Ok. I have to be honest with you all.
I am in no way ready for 2017. (And, oops, we are 5 days into 2017 already!)
Thankfully, as Lara Casey puts it, "There's nothing special about January 1st."
2017 brings excitement, as any new thing does. It is shiny and sparkly—full of gold balloons and noise poppers and bubbly champagne. But then the party ends. Friends bundle up and head into the dark morning. And you climb into your bed under extra blankets and wonder…what will this year be? 2017, for me, will be full of changes. What changes? Well, I'm not entirely sure at this point! Which is ok.
The learning curve in your 20's is steep, or so they tell me. So far, I've moved out of my parents' home, transferred from a local college to a state university, legally set up my photography business, graduated university, started a job in full time campus ministry, and turned 25. The past two years, specifically, have been truly growing. I've learned so much about who I am, how I'm wired, and ultimately…that I need to follow Jesus daily. Life after college is so different, and even though I'm still connected to college students for my job, my life is really in a different stage and thus, I have different needs. We are not made to live in college forever, wandering and wondering about our purpose.
2017 holds a lot of unknowns. My full time ministry commitment comes to an end late this spring, leaving summer open and full of questions. People and sharing life & Jesus with them has a huge part of my heart. I want to continue on that path, but I am unsure what that looks like. Will I stay in Ames? Will I use writing and media for mobilizing to the nations? Will I actually make it full time in photography? I don't know! That stresses me out, y'all. BUT, it is also a wonderful place to be. It's a place for dreaming. Asking questions. And praying for answers. So, with that, I have dreamed up some goals for this new year, both personal and business, and am sharing them with you today!
- Drink (and eat) healthier. I know it seems like everyone says this, but it's valid! I don't normally drink pop, but I want to replace it with sparkling or regular water, or milk if possible. Family history shows me that I neeeeed to make sure I'm getting enough calcium, even as an adult woman. So, milk it will be! Eating wise, I'm going to keep healthier snacks around the apartment (like carrots or green pepper slices.) Also, bonus! I'll be blogging some of my favorite healthy-but-cheap meals this year, so keep an eye out for that!
- Spend less. One of my favorites, Hannah B, fasted from shopping last January-March. I want to intentionally spend my dollars, and more importantly, my time. The most valuable thing we have is time! So, this month, shopping goes bye-bye. Groceries are fine, and maybe a new pair of running shoes (mine are at least 5 years old!) so that I can do goal 3…
- Exercise regularly. 3 times a week would be ideal! Our apartment complex includes a small gym, and with that a 3 minute walk away, I really don't have any excuses! Stationary bikes are my jam, so I hope to bike, run, and do abs a minimum of three times weekly this month…but hopefully the entire spring semester! (EDIT: I'm 2 for 2 this week so far! Sore, but worth it.)
- Be present (aka less social media). Social media plays a big part in both of my jobs. And I love it! Sometimes, it can hurt more than help. 2017 will be the year I start to cut back. I'm setting limits to how long I can browse Instagram and Facebook, which will allow me to be present with people around me, and grow in creativity. I'll also be logged out, except for specific times for work or fun breaks. Instead of Instagraming every waking moment, I want to adventure more, cook new things, read more books, try new art forms, listen to more live music, & hold more babies. [My words for the year? Pursue and Cultivate! Inspired by the desire to be present, to create, and to chase after what matters.]
- Live generously. Ann Voskamp's book One Thousand Gifts worked some things out in my heart. Not to mention, I read it when I was fundraising my full salary to come on ministry staff. It's been a hard and humbling two years, but also wonderful! And joy filled! I want to continue to grow in generosity—not just financially, but with my words, time, and giftings.
- Shoot more. I really want to grow this year in my style and technique! This means, say yes more. To lifestyle sessions, family photos, alll the seniors (if you know high school juniors who will need senior photos this year PLEASE shoot me a note!) and of course, engagement/weddings. Also, I've been wanting to explore the arena of styled sessions. This year might be that time
- Explore video. Videography has been a huge obsession of mine, but I've never seriously dedicated time to it. That changes now. (Literally, actually. This afternoon I will be heading off to shoot video. For fun!) If you want to see a few videos I've already created, check out my vimeo.
- Collaborate with other artists. I'm not sure what this looks like, honestly. I just want to do this. So, if you are a photographer or artist in Des Moines, Ames, Cedar Falls, or even someplace else…let's talk!
- Book 10 weddings, minimum. This is SO scary to put out there! But if one of my goals is to move towards being a full-time photographer, this needs to happen. So far, I've officially booked (contact signed & deposit down!) 3 weddings. Shoutout to all you newly engaged folks! I've still got spots available in May, June, July, August, September, and into the fall. ;)
- Second shoot. I'd love to second for other local photographers out there. Hit me up if you need an extra pair of hands to carry bags and snag alternate shots!
Whew! That's a lot. (And I'm sure I've forgotten to write up a few things here.) 2017 might just be my craziest, busiest, scariest year yet. However, I know that Jesus goes before me in all things and that He will provide all that I need. It may not be the way I expect, but it will make me more like Him, and ultimately, that's my biggest prayer for 2017. As I journaled last night, "Would you use this work to sanctify me, to make me more like you?" I have no doubt that, wherever this year goes, He will do that. :)
What are your goals and dreams for this year? I'd love to hear them!