2018 | A Year of Simplifying

January 24, 2018

I have a thing for new beginnings. I love the new year, and all the promise it holds. New months usually mark changing weather, new work challenges and the next holiday. Honestly, I even love Mondays (gasp), because it signals a new week! And I am one of those annoying morning people, because I think there isn’t much better than the promise of a new day. We are several weeks into 2018, and I’m still feeling the goodness and excitement of the new year! I thought I would share a little of how things have changed for MRP in 2018, and how I am staying organized.

2017 was rough, if I’m honest. My business grew far quicker than I anticipated, and I just wasn’t ready for it! By the end of November I was at the end of my rope, and really questioning whether or not I wanted to keep doing this thing. That whole work/life balance thing was just not happening, and the people I love most were getting my leftovers. I was tired, feeling sick more days than I felt well, and my creativity was at an all time low. Then my grandma passed away in December. She was incredibly special to me, and losing her started a lot of introspection. All of this led me to choose my word for 2018: SIMPLIFY.

SIMPLIFY: To make mental and physical space for what matters most.

I had been doing a lot of good things, but all those good things were shoving out the best things. So I got out my goal planner and started making plans on how to change this! All of my goals centered around simplifying to make room for the things that matter most.

(If you have never worked through a goal planner, I can’t recommend Lara Casey’s Powersheets enough! The whole system is meant to help you uncover what matters most, and it’s been a key in helping me live with more intention.)

It would take a dozen blog posts to get into all the ways I am simplifying. From practical things like cleaning closets and organizing my office, to spending less time on social media, and more time in my Bible and good books, I am trying to be far more intentional about spending my time on what matters most. Instead of getting into the weeds, I’ll just highlight a few of the ways I’m applying simplicity to my business:

  1. Scheduling online | Most family sessions and all mini sessions are available to be scheduled online now! This streamlines the process, and will hopefully be easier for me and my clients. (If you are interested in a Spring full session or mini session, click here!)
  2. Scheduling at specific locations on specific days | I’ll be setting up at some of my favorite locations, and then scheduling 2-3 families at that spot on a specific day. This enables me to cut down on driving, and also allows me to serve more families in one day without extra travel time! And it helps clients not have to worry about choosing a spot for their photos. (This doesn’t mean I won’t go to a different location if a client has a place that’s special to them, or wants to do their session at home. I do have several Spring dates available for those types of sessions as well!)
  3. More mini sessions! | I absolutely love mini sessions. They are a great way to get updated photos in a short amount of time. And they allow me to see 6-8 families on one day! I used to offer one mini session date per season, but I will be offering a minimum of 2 mini session dates per season. In the fall I will probably do 4 seperate dates.

It may seem like I’m doing more in 2018, but actually all of these things will cut down on time spent in front of my computer, and on the road, while still allowing me to serve more clients!

I know I’m only a few weeks into 2018, but I’m so proud to say, I’ve used my planner daily, cooked dinners for my family almost every weeknight, and have stuck to my work and cleaning schedule fairly closely! (All goals I set for 2018 in order to simplify our lives.) If you’re seeking more simplicity and organization, check out some of my favorite tools:

  1. Simplified Planner – I believe these are sold out for now, but go check out the amazing products Emily Ley offers. I have never been great about using a paper planner, but this one is truly SIMPLIFIED! I love sitting down on Sundays to get the week in order, plan meals and get organized for what’s to come.
  2. Plan to Eat – I just don’t love to cook. I wish I did, but it always feels like an interruption to me. That said, it makes it a million times easier when I have things planned out and organized. Plan to Eat is such an incredibly easy way to do just that. Import recipes, slide them onto a calendar, and print your grocery list. So, so simple!
  3. Lifeflow Lists– Amanda Hedgepeth offers all sorts of great lists from packing for vacation to simplifying your home. But my favorite is the lifeflow list. I customized this to fit what I need to do on a daily basis, and it works WONDERS. This is the reason my plants stay watered, my dishwasher gets emptied before noon every day, and I don’t forget to put the laundry in the dryer. Seriously a game changer. I used to carry this crazy mental load all day long, but having these daily tasks on a simple list allows me to have brain space for what matters most!

 

If you’re feeling like 2018 hasn’t started the way you hoped, it’s not too late! Start small, give yourself grace and shoot for progress, not perfection! Make room for the important things in life, and decide to live on purpose. And if you have any questions about any of the systems I mentioned, feel free to reach out! I’m happy to share how these things have made a difference in my life.

Wishing you all a 2018 full of what matters most!

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