2020 New Year Goal Setting

2020 New Year Setting for photographers or any small business.

One of my absolute favorite holidays is the New Year. It’s a time for personal reflection, goal setting and creating a plan to move you in the direction you ultimately want to be in. Yes, it’s obviously filled with potholes the size of Texas by mid January, but the idea, energy and spirit of the New Year is fabulous.

This year, I thought it would be great if I shared my personal end of the year goal setting plan with you to 1 – give you a little insight into my photography business and 2 – hopefully give you some encouragement to do this on your own. Let’s get started!

Step 1 – Reflection

What did your 2019 look like? What are some achievements & failures?

It’s easy to want to skip over this in the 2020 new year goal setting process, but you shouldn’t. This is where you look back to identify things that worked and things that didn’t. Ideally, this will give you a better foundation to start from and help you avoid the same pitfalls that were hard to overcome in the past. It’s also the time to be grateful for the things that made you jump for joy. 🙂

2019 was a year of realignment for me. After a year and a half hiatus from my photography business, I missed it. I missed the amazing people I meet & the beautiful stories I bear witness to. I missed the rad photos that made me squeal of joy. So I started my business, ever so slowly.

In 2019, I started responding to emails, updating my social media, blogging, and finally, I started booking and shooting clients. My entrepreneurial spirit returned and I loved the process of rebuilding something to an even higher standard.

I think the hardest part of 2019, business-wise, was working without a solid structure. Everything I built, felt like I created it from scratch or the bones of a business I walked away from in 2017.

Step 2 – Name Your Intentions

What would your perfect 2020 look like? Be specific.

Time to get real! What do you want? You have to name it in order to see the path that leads you to those goals. Otherwise, what good is a compass without a destination?

  1. I want to live a creative life. I’d spend time enjoying and growing my craft. I want a life where I breath art on a regular basis.
  2. I want a business that reflects me. I’m over everyone’s opinions in what my business should be. I want a business that reflects who I am, because I only want to work with people who who want to work with me, the real me. This includes laughing at my dumb jokes and listening to me talk about my damn dogs way too much.
  3. I want to up my business game. I’d love to give more to my clients, both in deliverables and experience.
  4. I want a better work/life balance. It’s necessary in order to create a long sustaining business that won’t drain me.

Step 3 – List Actionable Steps

What specific actions will you do to take you towards your goals?

We’re about to get into the weeds of the 2020 New Year goal setting process! For this section, start breaking down the intentions you made into specific steps you can take to reach your goals. Some people do find it easier to list mini-goals within the bigger goals to help with motivation. Do what works for you.

  • Living a Creative Life Jan. 1st
    1. Get a Portland Art Museum Membership and visit at least once a month.
    2. Schedule calligraphy time every Monday afternoon for 30 minutes. (this is super relaxing for me).
    3. Schedule time to draw every other Friday at 3 p.m. for 1 hour.
    4. Spend time outdoors every week.
    5. Create a weekly or monthly photography challenge.
      1. Action Item: Find your first challenge by Jan. 1st.
  • Create business that reflects me.
    1. Schedule a 1 full day focusing session. Spend dedicated time to focus on what I want my business to bring to the market, who is my ideal client is and what unique services I provide. Jan. 6th
      1. Create an ideal client profile for both my HS seniors & wedding clients.
      2. Refine what my unique business propositions are -> what can my ideal client expect from me.
      3. Create a content plan – what information will I share on social media, newsletters, blog, videos, ect. I want to become more intentional so my followers/readers know what to expect.
      4. Schedule quarterly check-in’s to review & realign goals.
        • April 10th
        • July 6th
        • Oct. 12th
    2. Rebrand
      1. New logo, watermark, brand fonts & colors! Jan.31st
      2. Create a new website Feb. 29th
      3. Order pricing pamphlets & business cards with new branding. March 15th
      4. Order new sample engagement & wedding albums & USB cases. July 31st
  • I want to level up my business game.
    1. Upgrade camera equipment.
      • New camera body. Jan. 15th.
      • New prime lens. June 30th.
      • New 70-200mm lens. Dec. 31st
    2. Invest in better client management software.
      • Purchased but need to fully integrate by Jan 30th.
    3. Start creating slideshows as deliverables & for marketing.
      • Create 3 sample slideshows by Feb. 29th
    4. Update all sample work. July 31st
    1. Create a social media & newsletter plan that adds value. Create and review at quarterly check ins.
    2. Client gifts! Oct. 15th
  • I want a better work/life balance.
    1. I want to set a clear working schedule and not work during time off including differentiating: Jan. 15th
      1. Time specific to business growth. (marketing, networking)
      2. General business tasks (bookkeeping)
      3. Client specific work time. (editing, emails, meetings)
    2. I need to dedicate time to my physical health, because it’s necessary for 8 hour weddings. Start Jan. 1st for 30 min @ 3x/wk.

Step 4 – Set Deadlines

This is where it gets a little scary. After I finished listing all my actionable steps, I went back in and added deadlines and timeframes to all the steps [in red] to hold myself accountable. I also added those dates into my calendar. This is definitely going to be a heavy lift but manageable if I spread out the deadlines throughout the entirety of the year to ensure your 2020 new year goal setting comes to fruition.

Step 5 – Feel Accomplished

Get a glass of wine, or if you’re like me, a blackberry cider. Your 2020 new year goal setting process is done! It was a lot of work, but giving yourself the space to be honest about what you want in life and what you don’t want isn’t easy. It’s hard to logistically realize how far we are from what we want. However, it’s the only way we’ll ever ensure we’re taking steps to move forward in the right direction. So pat yourself on the back. Step one of the rest of your life is in the bag! 2020, we’re coming for you!

Read more about Susie here.

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