Happy New Year! For me, this is a time of reflection on the year gone past, and a time for planning the year ahead. Instead of braving the crowds and chaos in the city, I chose to stay at home on New Year’s Eve quietly reflecting on 2010 and my goals for 2011.
Last year seemed to have gone by in a flash. During 2010 I did some travelling (which was great), and completed my Chartered Accountant studies, an achievement I’m extremely proud of. Unfortunately, two and a half years of rigourous study on top of a full-time job took its toll, and left me completely burnt out, physically and mentally.
So when setting my goals for this year, I decided that 2011 is going to dedicated to ME. In the past, I’ve set goals that were actually what others wanted (or expected) of me. Hence I felt resentful most of time, and even when I achieved the goal, there was little sense of accomplishment. I’ve also set goals that were too big and way “out-there” to be realistic. While it’s important to be ambitious and have a big vision for the future, we also need to be careful not to set ourselves up to fail in the short-term.
My ‘goals’ are not ‘New Year’s Resolutions.’ I’ve made resolutions before — and failed at keeping them. The very nature of most resolutions come from a dis-empowered state, of something bad that needs fixing (“I will stop eating ice-cream,” etc). Instead, I’ve chosen goals that are proactive in nature and which are about achieving specific outcomes.
One of my goals this year is to increase my photography skills and knowledge, especially with off-camera/Strobist lighting. I’ve avoided off-camera lighting for a long time because it intimidated me, but I know this is something I’d like to master in order to take my photography to the next level.
This year, I also want to produce a new portfolio demonstrating a higher standard of photography. The more I learn about photography, the more I realise there’s so much more to learn besides aperture, shutter speed and ISO. And the more photographers I discover whose work I find inspirational, the more elements I see in my own work than can be improved on. Elements such as composition, use of light, story-telling — these are all things I can work on.
I don’t know for sure what the future will bring, but I’ve decided that this year (and every year going forward) is going to be my best year yet. 2011 is going to be an exciting year.