2013: What worked and what didn’t

This year my goal setting has shifted a bit. It hasn’t completely changed – I am still blogging my monthly goals (the 1st day of every month), and I see a lot of value in doing that. What’s different? I’ve incorporated Lara’s Powersheets in my goal setting, and it has really been such a blessing to me! Because this is my first year doing the Powersheets, I am feeling a bit behind because they have been incredibly thorough. I didn’t finish them until I was halfway through January, which left me (Type A, planner, perfectionist, organized, likes-to-finish-things-early) feeling behind and a little frustrated on my start to the year. But guess what? Because I stuck to them and did them a little each day, I’m learning that the next 5 months will be even better. I’m not behind now: I’m in a better position than I was before! And today I’m beginning to work through my power sheets for February. (As you’ll see below, planning ahead is one thing I’ll be implementing in 2014!)


Image by Lara Casey

If you’re considering buying Powersheets for yourself, It’s well worth it in my opinion. Here are a few tips and things to keep in mind:

1. They are incredibly thorough. I love this about them, but it does take some time to sit down and go through them. Lara usually recommends around 2 weeks: sometimes more, sometimes less. With my travels, it took me 3 weeks.
2. They are just a tool. They are to enhance your life and your goal setting, but not completely redefine your life. Use them to benefit where you are in your life!
3. YOU still have to do the hard work behind your goals – the Powersheets will not do the work for you.
4. Do a little each day. Don’t let them overwhelm you – just finish 1 page or 1 step every day until they are done. If you have extra time, then you can work ahead.
5. For all you perfectionists: MESS UP THE PAGES. This is hard, but good. They will only work if you use them, scribble on them, write what comes to your mind. Just write. The outflow of that will be beautiful goals from YOUR heart, not perfectionist goals from what you think your life should be.


Image by Anna Paschal at Making Things Happen in October

Okay, so one of the exercises that I love is What Worked and What Didn’t. Lara also posts about this in her amazing Goal Setting: Part 1 blogpost.  Inspired by my friend Emily and her 2013 recap post, I wanted to share with you some lessons learned in my personal and business life in 2013.


What Worked
1. I spoke more and discovered that I truly love to teach (B&L, Making Things Happen x 2, Influence Network)
2. Took time to train the NRP team at weddings, shoots, and in the studio
3. Learned to shoot film confidently (and had an all-film shoot published) so I’m ready to dive in this year
4. Delegated more tasks to Callie in order to free up my time to work on my business, not just working in it
5. Updated my logo and products to stay current with the industry

What Didn’t
1. ShootQ is disorganized and is not working to it’s full potential
2. Film and Digital Workflow is a challenge
3. Too many systems that overlap in the studio: Wunderlist, ShootQ, Workflow Wall, iCal
4. I got behind on preparation: reserving rental equipment, organizing Winston-care for weddings and travels, etc. I saved too many things for the last minute.
5. Editing and photo delivery got more behind than I would like.

What I want to change in 2014
1. Hire a ShootQ consultant to help me organize it for a team of photographers
2. Streamline workflow by installing a Drobo (and working from that network), while solidifying my film + digital workflow
3. Simplify my tasks: use Workflow Wall + ShootQ for workflow related tasks. Use Things for Studio / Business / Organization related tasks.
4. Speak more! Speak more at conferences and offer to speak at my church, when needed in youth or women’s ministry.
5. Set hard deadlines for preparation (rentals & Winston) and editing in my new workflow




What Worked
1. Increased our giving: took a trip to Nicaragua, sponsored 2 new children: 1 through Compassion and the 2nd through a school we painted in Nicaragua
2. Took a solid, non-work related vacation for just us
3. Spent prayer, time and effort in finding a diet that works for my health, ran a half marathon, and hired a personal trainer.
4. Early to bed, early to rise. Continued my morning ritual and time with the Lord daily.
5. Focused on spending less and doing more through my missions trip to Nicaragua and the Contentment Challenge

What Didn’t
1. House has become more cluttered than I would like; I am not in love with my current decorations and wall portraits. (Every photographer’s problem, right?)
2. My ankle injury has caused confusion with my fitness goals, and my posture has declined
3. Did not take a weekly sabbath like I had hoped. I would somehow find the excuse to work an hour or two on our “off” days
4. Not shooting personal stuff with  my nice camera. Lately I’ve just been using Instagram and my iPhone, but I want to document my LIFE with the gifts that I have been given
5. Not enough time one our boat! Something we love to do together.

What I want to change in 2014
1. I want to regularly stop and focus on the big picture of my home: it’s cleanliness, decor, and clutter
2. Create new fitness goals that don’t involve running / impact on my ankle. One of those goals being strengthening my back, shoulders, & posture
3. Take a weekly sabbath: schedule it in my calendar. This will be especially difficult in high wedding season, per usual, but I want to fight for it this year
4. Rest from social media on the weekends, and plan to take my “nice” camera with me on a few personal trips. Choose to make it fun and creative instead of feeling like I’m taking my work with me
5. Schedule times to enjoy our boat and invite friends to come along, too

If you have any questions about the Powersheets, feel free to comment below. Do you use them yourself? What tips do you have to share?

  • Lorin said:

    Nancy, this is such great reflection/looking forward for the year! I'm still working through my PowerSheets for 2014 & have found that the following saying is so true: done is better than perfect. The freedom to make a mess, like you mentioned, is so freeing & helpful for making things happen. Thanks for sharing your heart :)

  • Em said:

    Love this whole post, but especially love the personal side. I think the "what I want to change in 2014" is a great addition -- kind of like a mini set of goals that directly flows from what worked and what didn't!

  • I am loving the PowerSheets too! Completely changes goal setting for me! I also thought I would mention--if you aren't totally happy with shootq I replaced it with a project/task management program called Asana (which is free!) last year and have LOVED it. It works really well for a team too. I'd be happy to tell you more about how I use it if you want... I'm obviously a big fan of it! :)

  • This is a great post! I too love the What worked and What didn't questions and love that you took it step further. I have Powersheets and am really excited to use them this year!

    I also wanted to highly recommend you try Pilates as a workout. There is mat Pilates, but I think you would really benefit from the reformer Pilates classes. Just my two cents.

  • Thanks so much for sharing Nancy! I too am using PowerSheets for the first time ever and I also found it hard to mess them up and feel behind. But January has been my most productive month in years - hooray! Sitting down this snowy NC morning to work on next month; can't wait to see your goals!