Often times I find myself sitting at my desk at my job, or at home at the dining room table, looking at my planner intently with overwhelm. Whether it be big goals and changes for myself or my business that I am striving for or daily tasks that need to be done, I am frozen because I don’t know where to start, so I end up starting nowhere and sit there for another long period of time. I want to do all of these big things, like lose twenty pounds, get to yoga 2-3 times a week, and actually run a 5K. Even when we are frozen in completing out to-do lists, we all have to start somewhere.
Ever since my grandma, who battled breast and bone cancer for nine years, told me her greatest advice was to “follow your heart,” I knew it was in my heart to provide true images of others’ beauty, experiences, and their courage in everyday circumstances (which is why I began Stacy Carosa Photography). My biggest dream this year is putting purpose into my photography and capture all different forms of beauty and strength through what I call With Love sessions. These sessions will preserve beauty in places where we often forget it lies – from women courageously fighting cancer and for teens building their self-confidence. The more this project excited my inner soul, my mind becomes increasingly overwhelmed. This is such an enormous goal and when I think of what it takes to get there, I wonder if it will ever actually happen (cue frozen state of to-do list shock!). Will I actually have enough will power and accountability for myself to achieve this? How will I overcome the fear of the unknown to make sessions With Love a reality? Have you ever dreamt of where you would like to be but were to overwhelmed that maybe you didn’t take any actual steps to start getting there?
For starting in my own personal and business growth, I know that there will be no big results unless I start to create small changes in my habits and daily routines. This, in itself, is tough for me because my mind is constantly wandering and coming up with new ideas that many times I can’t keep them straight. However, without creating a system of small steps, reaching my goals, like launching With Love sessions, will remain a distant daydream. In preparation for making these big changes become more than a daydream, here are 5 small steps, which have helped me organize my thoughts and be more productive with the time that I have. As a result, I have found that I am completing more tasks and feeling accomplished, and these can help you in setting up systems for realistically working toward your new goals.
To feel accomplished in your tasks, and to feel like you have done something toward your main goal, create a to-do list for each daily tasks you would like to complete. This could be written in a planner, sticky notes so you can have the satisfaction of throwing the task away after you have done it, or even a week list where you are able to prioritize what needs to get done first.
Small goals first:
Without small goals to help reach your big goals, it can be difficult to feel like you are getting anywhere. Start by creating each smaller, more attainable weekly goals or a place you would like to be by the end of each month. Ultimately, these small goals would lead you into completing your big goals for the year. Start with your big goal and keep asking yourself, “To reach this I will need to ______,” and continue to ask yourself this until you have narrowed it down to something you can complete in the next couple of weeks.
Write down your ideas:
If you are anything like me, there are constant ideas and daydreams going through my mind on any given day. So much so, that I often let them slip away or I have a hard time getting started on any one of them. I Have started to use Google Docs, Word documents, and just plain writing them down to at least get them out of my head. The benefit of writing things down is that is actually gives a tangible way to organize your thoughts, figure out which ones will be useful toward your new goals, and be able to build and take action on those that are important to you. Pick a writing platform that works for you, and jot those ideas down! I have even started to keep a mini journal in my purse for those quick jots of wisdom!
I hated schedules growing up, and it wasn’t until college that I found myself needing a schedule so that I wouldn’t forget things. As a creative, keeping a schedule can seem like a daunting task, but I have found that designating time for completing my tasks actually helps me to stay on task much easier. Think of it as setting up “meetings” with yourself and in those meetings you need to resolve this one issue. Sometimes the meeting will take the whole time, sometimes it will get done early. I have also found that in my daily schedule, if I plan specific amounts of time to complete my least exciting tasks first, then I seem to have more time to immerse myself in tasks that I am really looking forward to doing.
Three daily affirmations:
Lastly, but probably the most important of them all, is to start a habit of daily affirmations. It could be something personal or it could be things for your business, but think of three positive sentences to help boost your confidence in know you are enough, both as a person and in your business. This is something that I have struggled with, as falling into a pit of comparison seems to consume me and swallow my thoughts, but starting to say, and believing, in these daily affirmation have made all the difference in how I see myself. As I continue on in my own progress, my affirmations are “I am enough”, “What I have to say matters”, and “Your creative work is purposeful and there are others who appreciate it.” What will yours be?
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I am wishing you great achievements as you tackle your goals. Work hard and efficiently to get to that point. I challenge you to pick a couple of small steps mentioned above, or some that you think of on your own, and implement them into your own daily routine. These small steps will help you to empower yourself to reach your goals and to see and feel like you are making progress. I would love to hear from you about how your journey is going and to help encourage each other to not sit frozen in front of our computers or staring longingly into our planners. We got this! Join me on Instagram to stay connected and continue to help encourage each other on our journeys: @stacycarosaphotography. This is where I will post stories, lessons I’ve learned, and work as I continue to define my style in my photography and also where I’ll be sharing my story to photographing 25 courageous women during their With Love sessions this year. No matter what your end goal is, now is the time to make tiny changes for results that will fill your soul.
Photos by Stacy Carosa Photography