January 2024 – Mindset Shifts & Mental Health Goals for this Business Owner

January 2024  – it’s flown by quickly, but it’s also been a fantastic month of wrapping up 2023 and planning some new great things for 2024! All thanks to restructuring how I approached the year energetically and trying some different goal-setting techniques last spring.

Last year, about this time, I felt rushed and like I was trying to keep up with a methodology that didn’t fit my schedule – everyone was setting goals for 2024 in December and having 2023 wrapped up. I was just completing my “fall” events with the Maple Leaf Finals at Agribition at the beginning of December. I barely found time to workout and eat properly, between getting photos processed for holiday deadlines, let alone doing business reviews and goal setting. 

It just didn’t work for me – some of the coworking groups I had previously been in talked of listening to the seasons for energy cues – the New Year by the seasonal clock happens in March – the time of new growth and rejuvenation. At the time, I thought that lines up way better with the start of the new rodeo and shooting season (here in Canada). So, after observing some of those energy cues for a while, in 2023/24, I decided to try re-arranging my perception and treating March as my New Year. All I have to say is I love it! And my “year” isn’t even done yet!

When I felt pressed for time to achieve my goals, thanks to marketing and social media themes, I reminded myself I wasn’t doing that and why I had chosen to; I always felt rushed and never really got to achieve what I wanted to. I was creating work, sure, but never to the level I thought I could be. I procrastinated because there was so much to get done, and I couldn’t figure out how to complete it – I would freeze. 

Now, I can breathe and work through things, knowing I still have plenty of time to tick things off. It’s incredible how it’s only a mindset shift and working with myself more, but how greatly something like it can truly impact us as humans. What has this mindset shift let me do in the last month? This January has been a full one, but an amazing one. 

Outside of my work projects of reviewing, planning and re-organizing my couple 100,000 plus images from the 2023 season, I have enjoyed some down days at home in Lacombe, doing projects like building floating shelves for my tea collection and finishing my workbench (Finally!) downstairs while also fitting in some reading, cooking and recharge time. It seems that when I’m not on the computer, lately, I am out at a curling club multiple days a week, either competing myself, having meetings for committees, or, for one weekend, photographing a U18 Curling Provincials – it has been very neat to use my skills and resources in these different areas and see how so many events genuinely have the same foundations.

On the work side, when I was on the computer in January, I could be found doing any of the following: pulling photos, answering messages, reviewing previous workflow processes, auditing information across the multiple software I use to run WI, doing software training that sat for a while or doing my bookkeeping. Sometimes, I use up to 3 computers simultaneously and run more extensive processes (moving photos, setting up software, or changing background data). On breaks from the computer, I have been reviewing what I achieved in 2023 and setting my goals for what I would like to achieve or do differently in 2024. Brainstorming new options/ideas and how I can achieve them when things get rolling again. Stay tuned for some fun new things!

With Mental Health an open discussion at the beginning of February, thanks to a few large company campaigns, I wanted to share this little insight for those upcoming photographers who may feel like they can’t find their feet, or that they are so far behind. Please don’t believe it’s always sunshine and roses. Many times, tasks get bumped for one reason or another. Make sure to take the time to keep yourself healthy in all the ways you can control – burning out and trying to catch up after is not a good route to go. 

This January, I have recharged, learned more lessons, and started to review everything correctly so I can move forward knowing what I want to do for the upcoming year. I’ll be diving into being creative in new and old ways and sharpening some skills I haven’t used as much over the last few years. In the meantime, I am looking forward to one more month of review and prep time before we dig in on a fresh event season and a fresh new time period of planning.

As I love reading, I am calling this the closing of the January chapter of 2024. What is your favourite way of saying a period of time is complete?

See you down the road,


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