Self-Employment: 2015 Goals Check-In ~ May through August Goals

Back in January we went over our goals for 2015, trying to keep them as realistic as possible. I love taking time to sit down with James and write down our goals so we can check in on our business and marriage each year… how far we’ve come, where we’d like to go, and where we can improve. In the past we were very good at sitting down to talk about goals – but weren’t always the best at following through on everything on the list. (Ahem… like how we had “design and print our wedding album” on our To Do List for the first 5 years of our marriage and never did it! haha)

Anyway – this year I got smart and actually broke the goals down and set due dates for myself on my Google calendar! It is amazing how much better I did with our goals by breaking them down into manageable groups with due dates!

Here’s how we did on our January through April goals:

  • Get Life Insurance (Argh – not yet – that 20 page application is pretty intimidating.)
  • Design and Print our own Wedding Album YES and I love it!!! See photos here!
  • James work on learning Spanish 3x a week. (James started out strong on this and then fell off the wagon!!)
  • Christy implement more walks/stretching/weights YES! I’ve been so much better about this and Chloe is very happy about it too. 🙂 We’re especially loving our springtime walks in the city with all the flowers & trees blooming!
  • Start screen-free nights & brainstorm date night ideas for this year. This wasn’t very consciously worked on – but we have been somewhat better about screen-time and also have a list of date nights we’d love to do in the coming months! And we already made it ice skating and to a Cubs Game!
  • Book 4 more weddings to meet our max. We are at 27 weddings for the year – so we accidentally passed our max and are all set for 2015!
  • Get Beautiful Website up and running / launched. Oh yeah…. you can see the site here! 
  • Update our workshop curriculum and print-outs.  Yes!! We updated all our curriculum and had an amazing Workshop in March
  • Print personal photo books from our 2014 trips and Instagrams. Yes to the yes yes!! You can see them in this post
  • Quit the gym! (Christy) I’m really so proud of myself for finally doing this!! I hadn’t gone to the gym in probably over a year because I felt guilty going when I could just go for a long walk/run/play date with Chloe! I finally canceled my membership and now we can put an extra $50 in savings each month!!
  • Plan and throw our 3rd annual client party! (We’re moving our annual party to August because our spring was just too crazy. So this gets moved to our next to-do list!)
  • Sign up for acupuncture to start before & through our IVF cycle in April. Oh my gosh – I finally got myself to do this in late March and regularly went to acupuncture throughout our first IVF cycle and after – and it was amazing!!! I really don’t know how I functioned without acupuncture before. It really makes me feel so level and balanced… and my anxiety practically disappeared. I’m looking forward to continuing this through out next IVF cycle in July. 
  • Start working on detail shots with James. YES! We used the florals from our workshop to set up some mock details at home and James learned all the ins and outs of details. He obviously knows how to shoot amazing photos – but just doesn’t see details in the same way I see them (I looooove details) – so this has been great to focus on. 

And we managed to get a few more things checked off our big yearly goal list during that time as well that I originally didn’t have on our list for January-April!

  • Make more time for friends & family. I’m so happy that we have been so much better about this already and look forward to more time with loved ones this year!
  • Separate myself from my business. I feel like I was so much better about this already this year. I think part of that may be due to our fertility treatments – I was really forced to put myself first and take care of myself … eating well, sleeping, keeping stress levels low, and not working myself into the ground. It was really great practice for the rest of the year and made me realize I need to focus on self-care more often!
  • Put $_____ more in savings. I’m so thankful we were able to meet our goal already this year – thanks to a little over-saving we did for taxes last year!! We adjusted our goal now and hope to put more money in savings throughout the year.
  • Bring James to more engagement sessions. This happened somewhat unintentionally this spring again due to our fertility treatments. I wasn’t able to lift much (doctor’s orders) and needed James along to help – so he came to a handful of sessions and I loved it!! He was able to help me, and also got some great shots of his own… not to mention got to meet our clients and get to know them before the big day – which I just loved!
  • Start outsourcing all shoots. Early on I was editing our sessions this year because I had plenty of time – but once April got here things got VERY busy VERY quickly and so we started outsourcing all our shoots and it has been a lifesaver. I’m hoping this helps me stay on top of engagements and other sessions better throughout the year! (In the past we only outsourced our weddings.)
  • Re-evaluate our pricing. Once we hit our goal for 2015, I adjusted our pricing to accommodate new offerings for our coverage and to show our growth and additional experience.
  • Hold hands more, be kind to one another, and more intimate (less on devices). This is a constant work in progress – but I feel like we’ve been so much better about all of this so far. I think part of it is just all we’ve been through with our first IVF treatments… it really brought us together as we leaned on one another and communicated about how we were doing through the process. I want to continue to make this a goal throughout the year – especially as wedding season really kicks into high-gear very soon.
  • Create a mobile friendly version of our site and the Beautiful website. Yes!! We finally got this one updated… something I’ve been meaning to do for much too long!




Overall, I’m SO proud of how we’ve done on these goals and how we kicked off our year! Obviously there is always room for improvement – but this is so much better than we’ve done in the past thanks to holding ourselves accountable with due dates! 🙂

So on we go to our next 4 months of goals!!


  • Get Life Insurance.
  • Plan and throw our 3rd annual client party for August.
  • Transfer my old 401k to an IRA (and start saving for retirement again).
  • Schedule dermatologist appointment. (Christy)
  • Go on 4 different date nights (NOT just dinner out) – one each month.
  • Get pre-approved for a mortgage.
  • Find a realtor and begin the search for a house.
  • Update our website galleries/portfolio.
  • Create mobile site version for clients’ custom websites.
  • Organize our film negatives and personal prints.
  • Follow-up with clients who still have to choose images for their outstanding wedding albums.
  • Take the best care of myself possible throughout our 2nd IVF cycle in June and July. (Prioritize eating and sleeping well, work balance, and keeping stress/anxiety at bay.)
  • Do our very best work for our clients as our 2015 wedding season really kicks into high gear… Stay caught up on culling, editing, and turn-around time for all sessions and weddings.
  • Organize our home office (physical stuff), along with all hard drives and computer folders (digital folders).
  • Book 10 more weddings for 2016. (Get halfway to 2016 goal.)
  • Continue to focus on kindness, intimacy/cuddling, and screen-free time with James, especially as work gets busier.


Whew!! Alright – so here we go!! Here’s to showing ourselves (& each other) grace as we chase down our dreams, and remembering to enjoy the little moments along the way. xoxo

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Christy & James are Chicago based but happily travel anywhere in the world that beautiful love stories take them!