Today is the first day of 2010. Not only is it the beginning of a new year, its the beginning of a new decade. I have always loved New Year's Day and all that it represents. I like the idea of a fresh start. Its a time to put all the mistakes you made over the last year behind you and resolve to do better and try harder this time around. My cousin said to me the other day that this year she will be 2000 and thin. Say it out loud. Yep, very clever. A new year fills people with hope that they can make a change for the better. Really, if it weren't for a calendar, this would be just like any other day. But, because it is the first day in a 365 day cycle it is seen as a beginning. It feels like a new beginning to me.
I made a lot of major changes in 2009. None of which were actual resolutions of mine. In fact, I only remember one of my resolutions from 2009. It was to get back in shape, and I did. I started running every day and I lost 20 lbs. I feel like 2009 was the year I started my life over. It was a long, rough year for me in so many ways. I burned a lot of bridges, I revisited a lot of old ones, and I built a lot of new ones. I finally got the courage to change the things in my life that were making me unhappy. I started working on my photography full time. I began this 365 project. I moved, again. But it was an important move because it brought me home. I've spent more time with my family in the last 7 months than I have in the last 8 years total since I moved away. There is nothing like going home again to recharge you, ground you, remind you who you are and that there are people in the world who will always love you and take care of you no matter what. My family has proven that to me time and time again. They are my rock and I am so grateful for them and all the support they give me.
I'm starting 2010 feeling stronger. I'm starting out on the right foot with goals, dreams, direction, and hope. Real, genuine hope for a happy, fulfilled future. For once, I feel like I'm headed in the right direction. There is a positive momentum happening in my life and everything just keeps falling into place, piece by piece. I'm working harder than I ever have and I'm happier than I have ever been. In fact, I don't even think happy is a big enough word to describe how I feel these days. I just feel really good about where I am right now and that is a refreshing, welcome change.
I have a long list of resolutions. Some of them are small changes, some of them are just goals that I want to accomplish, and some of them are really going to be a challenge. I'm going to list them, because I want you all to help keep me in check this year. I'm sure I'm leaving some things out, but I put a lot of time into this list. I really thought hard about what I could do better, where I should devote more time and energy, what will make me happier and more fulfilled, what is in my life that is holding me back?
- Figure out what I'm going to do with this 365 Project when I'm finished. Should I publish it? Offer the prints for sale? Submit it to a gallery? Nothing? I'm just not sure where I'm going with it yet.
- Find a new project to start when my 365 project is finished in October. I'm really enjoying this project and I'm going to be sad when its over. I need a new project to transition into.
- Enter at least one photography contest a month or as many as I can afford. I hear about photography contests all the time and I never enter or I can't afford to. This year I want to enter.
- Start selling my fine art prints/gifts wholesale. I feel like this is the next step. I love my Etsy shop and I won't stop selling retail, but I want my business to grow.
- Expand my portrait business to include much more music photography: promo shots, album covers, live performance shots, etc. I LOVE music and I want to incorporate it into my life in as many ways as I can. This will make me very happy.
- Submit my work to galleries, local coffee houses, business, salons, basically anywhere that is willing to hang it. I would love to have my work hanging in a public place.
- Take business classes offered through the SBA. There is always room for improvement. I want my photography business to succeed and thrive. This is what I want to do for the rest of my life and I want to learn everything I can to make that happen.
- Get health insurance. I have no health insurance and that is a scary thing.
- Attend trade shows/craft shows and sell my prints/gifts. I think this will be a great direction for my fine art business to go. I'll get to travel a little, meet new people, and present my photography to entirely new audience. It will be a huge change to have people looking at my prints in person instead of just selling them through the internet.
- Introduce new product lines in my Etsy shop. I have a lot of new ideas for this year. I'm not going to let those secrets out just yet, but I think its going to be really great!
- Be more persistent about promoting my photography. I do a lot to promote my business, but I'm not doing everything I can. I want to focus more on marketing.
- Find a charity or non-profit that I believe in and start volunteering. This is something that I have wanted to do for a long time. Now is the time to start giving back.
- Give blood more often. I used to give blood all the time and for some reason I stopped. I think I just got busy, which is a lame excuse. Its an important thing to do and I need to stop making excuses.
- Start exercising regularly again. I'm really thinking about taking up Yoga too. I feel so much better over all when I'm working out regularly. I think more clearly, I sleep better, and I have more energy. The end of 2009 was so crazy with all the traveling and everything. I got out of my routine and I need to get it back.
- Cook my meals at home and stop taking the easy way out...no more drive thru. Its hard to cook for just one or two people so I just grab fast food rather than take the time to cook. Its expensive, its bad for my health, its bad for my weight, and I don't even really like it. I need to stop eating it so much.
- Create a budget and actually stick to it...or close to it. I am terrible about not keeping track of my money. I don't really spend a lot, but I don't keep track of where its going either. I want to start saving a little money this year.
- See more concerts and attend at least one major festival. I love live music and I wasn't able to afford to attend many concerts in 2009. I hear there are going to be a lot of awesome bands on tour this year and I'm determined to go to more shows. I'm putting it in my budget.
- Start meditating. I need something to center me and calm me down. There are so many benefits to meditation. I need something that will help me stay focused and bring down my stress level. Plus, it just feels good to breath deeply.
- Read MANY more books. I have a list of books I want to read and a list of subjects I'm interested in learning more about. I just need to set aside a little time in my day to sit down and read. I love it and I haven't been doing enough of it lately.
- Not drink as much. Don't get me wrong, I definitely benefit from the occasional jack and coke, margarita, or glass of wine. Lately I feel like drinking is nothing more than a huge waste of my time, energy, and money. I'm cutting back.
- Take a real vacation somewhere other than Texas. I love Texas, and I will be on Crystal Beach this summer, but I want to go somewhere I've never been before.
- Spend more time outside. I sit at this computer most of the day. I want to get out in the sunshine more, even if its just for a quick walk.
Happy new beginning everyone!