So what’s this all about? Is this going to be a post about New Year’s Resolutions? Yes and no. It’s a bit more about the culmination of the efforts of the past year and a few new policies and procedures. We always try to learn from our mistakes as well as our successes and we have hit a major corner here at Aurora Photography and it’s time for some more big changes to keep things running smoothly and try to balance things so I have a bit more time for my personal life. Believe it or not, being in this business is very expensive. It’s not a get rich quick kinda business. I work 60 plus hours most weeks (chained to my computer for much of that) and for little more than people get paid to flip burgers at your local fast food joint. How do I go about fixing that?
First thing is to set some boundaries for my family time: business will ONLY be done within business hours. No exceptions. Any communications after 5p.m. and will not be answered before the start of business the following day because from now on even if I see your message, I’m going to go ahead and ignore it! That’s right I’m going turn off my “on duty” sign and actually immerse myself in my family and personal life after 5pm. In fact I will no longer entertain conversations about work at all on Facebook. It’s a fantastic tool for exposure but our ability to do business through it is less then optimal. The BEST way to reach us is to submit an inquiry through ShootQ by using the link here or any of the contact tabs on the blog, website, or even the Facebook page. From now on if you message us through Facebook you will get a copy-and-paste reply reminding you to contact us via e-mail or ShootQ and while you can always call us, you will find we are now making appointments to take phone calls in order to be more productive and reaching us via e-mail should be your first line of contact for the fastest results!
This is just the first step and just a rough outline of what is to come. I love you all dearly I really do but, after six years of steady growth the business is eating me alive and after a great deal of thought and a lot of time spent pulling my hair out I’ve come to the conclusion that if I take better care of me, I’ll be better at what I do for you too!
So far so good! First day at it and I cleared a to do list for the first time in… well, we probably don’t really wanna know when the last time I actually made and completed a reasonable to do list in a single day. I got things done that were purely to BETTER THE BUSINESS, rather than just getting client work done. I ate breakfast, did 30 minutes of yoga, drank enough water, folded two loads of laundry, cooked a healthy dinner, cleaned up my office, assisted the kids with homework, gave them both showers, brushed hair, clipped their nails, AND read them a chapter from Narnia. The only thing left on my list for today is to work on a weekly schedule which I plan to do in front of the TV with my husband right after I have a nice soak in the tub. THIS is what a full day should be like: FULL of family, full of progress, and full of the things I love! I took the last couple of days and did NOTHING AT ALL work related and I realized: I’m not doing anyone any favors by working myself crazy. It is time for BALANCE!
In the spirit of helping others: here’s some great tips to help you keep your New Year’s Resolutions this year.
1. Start with a positive outlook but be realistic about the things that may cause you to stumble or revert and make a plan for the deviations in your path.
2. Focus on progress rather than just setting the END GOAL. Set smaller goals for attaining progress toward the ultimate goal; milestones that you can achieve in a more reasonable amount of time. Small victories keep us motivated.
3. Set up opportunities for success in “if then” statements. Many of us aspire to become more active or shed a few pounds in the new year; how about things like IF there is an opportunity to take the stairs, THEN I will choose the stairs or IF there is a vegetable served, THEN I will eat it first and my starch last. Try not to attach these to specific times of day as getting off schedule can then thwart your ability to reach your goal for the day.
4. Don’t just break the bad habits, replace them with good ones. Often times replacing one activity or vice with something else makes it easier to bear. For years, smokers have quit with candy or bubble gum, so lets apply the same strategy with snacking. Instead of not snacking, how about replacing your snacks with a healthier one?
5. Practice makes perfect. Repeat, repeat, repeat!! Some studies suggest it takes up to 60 days to make a new behavior a habit: how’s that for a first goal? Do it in 30 day increments. When you make it to the second marker, it should start to become easier!
Here’s to a new year and time to go out and play in the snow with my children!