Three Goals + A Life Lesson: How Ari is Getting Her Groove Back

It's been all quiet on the blog front over here these past few months, and i HATE it. Of course, I can never just slip quietly back into a routine and hope you'd never notice. Instead I prefer the barreling in with fanfare, bouts of truth and realness, and of course a GIANT BLOG POST ABOUT IT.

Alright, ready for another overly honest post about real life and being an entrepreneur?

Over this past year I've gone through multiples cycles of burnout and being generally overwhelmed. It wasn't because I had more work or too much to handle but simply just a strange loss of my usual fortitude, that go-getter, get-ahead attitude that I usually have.  Sometimes it was because of life, or the fact that things would pile up too quickly and too close together, and sometimes it was just the general stress of the every day. Not to say I didn't try. My editorial calendars were planned out every month, blog post ideas jotted down, but it seemed no amount of planning and preemptive work could get them written or posted, and my focus was on just staying on top of things that I could be held accountable for.

Of course it's always a cycle and you come back up for air at some point. Enter me now. Now that it's November I'm hoping to stay on an upswing for a bit. My blog has been fairly empty and I've shied away from social media a lot lately. I really want to bring that all back. After all, it's how I got here in the first place! Last April, I launched an entirely new area of business for creatives and I've been fairly quiet about promoting and sharing it. Fortunately there have been a few photo shoots that I hope to start sharing on here in the coming weeks.

With all that being said what have I learned from this year and what am I doing to stay out of that cycle? I mean what's the point of going through ups and downs if you don't learn from everything? Here is one thing I learned and two goals I'm keeping in mind.

Life Lesson Learned: You really do have to take care of you.

I promise you, its the first thing to go. You have responsibilities, clients you don't want to disappoint, an impression to make. You can't go on vacation or spend your days doing something for yourself... and then you wake up one day and you just don't want to get out of bed even a little bit and you're basically useless, and even Netflix is worried about you and wants to know " if you're still there." I've seen that one too many times this year, and I'm determined to avoid that in 2017. Which is why I've included my three corresponding goals. 

Goal #1. Solidify my morning routine.

This is the more practical of my two girls. I thrive on routine and I'm so off when I don't have one. So I really want to push myself to start having consistent mornings, that actually include eating breakfast, drinking water, and doing more to establish my mindset before I even sit down at the computer. This combined with my next goal will probably do wonders for just having the right frame of mind no matter where I am and what I'm doing.

Goal #2. Do more things for my creative heart.

I know that deep down, I'm a businesswoman. I love the photography and the clients with all my heart, but I still get a weird sense of satisfaction when I update my accounting ledgers and manage funds and plan out editorial calendars. It's times like this I realize that I'm also probably a major nerd, but of course I wouldn't change a thing. It's 100% why I'm still in business. In the past couple of years I've been really excited to be able to finally focus more of my time into developing my craft, far less time on the clerical stuff. But I have not done enough to keep me fresh and new and excited. Things are becoming stale and I want to make sure that I do more to get me motivated and inspired. I want to read books and blogs and articles that move me to write and dream. I mean do you guys even know how long it's been since I read a regular ol' book?! It breaks my heart because I love to read but I just haven't been able to get into it. This winter I'm happy to say that I've already started two new books and i can't wait start writing my Words + Coffee posts again! 

Goal #3: Adjust my expectations.

When I talk to people about blogging, I ALWAYS tell them to start with an easily attainable goal and work up from there. Whether's its bimonthly or once a week, just shoot for consistency and raise the bar when it gets easier. But what I have never talked about is not being afraid to cut back. I used to post on most social platforms 3-5x/week and blog at least 2-3x/week regularly. So when I started falling behind, and losing that momentum, I became super disappointed in myself. I had launched new services, so I really needed to be posting daily with informational posts that would help promote my new business...

Here's the thing... the only person who said I should post 3x/week or more was ME. So guess who could have easily adjusted that demand? You guessed it. Me. I was being a pretty crappy boss to myself, and now I'm making a concerted effort to try and lower the expectations to fit my workload, instead of the other way around. I don't need everything to be doing awesome ALL OF THE TIME. At times, I've gotta adjust - and that is TOTALLY okay.

Man, I sure do write a lot. But it's more than the last few months combined, so yippee me! I am excited for a quiet couple of months to edit, reassess, and start finding ways to keep my creativity and imagination flowing off the charts.

Happy Thursday y'all!



Ariana Watts

Silver Feather Studios, Burlington, NC, 27217, United States