my wins and losses in 2018 photographers coach create a clear business strategy and set your goals

December 2018, what a nice moment to reflect on the year that has passed by in (what to me felt like) just a few seconds. Time flies when you’re having fun, right?

Goal List

What I love to do each Xmas break is making a list of my top ten business and personal goals. Stuff I dream about, subjects that resonate with me and just overall ideas or visions I want to put paper, because as it turns out, once you visualize your dreams and put them in writing (and read them over and over during the year) they can come true! It’s kinda like the Universe can hear you and your dreams and materializes them for you. You just have to be crystal clear on what it is that you exactly want.

List Review

What can also be very useful beside making a list, is reviewing your list during the year and at the end of the each year. What points on your list have come true? Which ones still need work from your side? Have your actions during the year been focussed towards reaching or building up to those goals? Or did you get distracted and didn’t reach any goal at all or not as much as you would’ve liked to?

100% Increase in Turnover

One of my first business goals was a big one. And it was the goal to double my business turnover and yes, that has happened! Not that this increase in turnover came out of thin air, no I carefully planned out my budget and my year. So I knew my targets and what to do when. Creating a year plan and a budget strategy is the tool I NEED to make a progress. If I know my numbers, I know where I need to go. I followed my plan and it paid off. Hence a 100% increase in income. How awesome is this!? It makes me feel great! I say: check! 

Personal Health

In the personal field I also took on a bit of a “project”: I wanted to get back my energy and my health. I’ve been working and running around for years, but this year I’d had enough. I was tired and overweight and things had to change. I weighed 234 lbs (106 kg) and desperately needed to get back in shape! My goal was to walk 7,000 steps a day. I started out in January, but really “stepped” it up in April by increasing my daily steps to 10,000 steps. Once I lost some weight, I bought myself a new pair of running shoes and got back in my running routine. The result by now? I have now lost 46 lbs (21 kg) and I am well on my way to my old and fit self. Check!

Marketing Plan

Another point on my goal list was to engage in public speaking and meeting international influencers to create a bit of a buzz around my coaching business and to train myself in public speaking. I really love being on a stage and helping other people. And I love meeting mentors to brainstorm and work with. So I put public speaking gigs on my to do list. And I wrote down a list of names of people I wanted to meet up with and/or work for. Well that went exactly as I wrote down and I was asked to do a presentation on a seminar for photographers recently. That workshop on Finances for Creatives got great feedback and certainly fueled my desire for more public speaking. And I will be doing a guest training for one of my own AMAZING international business coach shortly. More news on that soon. How amazing is this! Let me say: Check!

Books

A quite big target that I set out for myself was to read 52 books this year. But I failed, miserably! I got to read about 20 books. Not nearly half the number I set out to read, but at least that is something, right? You know the reason I failed at my reading list? I spent many hours walking, running, being outdoors, listening to podcasts and music. These podcasts also inspired me, but they were not books. And truth be told, I fell into the Netflix trap. Oh boy, there were so many nice series and documentaries on Netflix this year. Yup, they ate up quite some of my reading time. This goal is a big Fail!

Online coaching program

Another target I didn’t make: launching my online coaching program for photographers who need help relaunching/revamping/streamlining their business. Why? I was too busy with my other business: my photography studio. Business there was booming and I only have 20 hours a week to work (I’m at home with the kids the rest of the week), so one can only do so much. Not that I’m complaining, because I’ve done so many wonderful and lovely photoshoots this year, but I would have loved to launch my online program sooner. Right now the program starts in January (for those interested, here’s the link: Studio Sessions – The Online Group Program), because developing a program that really resonated with me and my beliefs as an entrepreneur and a coach just took up more time than I thought. I’m only human, right? So, fail? Not really in my opinion. I just didn’t have as much hours in a week as I would have liked. And I still followed through on my business plan, so I give myself an applause for this one. I just learned to go with flow and accept that a day only has 24 hours for each and every one of us.

Travels

This one’s easy: check! I love to travel and discover the world. Traveling is my ultimate passtime. I really wanted to visit Denmark and Legoland with my family and we did. We went on a short road trip in camper and had the time of our lives. We visited Billund, went on a crazy swimming trip (with  miles and miles of water slides! yes!) and we visited Legoland and the Lego House and it was great fun! The kids cried when we had to leave for home again, because they wanted (I quote) “to live there”.

Next holiday destination on my list was Italy and Switzerland. We spent our Summer around the Lake Garda and it was an absolute dream. What a beautiful country and amazing weather! I truly fell in love with the place and being outdoors all the time. We visited Venice by boat, we went tree climbing, we ate Italian ice cream, and of course: handmade pizza. The whole region was a delight for me as a vegan and for my son who is gluten intolerant. The second part of the trip was spent in Switzerland where we went hiking in the mountains around the Vierwaldstättersee, and took the world’s steepest cable train, the Stoosbahn, All in all the perfect holiday. We spent our summer in ultimate chill mode. Check!

Book Writing

This one is not a “check” nor a “fail”. I’m in the process of writing two books. Both of them are not nearly as far as I’d hoped, but I’ve started and they are taking shape, so hat’s off for me?! I will continue writing in the new year and finish at least one of them. I’ve learned that I can’t have too much projects going on all at once. What will help me is saying no more to several of my brainwave ideas and plans and just pick out the main one to focus on.

Sleep and morning routine

This might sound kind of like a bummer, but for me it was a game changer: 7-8 hours of sleep each night and rising early to start my day in a routine that would enhance my focus. I have practically turned my entire evening routine and morning routine around. (Did they even exist I now wonder?) Well I just go to bed earlier, write in my gratitude journal and sleep for at least 7 hours, preferably 8. Then I rise early (I love to rise around 5.30AM) and do some meditation and breathing exercises, some tai chi and I do an hour of deep work. I set my intentions for the day and then I shower and get dressed and start the morning routine with my family. You know, breakfast, prepping lunch boxes and getting the kids to school. At 9PM my working day starts. Creating this routine has really improved my overall health and ability to focus. Halleluja! I say: check!

What have I learned?

I learned that in my mind stuff gets done waaaay quicker. And that never corresponds with reality. I learned that I still say yes too much and that I need to say no more. I learned that each step counts and that I can create new habits like running 3 times a week no matter what the weather conditions are and no matter how little I feel like going. I just go, and that has made all the difference health-wise and mentally as well as I feel really proud.

I learned that planning helps, but being consistent is key. Need to work on that one more. I also learned that my best business ideas come when I’m relaxing, outdoors or just doing nothing. I learned that I’m a morning person. And finally I learned to let go. Just when stuff doesn’t work out, it’s okay to quit and move on. And if I didn’t make all the targets on my calendar? That’s okay too. As long as I move in the right direction each day and don’t stop evolving, learning, educating myself, and work my way towards my big business dreams and personal life goals.

Then there were some personal and business points that I wrote down that I would like to keep to myself. But, these were goals that have been set in motion, I dare say. And I firmly believe that they’ve only started to happen because I wrote them down. I read them out loud and I will adapt my list for 2019, but these remaining points are still a work in progress. Progress is better than the point I was at in december of 2018, so I say to my goal list: check! Onto 2019!!! I can’t wait to see what my new list will turn out to be.

Please share and comment

So, now that I’ve shared my wins and losses, I want to hear from you! What are your business goals and personal goals? I would love hear about your wins and losses. What have your learned from? What were your biggest mistakes? What are you proud of? What were your personal or business victories you would love to share about? I really am looking forward to your comments! And tell me if you make a goal list!

xo Yvonne

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