We each do it every year saying the same thing. "This year it will be different, I'm going to actually complete my resolutions!" We may make it and complete a couple but, very rarely do we have the stamina and discipline to keep going until the list is done. Going into 2014 you're going to see a lot of resolution idea lists for photographers and that's fine for most, but you're going to be different. You're going to be better, because you will not be focusing on the number of images you take in any capacity. It's time to shift the focus to something meaningful.
Don't resolve to take more, or less images in 2014
Don't focus on the number at all. Ok sure, if you only took one photo in 2013 then maybe you can aim for two in the coming year. However, for most of us photographers we already take plenty of frames for work and recreation. It isn't truly necessary to take more (or less), especially not without a purpose.
Let's trash that resolution idea and come up with something that could actually make a difference. Because honestly, the number of images you're taking has never really been the issue. Think hard about where your work is actually weak. What can you do to raise the bar for yourself? Maybe you could try to get more comfortable with strobes. Maybe you need to work in natural light more. What about mastering a focal length that you don't normally use? Could you play with gels more?
There are plenty of options out there, and with some thought you will find the right ones for yourself. My point is this...
Striving to take a different amount of images next year is ok, but it misses the mark. Instead we should be looking at where we are weak and striving to improve at least one of those points. Arbitrarily resolving to take more or less (but better) photos doesn't really do much without the right focus. Even if I took 100,000 more images in the coming year my improvement would be miniscule when compared with just one week of focused work in one lagging area.
What about those of you that are so busy that there's no time for personal work? Don't say "I'm going to shoot more personal work in 2014." That's going to fail. Give yourself a specific assignment. Come up with a series for yourself to finish within the year and make that happen. If one isn't enough, assign two or three.
Goals don't work when they're arbitrary. We have to be specific. Make your resolutions something you can actually track beyond just a number of images taken. Break your weaknesses down into measurable steps on the path to one goal. You want to be a better photographer? It's not the number of images you take that's causing the problem. Forget the image count this year and focus on turning one weakness into a strength.