Frank Sinatra's voice filled the kitchen, there was tasty merlot in my wine glass, the smell of garlic wafted from the sizzling pan on the stove, and yet there was a pit in my stomach. By this point in the evening, my cooking tunes (and the wine) usually have me dancing around the kitchen and humming as I chop and sauté away. Usually. But today I couldn't shake this bad feeling.
By the time Kyle was home and our stomachs pleasantly filled, I realized I felt like I was in an unbreakable cycle. I was about to start a new service in my business and I was excited about the idea but realized that I was just doing following a pattern that I said I wouldn't fall into again.
The pattern is this:
- Wedding photography isn't growing as fast as I think it should.
- Get an idea for a new service to fill my "extra" time.
- Take 2 months to develop systems and launch service.
- It doesn't take off right away but I don't want to devote all the time to marketing it because...
- Realize that I should be focusing on what I actually want to spend time doing: wedding photography.
- I resolve to not start anything else new and to devote all of my time to wedding photography and would shift the new service to the back burner
I was about to embark on my third round of this nonsense. But instead, I decided to get rid of it all. No more print shop. No more branding photography. No new service.
C.S. Lewis was so on point when he said,
"We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive."
I was afraid to simplify everything in such a drastic way. I had done all this work, and I didn't want people to think poorly of me because I was shutting down these new service months after launching them.
But I needed to pivot. I wasn't making progress in the area that I really cared about because I wasn't devoting myself completely to it.
So I'm putting all things aside (maybe just for now maybe for forever I don't know what the future holds) and in true essentialist fashion putting all my eggs in one basket and reoriented my goals.
This is all actually perfect timing because June is when there is a goal refresh section in my Cultivate What Matters Power Sheets!
I am bummed that it took me so long to realize this but excited for what this new season holds.
Create Educational Freebie and Email sequence: I made the Education Freebie, 5 Elements Every Stress-free Wedding Has in Common, and I am REALLY excited about it because I want every couple to be present and joyful on their wedding day (even if they aren't mine). There isn't an email sequence but choosing progress over perfection!
Stick to batch Working: I did it! Wooo!
Polish Print Shop: No longer relevant :)
Tend to the garden: It was time to replace the pansies and violas and I added in more greenery. I have embraced the fact that my porch and side yard get no sun and that most of my plants will not be those breath taking annuals. But I am okay with then and instead of dreaming of filling those spaces with lush greenery. I added in two maidenhair ferns (my favorites), some creeping Jenny that will hang beautifully from these floating pots, and a beefsteak plant!
I am hoping to grow some shade loving flowers from seeds for the fall!
Adventure with Kyle:
No big adventures this month but we did get to spend a good amount of time at the beach and with our family!
Check Personal Email: Making progress!
Exercise Five Days: Made this every week except the one where I tried starting work at 7:30 in the morning. That was a fail and didn't make me more productive in work or out of work.
Tuesdays Tending: On it!
Call family: I still struggled with this but then I asked my mom and sister if they would want to try out an app called Voxer. It is described as a walkie-talkie app but is basically just sending voice memos back and forth. But it is the best! It is so great to hear their voices and tones but with the convenience of texting! We've been chatting wayyy more since we've been using it!
Learn and Implement: I have been doing more implementing lately and less learning. I love learning new information but I don't want to overload myself and then not be able to implement. Still watching through all of the other classes I've already purchased.
I really really wanted to buy Nancy Ray's course Foundations In Film but it will have to wait until the fall. I have too much that I want to grow in and it seems wise to wait on trying out something so different.
Personal To do's: Yeahhhh this didn't really happen. But I am okay with it. Sometimes projects around the house aren't a priority.
Stick to Work hours: I did really well the first week... the other three not so much! I was trying out new schedules and they were just NOT the right fit for me in this season. I am back to my old routine and am really focusing on cultivating this habit.
Tidy Studio: I did a decent job but there were some days where it was just a MESS in here.
Learn Italian: Still going strong but and hoping to take it up a notch this summer.
Walk every hour: This did not happen very often. But it is incredible how much better I feel when I do!
Have Dinner ready by 5:30: Most days I was able to make this happen!
This month I am hoping to Focus on what matters and be Faithful to what's right in front of me. I feel like this is really what I've been learning this year but just in greater and greater degrees. Trusting in the Lord to provide business and new clients and be faithful to the couple's he has given me to serve!
Memorize Session Evolution: I have decided to change the way that I've been running my session. I want to create meaningful memories and capture candid playful moments of couples being their natural selves. BUT one of the core values of my business is consistency so I've been crafting a way to have both! Now that I have figured out how this will look practically I need to memorize it so I don't forget anything!
Outreach: This is one of my new goals now that I am focusing all my attention on wedding photography. I have many sub-goals of how this will practically pan out but generally, it is a goal to get my name out there more so that I can connect with more couples and (hopefully) have the privilege of serving them on their wedding day.
Polishing Booking Process and Welcome Package: Another one of my newly focused goals is to make the best possible experience for my clients! And I am just starting at the beginning of the experience and reviewing and fine tuning each section.
Run three miles and do three pull-ups (consistently): I can do both of these things right now (well maybe not the pull-up) but I want push myself this month and get to the point where I could do this every day. I have an overall summer goal of being able to run 6 miles and do 8 pull-ups easily and have broken it down into smaller attainable goals!
Summer-ize home: This is my faaaavorite thing to do each season! I switch out our mug display, hand towels, cloth napkins, candles and even soaps seasonally. It is my way of embracing the season in a place that doesn't really have them. I didn't really do it this spring and definitely missed it.
Opening Ceremony: This is an idea I got from one of my favorite podcasts, The Lazy Genius Podcast. Opening and closing ceremonies for seasons or holidays help you feel like the time is passing and gives you closure to move on. It can be super simple and basically anything. Kyle and I decided that our opening ceremony would be to go the Shake Shack in Crystal Cove to get burgers and shake and watch the sunset the weekend he gets done with school (he is a high school teacher).
Go for a hike: I want to spend more time outside this summer and hoping that having this on my todo list will help me prioritize it more.
Go to the beach: Like an actual beach day not just walk along the trail. A summer doesn't really feel like summer to me unless there are lots of beach days.
Connect with family: Voxer has been doing wonders, but I am leaving this goal on here because I don't think it is quite a habit yet.
Exercise Five Days: I almost don't need to have this as a goal anymore but it is still good for me to have the reminder!
One Social Media Free Day: I have sort of been doing this and I always love it! Sometimes I will even do a phone free day. The amount of wonderful freedom I have from not having my phone with me and just being completely present where I am is just insane. Lara Casey the creator of the Power Sheets, recommended setting this as a summer goal and I decided it would be good for me to intentionally cultivate this habit.
Tend on Tuesday: Look over my goals for the month to make sure I am on track and adjust as needed.
Personal email: Still trying to make this happen. hahah!
Cook with seasonal fruits and veggies: For us this will look like having our snack fruit or veggies be a season one like nectarines or artichoke, including more salads and smoothies, and of course to make popsicles!
1 Hour Outside: I have been able to do this every day so far and it has been wonderful! It is far less difficult than I thought! Ways I am getting outside more is by: Exercising outside (running, surfing, etc), checking emails on the porch, walking or reading outside on my lunch, eating dinner in the side yard and tending to my garden even if it doesn't need to be watered.
Learn Italian (and Japanese): I am upping the anti and setting more tangible goals. By the end of summer, I want to really understand Italian grammar and be able to comfortably talk in past tense. I am also learning some very basic Japanese because we will be spending a week there this summer!
10,000 steps per day: this was an easy habit for me back in the fall but I have just fallen out of it. So it is back on the list! And I have done it every day so far!
End work on time: I've just been so bad about it this spring. Now that Kyle will be home this summer I want to be intentional about this so I can spend quality time with him not that he will be home so much more!
No Insta outside of work: I know that I am on Instagram far less than a lot of people but it is because I know how negatively it can affect me. I so quickly feel inadequate and down on myself if I am on the app longer than normal or even just as I start or end my day.
There you have it! All of my goals for this month!
What is a goal you want to cultivate this summer?
What goals are you trying to implement this month?
I'd love to know so leave a comment below!