resolutions for January : personal

I'm excited to announce that I'm starting a new blog series this year:
Monthly Resolutions!
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Recently I was thinking about New Year's resolutions, and how depressing those can be.
At the beginning of the year we make a whole gigantic list of all these awesome things we want to accomplish,
and over the course of 12 months we think we can totally knock them all out, right?!
Well by the time November or December rolls around, though, we glance back at that list...
and realize how unrealistic some of those goals were, or feel discouraged by the things we didn't make happen.
Maybe you've felt this way, like I have?

Don't get me wrong--I think New Year's resolutions are great.
It really is good to think about the changes you want to make in your life.
After all, if you don't know where you want to go, then you won't take any steps to get there.

However, I think that for me personally, if I broke things down to a month instead of an entire year,
I would be able to accomplish a lot more, and it would help keep my goals more realistic.

So, I'm planning to blog my 'resolutions', (or goals), at the beginning of each month this year.
I know sometimes I may be super busy or gone traveling, but if possible I want this to happen each month for 2014.
It helps hold you accountable, and there is a lot of wisdom in sharing your goals with other people.

With all that said, here we go, January.


Journal 4 times a week
I am seriously committed on this one..I failed miserably with it last year.
It really is important to chronicle the journey, and I want to make this a priority.
- Finish the Count of Monte Cristo

Yep, still have a ways to go with this. However to help me get this done I am going to...
- Read for 30 minutes on Tuesdays/Thursdays
A friend shared this idea with me awhile back..schedule only certain days of the week to be the days that you read on. Then you won't feel guilty for not reading every day of the week.
- Start and finish 1 other book
Probably, "Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World."
- Exercise 3x a week
And its currently a whopping 4 degrees outside. Yeah, we'll figure out something. :)
- Drink more water
Enough said.
- Finish memorizing 1 Thessalonians 2 and chapter 3.
Thankfully, I have a bunch of other friends who are memorizing Scripture passages
at the same time with me, which will help a ton! 


- Finish up all my taxes / paperwork stuff
Does anyone enjoy this? There's always the not-so-fun-but-necessary parts of any business. :)
- Shoot 1-2 personal winter sessions

Pretty excited about these, people. Just waiting for some warm-ish winter days to come..
- Blog client gifts, behind-the-scenes, 2013 favorites, and many more sessions I haven't posted yet. 
I'm behind..trying to catch up!
- Design new pricing documents for 2014
I do this at the beginning of each year, and takes me some time, 
as I design them all using various favorite pictures I've taken, etc.
- Write out what worked/what didn't work
I did this last year, and I think I heard about it from Katelyn James.
You look back over the year and write out the things that worked for your business,
and the things that didn't go well so you can make changes for the coming year.

I also plan to post these goals up on my wall each month, so I don't forget about them.
What is something you want to accomplish in January? I'd love to hear!

Also, I had fun making a new header and changing a few other things here on the blog.
A new look for a new year seemed fitting! Hope you like it. :)

~H. Elise
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  1. fabulous idea, Hannah! i may just join you on this one. :) xx

  2. Neat post! Love the changes to the blog! :)

  3. Awesome! count monte cristo needs to go on my to-read list. :)

  4. Sounds like an awesome idea! :)

  5. What a great idea! I have only made one goal for the year so far (that is different from other years) and I made that only moments into the year. That one goal was to learn how to play Round Robin Ping Pong as on New Years Eve and into the first few minutes of New Years day I was learning that was something I can not do even with the nicest people telling me how.:( I am horrible at things like that.:(
    I might try the monthly resolutions though.:) Sounds like a great idea!!!
    Have a great New Year!

  6. I have to do "daily resolutions'. Yep, I have a short term memory! ;) Exercise really kick-starts a day and plenty of water keeps you energized. Scripture memorization, you really can't go wrong. YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!

  7. I read "Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World" a year or two ago and would highly recommend reading it!!! I'm planning to reread it this year. One of my goals is to read 12 nonfiction books this year. I'm hoping to get more than that done but I don't want to feel guilty if I only get twelve read :)

  8. Great idea Hannah! I'm excited to see your posts!

  9. such good thoughts. Very inspiring...
    And I love your new blog header!

  10. We are definitely in the same spirit! I've been reflecting on all the unrealistic resolutions I've made and haven't stuck with these past few days. I'm making 5 broad goals, and thanks to your idea I'll choose narrower things that reach my broader goal each month to actually stick with them!
    Blessings for you in this new year!
    p.s. absolutely love the new header, I've been wanting to do this just have to find some pictures of myself:)

  11. Okay, my new year's resolution is to be able to take photos like you! Obviously that isn't a realistic goal... For several years now I've been trying to work on my photography. I had one friend from church ask me to do a pregnancy photoshoot, and that didn't go terribly well. It was in the dead of winter, her other two sons were crying almost the entire photo session because they thought they were coming over to play not get pictures, and her husband was not terribly cheerful either. Even the "serious look" pictures didn't turn out because half the time one kid was still crying or at least had red eyes from crying! Needless to say, I've not been asked to take any more pictures! But, I'm still learning and trying, despite my past embarrassing, utter failures! However, I have a couple of questions, the first being- what camera do you use? Secondly, I have read several photography books, and at this point I'm hopelessly drowning in a sea of photography terms. I have a terrible time adjusting my camera's settings to fit the situation. Do you have any tips for a photographer-wanna-be? Do you have any books/websites/videos that would be helpful in learning? How do you find such delightful backdrops? Also, in every picture you take, they're exceedingly clear, bright and sharp. How do you get that look? Finally, I must say that your photos are some of the most beautiful portraits I've seen. I LOVE them! You're a super inspiration. Maybe, just maybe I can try another photography session... Keep up the beautiful photography!

    1. thank you for the kind words! It is truly humbling to hear this--I have SUCH a long way to go, personally, with photography. I'm so sorry your pregnancy photoshoot didn't go well..believe me, I have left shoots feeling discouraged as well! I use a canon 5d mark 2, and I was drowning in photography terms when I first started, too! This post was very helpful for me : http://www.danamadeit.com/2010/05/faqs-camera.html I'm always looking for new backdrops when I drive around...I usually find ones that have the sun coming from behind or have good lighting from the front. As far as the bright/clear/sharp, it's been through practice and learning how to get the focus where I want it to be, and also the editing I do in Lightroom. YOU can definitely do another photo session!!! I would suggest maybe trying one with just an individual, maybe a friend who wouldn't mind you practicing on them. I would be happy to correspond with you more about this if you can send me an e-mail to hannah@hannaheliseblog.com best wishes!! - Hannah :)

  12. love the idea of setting monthly goals. thanks for sharing, hannah! excited to see your upcoming posts, too :) have a beautiful 2014, girl!

  13. Hi Hannah!
    I liked your new years resolutions. Do you live in Iowa? I think you should do a winter giveaway! I just love to enter giveaways! What do you think?
    love, Ashley


please leave a comment -- I would love to hear your thoughts on this post!! :)