Happy New Year, lovelies!

2017 is going to be a year for progress, a year for change and a wonderful year to accomplish all that you set out to do!

The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals. – Melody Beattie

I’m still pinching myself over 2016 and while it was an amazing year for the start of my business, I just know that 2017 will bring so many more of those “pinch me moments” or will it…?

I can dream all day long: I am debt free, I am a successful wedding photographer, my husband retires early and we travel the world… but dreaming doesn’t make things happen! Creating these moments in my head is one thing, manifesting them is completely different.

I am a dreamer, and I love to dream about what I can do without limitations but sometimes this leaves me feeling defeated when I realize that real life has limitations – even if only temporary. So how do I REALLY get from A to Z? How can I go from where I am now, to where I want to be?

I’d like to introduce y’all to the SMART Goal. A SMART Goal is a goal that is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Result-Focused & Time-Bound. This type of goal allows you to dream AND to make things happen.

Specific goals ensure that your goals aren’t too broad. “Being a wedding photographer” isn’t as specific as “Photograph 10 weddings under Verlee Bishop Weddings.” In fact, being a wedding photographer can mean something to one person, and something completely different to someone else. Being specific also makes the goal personal.

When a goal is Measurable it means that you can track your progress. “Photographing 10 weddings under Verlee Bishop Weddings” means that if I photograph 5 weddings, I am half way to my goal. This helps keep you motivated & pushes you through those uphill battles you sometimes face.

Achievable goals are very important. They provide a sense of accomplishment. You know that feeling when you cross something off that BIG to-do list of yours? Achievable means you can tackle one load of laundry at a time instead of becoming overwhelmed by the mountain of chores that needs to be done around the house. Achievable is like a stepping stone on your way to the ultimate goal. It keeps you grounded, yet excited to take the next step.

When a goal is Result-focused, it emphasizes the consequence of the acts of labor. “Photographing 10 weddings under Verlee Bishop Weddings” is focused on the outcome. This is the end result of many individual activities such as marketing, developing processes, photographing, editing, and customer service. The individual activities are how you get to the the goal.

Lastly, a goal must be Time-bound. If a goal is not compelled to a specific timeline, completing it could take a lifetime which would be very discouraging to say the least! Set a specific amount of time in which to accomplish your goal. Short term goals are like quick wins – tackling one load of laundry before noon. Long term goals generally take longer than one year to complete and are all about the big picture. You can have short term goals to help you accomplish long term goals too! (This is a great method to stay motivated).

Now that I have defined goals and HOW they can help make my dreams come true, instead of being overwhelmed with so much on my plate, I can begin 2017 with a sense of “you got this, girl!”

What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals. – Zig Ziglar

Without further adieu, my 2017 Business & Personal goals…

2017 Business Goals

  • Photograph 10 weddings under Verlee Bishop Weddings
  • Blog on a regular basis – at least 48 hours after a wedding/engagement shoot and at least once per week for other posts
  • Create a Verlee Bishop Wedding Experience – what exactly does it mean to have Verlee Bishop Weddings be part of your wedding day
  • Invest in at least one lens – fully paid for (more on this below)
  • Coordinate or participate in 2 styled shoots – one in beginning of the year and one in late summer
  • Continue my photography education by attending one photography workshop that focuses on business practices & enhancing my photography skills
  • Develop and implement a philanthropy plan as part of my business – find a way to pay it forward

2017 Personal Goals

  • Set a budget. Every. Single. Month.
  • Pay off one large debt item – a short term goal on our way to our long term goal of becoming debt free
  • No new debt (here’s looking at you new lens)
  • Finish two house projects – ones on the list include painting the kitchen cabinets white, paint all trim & baseboards white, paint our master bedroom, replace the carpet in the hallway and master bedroom, shiplap the entryway (Joanna Gaines would be proud), plant flowers in the front flowerbed, build a chicken coop & get chickens, and the list goes on and on
  • Focus on speaking others’ love language instead of people speaking mine – I know this goal is a little vague. Maybe this one could be considered more of a resolution, a way of becoming a better person.
  • Find ALL of the pressed penny machines in Disney World during our family vacation 🙂


Lastly, be sure to write your goals down, track your progress & cross off those quick wins. Follow through, and if you ever need someone to cheer you on, I was a cheerleader in high school and got ya covered!

Here’s to a wonderfully successful, goal-driven year! Cheers!



2017 Goals


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  1. Shauna Smith says:

    I’m working on my goals right now! To help conquer procrastination, I’m going to write a to do list the night before and I’m going to apply the Pomodoro Technique to actually DO the things on the list.

Available Worldwide
2019 Nicole Colwell Photography

Available Worldwide 2019 Nicole Colwell Photography