My New Year's Resolutions: 5 Habits to Improve My Business

We're almost 2 weeks into 2016, and I'm already late in posting this year's first blog entry.  But that's alright — no need to sweat the small stuff.  ;)

My first full year of business was nothing short of challenging.  I've learned so many lessons through trial and error, and I'm looking towards 2016 with as much enthusiasm and drive as I did last year.

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There are a couple of things I'm looking to change.  Various habits that have been rather detrimental to my business and my well-being.  Admittedly, some of these changes might not happen right away.  I'm more than likely going to fall off from some of my resolutions from time to time, but, seriously: that's okay.  Some people tend to have the notion that if you break a resolution, then that's it: you're done.  Uhm, no!  Continue striving to stick to that resolution!  Just because you have a Coke but resolved to quit drinking soda, does not mean you give up and keep drinking soda until 2017 comes around.  That's silly.  Just keep trying to avoid soda!  But I digress....

Here's my list of resolutions for 2016 :)

1 | Get healthy again.

Health isn't about looking good.  It's about treating your body properly so you can perform everyday tasks to the best of your ability.  And I haven't been healthy.

Eating well and working out will help improve my mood.  I'll feel less sluggish, think more clearly, sleep better, etc.  And guess what - THAT'S GREAT FOR BUSINESS.  Not to mention, getting those gainz will help me carry all my photography equipment with ease.  No joke.  I once rented a 70-200mm f/2.8 (3 lb lens, attached to a 2 lb camera) and the next day my forearms were sore from holding it up.  Uhm, WHAT.  That's no excuse.

Plus, getting back to my cardio routine (Side note: have I mentioned that I've run a half-marathon before?  Yes.  This potato has done that.) will help me chase around all these energetic children I'm now photographing.  Gotta step it up!

How I'm starting:  I'm making sure I'm drinking more water (and only drinking water, tea, or black coffee) and I also signed up for a yoga challenge at a local yoga studio here in Southern Maryland.  Yoga has been AMAZING, especially because it's an excuse to turn OFF my phone for 60-90 minutes. 

2 | Unplug from Sunday to Monday.

To say I've been overwhelmed with social media is the understatement of the year.  Between replying to clients, marketing, networking, and researching/learning from other creatives, I end up spending so much time on my phone or computer that I just hate it.

How I'm starting:  I'm not going to do anything business related for all of Sunday and Monday.  No checking, no replying (unless it's something urgent from a current client, obviously).  Those will be my days off where I will be "out of the office."  I will use this time spending more time with my beloved pup and friends — being fully focused on them.  Business can resume on Tuesday.  ;)

3 | Post more consistently on social media.

I mentioned this at my first Tuesdays Together meeting I attended tonight.  I kind of made resolution #2 to work in conjunction with this one.  Have 2 days off completely forget about my business will hopefully keep me from feeling so burned out, and I can have a more prominent social media presence.

How I'm starting: I'm definitely going to try and get these blogs posted weekly.  Hopefully every Wednesday.  I'll make sure I create content in batches so I can go ahead and schedule them to be posted ahead of time.  Because let's be real — things happen.  I work 30+ hours a week with an inconsistent schedule (working mostly nights), have a pup, and have a car that likes to break down.  If I honestly don't schedule my posts ahead of time, they're not going to be posted.  Not at a decent hour at least.  I just don't have the time to be on the computer when I need to be.

4 | Stop comparing my work to other photographers.

This is a hard one, but so absolutely necessary for my mental health.  Just because someone else is booking more clients or producing "better" photos than I am, does not make me worthless.  Because the harsh truth is that there will ALWAYS be photographers who are better than I am.  But their talent does not mean the absence of mine.  And that's what I need to remember.  

A photographer may be getting bookings left and right, someone will choose mespecifically(!), to photograph them because they love my style best.  It may not happen often, but it HAS happened.

How I'm starting:  I will remind myself of how far I've come, and focus more on my personal growth and talent.  Focusing on how well others are doing will not help me grow any faster — if anything, it hinders me/

5 | Focus on other creative outlets.

Generally, if someone is good/has a passion for one creative outlet, chances are, they're just artsy in general.  That's absolutely true in my case at least.  Growing up, I LOVED colouring/drawing/painting.  And while photography is my #1 passion, it is not the only creative thing I like to do!  Branching out and learning new things is a great way to stay creative, because after a while, it's certainly easy to become complacent or reach a creative road block.  And that's frustrating.  Learning new crafts keeps your creative juices flowing and opens you up to new inspirations.

How I'm starting: at the end of last year, I started getting into modern calligraphy.  It's definitely a fun challenge that I'm still currently working on.  I'm hoping to start a weekly post where I'll pick my favourite quote for the week and make my attempt at writing it out.  ;)  I also want to get into making videos this year!  But we'll see about that one.

So there it is!  I'll do my best to stick with them.  & if I don't, I'll figure out why.  Either I'm just making excuses, or these resolutions were necessarily attainable (to which, I would find a way to modify it.)

What are some of your resolutions for this year?

Chantell Rae

Chantell Cruz Photography, 518 Jimbay Drive, Orange Park, FL, 32073, United States

Chantell Cruz is a fine art wedding & lifestyle photographer, dedicated in creating authentic & timeless photos for the romantic at heart. Her work emulates the soft & classic look of film.