2016 Goals Revisited
Am I the only one who feels like the new year should start when the flowers start blooming? That’s when I feel like the refresh button has been hit! 2016 was a big year around here. It was full of fantastic weddings and portrait sessions, and most notably, I gave birth to my 2nd child in August, a happy baby boy named Ben. Before I get into my 2017 goals, I will revisit my goals for the past year and the progress I made on each one.
This is one of my favorite pictures from 2016 of my dad’s 76th birthday back in May. He has Alzheimer’s, so I really cherish my time with him.
1. Continue improving work/life balance. SUCCESS!
I started using 17hats, a studio management tool to help streamline my work flow to run my business more efficiently and consistently. I got it all set up before the baby came in August, and it’s been an incredible time saver.
2. Business rebrand.
I got a new logo, new website, and updated my portfolio. A whole year has gone by and now I need to update my website and portfolio again.
3. Continue improving health.
One of my goals was to get back into running and weight lifting, but I found out the next month after I set that goal that I was expecting a baby, so that didn’t happen! HA Oh well, instead I created a healthy human being and had another relatively easy pregnancy and my 2nd natural unmedicated birth. I’ll call that a win! Read Ben’s birth story here. I walked most days to stay fit, though I didn’t go to the gym more than a handful of times during my pregnancy. Another goal was to go completely dairy-free, which I did do for several months, and I felt great. I went dairy free for the first part of my pregnancy and then the craving for cheese overtook me half way through, which I was ok with. I have mostly cut dairy again since the baby was born. I wanted to have an earlier bed time, and I did pretty good on this one until the baby arrived, which totally disrupted my schedule of course, and I often find myself staying up a lot later than I should just to get some work or relaxation time when the kids are asleep. I did a really good job of eating super healthy, nutrient-dense meals this year, so overall 2016 was a success in the health department.
4. Encourage and support my husband.
My husband started a new business last year, Carolina Malt House. It’s been an exciting adventure and tons and tons of hard work and long hours. We both run our own businesses and we have a 7 month old and a 3 year old, so it’s hard making time for each other. It definitely takes effort, even though we really enjoy spending time together. Adding a second baby to the family made this goal harder than the others! We definitely made some good steps. We are both the kind of people who never get bored because we are always working on something, so scheduling time to relax and check in with each other is really important.
5. More face time, less phone time.
I wanted to get together with friends and family more and spend less time on social media. I have been making more time for friends, which has been wonderful. I am definitely energized by spending time with people I enjoy. I still spend way too much time on facebook. Working on it!
6. Cultivate other hobbies and interests.
-Learn to use my sewing machine. FAIL! One day……….. soon………… hopefully.
-Plant a spring garden. SUCCESS! Heidi and I had so much fun buying pots and planting seeds, but we didn’t spend much time watering the plants, and by the time things were producing, I had a baby, so the garden totally went on the back burner. Still, we got some delicious lettuce and a few hardy tomatoes! Better than nothing!
-Go on more hikes and adventures. Making progress. We went on some fun adventures on our vacation to Hawaii in Jan/Feb. Such a beautiful place! We didn’t go any many hikes or adventures otherwise, but I had a baby. I think that definitely counts as a huge adventure, even though it’s mostly indoors the first few months.
7. Get Heidi potty-trained and transition her to a big girl bed.
We tried to get Heidi used to her toddler bed before the baby arrived with no luck. We ended up putting her back in the crib and moved her to a big bed after the baby was born, and it was a piece of cake. She just wasn’t ready the first time, and I’m glad I didn’t force it and tried again later. Potty training has had many ups and downs, but she’s doing amazing right now. She’s still in diapers at night, but is showing some signs of readiness to be out of diapers completely.
8. Consistently write in my journal.
TOTAL FAIL. I probably wrote in it only two or three times.
9. Organize the house and clean out the junk room.
We cleaned out the junk room and moved it all into another room. haha BUT! We did get the bedroom cleared out for Heidi, we moved our bedroom across the hall, and we started renovating a bathroom. We got stuff done for sure, but we still need to go through all the junk and either store it in the basement, give it away or sell it.
I’m really happy with how 2016 went. Having a 2nd baby definitely mixed things up, but it was an easier transition this time around since I already had a good nanny and a streamlined work flow. I felt like I did pretty well with the working mom balancing act. I enjoy my family and I enjoy my work, and I’ve got a good balanced situation figured out that allows me to be in the moment and be fully present whether I’m being a photographer or being a mom. I’m sure everyone does it differently, but for me, I need to have dedicated work time with no distractions and I need to be “off” work so I can just focus on my family. My office assistant and nanny were invaluable!
I have found that in the first year of having a baby, it’s important to cut myself some slack and to embrace the unscheduled reality that is caring for a very young child. Routines are very important, and it’s also imperative to just roll with things in order to enjoy the small moments or they slip right on by. I’m fortunate to have childcare help so I can get lots of work done when I have the opportunity. I also want to relax and be in the moment with my family and just take this year in. Because of that, my goals are going to be less concrete and more open-ended for 2017.
I think it’s so important to always do my best and be content, but sometimes I get a bit fixated on my to do list and feel overwhelmed with all that is still left, regardless of how many things I’m able to check off. This year, I am going to focus on releasing the anxiety and just being gracious and happy with the current situation and let go of purposeless stress and unease. I’m going to focus on the good and be thankful. Most people that know me would say I’m a pretty optimistic and cheerful person, so this goal might seem kind of silly, but I don’t think a positive attitude and happiness is just a given, static thing. You have to work for it. I love this quote by Elizabeth Gilbert:
“Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.”
This year I’m going to focus on nourishing what matters. This includes things like:
-Grow my little ones with healthy, nutrient-dense foods and breastfeeding Ben. My goal is to make it to around 2 years. Focusing on what matters… chubby baby legs. : )
It’s the little things… Enjoying baby toes today. 👣💛 #babyfeet #babytoes #chub #chubbylegs #thighsfordays #fatbaby A post shared by Jenny Tenney Goss (@jennytenneyphotography) on
-Go on more adventures with the kids.
-Pour my time into my relationships with my kids, husband, family and friends. My parents are getting teady to downsize and move, and I’ll be helping them as much as I can. I have a few friends going through big life changes, and I want to spend time supporting them however I can as well.
-Nourish my body and soul- more time in nature, taking photos for fun, gardening, exercise, preparing good food, sleep, etc. I’d like to learn to can vegetables, read more books, listen to more podcasts, and print my personal photos.
“Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become a reality.” -Earl Nightingale
I am going to avoid distractions and adopt a more minimalist lifestyle. The idea behind it is to reduce distractions and useless material objects in your life to make time and space for what is truly important and worth your time. I’ll be reducing clutter and taking time to organize my home and work space. I LOVED The Minimalists documentary and podcast. I’m going to cut back on screen time, especially around bed time. I’ve never been much of a tv watcher and haven’t had cable since I moved out of my parents’ house to go to college. However, Facebook is my weakness, and I’d rather spend my time elsewhere, like cuddling with my kids and husband.
“Material clutter is a physical manifestation of what’s going on inside us.”- Joshua Fields
I want to create art and focus on what inspires me. My sewing machine has been sitting unused for a few years, and it is time to learn to use it to create something beautiful. Cross stitching is also beckoning to me. Heck, I might even bust out my old paintbrushes and create some art! Luckily, my 3 year old daughter has been all about crafts lately, so we’ve been doing some fun little projects together.
“Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.” -Golda Meir
The artist at work in her studio. #littleartist #artist #cardboardbox #cardboardboxfun A post shared by Jenny Tenney Goss (@jennytenneyphotography) on
That pretty much sums it up! Wishing you all a bright and beautiful 2017!