planning for a new year

Mary Dougherty

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ABOUT mary

I'm a fine art film photographer living in the mountains and traveling to tell beautiful stories





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champagne bottle pop on wedding night

I’m excited about the new year. It’s not just because last year was crazy (understatement) but I am equal parts organized and spontaneous. This is the time of year I love to plan out everything, and I think I do that so later on I can change directions and pivot when I need to.

So, what am I focusing on and how do I get ready for the year? One of my favorite ways is to just ask questions. Here are a few that help me reframe my thoughts and take stock of where I want to go :

questions to ask when planning for a new year

  • What worked last year? What didn’t work?
  • What do I want to feel more of? Less of?
  • What do I want to make time for? What can I stop doing?
  • What can only I do? What can someone else do for me?
  • What does self care look like for me? Not taking care of myself?

Spending time to journal, look back on numbers and realize what 20% of work I did made the biggest impact is so helpful. Doing everything in your business typically leads to burnout and stunted growth. My advice to you is plan for a new year that involves more of what you love.

5 questions to plan for a new year | a conversation with Mary Dougherty

where I was in 2015

Take a look at the goals post I wrote in 2015, and I’m amazed at how much I accomplished. I was published in print, went to several workshops + invested in mentoring, moved to the Adirondacks and more.

planning for a new year : 2021

Jumping off what I wrote years ago, here is an updated list. It feels vulnerable to write these things down and share them with you, but I guess if I did it in the past I can do so now too.

Personal Goals

  • Intentional time with family – it goes without saying that this means so much more now. We didn’t travel to see anyone in 2020 so safely planning a trip or two in 2021 would be amazing.
  • Develop lasting relationships in my community and gradually affect change. This is big and ambiguous, but the older I get the more I realize how much we need to invest in others specifically where we live. If we all cared about our neighbors more we would have a better world.
  • Train Juniper! Our Christmas puppy is fitting in well to the family and I know this year will be crucial in training. A goal is to have her well adjusted to other dogs and kids while going on adventures with us.
  • Saranac 6er – I have only hiked two of these peaks, since we moved here while I was pregnant it was low on the priority list. Now I’m excited to hike them all with the kids!
  • Teach Daphne to knit + both complete a project (I have a wool + the gang kit to give her for her birthday I’m excited about).
  • Go skiing. I know we already do this, but it’s a goal and priority to spend time outside together. Always.
  • Camping – This is honestly so memorable for our kids. The best is getting up in the morning for swimming and cooking breakfast over the fire after no sleep ;)
  • Storm King – I have been wanting to visit and would love to take a family trip to Storm King. The more art in our lives the better.
  • Run a race (virtually or in person) and get a few friends to join

Professional Goals

  • Host the 4th Adirondack Wedding Workshop and bring an amazing group of creatives together for a luxury wedding in the Adirondacks. This is a huge feat to pull off but so rewarding to see the community and growth that comes from it.
  • Coach 10 photographers in my 4-month group coaching program – my goal is to help photographers make their passion a real job which means raising their prices and avoiding burnout.
  • Create 2 shoots on my own in new locations – I love dreaming up new work and pushing myself to do something different. This allows my client work to improve and keeps me creative.
  • Have 5 features online – I have the work we just need to find the right spots.
  • Book 5 weddings ( 1 down 4 to go) for my associate photographer Amanda and find one other photographer to train and bring on as an associate. Interested? Email me!
  • Create a blogging course. This is something I have thought about for years and I want to make it happen since I know it’s a struggle for so many photographers. Please encourage me if you like this idea.

That’s it for now! I think the comment button may be broken but if not I’d love to hear from you. Share what you are looking to do in 2021

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