How and Why You Need to Review Last Year to Plan Your Year

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Creative Business

Plan Your Year

A Year in Review

Ok I was hesitant to post this because January has passed, but I think it’s important to plan your year.

I did this work back in January, but I didn’t get around to writing the blog post until now.  I decided it definitely still has value because there might be someone out there who feels like since the beginning of the year has passed they should just move on.

You don’t need to just keep moving in your business.  You can definitely pause.  You can certainly spend time deciding what you really want.

Every year I take time at the end pause and reflect on previous year.  I figure out what worked and what didn’t work so that I can know which direction I want to go for the next year.  I really enjoy planning and reflecting so when it comes to the end of  year planning for the next excites me.

When I take time to do this it reminds me of all that I have accomplished, what I can be grateful for, and where I can get so much better. This process allows me to give myself grace and not have to be so perfect.

If you want to do your own year in review you can catch my quick planning sheet at the end of the post to get an idea of what you can do.

Why You Need to Reflect on Last Year

Reflection is a completely cathartic process.  I think we are better able to let go of crap when we take the time to let go of stuff we weren’t in love with from the previous year, or on the flip side if you had a frickin amazing year then you need to pat yourself on the back.  

If you’re anything like me then you don’t take nearly enough time to tell yourself that you are amazing, and you’re doing well!  This process makes you do that.

A year in a review can also be a great way to figure out what  worked in your business and what you should keep doing.  When you catalog what you did well then you know what processes or launches or products or services you want to keep.  If you don’t take the time to really look at the metrics then you might not have a really good picture of what you and your business needs.

Maybe you need to figure out what makes you feel like crap in your business because whatever that is needs to go.  

It also helps focus in on what can be improved.  It helps gives perspective and context when setting goals for 2017.

What to do and What questions to Ask

A great place to start is by looking back at the previous year and figuring out what went well and what you can work on.  Reflecting on it with simple questions like what went well and what could have improved?  It’s great to be able to figure out what you can actually celebrate about the work that you do.  

Once you’ve spent time thinking about the previous year it makes it that much easier to set goals for the next year.  Knowing what didn’t work the way you wanted can help you decide which area to focus on for goals.  

Don’t forget to get your planning sheet below.  It has some quick questions to get you started for your planning.

My 2016 Year in Review

Business Highlights:

I photographed some amazing weddings!  It is such a privilege to be a part of each couple’s wedding day.  It brings me so much joy to share in one of the most amazing days of a couple’s life.  Check out one of the gorgeous days here.

Planned & Created Palm Dreams Stock Photography!  This one had been on my heart for a while.  It took me more months than I wanted to plan, create, and shoot but I was darn proud of myself for finishing for the launch.  I have a smaller launch of new stock photos coming this month but you can always check out the shop here.  If you want to know full story behind the “why?” of my business you can check it out here.

Photo Course:  I started planning my photography course for creatives.  It’s going to be a course to help plan, style, and shoot photos your business and blog.  It’s still in the beginning stages but I’m super excited about it.  Right now it is only an outline of photo knowledge but I can’t wait to share more with the world.  If you want to be the first to get the FREE email course that will be a quick guide to getting started with photos you can sign up here.

What Worked and What Needs to Change

How Time was Spent

I was able to spend time working in and on my business. I’m still completely figuring this out but I know when I plan for time to work on my business then it’s much more likely to happen.  

I know this seems like a no brainer.  Of course it works better if it’s scheduled, but I kept having vague plans to get it done and not necessarily knocking it out because I was busy with client work.  

Now I just take time at the beginning of the week to plan when are the times that I’ll spend working on business, and I hold these times to be sacred. This process is amazing, and so simple!  It actually feels like I’m moving forward and I’m not only accomplishing items on a checklist!


Last year I tried to blog more frequently.  This is still a work in progress.  There are so many weddings that aren’t on the blog yet as well as straight knowledge that I want to share.  So for this year I’ve created a writing schedule so that I can make sure that I get it done. There’s already been an improvement from this time last year.  

I’ve decided along with sharing work I also want to share educational pieces that will benefit other business owners who read them.  I want to make sure that the posts that are shared actually will help.  So You’ll be seeing more epic posts  that are packed with info!

Social Media Plans

Social Media didn’t really happen in 2016.  I mean it did, but just not as well as could have in my business!   I wasn’t using it nearly enough.

So this year I decided to not put as much pressure on getting it perfect.  My big change for this is scheduling time to plan it out.  This way I’m not trying to figure it out every day.   I need to have space to get it done.  This also allows me to be more thoughtful and strategic with what I decide to write.

Using Batching

The last thing that I decided to change for this year is how I use batching.  Last year I was using this to help me get through projects, but I think I could use it even more efficiently to get stuff done.  Since multitasking isn’t really an effective way to get things done I need to have a better way to be productive.

Ok so onto how I’m using batching.  I’ve sectioned off every day into concentrations so that I can get things done in a timely manner.  I just implemented it and I’m already seeing an improvement.  Seriously try it.  

Family Time

This one is a little personal, but I think it made me an even more joyful person.  I spent more time with family last year.  I believe being able to prioritize family so often made me a better photographer.  I’m better able to facilitate relationships and engage with couple’s family when I’m connected to my own family.  So in 2017 this will continue!



Get Your FREE New Year Planning Sheet!

Planning for the New Year in BusinessIf you’re looking for a quick way to plan than girl I’ve got you covered!

This quick sheet only has a few questions to get you started on planning a great year.   

It will only take 15-25 minutes quick planning to get all your ideas down and get a fast start to making it all happen.

Go plan your heart out!




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