The Writings

So, How Did You Do on Those New Year's Resolutions, Patrick?

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[UPDATE: Noe Todorovich posted something really interesting on her blog about setting goals along with an interesting infographic that touched on New Year's Resolutions that I felt tied in with this post very well. Check it out here: http://www.noetodorovich.com/blog/2013/1/21/the-importance-of-setting-goals.html]

At the end of last year, I stated that I hated doing New Year's resolutions, yet I did some anyway. Sure enough, throughout the year and as I accomplished more and more things, I continued to have the idea of my New Year's resolutions list in the back of my mind. Beyond the usual professional goals I set for myself, I really wanted to make the most out of 2012, before the world ended, of course. Did I achieve my goals? Let's take a look.

  1. X - Shoot Live Concert Photography Regularly - So close. So, so very close. I managed to shoot a few shows and even got to shoot the DC-based, extremely talented Mission South. However, the gigs just weren't frequent enough to consider it "regularly". Off to a bad start with this whole "resolutions" thing.

  2. √ - Regularly Post Video To The Blog - I'm going to consider this a win. After thinking about doing the video blog, I realized how much I hated my appearance in photos as is. Instead, I launched a highly successful podcast in its place, which has picked up sponsors like Stitcher Radio and garnered attention from listeners all around the world! So yes. I won this round. Booyah.

  3. √ - Transfer My Blog and Website Under One Roof - Done! I accomplished this back in February, and I gotta say, it looks pretty snazzy, doesn't it? I think it accomplishes everything I need - my portfolio, my podcast, my latest work, all neatly rolled into one flash-free site of awesome. Huzzah!

  4. √ - Stop The Car And Shoot - Oh yeah, I crushed this one. Initially, I made this resolution because I knew that deep down, I got easily frightened away from taking shots out in the street out of fear that I was being judged. Looking back on it now, I don't know why I cared what other people thought of me taking my camera out and snapping a photo. The end result always turned out fun, but having trips like #InstantDCtoNYC and all of my other excursions this year has helped me get comfortable with shooting bravely. I think it has also made me feel more confident about my shooting, in general, as I'm no longer afraid to go for the shot I want to achieve - whether it's at the Warrior Games amongst a flood of photographers or shooting in a controlled setting for a clothing line. Personally, I believe I benefited from setting this goal a lot more than I originally thought when making this resolution.

  5. √ - Attend a Photography Expo - I'm going to say this is another victory because, while I didn't go to an "expo" per se, I attended a few classes, such as Moshe Zusman's class, and purchased a few online courses to help invest in my photography business. I've learned so much and have been able to apply it to my own business and First Sight Imagery, which has seen tremendous rewards! ANOTHER mark in the win column, I say!

  6. √ - Force Myself to Regularly Schedule "Me Time" - You would NOT believe how hard this was to achieve! Being a busy body, it was pretty hard to just sit down. I started feeling extremely bad if I wasn't answering emails or fidgeting with some photo project for the sake of shooting, but at a certain point in the year, it really struck me that, "if businesses can keep regular business hours, why can't a photographer?" It's not to say that I didn't occasionally sneak in a few emails or calls on a Sunday [or holiday], but if I had established plans to be out with friends or family, I upheld those. Same with "me time"; I tried to avoid distractions and really enjoy a book, a movie, or a video game. It was... nice!

Results For The Year: 5/6 Completed! Not too shabby! Maybe my goals were a little modest, but aside from my usual business goals (that I surprisingly achieved, as well), these were the only personal goals I really sought out to accomplish. I didn't want to create anything outlandish, but I did want to think of things that would make me enjoy the year even more. I think that worked out just fine, a-thank you very much!

I guess I'm a New Year's Resoluter after all. Given the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed many things about 2012, I figure it's time to list off the third edition of my New Year's Resolutions. This time, I'm going to include a few more "professional goals" because, well, let's be honest: I like thinking about my business. So, here are a few targets and resolutions for the new year:

  1. Take the Staying In Focus Photography Podcast to the Next Level - I don't care how this gets done, but I want to really get word out there about my podcast. Bigger and better guests, traveling to other countries just to record a podcast session... hell, maybe do some live recordings in front of an audience? The sky's the limit! Either way, it's time to gain some listeners and make more, new photography friends!

  2. Create a Photography Project with My New Film Camera - That's right, bitches! After all that talk about wanting a film camera so I could better learn the ins and outs of my DSLR camera, I have in my possession a Canon AE-1! See! I'm a man of action! Anyway, I've got a couple of what I imagine will be fun films to use and I'm eager to try this sucker out! I'm going to need to try it out and learn, since EVERYTHING will be manual, but it should be a great journey and hopefully something creative comes out of this. Hopefully.

  3. Write Guest Blog Posts for Prominent Photography Publications - Sure, why not? I like writing (you couldn't tell that judging how often I update my blog with articles, not tales from shoots) and figure I should just get on that. It'll get my name out there, but more importantly, I feel like it will allow me the opportunity to positively contribute to the industry I love so much. Why not, right?

  4. Shoot A Band Portrait for One "New To Me" Band Every Two Months - I initially thought of doing one a month, but with the podcast and wedding season? Pfft! However, shooting bands would be pretty awesome, no? I was thinking about this when talking to my littlest brother (also a photographer in the making) about new music we've unearthed. It would give me a chance to meet new bands while living out one of my passions: getting involved in the music scene. Done and done!

  5. Be More Prompt - I am letting too many things fall through the cracks, and I've become increasingly forgetful as I've become increasingly busy. It's not an excuse, which is why I need to be better about responding to emails, leaving the house earlier than normal for appointments, etc. Just a personal goal to set.

  6. Work Out - Laugh all you want, but I am totally out of shape. Do you know how many times I was huffing and puffing during weddings this year?! Unacceptable! Gone are the days when I could eat terribly and still maintain some kind of physical fitness. I absolutely struggle waking up in the mornings, but given how many circumstances occur where an event is in the evening, my only chance is to wake up early and do something. This is going to hurt.

I'm sure I will be adding to this list, but at least I've got a start and something to shoot for. I have plenty of other professional goals, but they're fairly obvious (to me, anyway), so I'll keep them to myself. However, I don't mind being held accountable for these (especially the "working out" one... that is going to hurt), so I chose to list them. Let's see how I do!

2012 was a very interesting year, with plenty of ups and downs. There was plenty to be proud about with this year, but in typical Patrick fashion, I want to accomplish MORE! Hey, that's just how I'm wired. Though there were a lot of things that made 2012 memorable, I definitely want 2013 to be the best year to date! Hopefully, I can make that happen, but if I can't, then hopefully I can make it the second-best.

Here's to a new year, and may it be a prosperous year for us all!

Until next time,

- Patrick