03 October 2008

New Year's Resolutions: 3rd Quarter Review!

With the year being 3/4 over, I can honestly say that I am more than overwhelmed with the way the year has turned out so far.

Like all new years, we make our resolutions on how we would like the year to go and see how we can improve ourselves along the way. And upon review of what I written way back on Jan 1, 2008 (see blog entry), I fulfilled more than I can ever hoped for and for what I've set out for myself. I can't recall a time where I've actually looked back at a New Year's resolution and say "yup! did it! completed it! what's next?!" as we tend to make the same resolutions each and every year!

So at this point, I'd like to share what I've accomplished so far this year:

Resolution 1: Be Healthy
Quote: I should train for something like a race in the summer or a "vacation" that involves a trekking, climbing, hiking, pulling, pushing, rafting and cycling.
What I've done so far: I ran my very 1st 10Km race for the Great Human Race this year. I wasn't training to come in first as opposed to finishing the race. I have never registered for a race before so I'm pretty proud to say that I completed a 10Km race as my very first race. I guess all those other 5Km races throughout the year should be a breeze!

As for an active vacation, I guess it was fate that I came across PlanIt Adventures. This company had more than what I was looking for as it came complete with activities such as white water rafting, horseback riding, mountain biking, a 3 day trek along the Inca Trail, a hike up Machu Picchu as well Huana Picchu, canopy walking high above the Amazon, beach volleyball, surfing and yoga! Never had a vacation quite like this before as most of the time it's visiting and shooting landmarks.

Resolution 2: Marketing Marketing Marketing
Quote: I should get the word out even more and reach out beyond the referrals
What I've done so far: Maybe I should've said "Networking Networking Networking!" as marketing and networking go hand in hand. For the most part, I can thank the "necessary evil" that is called Facebook, as it to allows me to conveniently upload pictures from places that I've been and events that I've covered. And it's usually at these events that I'll talk to an owner (or representative or designer or model or planner), exchange information and talk about a collaboration in the future as well as tell them where they can see the pictures from the event, should they happen to have a Facebook book profile. But it's that 1st point of contact where it's crucial to make a good impression while networking to market yourself to potential clients.

One of the best advice I received in the photography business is that "there's always someone that going to be better than you and cheaper than you. so why would someone want to hire you? 'VALUE'! have someone excited about you. believe in yourself and in what you're selling and your clients will buy into you."

Resolution 3: Get More Creative
Quote: I would also like to further explore my designing, drawing and painting skills even more, somewhat akin to what I've done and been known for in the past
What I've done so far: aside from photography, I've been helping out a local comedian come up with "Top 10" lists for whenever he needs one done. Sometimes we get carte blanche on the topic and sometimes a topic is given - some of which you would think it would be nearly impossible to come up with anything remotely funny without offending anyone. Trying to find that balance of "creatively funny" and "insanely idiotic" is quite the challenge but throwing around ideas and brainstorming is what makes it a blast.

As well, a couple of coworkers and myself were involved in a contest to come up with a sculpture that would best exemplify the olympic spirit of the winter games. What we did was create 5 wired sculptures, each painted in an olympic color, posed in 5 unique poses representing some of the events in the winter olympics, with photographic urban landscapes as the background. We were 18 votes from 1st place out of numerous entries - which is good enough for an official olympic fleece jacket and that can be turned into a vest. Not too shabby.

Resolution 4: Budget Finances
Quote: Budgeting will be very important this year, especially if I need to focus on my welfare, business and leisure activities
What I've done so far: Now that I'm settled into my new place, I did not have to buy any new furnishings, which was the bulk of my expenses last year. As well, I did not have any major expenses for photography this year - although the temptation is great with 3 months left remaining for another set of studio lights and the new Canon 5D Mark II camera. With not many major expenses this year, I was able to save up for the new iPhone and a 3 week trip to Peru.

Resolution 5: Travel Outside of Canada
Quote: For this year there are talks of heading down to Vegas, Costa Rica and/or Spain. Just need to iron out some details and see who would be the parties involved
What I've done so far: As mentioned numerous time through my blog, I recently came back from Peru as a much needed vacation. Someplace in Europe was actually my 1st choice, but looking back at my decision, I have no regrets going to South America for the 1st (and definitely not the last) time. I met a great group of people while on my vacation and travelled with a great group while I was there. I don't know about next year, but 2010 should be a good time to have another big trip

Resolution 6: Read More Books
Quote: It wasn't until the 4th quarter of 2007 that I started reading frequently.
What I've done so far: the 1st half of the year, it was actually fairly slow in terms of reading. It wasn't until my trip to Peru that I met someone that was really into reading books and gave me a couple of good titles to check out. Just recently I've been on pace of reading a book a week since I've returned (the last 3 books I've read were by Chuck Palahniuk - Choke, Invisible Monsters and Lullaby). But I think I'm on the right path to something by reducing my time on the computer and tv and making time to read a few chapters whenever I can. Maybe I'll tackle ALL the Harry Potter books before end of the year

So overall, I am quite content with the way the year has played out so far in terms of my personal and professional life. In fact, I appear to be more content with myself than in previous years. With 3 months left to go until it's time to come up with new resolutions, anything else good that comes my way I try to pave for myself is just a bonus. Guess that's the power of positive thinking.

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