February was a month full of high and low points. It was very strange trying to navigate both ends of the spectrum at once but was good in the end and a great learning experience. Once of the main things I learned is that I need to hope for the best but plan for the worst.
I got to learn this lesson in the context of business finances.*cringe* I am going to be very honest with you and it is a little - okay a lot - scary.
I didn't book a single wedding this month and I wasn't prepared for it.
I sort of forgot about the off season (some how...) and didn't put money aside just in case this happened. I did book some smaller shoots. And neither my business nor my personal life is in jeopardy (thank you Dave Ramsey for the emergency fund).
However, it was a biiiiiig blow to my pride. One giant blow to my competence as a business owner.
But instead of allowing this to make me crumble with despair (though there were many tears) I ate my slice of humble pie and asked my math teacher husband if he would help me develop a financial plan that would prevent this from happening again.
It was hard, but I am grateful to have learned this lesson.
And now onto how I did with my goals the past month!
- New Service: It is about ready for the launch next week! There are only a couple of to-dos left and I am thrilled!
- Valentine's Day Mini Sessions: Turned out to be a bit of a bust and wasn't as popular as I thought they would be. Which I think has more to do with people not being familiar with them. However, I do think this is a service that can serve others and so I am going to still offer them twice a year (November and February).
- Read: I was suppose to read Entreleadership but I decided to take the time to review what I learned in courses I took this past year instead!
- Marketing Systems: A little bit of progress was made in this area but to be honest it got pushed to the back burner so that I could focus on getting my new service ready!
- Tend to the Garden: I transferred my cosmos and sweet peas outside this month and they are doing more or less okay. It has been strangely cold the last couple of weeks so one of the Cosmo sprouts died. And my Sweet Peas got trampled by racoons so some of the stems were broken. Both are still doing okay over all which I am happy about!
- Connect with Friends: It was SO fun to connect intentionally with friends this month. Most of it looked liked just reaching out via text but it's the little bits of time that keep people connected. I've decided that I would rather have a shorter facetime sesh every couple of weeks rather than a 4 hour coffee date every 6 months (or longer).
- Adventuring: So many adventures! We are like crazy people. But don't worry we make it to bed by 9:30pm at the LATEST. Hahah Most of our adventures have involved going to Italian meet ups to practice our italian skills or going on a new hike! But just these little adventures have been SO lifegiving!
- Personal To-do: I am happy to report that I was able to get to these! Or at least some of them. It is hard to get out of my work mindset but it is so worth it!
- Cultivate Connection with Kyle: Lots of little connections and so grateful to keep this as an intention.
- Call my Mom + Sister: I diiiiiid see my mom and sister this month . . . but didn't call them every week like I wanted. This is still a goal next month and hoping to make progress!
- Check personal email: I checked my email every week! Wooo hoo! Not much else to say about that!
- Draw: Yeahhhhh nope. Didn't make this a priority. Oh well!
- Garden: I love gardening!!!! This really doesn't need to be a weekly goal because would do it whether it was a goal or not.
- Bookend: I still love doing this but I often found myself skipping the afternoon chunk of time. This made me realized that I needed to extend my work hours a bit. I was feeling strained trying to get everything done. So now I have adjusted my work hours and now work 30 minutes later! It is a much better fit and I am happy with this change!
- Learn Italian: I am pumped that I spent time learning every day. Sometimes it was only 5 minutes with an app I love called drops but every once in a while I would get my work book out and study for 30 minutes. Most days it was around the 10 minute mark and I hope to spend more time using my work book next month. However, this is a big deal for me and I don't want to pass it over with out acknowledging it! Woo hoo!
- Focused Devotional Time: Most days were super focused and lifegiving! Yay! What has helped a ton is that kyle and I started getting up 5-10 minutes earlier and it makes the biggest difference!
- Instagram once per day: This was a total fail - and I felt the repercussions of it - scatterbrain like no other, time wasted, and lots of self doubt. But I recently had an epiphany about comparison that has given me so much freedom!
You see, comparison and I are old friends. Except using the term friend is too nice of a word to describe our toxic-one-sided relationship that always leads me into a self destructive downward spiral.
I couldn't ever get out of the cycle because I wasn't treating the real issue.
My lack of faith. As I walked out of church I realized that my unhealthy comparison was not just a bad habit but an indication that I am not trusting in the Lord's plan for my life. It is by his grace and strength that I am sustained, not by my own.
But before now had I never looked up from my screen long enough to see the bigger picture and realize where my heart had gone astray. Up until this point I had only been treating the symptoms but now that I got to the heart of the issue I have SO much freedom!
Because I do trust in the Lord. And with this epiphany I can live in a fuller realization of that truth. My worth and purpose in life are not in my job and sure as heck are not in how I size up to others on Instagram.
What a beautiful truth that is! Praise the Lord!
- Walk + Sun: This was also sort of a fail. I kind of blame it on the cold weather - I would just curl up on the couch with a book and read - but I know it wasn't just that. Reading is a great way to spend my lunch but I really need that time outside. It so influences my mental space and thought life!
I hope march will be full of hope and confidence. But not just in myself. My word for the month is surrender. And instead of trustingg in myself I will trust in what the Lord is doing in my life. He is so faithful and I know that his way is the best way.
So if He's got it all taken care of, what do I do?
Merely to faithfully serve and love those who he has brought my way whether that is in work or just in normal life.
- Launch New Service: It is launching March 8th and I couldn't be more excited about it!
- Update Print Shop: The shop has been open for almost a year now but it needs some polishing. Over my sabbatical I decided the new direction I am going to take it and I am excited to have time to take care of it!
- Polish Bridal Guide: I am passionate about serving and blessing my clients and one of the ways I do that is through education! The CNP Bridal Guide is an ebook I send my brides upon booking with everything they need to know so they can have the best possible photographic experience! I have tweaked the way I do things and I need to make those updates in the Bridal Guide!
- Build Second Shooter Team: I have a handful of second shooters that I source from for my weddings but I want to build and train a team. This way I don't just have good photographers but ones I can trust with out a doubt because they have been intentionally trained in the CNP way of shooting.
- Tend to Garden: This has moved from a weekly to a monthly goal. In March I hope to:
- Plant Zinnia sprouts outside
- Plant Dahlias
- Sow Black-eyed Suzens
- Get Helleborus
- Adventure with Kyle: Quality time together making memories and having fun is SO important! And naturally is on the list again!
- Check Personal Email: It is important and still not a habit yet so it is on the list!
- Call Family: Hoping to actually do this! Maybe I need to set a specific day . . .
- Be Intentional with friends: With text, phone calls, and quick chats!
- Be Active 5 days: This is on the list because I have be slacking a little bit with exercising time. Mainly because I have often gotten on Instagram fright after my devo time and then missed my exercise window!
- Learn (Retake Courses + Read Entreleadership): My learning time is on Fridays but it has been sacrificed so that I could finish other projects and take care of bookkeeping things like taxes. Ew.
- Personal To Do: The things I want to get done this month are: Finish painting kitchen table, Organize the linen closet, donate the things we don't need!
- Tuesday Tendings: This is something that Cultivate What Matters recommends. It basically is an assigned time to tend to your Power Sheets and goals once a week to make sure you are on track. I think this will be a helpful thing to implement!
- Bookend: Hoping to actually do both 30 minute chunks!
- Walking: I am sad that I need this reminder but I do! It will be good to reinforce this habit aka force myself to do the things that I know are good for me but don't want to do.
- Tidy Studio: I work SOOOOO much better in a tidy space and getting in the habit of picking up every day will be good for me so that I can just get right to work and not be distracted!
- Study Italian: At least 5 minutes but I hope to spend about 20 minutes!
- Drink Water: I have gotten out of this habit and want to re-establish this too!
There you go! I hope this was helpful and inspiring for you!