Category: personal

3 Important Steps in Goal Setting Prep!!

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A brand new year is almost upon us! So, naturally, the Internet is abuzz with the topic of goal-setting. I wrote this post around the same time last year all about why it’s so important to set goals, along with a few tips for how to set yourself up for success! If you’ve never physically written down your goals, click over to last year’s post to read my thoughts on why I think it’s 100% necessary. It’s definitely worth setting aside the time to do it!!  This year, as I’m preparing to put pen to paper and set my goals for the upcoming year, I thought I would share what that process of preparation looks like for me. There’s no wrong answer when it comes to doing pre-goal-setting work; this just happens to be the method that resonates most with me. :)

So, let’s dive right in!!

Step 1: Re-Read all goals set at the beginning of the current year. 

The first thing I do is pull out all of my lists of goals – both business goals and personal ones – and I read through them to see what’s still on there that I didn’t accomplish. Whatever I didn’t accomplish, I’m going to re-evaluate to decide whether or not it’s still a relevant goal. If it is, I will flag it to move over to my goals for the new year. If it’s no longer relevant, I just scribble it out. For example, one of my business goals for this past year was to grow our Boothtastic Facebook page to 2000 followers and launch an ad campaign to promote our booth. I did not accomplish that because I focused my energy in other places, and have since decided that this particular goal is no longer relevant because we’ve changed the way we offer Boothtastic to our clients. A lot can change in a year as things grow and evolve!! So, this goal that I previously set for myself gets the good ‘ol scribble de doo. Make sense? :)

Step 2: Read through all journal entries for the current year.

I keep a journal for most of the year. I say *most* because I usually let go of journaling around September-ish when my shooting/editing schedule starts to really ramp up in intensity. I’m totally okay with this; it’s a natural part of the rhythm of my job and something I’ve come to accept and expect. But the knowledge and insight I gain from reading those journal entries from January – September is so incredibly helpful. It gives me a birds eye view of where my head and heart were at throughout the year. They show me what I learned, what I celebrated, and where I struggled, and all of that plays a huge role in shaping my goals for the new year.

Step 3: Make a list of what went well and what did not both professionally and personally. 

This step is super important. If you don’t take the time to reflect on what you did right and what you could have done better or differently, how will you ever grow? If you want to evolve and become the best version of yourself, you have to stare down your shortcomings and dream up better ways to do things. It’s equally important to say “Hey, I did a great job with _____!” Know your strengths, know your weaknesses, and know that they can change/shift over time. I wrote down a whole bunch of goals at the end of last year. I accomplished some of them and failed miserably at others and I find it very helpful to look at the reasons why. Did I have enough support in place to accomplish my goals? Did I give myself enough time to complete tasks? If I set out to do something, but didn’t make it happen, there’s a reason for that. Knowing what it was will help me be even more successful in the long run.

I typically take a couple of days to work my way through these three steps, but once the pre-work is done I can move on to the best part: setting intentional, actionable goals for the new year!

Last year, I wrote a “2016: What Worked and What Didn’t” blog post, and it’s so cool to look back on that and see how far I’ve come since then! I’m working on the 2017 version right now, so I’ll be sharing that early next week. :)

Have you set goals for yourself yet? If you know what you want to accomplish this year, make sure you take the extra step of writing it down. Writing down your goals is the KEY puzzle piece! If you have never set goals before or have absolutely no idea whatsoever what your goals should be, don’t fret – that’s way more common than you might think. I’ve been there myself! Following the above steps will definitely help you organize your thoughts. If you need more personalized help getting organized, just shoot me a message! —>

Happy New Year, friends!  This year is filled with so much promise and I’m so very excited to see it all unfold.

Let’s connect on Instagram!!

strengthen your intuition to grow as an artist

Filed in for photogs, mentoring, personal shot by on at

The first three-ish years of my photography career were a whirlwind of trying to improve my technical skills, and trying to shoot weddings that looked….well…like everyone else’s. At one point, I was toting around a list in my camera bag of “50 Must Have Wedding Day Shots” that I had found online and printed out. I tried desperately to follow the list because I was so sure that we absolutely had to follow it in order to succeed. Ben thought I was nuts. And, honestly, back in those early days of hustle and confusion, I think I was a little bit nuts. I knew where I wanted to go with my photography, but I didn’t know how to get there. I knew what I valued in life (relationships, emotion, human connection), but I didn’t know how to communicate that through my work, and it was so frustrating; still, I clung to that PDF shot list as if it were my ticket to success. I mentally checked off all of the boxes, and delivered weddings that looked the way I thought they were supposed to, but I knew in my heart that my images were missing something.

Then, there was the day that I accidentally left my precious list at home. I remember it like it was yesterday. I spent the first half of the wedding in robot mode, recalling as much of my list as I could from memory, and dutifully moved through all of the “required” shots. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw the bride’s brother moving toward her with open arms. There were tears streaming down his cheeks, and a huge smile on his face. She saw him and opened her arms, too. That’s when I started shooting. They hugged, laughed, cried, and exchanged “I love you’s,” and I captured all of it. It was beautiful, and my heart felt light and happy. A week later, when I was editing the images, I came across that joyful sequence (which was most definitely not on my recommended shot list), and my heart felt light and happy all over again. Then, a few weeks later, we delivered the completed gallery, and the bride called me to say that she loved the photos, but was extra, extra grateful for the moments we captured between her and her brother. I think that was the exact moment that I started to understand the connection between the way I feel and the end result of my work.

After that whole experience, I ditched my list and began to pay close attention to how I “felt” while shooting. I didn’t fully understand it at first, but those feelings of heaviness and lightness, happiness and discontent – that was my intuition. Eight years later, I now rely 100% on my intuition to make “in the moment” decisions on a wedding day. I can tune in to my couple, their families, their friends, and know right away what to do to get the best possible photographic results. I rely heavily on my intuition to make important business decisions, decide which clients are the best fit for me, and determine how to make the best use of my time and talents. I tap into my intuition to help my coaching/mentoring clients make decisions about their businesses, as well. I can “feel into” any situation and get the answers I’m looking for. Intuition is kind of like a super power; only, everyone has it. Yes; even YOU.

So, what exactly is intuition and how can it help you as an artist or a business owner? Well, it’s basically a secondary intelligence. It’s the body sending you “hunches” about things faster than your mind can consciously process. Steve Jobs once said that “intuition is more powerful than intellect,” and I could not agree more. Have you ever made a decision about something and then immediately started feeling sick to your stomach or sweating profusely? That kind of physical response happens when you go against your intuition. Those responses are there to tell you to make a different choice. Most of us just ignore it and think, “Oh, I must have eaten a bad hot dog for lunch,” and that may, in fact, be true; but, if you start paying closer attention, you’ll find that it’s usually your body giving you the answers you’re seeking.

It has taken me years of practice (and the study of meditation, mindfulness, and energy healing) to trust myself to accurately interpret the internal “nudges” I get, but pretty much, once you get comfortable with it, it’s a sure thing. Wedding photographers, take note: It really comes in handy on wedding days, when your brain is pulled in a million different directions. So much happens so quickly, and it’s not enough to only focus your camera on the bride and groom when there are a million other emotional interactions happening all around you. How do you know where to turn and what to shoot to capture those split second moments that result in stunning, emotionally charged candid photos? How do you know what to say to people who are uncomfortable being photographed? How do you determine the best way to capture the true personality of someone you’ve only just met? INTUITION. You already know the answers to those questions before you even ask; you just have to learn how to listen.

If you’re curious about how to strengthen your intuition, here are three very basic things you can start doing right now that will have a huge impact on your life and your business:

  1. Pay attention to your physical body. When people ask you what your “gut” is telling you to do, take it literally. Be still and quiet. Take a few deep breaths and ask your question (in your head). Then, go through the possible options one at a time and pause to feel what’s happening in your body. Do you feel light or heavy? Dizzy? Sweaty? Weirdness in your stomach? All of those things are your body’s way of giving you real time answers. It’s pretty cool.
  2. Mediate for 3 minutes. The simple act of being quiet for three minutes a day can do wonders for strengthening your connection to intuition. Just three minutes a day will increase your blood circulation, lower stress levels, increase focus, and improve sleep. While all of those things can only enhance your life, it will have the biggest impact on your intuitive connection because you will learn how to be still and tune in.
  3. Keep a journal. I recommend journaling for many different reasons. I’m a huge fan of keeping a gratitude journal, and I also think it’s important to consistently write and re-write your goals. But, the thing about intuition is that sometimes the answers come to you when you’re trying to fall asleep at night (because you’re finally still and quiet enough to listen), or when you’re sitting at a red light and your brain is on auto-pilot. When those little flashes come to you, write them down!! If you’re anything like me, that’s the only way you’ll remember what came through.

I hope these tips were helpful!  Learning to trust my inner voice was one of the most important things I could have ever done to grow as an artist, and a business owner. It’s a skill that has impacted my life in a big way, and has allowed me to help many other creatives find the answers they were looking for, too. If you want to learn more about how to use your intuition to enhance every area of your life, click the link below to get in touch!

work with me!!