday between Christmas and New Year’s Darren and I have a studio New Year’s party. With a guest list of two and food and drinks for twelve we sit down and spend the day brainstorming and dreaming about the year to come.

We look at where we are, where we’ve been, and where we’d like to go. There are lists. Lots and lots of lists. This year my strategy for strategizing is based on the simple system that Chris Guillebeau uses:

  1. Make a list of what went well in the past year
  2. Make a list of what did not go so well in the past year
  3. Dream up about 5 specific goals for this year for each of these categories:
    • Photography
    • Business
    • Financial
    • Friends + Family
    • Our House
    • Health
    • Other
  4. Look at each of these goals and make them as specific and as measurable as possible. I find the best way is to attach a number to each one, then when I’ve reached it I’ll know it. So here’s an example, make more photographs is a mighty fine goal but it’s not specific enough to give it a pass or fail at the end of the year. It’s better to set a goal like make 24 GREAT landscape photographs that I’d be proud to have represent me in my portfolio.
  5. After I’ve lived with those goals for a week or so I whittle them down to 1-3 per category, because I’m the queen of putting too much on my plate.
  6. Then for each of those things I’m left with I start working out my plan of attack, what are the first three things I can do to put myself on my way to each goal. Things I can do tomorrow and the following two days. I’m talking small things. Things that take less than 15 minutes but preferably less than 5. Then I keep adding to my list as needed.
  7. I also make a chart to track where I am and what I have left that I update monthly.

And because I like to be open and honest with you all here are some of my goals for 2014:

  • Photography – Make 24 GREAT photographs that I’d be very proud to each have represent my work and make them available in our online shop
  • Business – Double the traffic coming to www.jennifersquires.ca
  • Financial – Double last year’s gross income
  • Friends + Family – Have weekly dates with Darren
  • Our House – By the end of this year I want to have painted every room in our house at least once, no more colours from the previous owners {and no offence if the previous owners are reading, your colours are great, the house just needs to fit more with our style}
  • Health – Meditate for a minimum of 10 minutes a day, monday to friday

There you go, you can see some of my year laid out in front of us. Some of the goals are pretty hefty while others are fun and not so demanding. How are you planning for 2014? Are you a goal setter or resolution maker? What can I do to help you this year?

by Jennifer

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