It’s 2017. We’ve started a new year, turned over a new leaf and shed our 2016 skin. As I mentioned in my New Year’s post, it’s a wonderful time for us all to sit down and take a moment to look at the great things we’ve achieved during those 12 months. For a lot of people and places, 2016 wasn’t the best year, but rather than dwell on the tragedy and sadness we’ve endured, best just keep your chin up and keep smiling…well that’s my idea anyway. Scrolling though my favourite blogs and catching up with posts, I’ve seen quite a few New Year’s resolutions entries of late and thought to myself what a wonderful thing it was to share. I usually just jot them down in my journal, but decided that writing and sharing a post would give me something lovely to look back on next December.
As we all know, life is a series of choices and events. Sometimes you make the right choices and sometimes events take place at exactly the right time…but sometimes they don’t. I’m personally a great believer in trying to learn something from every obstacle placed in your way. Rather than thinking about what you did wrong or why things didn’t go as planned, I try to think about what I learned from the situation, in order to become a bigger and better person. As I have grown as a photographer, I’ve worked on turning challenging situations around into something positive, something I can learn from. And so, without further ado, and following on from what I’ve learnt this year, here are my New Year’s resolutions for 2017:
I always have these grand ideas in my mind, but sometimes forget how important and vital planning is. I am certain I could achieve more if I focused on some organisation beforehand, which would make my shoots and concepts more streamlined. Sourcing props, scouting locations and many other elements are things that are easily ignored when you look at a photograph. The planning and effort that goes in before the final shot can make all the difference and is something I want to keep in mind for my projects this year.
Learn to say “No”
This one will be a tough one for me. I’m a people pleaser and wish I could help everyone, whether personally or professionally, all the time. Sometimes, however, I find myself in sticky situations where I have bitten off far more than I can chew, running around like a headless chicken. To manage my time better, I need to simply assess opportunities before jumping in and agreeing, from small things like a dinner out, or to bigger elements such as a new project you’ve been asked to undertake. You cannot do everything, and instead of spreading yourself thin, I want to focus on fewer things and do them well.
Be on time
Sadly, being on time has never been my forté. I don’t know, I just always assume things will take less time than they do (particularly public transport in London). I was so mad at myself a few times last year for being late and am making it a big priority for this year. Getting places early means less stress and more fun. I do have to say that in London, where time is precious, we all try to cram in as much as we can into our day, but regardless of my hectic city life, this is an area I can definitely improve on.
The last thing I was doing at night for most of 2016 was looking at my phone. I’m sure I’m not the only one who is also a culprit, but it’s something I want to stop. The final thing I would like to be doing before I go to sleep is reading a book or article. I’m a little impatient with picking reading books and often get so overwhelmed in bookshops with all the choice, so often prefer someone would just recommend me a title (or shove a good book in my hands!). I suppose I should ask around friends and family for good recommendations – or even put it out on social media, I’m sure I’ll get some fabulous suggestions!
Wake up earlier
I’m a night owl. I’m always in trouble for going to bed late, as it means I wake up in the morning with the most limited time to get ready before I start my day (hence why I end up being late etc etc!) So, I’m going to do my best to get to bed earlier and in turn, wake up with enough time to start my day right….which brings me onto my next point:
Start the day with a healthy breakfast
Due to the fact that I usually don’t leave myself enough time in the morning to get ready, I end up rushing out the house without a proper breakfast. What happens then is, well you guessed it, a coffee and a croissant to go. Not only is this unkind to my waistline, it also gives me an unhealthy and flustered start to my day. I just never know what to eat in the morning, and for some reason am really picky when it’s 7:30am… I’m sure a lot of people are to be honest! If I could I would eat just a croissant every morning, which isn’t the biggest tragedy in the world, but I think I can do better…. suggestions welcome!
Yes, another part of my hectic self is my tidiness. I am putting it all down to the fact that I have a crazy, creative mind.. haha no excuses!! I moved into a new apartment this year and have worked really hard to decorate it and make it feel homely, so now it’s time to be stricter on my organising skills. Tidy house, tidy mind. Let’s do this!
Work vs Relax
This is an obvious one. I need to leave my phone and computer tucked away when it’s time to shut off for the evening. When your home is your office, it’s easy to keep working until you need toothpicks to hold your eyelids open, LOL! Instead, I need to set myself clear boundaries to be able to switch off properly. One thing I do which really annoys me is watching a movie with my laptop on my knee. This new level of multi-tasking means we can’t enjoy just doing one thing at a time. Dividing your work space and relax space is so important, so when I’m done for the day, I’m locking my laptop away!