Goodbye 2011, Hello 2012

Notebook with list of 2011 achievements

Happy New Year everyone! And welcome to 2012! How was you holiday? I love that feeling of winding down between Christmas and New Year, when the social engagements are done, the food has been eaten, and it’s time to gather myself together to think about the close of one year and the dawn of the next.

This year I spent the better part of New Year’s day reflecting and planning. I started by listing the great things that we achieved during the past year, weak points, things that we need to work on, evaluating the major components of our business, and brainstorming projects for the coming year. Being the nerdy eager over-achiever that I am I did this for both our business and my personal life. Here’s a peek at the business side of things:

2011 Accomplishments

  • sold more framed pieces than ever this year and now have work available through The Art Etc Gallery Shop at The Burlington Art Centre
  • Vanilla Dream appear as a full page image in the December/January issue of Photo Life Magazine
  • launched our new online photography shop
  • took two photography trips purely to make seascape images, one to Prince Edward County the second to Toronto
  • two solo photography shows, The Aeolian Hall and Starbucks

 Weaknesses and Things We Need to Work On

  • I need to stop working late into the evenings
  • keeping my office in a remotely habitable state instead of looking like the path of a recent hurricane
  • I spend a crazy amount of time researching, this needs to be drastically cut – more “doing” less “thinking about doing”

Evaluate Major Components of Our Business and Set Goals

  • online print sales –  2011 was our best year yet! Thank you everyone for all of your support! Now we should determine how many images I need to sell per month, week, and day to reach my goals
  • sales through galleries – I’m thrilled this is making up a substantial part of our annual income, in 2012 I’d like to increase the amount of gallery shops that stock my work, and I’d love to have my work available in Toronto (so if you’re a gallery in Toronto that’s interested in selling my work, give us a call!).
  • stock photography – haven’t spent as much time and energy on this as I’d like, in 2012 I’d like to schedule dedicated stock photography shoots at least twice a month, plus I’d like to get on with a photographer-friendly stock agency.
  • our blog – things are starting to come together but our blog still needs a lot of work, we need to make a calendar of the types of posts we write and when, plus we need to get a better handle on what our readers would like to see here – definitely leave your suggestions in the comments section!
  • social media – I really don’t know what I’m doing here, Facebook? Twitter? Ackkk!! I need to schedule strict time for these daily and most importantly, stick to it.

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I also worked through Christine Kane’s Word of the Year Discovery Tool, I’ve tried other word of the year resources but so far I like her’s the best.

Intention and Clarity

My word for 2012 is leap. I know this was my word last year but it was the first time I ever chose one and I was pretty new at sticking to it so I’m going to do it again with renewed inspiration and vigour.

Leaping means I’m going to try new things, I’m going to take more chances, I’m going to have more faith in people. I’m going to laugh more, in celebration of my successes and in the face of my failures. I’m going to fill my year with fun, happiness, and growth.

I’m going to stop obsessing so much over the details of a plan, grow and learn at a rapid place, throw caution to the wind and have more fun, do what works for me not settling for what works for everyone else, be constantly inspired and energized, and ramp up my passions. Most of all I’m going to be very happy to be me.

I embrace leaping by forging my own path, trying new food, meeting new people, and doing many things in my own way. I’ll need to focus on getting out of ruts, spending less time researching and more time doing, and stop putting things off until the time will be perfect.

This time next year I’m going to be satisfied that I took every opportunity that was presented to me. I’ll be thrilled to have spent more time photographing and working on imagery and less time on the business side of things. And I’ll be brimming with personal confidence at having tried lots of new things and business confidence because my new office will finally be complete.

Awareness and Elimination

Patterns and beliefs that need to be wiped out:

  • I need to be absolutely, 100% certain that something is the right thing to do before doing it
  • That the market is already saturated and that there’s no room for me
  • It’s just a home office, it’s not really that important
  • To be successful I need to spend every waking hour on our business

Things that make me run screaming from leaping:

  • My need for perfection
  • Fear of change
  • Fear of the unknown
  • Lack of confidence

Pattern interrupters I can carry in my pocket:

  • Identify when these things are happening then go for a walk to clear my head and organize my thoughts
  • Read through my list of achievements or my gratitude journal to boost my confidence and stay positive
  • Schedule a regular time every day for tea and a snack

New pro-active habits:

  • Keep a list of achievements sorted by year
  • Gratitude journal
  • Make a research decision making kit
  • Walk away from work for a few minutes every hour so I can clear my mind and start fresh

Whew! Thanks for sticking with me all the way to the end. I’d love to hear all of your thoughts and your favourite ways of reflecting and planning in the comments section below.

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