I used to hate reading. I loved the idea of brand new crisp books but every time I sat down to read them I could not get past the first page. I needed to be captivated in the first few sentences in order for me to keep going but it never worked. I was always jealous of my sister because she read and read books and would stay up late at night so involved in a book. I just thought I would never be a reader. It wasn’t until she introduced me to a few fiction authors that I finally started to get it. I loved reading stories that would make me feel like I am a part of the book. I was finally hooked.

Then about a year ago I started to hear a lot of photographers sharing their favourite book lists that helped them in life, faith and business and I knew I needed to broaden my horizons in what I was reading. Last year my book list consisted of 3 books but only managed to start and finish 2 books: Make it Happen by Lara Casey and Love Does by Bob Goff. Amazing books! Add them to your list and you will not be disappointed. I also started many books but never made time to follow through and finish them.

My goal this year is to read 6 books!! I am hoping I can surpass this goal and add some more to this list. I have a huge list written down that I am dying to get through but I decided the following are the six I want to read first:

The Fringe Hours by Jessica Turner

Restless by Jennie Allen

Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist

How to win friends & influence people by Dale Carnegie

Crash the Chatterbox by Steven Furtick

168 Hours by Laura Vanderkam


I would love to hear what books you are reading or recommend. Feel free to leave them in the comments below!

Happy Reading!

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making-things-happen-power-sheets-lara-casey-2016-goal-setting-wedding-photographer_0001Every year I get so excited to sit down and reflect on the past year and look forward and plan for the year ahead. This year was no different. However, my goals and expectations are much different than previous years. Most years my goals are so focused on business related things and how I want to take my business to the next level, what workshops I want to attend, etc. But now with a baby coming soon I am trying to set reasonable and achievable goals that are good for me, my business and most importantly my family!! This year is going to be about taking on less and giving myself grace when I can’t do every task I want to take on. This year will be full of firsts and I am so excited to jump in with both feet! We have waited a while to get here and we are so thankful for our baby growing inside me!

I want to share my goals with you because I want people to think about this year ahead and how they too can set and achieve goals to make it their best year yet! I also want to share more of who I am and be accountable for what I want to achieve.  I know I may not be able to do everything on this list but I have to start somewhere and give myself grace when I fall short.

Word for the year: INTENTIONAL

I want to be intentional this year so that I can follow through with my goals and not waste this year away. I want to compare myself less with others so I can be confident in who I am, the work I do and see God’s purpose for me. I want to better serve my family, friends, clients and most of all be a kingdom builder. I want to choose purpose over perfection and focus on the things that truly matter.

This year I have dug deeper into my power sheets by Lara Casey to truly uncover good goals. In her periscope videos on goal setting she shares that powerful, purposeful goals get accomplished when they are connected to a strong why and an absolute truth. In order to follow through you need to work hard, have accountability and the goal has to mean something to you – be connected to a strong ‘why’, not be something frivolous.

If you are interested in reading more about this process Lara is doing an amazing blog series working through purposeful goal setting. You can check that out here.

This year I am saying YES to:

  • Blank space/days on the calendar
  • Being Intentional
  • Having a baby and discovering a new ‘normal’
  • Allowing myself to have a maternity leave
  • Extending Grace to myself and others
  • Write the Word Journal
  • Choosing Joy
  • Less time behind the computer and phone
  • Working smarter & less
  • Better time management
  • Being ‘Real’
  • Reading
  • Blogging
  • Laughing, smiling and cuddles
  • Puppy play time
  • Baking
  • Taking personal photos
  • Date nights
  • Family adventures
  • More time spent outside

This year I am saying NO to:

  • Chasing Perfect
  • Comparison
  • Lack of self-confidence
  • Fear of the unknown
  • Negativity
  • Too much work
  • Distractions
  • Being too busy all the time
  • Clutter and messiness
  • Laziness

making-things-happen-power-sheets-lara-casey-2016-goal-setting-wedding-photographer_00032016 Goals

Personal Goals:

  1. Have a baby
  2. Grow in my Faith
  3. Love on Brian and baby
  4. Read 6 books
  5. Live Simply & Clutter Free (Purge home & give away things)
  6. Cultivate a healthy Lifestyle
  7. Financially Responsible
  8. Serve and be an Encourager
  9. Create a good morning routine
  10. Edit my California Trip photos
  11. Fill out my baby book
  12. Plan and go on a family vacation
  13. Finish baby room
  14. Sponsor a child
  15. Bake weekly
  16. Meal plan
  17. Contentment Challenge

Business Goals:

  1. Organized Business
  2. Blog Weekly
  3. Take a 4 month maternity leave
  4. Create & Fill my ‘well’ – To grow in passion and skill
  5. Launch new branding (Business name change!) & Host week of giveaways
  6. Mini sessions (Summer & Fall for couples)
  7. Photograph 10 weddings & Photograph more newborn sessions
  8. Dream up & Launch an online Print & Paper company (Big dream/goal)


I have chosen 8 big picture goals to share with you (and remind myself when I review these goals monthly) the ‘why’ and ‘how to make it happen’. I hope that this can encourage you to think about your goals and how to make them happen.

  1. Goal: Grow in my faith

      Ways to make this happen:

  • Spend time in Prayer & reading scripture
  • Wake up early to start my day in devotions
  • Write the word Journal
  • Attend Bible study with girls at church – “In the Wait” study
  • Devotions with Brian at dinnertime


  • I want to know Jesus on a deeper level, to see the world as Jesus did, to learn how to love and serve others well.
  • To raise our daughter in prayer and to love Jesus.
  • That our home would be filled with love.
  • To serve the Kingdom well.

2. Goal: Love on Brian and baby

     Ways to make this happen:

  • Designated time off, Sundays family day
  • Family adventure days – Picnic, beach, etc.
  • Date nights with Brian – 1 x a month
  • Bake & Cook regularly
  • Help Brian make his lunch ( This one is a hard step for me! I hate making lunches)
  • Where ever I am be all there – No phone/social media during family time
  • Plan a family vacation


  • To create a home filled with love and laughter.
  • Focus on what really matters – making memories and having fun together.

3. Goal: To Live Simply & Clutter free

     Ways to make this happen:

  • De-clutter our home, get rid of unnecessary ‘stuff’, giveaway
  • February Purge Month in our house
  • Contentment Challenge
  • Save $ by not shopping so much, make important purchases only and purchase used when it’s okay to.
  • No impulse buying. Think before purchasing, save up for it.
  • Laundry days – actually fold it and put away
  • Find Joy in the ordinary – not everything has to be a big expensive adventure
  • Get rid of lots of our garden to make it simple and enjoyable to work in.


  • To live a happier life with more adventures and family time rather than money spent on ‘things’ that don’t bring long term happiness.
  • To have a cleaner home without piles of unnecessary ‘stuff’ that never gets used but only causes stress and more things to clean.

4. Goal: Get up earlier and Cultivate a solid morning routine

      Ways to make this happen:

  • Go to bed earlier
  • Get up at 6/6:30 (may adjust time with baby but still try be up before her)
  • Make coffee, do devotions, stretch, shower/get ready and start laundry


  • Mornings are my favourite and most productive time of day.
  • To make time for important things for myself
  • Start the day positive in God’s word.
  • When I get up early I feel I accomplished more

5. Goal: Read 6 books

     Ways to make this happen:

  • Choose which 6 books to read (Fringe Hours, How to Win Friends and Influence People, Bittersweet, 168 hours, Crash the chatterbox, restless)
  • Designate time before bed for reading


  • I want to learn more, to learn from other people’s experiences, to become a better writer.
  • Last year my goal was 3 and I read 2 books fully and started a few others but never followed through.


6. Goal: Cultivate a healthy Lifestyle

      Ways to make this happen:

  • Walk daily with Roxy (and baby when she arrives)
  • Have cut up fruit and veggies so it is easy and ready
  • Self-control – don’t let food overpower me, take back control
  • Drink a tall glass of water before/after a cup of coffee
  • Stretch
  • Small daily workouts
  • Meal Plan, less eating out


  • I want to feel good about myself and have more energy at weddings and playing with baby.
  • I want to be like minded to Brian so we can both encourage each other to eat well instead of being the one to always bring him to the unhealthy side.
  • I want to be able to have strong will power and not give in every time I want to eat bad.
  • Everything in moderation. I want to be able to make my way back to pre-pregnancy weight.

 7. Goal: Enjoy a maternity leave

     Ways to make this happen:

  • Turn on email auto-responder from February to the end of May
  • Take 3 months off after baby and 1 month before


  • So I can love on our new baby girl.
  • So I can find a new ‘normal’ and adjust to life with a baby before heading back to work.
  • So I can have lots of baby snuggles and discover who she is.

8. Goal: CREATE, allow time to do things that fill my ‘well’ and to grow in passion and skill

     Ways to make this happen:

  • Styled shoots
  • Monthly photo challenges – Bethadilly, lifestyled, clickinmom,
  • Still life & food photography
  • Keep my camera out so I have easy access to document daily life
  • Read books
  • Baking
  • Try painting
  • Learn calligraphy
  • Do a puzzle
  • Gardening, spending time outside
  • Watch tutorials and read blogs that inspire and share knowledge


  • To stay passionate about life and work.
  • To better serve clients with beautiful photos of their love and joy.
  • To stop comparing and grow in confidence.
  • To find balance

If you stayed with me, you are a trooper! I hope this post can encourage you to dig deep and discover what truly matters to you. Now go make life happen!! I would love to hear about your goals. Feel free to share below in the comments something you are working on in 2016!!


  • Carolyn Bentum

    So proud of you friend! I cannot wait to see what 2016 holds for you!ReplyCancel

  • Leonia Azevedo

    Love love love your goal post!! I remember reading last years goal post and now this one is so much more in depth. Bravo! You should be very proud of yourself. Keep on reaching for the stars!ReplyCancel

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