How Will You Be Better in 2019?

How Will You Be Better in 2019? with Vanessa Joy

How Will You Be Better in 2019? with Vanessa Joy

It’s the end of the year. There are plenty of New Year’s resolutions, tons of hopes and lots of forgiveness for last year’s failures. Will you really change this year? Will this be the year you see your business double? Or will you once again forgive yourself for not crushing it and promise to do it better next year?

It is likely that you will fail miserably at all the goals that you’ve just set for yourself. Why? Because they’re not actually goals, they’re dreams. And dreams are nice, but they’re not actionable. Dreams are precursors to goals, and goals happen only when you have the balls to make them happen. Success does not fall in your lap.

Success is not a result of the perfect New Year’s resolution. Success comes from hard work. It’s the kind of work that throws a wrench in your personal life, the work that does not stop day in and day out, work that causes the magical equation where one day off equals one month of making up for it. But most of all, it’s the work that we don’t want to do.

You’re a photographer and you do work that you love and blah blah blah. But here’s the truth: Work that leads to success is so often work that you do not want to do. So here is a list of things you need to do this year that suck.

Go to the Gym

Yup, that’s right. I know you thought I would start off ripping some work-ethic stuff in your face. Before you were a businessperson, before you ever dreamed of picking up a camera to earn money, you were a human. And humans need a few things before they can do anything else.

Your wellbeing matters more that anything else. If you can’t get up, you can’t work. If you don’t feel good about yourself, you can’t be creative. If you’re not taking care of you, it’s impossible to take care of your clients.

I have two favorite workouts that fit my lifestyle. I love Beachbody, which I can do in my own home, in my own time. And I love yoga—, to be specific. I maintain strength with Beachbody for carrying heavy camera gear, and then balance myself mentally and physically through yoga.

Do whatever works for you, but do something. If you give your body the finger, eventually it’s going to give it right back to you, and you’ll need something a lot lighter than a mirrorless to keep working.

Cut the Crap

Here is a list of things to cut out of your life faster than greased lightning.

  • Friends who enable you to be lazy or stupid
  • Family members who don’t support you
  • Your excuses that you think are reasons
  • Your reasons for not pushing forward
  • Time killers—I know Game of Thrones is out in April, but if you don’t win your business throne during the week, you don’t get to watch GOT on the weekend
  • Get off social media unless you’re working; pay someone to do it for you for just one month this year

Announce Your Goals

Nothing gets you closer to your goals than accountability. Make what you want public. Ask for what you want from the people who can give it to you. Have someone you can confide in about your failures.

Don’t make this a publicity stunt. This isn’t about getting anything off your chest, and it’s not about attracting sympathy or support. It’s about you creating tangible goals, defining a timeline for working on those goals and facing the fact that if you don’t meet those goals, it’s your fault and no one else’s.

Get Good Things in Your Life

I told you to cut out a lot of things, but you’ll want to replace them with good things. Here are some things to add this month.

  • Friends and family members who support you, and who slightly intimidate you into moving forward
  • Sleep—I like the Calm app and SomaLunex for my crazy insomnia
  • Time boosters—find ways to get more than one thing done at a time or get things done faster
  • Positivity list

Let’s talk about that last one. I am not a dream-board-building, positive-vibes-chanting bite of crunchy granola. But there is so much negativity thrown our way, and we spend way more time believing it than we should. Recently I’ve started taking screenshots of positive things people say to me and saving them in an album on my phone. It’s a conscious choice to believe those things versus the negative things. Make that choice for yourself.

I know this is a massive list of things you do not want to do and that will never inspire you to roll out of bed in the morning. But because these are the hard things is exactly why they are the things that will make you successful. Anyone can roll over and do the easy stuff, and that’s why everyone isn’t going to make it the way you will if you do the hard stuff.

If you don’t want to look back this time next year and regretfully and shamefully forgive yourself for not reaching your goals, it’s time to make these changes. No excuses.

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To read the full article, launch the digital version of the January 2019 magazine.

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