New Year, New Goals: My 2019 Focus | Friday Chatter

Photo by my sweet friend Savannah Smith Photography |

Happy Friday, friends! We have made it to the end of the first FULL week of the New Year! I hope your year is off to a great start! I took last week slow, but hit the ground RUNNING on Monday. Anyone else? Things are in full swing up in here, and I am about to head out to Delaware to photograph my very first wedding of 2019! (I can’t wait!).

I am one of those people that, as much as I don’t love the idea of setting a New Years Resolution, I can’t help but set goals for the year ahead. It really is important to do self check-ins and goal re-evaluations every now and then. The beginning of the year is a really great time to do that because, chances are, there are many resources available to help you!

I do want to encourage you a bit though by saying that: if you aren’t setting any ground breaking goals right now, that’s okay! If you are feeling overwhelmed with what you have on your plate and want to reevaluate goal setting in the future, that’s okay too! The beginning of the year is not the ONLY time to set goals or to start making progress on what you want. SO, now that we’ve had that talk, please take what I share with you today lightly and let the feelings of comparison or guilt go. Truthfully, I am sharing these goals with you today as a way to hold myself accountable! (and because I know some of you are curious and have asked me about this year’s focus!) When I look at the list on paper, it is really daunting. Really daunting, but I love a good challenge!

I shared this on Instagram earlier in the week, but my 2019 year (or I should say phrase) is: Live with Intention. From my thoughts to my actions to the time spent within and outside of my business, to the foods I choose to put in my body and the exercises I choose to teach in class, from the goals that I am setting and the money I am spending, I want 2019 to be a year spent making intentional moves to help move me towards a life I am proud to live. Most of my goals have evolved from this theme, so I guess we’re off to a good start!

Content production:

  • Blog Changes: Wedding Wednesdays and Friday Chatter
    • This is an exciting change that I have been dying to make for a while now! I have quite a few audiences that follow me, and it is so important to me that I am sharing content that serves everyone well! So… I am putting a little more focus on producing specific blog posts. Wednesday’s posts will be geared towards the clients and brides that follow me, and Friday Chatter will be geared more towards photographers and personal posts! I am hoping to put out a post each Wednesday and Friday during off season and will be reevaluating my schedule come busy season!
    • I am also being really intentional about what will be posted on these days! The blog is one of my FAVORITE places on the Internet, and I want to make sure that you are excited about it too! I’ve been sourcing feedback from followers, clients and those closest to me, but if there is anything that you would like to see here, feel free to leave a comment or send me an email!
    • I also have some really fun plans for Friday Chatter that I am hoping to implement sometime later in the year or sometime in 2020! I did lots of video at my old job and have been dreaming of adding a similar element into my Friday Chatter posts! Stay tuned (in a few months!) for details!

Business & Finances:

  • Taking control of and understanding the scary financial things
    • I’m sure my fellow photogs understand this one… when it comes to business, things can feel really scary. And, if you are in DC, chances are, you know that the government does NOT make things easy to understand. I know when something feels scary and hard, I tend to run screaming. BUT, this year, I’m shifting my focus, I’m doing my research, and I am taking control of all the things that scared me before. Sure, I have an accountant doing most of this for me, but I do want to understand things too! Numbers are SO vital when it comes to strategic planning and for creating a healthy and sustainable business. This is the year that I face all of that head on!
  • Implement a monthly duty day
    • This was an idea that I got at the Katelyn James workshop and from so many other creatives! You know those not-so fun to-dos that you have to do to be a functioning adult? Think: pay bills, rent and taxes, sync up on schedules, reconcile books, etc.? I’ve decided to batch these on one day each month to ensure that everything happens on time and that I’m not stressing about it when I should be thinking of other things. I’m working on my monthly duty day list right now! Maybe I’ll share it with you sometime in the future!
  • Business Education
    • I am diving into two amazing and really fun business education courses this year! The first is the Katelyn James Business Journey which has been SO powerful in the very first month! The second is Amy Nothard’s Be Your Own CFO! I’m excited to see how these two courses work together to help me understand my business’s purpose and numbers on a deeper level!

CKP Experience:

  • Custom Album Design Process
    • This one has been on my to-do list for a minute, and for my past and current clients, I want you to know that YES!! I’m still working on this! It breaks my heart to think that a couple’s wedding photos could spend their years, living on a computer’s hard drive. Your photos deserve to be shared, and you deserve to celebrate such a sweet day! I so believe in printing your wedding images and will soon be offering custom albums to my wedding clients! (Both past and present!) Believe it or not, there is SO much that goes into producing custom designed albums. It is my priority that I am doing this right, right off the bat! I’m taking things slow as I design an intentional and easy system that makes ordering custom wedding album a breeze for both me and my couples!
  • Love my CKP Community Well
    • Is this a concrete goal? Nope. Is it something that is huge in my heart? You bet! From providing custom content, to blessing my couples on their wedding days, to loving well in my online bride community, I am going to spend so much of this year, evaluating how I can best love and serve the CKP community that I have built and am working to build!


  • Approach my fitness and nutrition from a place of self love and gratitude 
    • As a fitness instructor, I see so many people beat themselves up for not being perfect, and it breaks my heart. I see sighs of defeat as clients need to take a moment of recovery and hear comments about how they need to “work off” indulgences from the day or weekend before. And you know what? I have found myself doing the same exact thing. I have recently committed to taking fitness on from a place of self love and gratitude for all my body does for me. This hasn’t been an easy mental switch, but it has been so rewarding. Instead of beating myself up for not being able to take a set of pushups on my toes, I’ve switched my focus to having gratitude that I am healthy enough to be working out and that I have the ability to be there, in class. It makes a HUGE difference! When it comes to nutrition, I am going to be more intentional about purchasing and consuming foods that make me feel good and also make me happy! Sure, it would be great to completely eliminate sugar from my diet, but is that really realistic?!
  • Save (and study!) for a fitness certification
    • Let’s face it, certifications for almost anything are expensive, but fitness certifications seem to be really expensive! If you have never researched the numbers, spare yourself the heart rate boost and just trust me on this one. This year, I’m hoping to pinch enough pennies to finally obtain my GFI certification. For those of you wondering how I have been able to teach without a certification for close to five years now, I have over a year of specific group fitness training from my time at Penn State and completed an intense round of training when I joined the FlyFam!


  • Declutter my living space
    • I haven’t watched Tidying Up yet, but it is on my list! I have recently had the urge to clean out every single space in my apartment. Anyone else? I know that isn’t necessarily realistic, so I have decided to take on completely decluttering and revamping individual spaces of my apartment each month. This month’s focus is on my dresser! Next month, I’m taking on organizing my workspace/desk!
  • Practice my ASL more often
    • I feel like this is one of my goals each year that always slips to the back burner. I have always wanted to become fluent in American Sign Language and have been studying the language for some time! Even with that though, my knowledge is barely more than the basics! I’m hoping to dive deeper into practicing this year. Why? Just because it makes me happy! (Side note: anyone reading this happen to need a signing buddy?! I’d love someone to practice with!)
  • Spend time with the people I care about
    • This sounds slightly abstract, but hear me out. 2017 and 2018 were both years of hustle. I worked long hours and didn’t prioritize the people that I love. I did become somewhat of a hermit, and at times, it was so, so lonely. What can I say? I work from home… looking back, I do wish that I would have created some more intentional time to spend with the people that I care about, so this year, I am making that change. From carving out time on my calendar that will be reserved for holidays, to scheduling trips to visit home, to reaching out to my local friends and community about seeing each other off of screens, to visiting my grandparents, being mindful about my screen time and just reaching out to people more, this will be a huge focus of mine this year!

Phew… so there we have it! My current goals and focuses.That got long, fast! Is this everything I’ll be working on? Nope! Will this list change? Probably! But… that is the very beautiful thing about growth. You have the ability to guide your journey once you get started. CHEERS to an exciting year ahead! Have you set your goals yet? If so, I would love to hear what it is you’ll be working on! If you’re still searching for goal inspiration, let me know how I can support you!

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