First things first--so many of you have been asking and I've been SO slow about processing these, but it's finally time--It's the Renewals! And I'll be posting the blog with all the awesome photos from the shebang later this week--stay tuned!
Now. It's Monday. And there is nothing better than starting off the week with a plan. I absolutely LOVE a to-do list. I often joke that I am paralyzed without one (and it must be handwritten, hard copy--an online list will simply not do--sorry Google Tasks! So, what better to welcome in this cool, crisp Fall week than with a nice little goal setting? Broken into personal and business. Cause that's how I do. Happy Monday!
1) Swim 2 times/week: I recently joined the West Michigan Master Swimmers in Grand Rapids and I am SO excited about this! The group is mostly older swimmers (like me!) who might be training for a triathlon, swimming to stay in shape or just looking to meet others. I went for the first time a couple weeks ago and now I'm totally obsessed. We swim for 60 minutes at a time and Coach Mike gives us different workouts to do--I've met some great people already and can't wait to swim again!
2) Quit drinking alcohol for at least 2 weeks: Don't get me wrong, I'm not a lush or anything, so this isn't like a huge sacrifice, but I really enjoy how I feel when I quit drinking for periods of time. Massive amounts of energy, I sleep really well, I lose weight, my running improves, etc. So on September 1 I stopped drinking and don't plan to start again until at least September 15...maybe longer!
3) Start some serious training for the Sleeping Bear Half Marathon and Grand Rapids Half Marathon: I just need to train. Sometimes I get lazy and think to myself "Ohhh, I don't need to train because I run these all the time." That is not true. I need to train.
4) Go to the eye doctor: Yes. I need new contacts. Like for real.
5) Body surf the heck out of Lake Michigan before it turns to ice: Is there any better stress reliever than body surfing? Just came in from the Lake a few minutes ago-it was icy and cold, but in our wetsuits it hardly mattered at all. Ian brought the board out, but I just enjoyed the body surfing for about an hour. Can you imagine anything better? Nope, me either....The only thing that might be is....
6) Visit the rope swing at least 5 times a week: A rope swing. Walking distance from my house. In the woods. With a sand dune as a base. It does not get any better than this, people. We found the rope swing a couple weeks ago after our neighbors urged us to check it out and it was absolutely amazing.
7) Spend lots of time with my adorable niece and nephew: They are beyond the bestest. And kids are only this age once (insert huge cliche, I know, but it's true!).
8) Make homemade soft pretzels: Yum. Peter Reinhardt's bread book--do you have it? If not, I implore you to check it out. It's the best and it has a hugely helpful approach to making breads. Pretzels are actually on the docket for this evening, as soon as this blog post is done!
9) Read Pride and Prejudice: I am the worst English major/English teacher ever. i've only read one Jane Austen novel, Northanger Abbey, and I read it under duress for a terrible class at Northwestern last Fall. So I vow to read Pride and Prejudice this Fall. As soon as I finish the new Stephen King book.
10) Spend time in the new hammock: We just installed a new hammock right off the porch in Grand Haven and it is the absolute cat's pajamas. It hangs between two trees overlooking the woods and I could lose myself for hours out there. Taking time for myself as I learn how to work for myself is really important, so I am vowing to read in the hammock for at least 15 minutes a day until it gets too darn cold.
1) Catch up on blog submissions: I am so slow about this, but I have 3 weddings in the queue to send out to publications and I need to do this soon! Publishing to blogs helps keep me current and get my name out there, so the more, the better!
2) Get my branding organized: Not only just talking about a redesign of logos, but also thinking about changing up my business name and focus. Ian and I have a few ideas for some side projects we are rolling around and hope to be ready to get going on all that after we return in April.
3) Plan the Pop Ups, book the Pop Ups, own the Pop Ups: I am STOKED about the Pop Ups. I KNOW that there are fabulous couples out there who would totally rock a Pop Up Wedding Chapel like nobody's business. Now it's just a matter of getting the word out and getting these suckers booked. Then sewing curtains, making bunting, getting the whole style ready to roll out in October!
4) Start to have a better handle on my finances: This sounds huge, I'm sure. But honestly, if it weren't for Sarah and Nancy, I would be drowning right as quarterly taxes are coming due. And so while I love saying, "Oooh, I just make the pretty, they do the money," I know that isn't a responsible way to run a business. So making time to figure out money, equipment costs, profits, losses and all those other important words seems...well...important.
5) Get Sarah more involved in the creative side of the business: She is so frickin fabulous, there is absolutely NO reason this girl shouldn't be writing blogs, helping style shoots, and generally lending her creativity and swagger to this business--no need to bury her in the numbers and pragmatic stuff--get the girl some creative love!
6) Shoot 25 weddings for 2014: I'm already seeing lots of bookings for 2014, so I really hope this is attainable!
7) Set my prices, stick to them and not undersell myself: I hope this doesn't sound greedy, but I really want to make sure I am being cognizant about not underselling my work I do, especially now that this is my full-time job. Sometimes I get so swayed by a great wedding vision or love story that I find myself cutting my prices way too much. I need to stick to my guns and charge what I believe I'm worth.
8) Get the video made for the EAP site: Getting closer and closer to making this a reality, I just need to prioritize it!
9) Create some epic images for each wedding I shoot: Basically, in my mind, this means to use that 35mm lens more and get the BIG picture into focus as I shoot. I tend to be such a close up, tight, in your face photographer, which works really well because Ian is the opposite, but I need to train myself to back.the.heck.up.
10) Find a couple more advertising venues: I love my my Practical Wedding and would like to find another community that will help get me out there. So far coming up with nothing nearly as cool as APW, but I'll keep looking. Suggestions? Let me know!!