Kelly Tarleton's portrait

Welcome to my blog! I am a Houston portrait and wedding photographer,
and I also custom design wedding and special event stationery.
This is where I share photos of my latest portrait sessions, design assignments,
and personal projects. Take a look around to see what I've been up to and
be sure to let me know what you think. I love comments!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Focus in 2010: Slow and steady wins the race

I'm a planner. I make lists. And I set goals. I make lists of goals. And I set goals to make lists. An unfortunate outcome of all of this planning and goal setting is unrealistic expectations. As a planner, I should be well aware that things, any things, take time to complete. Usually more time than I allot in any given schedule. I want it all done RIGHT now. This leads to setting myself up for failure.

I've set off setting my 2010 goals for this reason. I fear that I will expect too much of myself. I fear this, because I did it to myself last year. You see, I am a bit of a conundrum. I am a planner and also a procrastinator. One of my favorite phrases is "One day, I want to _________." Lots of things have filled the blank, such as organize my closet, or own my own photography business. So I did it last year. I officially "started" my photography business. How I qualified the start date, I'm not exactly sure. But I registered my DBA, got a sales tax number and received payment for my photography. Sure, I "started" but the months following I overwhelmed myself feeling that I had an inadequate Web site, inadequate equipment, and inadequate confidence in my abilities. Anything I felt I lacked, I deemed "a 2010 initiative" thinking that by 2010 I'd have a better grip on things.

So it's 2010, do I have a better grip? Heck no! But after a quick review of 2009, I've decided that a better grip on my business isn't necessarily what I need. What I need is a better grip on my life. "Build your business to fit your life, don't make your life fit your business" is a sound bite I took home from a photography business workshop I attended last year, and while I wrote it down and circled it 20 times in my notes, I haven't taken it completely to heart. Thinking things can happen RIGHT now if I only stay up late this one night, or agree to this one shoot on a weekend that's not really good for me, or fill in the blank with some other sacrifice isn't going to make it happen any quicker.

All this is to say, that with a little help from Itty Biz's article How to Make Unstupid Goals I have made a list of realistic goals, that I actually want to get done this year, that will not kill my social life or burn me out miles before the finish line. After all, what good is my multi-year plan if I expect to get it done in one year?

2010 Goals
  • Redesign my Web site
  • Take more personal photos! (I made this one after realizing how many personal photos I did not take in 2009. When did this happen?)
  • Complete more personal projects (such as my Australia photo album, Kim's wedding album, updating my photo walls at home and work, etc.)
  • Develop my business brand (this goes along with the redesign of the Web site and includes one of my favorite things: packaging!)
Of course, I do need to include some not-so-fun goals that I still want to accomplish this year:
  • Start on my business plan (you like that? I said start, not finish, leading to something I can successfully do!)
  • Create manageable and consistent workflows for shooting, client management, bookkeeping, etc.
And that's it! Well, not exactly, but these are the umbrella goals. Accomplishing anything else will be gravy. And I need to remind myself of this on a very regular basis!

The photo below is from the 2010 Chevron Houston Marathon on January 17. A friend of mine from my office ran it, and I snapped this while we waited for her at the 23rd mile in front of our office building. Laura has been such an inspiration to me through all of her training over the past several months; and for accomplishing her goal, however long it took her. And this runner is an inspiration to me for a totally different reason: If we can't enjoy ourselves in the race of life, what's the point in running it?


Anonymous January 30, 2010 at 10:19 AM  

So funny, I think I got a picture of this same dude a few years ago. Creepy, I'll have to send you the picture so we can see.

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About Kelly Tarleton

I've always been a creative person, and the one who always had a camera on-hand at a moment's notice for any occasion. Photography and graphic design dominated my life in school and I loved every minute of it. I miss that constant creative outlet and want to share more of it with my family and friends through this blog.See more of my work at my website:

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