I have never done this before but as writing this itself falls under one of my resolutions, I thought it would be a great idea to put this on paper and look back a year from now and see how I did.
One major goal for 2012 besides just getting off the sofa, is getting out of South Carolina and traveling a lot more. I have never had a lot of opportunities to travel, I always seem to be working and never taking many vacations. This year that is all going to change. I have a laundry list of places that I want to visit and I am going to begin this checking some of those places off my to-do-list. I will use this blog to chronicle those travels and post photos as I get around the world (You will see that incorporates well into other resolutions).
Where do I want to go? So that I have a way to measure my success at the end of the year, I want to list a couple places that I want to see in 2012. Top of my list is and has always been France. I feel after studying the language for nearly 12 years from kindergarden through college, I should at least go to the country and ask someone what time it is. That is about the only thing I remember. While in Europe I would like to make it to at least one other country, hopefully Italy. My next destination is San Francisco and the northern California wine country. I have yet to make it out to the West Coast and have that very high on my travel priority list for the upcoming year. My last city to measure my success by in 2012 is Boston. I have long wanted to visit this historic city and see some of our countries most notable landmarks.
First resolution of the year, Travel More!! And now I have created a list that I can judge my success by at the end of 2012.
Well just sitting here at the computer now putting this on “paper”, I am already well under way on this goal for the year. I want to set a goal for myself to add a minimum of three blog posts to this site every week. I have several other projects in the works that will most likely force me to be sitting in front of a computer and knocking out a lot more than that but I am going to put three posts a week right here. Hopefully my travels this year, my business, my love of technology and photography will provide me with the stories and experiences to share.
I think it will be awesome to look back years from now and reflect on the posts I have written on this page and have a snap shot of my experiences. I have discovered lately that time seems to be going by quickly and I can barely remember what I did last week, much less months ago.
I know this one just sounds kind of silly. This resolution ties very closely into my next one and I considered combining the two but I feel there are subtle differences that require them to be separate. I love to cook and I seem to have a habit of subscribing to every magazine that has anything to do with that hobby. In the last several months those magazines have just piled up on my desk and been neglected. Next to that stack of magazines is a stack of books that I always believe I am going to read because I want to learn new things, still gathering dust.
I strongly believe that for my writing to really improve, I need to be reading everyday. I look at thousands of photos to get inspiration on composition, lighting and subject matter. Why am I not doing the same thing with books and articles. It is very hard for me to set a concrete goal here, I am definitely not going to be one of these people who resolves to read two or three books a month because I know that is just unrealistic. But I am definitely going to get through my top priority books that have been gathering dust for months if not years now. Airplanes on my travels and sitting on the back deck at a vineyard in France would be good places to knock a few of these out.
Learn More? That seems like a no-brainer and it is. But if I have taken one thing out of 2011, I love gaining knowledge of new skills and information. I wish I always had this desire, it would have been very helpful in school. In 2011, thanks to some amazing online training tutorials, websites and podcasts, I have drastically improved many skills that have helped me build my business. I learned to write iPhone and iPad apps thanks to iTunes U, incredibly improved my skills with Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign as well as many other programs thanks to sites like Lynda.com and Video2Brain. The amount of information out there has blown me away. The reason I couldn’t incorporate learning more into reading is due to the vast resources available online for anyone who wants to gain more knowledge and skill.
I would recommend to everyone to challenge themselves and try to learn something totally new. I have always loved photography, it has been a hobby and I have shot tens of thousands of photos over the years as an enthusiast. Utilizing the internet I want to continue on all that I have learned in 2011 and take my photography to a new level. That will probably be a great segue into my next resolution.
For most of my friends this has a very different meaning, for me it means hearing that shutter fire. If the only way to get better at something is to practice, then there is no reason at all I am not grabbing my camera and shooting several times a week. This doesn’t necessarily mean I need to carry my 5D Mark ii around everyday, but at the very least I can pull out the amazing camera on the iPhone 4S and capture the world around me. The second part of this is getting these photos off the camera, out of Lightroom and out in to the world so the community can critique and help me improve my skill. I have thousands of photos sitting on my computer that no one has ever seen. I have no idea whether there are any great shots in there, don’t know how they could be improved but it is time to publish them online and get some feedback.
I am going to commit to a very difficult measurable goal for this resolution. This may be one of the hardest ones to keep because it will require daily diligence. It may take a few days for me to get this set up and tied in to my blog. But I am going to post a new photo everyday to my SmugMug account and share on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ as well as my blog. This doesn’t mean it will be a photo that I have taken that day, I will just post a new photo to share and open it up for feedback and critique.
Move Ideas to Execution
I love ideas! It seems that I come up with new ideas all time time but rarely move them from that conceptualization stage to execution. People close to me know that I am always coming up with some random dream and as time continues to pass it just sits there as thoughts on paper and never sees the light of day. This year I want to narrow my focus, stop wasting time on stupid things and turn these ideas into reality.
Measuring the success of this resolution should be fairly easy. You will see awesome things happen if I succeed, if I fail then nothing!
Fix Knee & Play More
This resolution is far less “big picture” and more this needs to get done. In 2005 I tore my ACL playing intramural flag football. Finally in April 2007 had surgery to have it repaired. It was amazing to be back on the tennis court, kicking a soccer ball and running. It seems that over the next few years following my surgery the original surgery has failed and I no longer have an ACL and as a result am very limited in the activities I can participate in. In 2012 I am going to have that repaired and I am going to hit a tennis ball, knock the dust off my snowboard and get back out there and enjoy the outdoors and life the way I used to. Hopefully that will give me a lot more to write about, learn about, and shoot. Making all my other resolutions easier to keep.
I have never really made resolutions before and definitely never written them down and published them for the world to see. I am hoping that doing this will help to hold me accountable and give me a tool by which to measure my success at the end of the year. There are some lofty goals in this list but if I am able to pull them off then I will be hopefully way ahead of the game as I head into 2013.
Here is to a crazy 2012!