One of the best steps you can take for yourself and your photography business is setting goals. Being intentional about setting time aside to write out all of your goals can be one of the most powerful business strategies for the upcoming year. Not only does goal-setting help to solidify where you’d like to see yourself and your photography in the future, it also helps to create a clear-cut business plan for the year ahead. If you’re feeling lost or aimless within your photography business, you may want to give goal-setting a try.
When I say the term “goal-setting” I’m not talking about general goals that are vague or goals that are probably unattainable. I’m talking about goals that are realistic and specific. The best way to create good goals is to set aside time to do a “brain dump” of all goals that you’d like to see come to fruition—not just within your professional life, but within your personal life and with your photography.
When we think of goals, particularly around the new year, we probably think of resolutions. We’ve all likely made resolutions to ourselves, and often times, we don’t stick to those resolutions. A big reason why people have such a hard time sticking to a resolution is that often times the resolution is not well thought-out. There is no meaningful “why” behind the resolution, and there was no intention behind brainstorming a path to fulfilling the resolution. When I say “goal-setting” I don’t want you to think of “resolutions.” The two are different (or at least they should be different), and the key to sticking to your goals is how intentional you’re willing to be about making a plan to see them fulfilled.
How To Set Great Goals
When creating goals something important to consider is what your ultimate end-goal is for your photography or business. We all get into photography for different reasons. We should always have an end-goal in mind, aka our giant “why” behind what we’re doing that helps guide and drive us. Our yearly goal lists should ultimately align with whatever our main “why” is behind what we do. If you haven’t taken time to discover your “why” in photography and/or business, I highly recommend starting with that discovery before writing out your upcoming goals.
I mentioned earlier that a good method for discovering meaningful and specific goals is setting aside some time to “brain dump” ideas for upcoming goals. I’d recommend writing down any goal that comes to mind, whether short-term or long-term, financial or creative, or professional versus personal goals. Write down everything that comes to mind, then start whittling down your list until you have a clear, concise, obtainable list full of meaningful goals that will drive you toward your ultimate “why.”
Your goal list should be long because you want your goals to be specific. A good goal list will have many long-term goals as well as short-term goals. Goals that you know you can achieve within the next day, week, month, and year. Having both long-term and short-term goals will help to give yourself a good roadmap as to what your business strategy will be for the next year. Keep in mind that no goal is too small so long as it aligns with where you’d ultimately like to see yourself in the future with your photography and business.
Not only is intentional goal-setting a good business practice, it’s also a great motivational tool. Once the year comes to an end, you’re able to revisit your goals to see how much you’ve achieved. Often times we don’t give ourselves enough credit for the progress we’ve made throughout the year. When you’re able to look back at your list of goals from the beginning of the year, often you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how much you’ve achieved. Do yourself a favor and start the upcoming year off right with a list of goals. You might be surprised by how much more focused you’ll feel afterward, and how much you’ll achieve when the year is done.
What are some goals you’d like to achieve in the next year? Let us know in the comments.
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