Just before the new year I was totally jazzed up about setting goals, starting the One Little Word workshop, doing Elsie’s CHOOSE workshop, starting Project Life, etc. I was going to enter 2013 going gangbusters on capturing and documenting our life. I was EXCITED! But then they didn’t have the Project Life kit in stock I wanted, my album hasn’t come in yet, I got the stomach flu, our basement demo drained me, work caught up and well, I just haven’t been feeling it.

Then you pop around the blogosphere and everyone has their goals not only done but blogged and blogged beautifully, they’ve started their 365 projects, they’re blogging everyday again, they’re losing weight, making more money, etc. If you read the blogs I read it looks like everyone has their shit together and here I am with my camera battery dead and sitting lifeless on my desk. I haven’t even been on Instagram lately.

SO today while I waited for my car to be done at the shop (another $1000 down the drain on a car we barely fit in) I made a list. A final list of my goals and NON-goals for this year.

1. I am NOT doing any kind of photo project. I’m not going to go out of my way to capture my own kids. I’m going to give myself a break knowing that I shoot almost daily sometimes for other people and it’s ok to be burnt out when I get home. I am going to remind myself that if I take photos of them every single day of their lives it will take them years to even look at them all as adults and who has time for that? I am going to remember that I have but a few photos of myself as a child that I love and it’s enough. I don’t need to know what I ate every day to know I had a happy childhood. I will pick up my camera when I’m inspired to, not because I feel like I have to keep up with anyone else. I’m going to actually BE in more of our family memories instead of standing outside the circle capturing them. I am going to forget the idea of a 365 project even exists!

2. I might not lose a single pound this year. I might gain. Or heaven help me I might lose. But it doesn’t matter. I lead a busy life and am working hard to run a successful business and it’s just A-OK that my body has to come last right now. I’m ok with that. I will NOT drink Mountain Dew (Not one Dew since APRIL!!!) but it’s ok to have an orange soda at home to beat the afternoon slump or to stay awake working until 2am in the fall. It’s ok to have a soda or a glass of wine when we’re out or on a road trip. I will TRY to eat less and move more. But there will be days when I eat a ton and barely move. And that’s ok.

3. I am going to go out more. We are going to see our friends more and spend more money on baby sitters. It’s best for our marriage if we get at least one night a week away from our kids and I’m ok admitting that I NEED that time away from them. I also need time away from our house. If I’m home at night I sit in my office and work while C sits in the living room and works. Our nights out are the only time we relax and just enjoy each other without the distraction of our kids or the house or work or anything. I am going to spend more time playing Joker. I want to try new restaurants. I want to go out with different friends, new friends and old friends. Or have them over here. We have a small house but we can still entertain. I want to be social and not reclusive, especially when I’m busy at work.

4. I will NOT do Project Life every week. One PL binder might last me five years and that’s ok. Because in 50 years I will not want to sit down and look at 100 albums of my younger years. A few will suffice I think. I will work on printing photos so I can actually have something to put in the album. I will not spend a lot of money on supplies. I want it to be organic and lacking in scrapbooking crap. Junk mail and handwriting and photos printed on white paper can work just as good. I will not blog my pages unless the mood strikes me. I will not join any online groups and talk about this project.

5. Speaking of online groups, I am stepping back in other ways online as well. I will not be on FB as much. I will not look at or care how many people like the Fresh Art page. I will stop reading so many blogs. In fact, I am purposely taking some of my favorites off of my Reader because every time I read them I feel like I’m not talented enough, not busy enough, not creative enough, not liked enough, not popular enough, NOT ENOUGH. When I read some of my favorite blogs it makes me wonder why I can’t hold a workshop and make a ton of money or offer online skyping or create my own set of actions. They can make me feel worthless and useless and bad. EVEN THOUGH I love the photography or the person (some are even friends) or the inspiration. I need to stop allowing myself all the available ways I have to compare myself to others. All of that inspiration just makes me want to climb in bed and never come out because I don’t know where some people get the time!

6. Speaking of time. I’m going to give more time to my kids. I’m going to FOCUS (my OLW) on them more. I am going to read to them every night and stop just tossing them in bed quick so I can get to my shows and work. I’m going to do art projects with them. Or maybe I won’t. I’m going to PLAY more or just sit and be with them as they play. I am going to stop multitasking myself to death when I’m with them. BUT I am going to be forgiving when I can’t give to them, when I can’t FOCUS on them. Because that’s ok too. I don’t even think it’s good to focus too much on our kids. I think they need to be allowed to roam a bit without us. Without ME. It’s ok that sometimes work just has to come first. Or I have to come first. That’s ok too. And there are going to lots of nights I toss them in bed to go watch a show. It’s just going to happen.

7. I am going to FOCUS on myself more. By saying no to things I really don’t want to do. By working hard to grow Fresh Art or anything else I want to do. I want to read more. I want to cook more. I might want to move more. I am going to be more forgiving that my house might not always be perfectly clean or my business might not always run smoothly or we might not always have enough money or my kids might not always get along so well. I am going to give myself a damn break this year. I AM NOT SUPERWOMAN.

8. I am going to become more educated about money. I AM going to work on my spending. I am going to work my ass off to bring in more income so I don’t have to work so hard on my spending. I AM GOING TO SAVE. I am going to take my head out of the sand once and for all and stare that fucking budget in the face. AND CONQUER IT.

9. I am going to be honest more. Here on the blog, in my life, in my relationships and with myself. I used to blog so much about how HARD being a mom can be but then my kids got older and life got easier so there wasn’t as much to say. But there still is. I’m not going to whine because I know I have it pretty damn easy but I’m going to be honest. Like telling you that I need at least one night away from my kids. Or that sometimes being happily married seems impossible. Or that sometimes I loath my body so much I eat more just to shut up my thoughts instead of strapping on a sports bra and high tailing it outside. And other times I love the curves and the bumps and the LIFE this body has lived. Sometimes I’m proud of how I look and sometimes I go all day without a bra on and hating myself for it. I love all of the blogs I read but so many of them paint this perfect little picture. Like they have a perfect marriage and live in a perfectly clean house (because it looks perfectly clean in all of the amazing 365 photos they take) with perfectly dressed kids who love getting their photo taken all while maintaining a perfect photography business that’s making oodles of money which gives them the luxury of traveling all the time. UGH. That’s just NOT my reality and I’m going to start sharing more with you. Especially all the mistakes and hard things that come with running a photography business. Because I just feel like someone needs to tell the damn truth.

10. I am going to FOCUS. I AM going to set goals and I’m going to work my ass off to reach them. Most of them are for Fresh Art because you guys? We NEED my income more than ever. And I know I didn’t save enough for taxes this year. And this is the first month we have to start paying off C’s MASSIVE student loan which is a huge bill I haven’t truly budgeted for. I am going to reach for the stars and pray I touch them. And I will try to share as much as I can along the way. Because there are SO many professional (popular) photographers who don’t really NEED their income. Their husbands make enough to support their family so their income is just extra. I went to a workshop and this was the ONE question I asked, “what do you do when you NEED to bring in business because you really need the money?” Do you know what she said? Something along the lines of, “Oh, I don’t know, I guess I don’t ever REALLY need the money I make.” Uh huh. But I know that if I need my income this badly there are others that do too. LET’S UNITE and be honest with one another! I’m going to talk later in the week about how I FAIL every single January. Sorry I got off on a tangent and almost asked you guys to burn your bras with me or something. The point is, I’m going to write down my goals and work hard to attain them. But forgive myself if I can’t.

I have a great feeling about this year. I have an amazing assistant who, for the first time, is thinking ahead of me about ways to improve Fresh Art. Chris and I are in a really good place. We have some kickass friends that we love spending time with (almost weekly!) and who remind us how much we really do like each other. We have a blank slate of a basement and we’re both excited (and nervous) to see how much we can do on our own down there. We are finally on the same page about wanting to work on the house again. I am surrounded by girl friends and family and a support system that constantly amazes me. My kids are awesome. So easy going, responsible and funny. I am more organized with Fresh Art than I ever have been and we’re bringing in some new things this year that will just continue that trend.

Despite my current panic-mode about money (hello EVERY January) I am in a really good place. Especially now that I’ve put it out to the world that me, a professional photographer, might just take LESS photos of her kids this year and be happy about it! HA!

Happy new year friends!