photography & films tara fletcher

Here’s to a New Year, New Start, and New Beginnings | Southwest Michigan Lifestyle Photographer

Happy New Year!

Goodbye 2017 and welcome 2018. I hope you are waking up with a renewed sense of purpose and joy!  Each start of every new year brings with it so much positivity and hope. I am a very goal oriented and person, and appreciate any opportunity to step back, evaluate, learn, plan, and set goals.  While New Year’s Resolutions almost always inevitably fail (my own included), each resolution is really just another opportunity for learning and growth, and that is never a bad thing!

This morning I am waking up with many New Year’s Resolutions. My blog post is long this month and written more for myself than anyone else, so if you don’t have time to read it, feel free to skip and head straight to the incredibly talented Jyotsna Bhamidipati from Making Beautiful Memories Photography.

Last year, I set one goal for myself.  Gratitude. The idea was to bookend my days thinking of all of my blessings and things to be grateful for. I wanted to drift to sleep at night and wake each morning with thoughts of all the people, experiences, and things that God has blessed me with.  It was such a wonderful way to start and end my days, and although I failed more often than not throughout the year to keep up with this resolution, I did pick back up several times during the year when I needed it most and it carried me through some of the more difficult times of 2017.

As I head into 2018, I have set many goals for myself.  Probably too many, considering I couldn’t keep up with one simple one last year. However, last year’s resolution taught me that it doesn’t matter how many times we fail at a goal, the most important thing is that we keep trying.  Setting goals is a good thing, even ones that feel unattainable.  I find that my periods of greatest growth are immediately after my biggest failures. While I hope I’m not setting myself up for too big a failure this year, setting many goals for myself will hopefully bring the outcome of much growth. So with that, here are a few of my personal and photography related goals for 2018:

  1. Continue with my GRATITUDE Project.
  2. UNPLUG. I hope and plan to seriously limit my screen time this year. My brain desperately needs to detox from social media and my children need me much more than  my cell phone. My creativity is stifled, my focus is off, and my productivity decreases when my social media consumption increases.
  3. PATIENCE. I am entering my late 30’s and I have felt God working on me hard to learn patience.  I have not yet made great strides in this area, so hopefully 2018 can bring growth in that area.
  4. GROW my business. This is a direct conflict with goal #2, but I am hoping I can do both. Last year was my biggest year in business and this year is already shaping up to be bigger yet.  I have some fun surprises to unveil in the first quarter of the year that I have been working toward and am very excited about!
  5. Make AUTHENTIC art for my family and my clients. Sometimes I find myself looking at an image I have taken and the memory attached to it is one of me directing or demanding the person to stand a certain way or do something specific, rather than a heartfelt emotion related to the person. (Be sure to read Sarah Rypma’s blog post later on in our blog circle about this. I found it truly inspiring!) I have a big goal for myself this year to get out of my own way. A goal to stay back, appreciate and enjoy the magic that happens in front of me and record it in an authentic, yet beautiful way, so I can truly enjoy my work without it feeling forced.
  6. PROJECT 52. I started a personal photography project this summer called 12 weeks of summer. I actually finished! It was so enjoyable, I thought I would keep it going through Fall. While I certainly haven’t shared the project consistently, I have kept up with it, and plan to continue it through the rest of 2018. I will be shooting one personal image per week for this project.
  7. Say NO. This is something I started putting into practice earlier this year. A favorite book of mine, Addicted to Busy by Brady Boyd talks about how if we fill our schedules by saying yes to everything, we won’t have enough resources left over when something really important comes along and needs our attention. This year, I plan to say ‘no’ more than ever, so that I have room to say ‘yes’ when it’s most important.
  8. EAT, SLEEP, & PRAY.  This one may seem silly, but these are things that I really do forget to do, or skip doing in essence of time. I would venture to guess that many people reading this may also struggle with basic self care.
  9. GIVE. All of the resolutions listed above are about me. Ways that I can better myself, my family, my business. My final resolution is to focus monthly on something I can give to help someone else. Time, talent, resources, whatever it maybe. Hopefully, if I can stick to resolution #7, I’ll have plenty of resources left over to give.
  10. I feel like there should be something here to round things out to a nice even number, but I don’t have anything else pulling at me at the moment.  I’ll leave this OPEN for now in case I see an area that needs extra growth throughout the year.

2017 had it’s ups and downs, but was truly an incredible year. I hope you are all waking up full of hope and joy, and ready to face all that 2018 has for you with confidence! If you have read this far, don’t forget to head over to see what Jyotsna has in store for this month’s edition of ONE!

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