Start Living the Life you Want This Year - Chelsy Weisz


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Chelsy Weisz

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Chelsy Weisz

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Hello! I' wedding photographer and educator in western North Dakota.  I am so thrilled to see you here on the blog!  Grab some coffee and dig into some wedding planning tips, business hacks, our farmhouse renovations, as well as  some behind the scenes at #chelsywieszphotography

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Start Living the Life you Want This Year

Hello, sweet friend, and welcome to episode number 9! Today is January first, and that means goal-setting is on everyone’s mind!! while I don’t think there is really anything super special about January first. You can start a goal at any time, so if you are listening to this some time in the middle of the year, that is totally fine; all of this will still apply no matter the time of year!  

So this February I am finally getting my farming and ranching husband off the ranch, and we are taking a trip to San Antonio, the only reason he is going there is so we can go to the Stock Show! – baby steps, guys! 

Heading to San Antonio later this year!

Anyway, the first thing the travel site I was using asked me was where an I flying from, and where do I want to go? This is the same with goals we need to figure out where we want to go, and where we are starting. 

I’m going to walk you through a little exercise quick, so hit pause right fast and grab a notebook or open up the notes app on your phone- or Evernote if you’re a cool kid! 

If you are driving right now, just listen, but I really encourage you to replay this episode later on when you have some time to write. 

Okay, so the first thing I want you to do is to imagine the way you want your life to look like when your 80 years old or maybe 100! 

What impacts have you had on those closest to you? 

How would your kids or spouse describe you in your obituary?  

What impacts did you have on your community? 

Was there a cause you were really involved with how did you make others feel?

Okay, what impacts did you leave on the world? What are those big scary awesome things you did to leave the world a little bit better?

How does your body feel at 80? Are you in shape, are you healthy?

Okay, now, where did you travel in your lifetime?

What does your work look like? 

Did you love the job you had? 

Were you able to afford the things you want in life?

How many clients did you take on each year?

How did you make those you worked with feel?

How did you make those you served to feel?

Were you able to retire early?

Do you have any debt? 

Don’t stop to think about what your writing; just keep filling that page with all the things you did, people you loved, and the impact you had.

So this is your big picture, what you want your life to look like at the end. Now we need to see what we need to make happen this year to start to live and create that life you want to live.  

If you look at your page and you wrote down that you how different does the life you are living right now, look from the life you want to have lived?

Are you as healthy now as you want to be when your 80?

are you spending the time with those you love in impactful ways to make them feel the way you want? 

Are you in debt?

Are you overbooked or under-booked to make the money you need to live the life you want? 

Okay, now we see where we want to go, and where we are at currently, its time to set some goals to move us in the right direction. 

If the thought of setting goals scares you, I want to share a quote

Grow what matters one step at a time. Little by little, your steps will add up. 

Lara Casey

So what should your goals look like? Have you ever heard of SMART goals? Smart is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable Relevant Time-bound. 

So what does that look like? So say you want to get healthier in 2020 what does that mean? Did you only drink one can of pop a day, and that means your healthier? A smart goal for this would look something like I will lose 10 pounds by July.

Here is another example- I want to make more money as a photographer this year. The smart goal version would be I want to book ten weddings at 3,000 each this year. 

How about I want to be better with money- that could mean you only paid cash for your coffee at Starbucks. A smart goal would look like create a budget and be debt-free within 14 months. 

So hit pause quick and look over where you want to be and see what steps you can take this year to get there. Remember to make sure your goals are smart – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. 

Now we need to create a plan on how you are going to make these goals for this year happen. We do this by creating stepping stones. So what is a stepping stone?

I want to give you this analogy of swimming across a river. So this river is wide, you can’t just jump across it. Now where we want to get is the other side and about 365 yards downstream to this campsite, so it’s not straight across, we are going to travel downstream a little bit.  

The water is running in this river, its not a quiet brook. If we jump in and start swimming as fast as we can, there are two different outcomes. One we get tired of swimming against the current and let the water just wash us downstream. Or two we make it to the other side but way past the campsite we wanted to  

But there is another way to get across the river. And that is to put some big stepping stones along the way. Then we can hop from one stone to the next, so we don’t get washed away by the water, and we make it to the campsite we are aiming for on the other side. These stones are keeping us on track and not letting the water wash us further down the river.  

The more stones we have, the easier it is to see the path to the other side, and not risk having to swim between stones. 

So what do these stepping stones look like? 

So let us say I want to book 12 brides this year. That means I need to book one bride a month. Okay, how do I break that down how do I book those brides? Maybe that means blogging once a month, or showing up on Instagram every day, or going to a bridal show, or updating my portfolio. 

Booking one bride a month is a big rock along the river, but all those little things like little stepping stones. 

Motivation to keep going!

Okay, now that we know where we want to be at the end of our lives, what Smart goals we set to start to create that life, and have built our stepping stones across the river, I want to give you a little more help along the way. The next thing to do is to find out what motivates you to keep going. This is different for everyone, but here are some ideas. You can focus on what your life will look like when you complete it, or what you will do to celebrate your achievement.  

Another way to look at this is to see what will happen if you don’t achieve this goal? What pain will it cause? 

Do you need some type of external accountability? This could look like sharing your goals with a spouse or a friend, or even posting your goals on social media. I’d love to invite you to the Wise Photographers Facebook Group for some accountability! 

Keep your goals front and center

Another useful tip is to keep your goals front and center. So many of the most successful people in the world are reviewing their goals every single day. That could look like creating a vision board- you could do this with magazines, and glue, or you could pull images onto a page and print it off. 

You could have your written out goals on your desk, in your planner, on your bathroom mirror, or as your background on your computer or phone. 

Keep your notes front and center!

Next is to celebrate the process. Share those little wins along the way, let those around you cheer you on! 

I would absolutely love to hear what your goals are for 2020, please pop into the facebook group and share your goals, and maybe find an accountability partner.  

If you want even more resources for goal planning, and completing goals check out the Powersheets by Laura Casey over at The Cultivate What Matters Shop The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin, The Power of Habit: Why we do what we do by Charles Duhigg, and the Seasonal Calendar by Lindsy Letters. 

Thank you so much for joining me today. I would love to hear what your goals are for this year! If you want to see what my goals are, then head over to the facebook group and check them out and share your own! 

xoxo- Chelsy

I'm chelsy


I'm Chelsy a small town farmwife from western North Dakota. I built an elegant wedding photography business in the middle of nowhere with nothing but a camera and a google search bar. When my husband's one heart surgery turned in to a three-year-long battle, it turned everything on its head. I vowed to help other small business owners put systems into place to ensure the business can still run even if you have to step away.

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