It goes without saying that 2016 was one INCREDIBLE year. I got married, moved out of my dad’s house and into a cute little one bedroom apartment with a loft, went on our Hawaiian honeymoon, saw Los Angeles and Nashville for the first time, and survived my second year shooting weddings full time. I ended the year feeling accomplished and pretty grateful. I had some of the happiest months of my life these past 365 days, and I wouldn’t change a thing!

With all the amazing memories being made and so many new adventures taking place, it was easy to lose sight of the more “simple” side of life. Things like reading a biography on my favorite historical character or learning a new physics theory kind of fell to the wayside (which is totally fine because hey, L.A. wins over researching the latest developments in string theory at this stage in my life). But I find myself wanting more of those simple moments this year. I keep trying to plan out my next trip and I’m struggling to muster the motivation to actually go anywhere right now (which is weird!). I kind of just want to enjoy our first home together a little while longer and invest some time here. We’ve spent a lot of weekends away naturally, and I’m ready for 2017 to be a little slower paced… even if it is just by a little! :)

So, my goals for this year are a little different than they’ve been in years past. I do want to travel, but I want to travel for personal purposes and not feel the need to book a shoot where I’m going in order to “allow” myself to go. I want to buy a new dress and wear it out on a date with my husband. I maybe want to dye my hair. Maybe. Not 100% decided on that one yet! But I really find myself wanting to spend more energy improving myself and investing in my closest circle, and not so much time trying to build and live (or live up to) someone else’s life. That probably makes no sense at all… unless you get exactly where I’m coming from.

Without further adieu… 2017, here’s what I’m looking to get out of you!!

  • Eat a home cooked meal (at the dinner table and not on the couch!) at least twice a week
  • Spend no more than an hour browsing social media every day
  • Go to church (and Bible study/community group) more often
  • Be more giving of my time and talents (find an opportunity to volunteer regularly for)
  • Keep a prayer journal and start every morning with devotionals or reading my Bible
  • Utilize my spiritual gifts of encouragement and knowledge weekly
  • Exercise in some fashion at least 3 times a week
  • Read 24 fiction books just for fun!
  • Read 12 educational business/creative industry books (already halfway through my first!)
  • Read 5 history and/or physics books
  • Automate my wedding/client workflow (schedule emails, questionnaires, etc. and follow a checklist with deadlines for each project)
  • Go on at least 2 coffee/lunch dates a month
  • VISIT LONDON. Even if it’s for no purpose at all other than seeing Big Ben again!
  • Blog Monday, Wednesday, and Friday as many weeks as I can!!
  • Accompany my dad to Germany to visit his mom (not sure if this will happen… but I really want it to!)
  • Share my knowledge openly with other photographers and creative business owners
  • Head on an amazing adventure of a trip with Justin for our one year anniversary
  • Serve 5 wedding photographers through my editing services
  • Donate to a particular ministry monthly
  • In-depth scriptural study of spiritual gifts
  • Encourage and assist Justin in his creative hobbies/ventures
  • Shoot 5 rolls of film on my film camera!
  • Increase gross income by 33%
  • Contribute consistently and significantly to investment, savings, and retirement funds
  • Love people deeper by writing snail mail every week, sending unexpected presents, helping those in need, making more handmade gifts, having people over for dinner or wine & movie night, visiting our parents often, and taking more personal photos for my friends and family :)

Well, let’s check back in one year and see how much of this list I was able to make happen!! It’s going to be a beautiful and unforgettable year regardless. My “word” for 2017 is Trust… and I’m embracing everything that means when it comes to trusting the Lord to provide and lead in every area of my life. I can’t wait to see where He takes me next.

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