Last spring I told you that when winter started I'd ask you two questions.
I warned you then, so you would have time to prepare your answers. It gave me the same opportunity. Here it is...the start of winter and time for us to do some reflection.
'to face unafraid the plans that we made...'
I almost didn't write this post for us. What if you hadn't really made a plan? What if you made one and didn't complete it as well as you'd hoped? You wouldn't want to look back, right? Who wants to face that kind of reminder of your goals unfulfilled?
Stuck in the middle of the Christmas song "Winter Wonderland" is a throwaway line.
I've heard the song millions of times, but I had never noticed that line before this year:
As we dream by the fire
To face unafraid
The plans that we made
Walking in a winter wonderland
There were a couple timely messages. Winter is a good time to dream. Don't be afraid to face your plans.
Let's do both.
Here was the first question: What did you learn?
"Can you look back on our warm months with satisfaction? What did you learn? How have you improved? The opportunity to shoot more also offers the opportunity to learn more."
In addition to shooting, I've been learning how to publish books. Next year, I'd like to complete an ebook that I sell on Amazon. I've spent the last several months reading and studying best practices and strategies for that. I'm thinking some of these colder months will be spent writing.
What about you? What did you learn this year that helps you reach one of your goals?
Here is the second question: What did you create?
"This is another way to enjoy a sense of accomplishment. Deliberate learning is fine, but think how wonderful you will feel when you look back at something you have created.
It might be a photo project, a coffee table book, or a new blog. You might use your talents to help your favorite cause. It really doesn’t matter what you choose. Creating something is useful because it will help motivate you to keep shooting. It will give you the opportunity to improve. Creating something significant will fill a larger need that we photographers have. Think about it."
Did you create anything? Are you incubating your idea? Are you executing it now? Maybe you just created a photo you love. Maybe your Project 365 or 52 is your source of accomplishment. Maybe you are still searching for the right project.
I look back with satisfaction at many of our Free Photo Webinars. We tackled more topics than I anticipated. Photography in crisis situations, Developing your photo style, and Creating Black & White photography are just a few of my favorites. It even inspired me to use that format to deliver my signature photo tour. In 10 Steps to Great Pictures, I've taken the class I teach around the monuments and turned it into a video training series. It's yet another learning resource for you. I felt good completing it.
But what if you don't like your answers
Let's face it, we all have a few To Do's left undone this time of the year. It happens. If you are unsatisfied with the way you answered the two questions, here is the amazing part. You get to try again. You get to decide what you want to create, and what you will learn to help ensure your success.
Think about it.
Congratulations on all you accomplished this year. I'm looking forward to doing great things with you next year.
P.S. By the way, if you need a little help, download my Planning for Greatness guide. It walks you through the questions you need to answer to define and reach your dream.