At the start of each new year, I choose a word for the year. I played around with a few different ideas and the word “foundation” felt most appropriate for 2023. This word is what I will focus on in both my business and my personal life. Below are my goals for 2023 big and small.
I am building a foundation with my first year of marriage and making the space we live in more of a home. More on that below! In my work life, I am passionate and excited to continue working on SEO (search engine optimization) that helps people find my posts via google. I have been working on this for the past six months teaching myself as I go and it really is a lot of fun. The foundation for good SEO and optimizing posts and updating links and current content is something that has to happen on a regular basis. I truly want to be a great resource for all things Paris and help you plan the best trip!
At the end of last year when I felt relaxed and stress-free, I started planning out 2023 and what I wanted it to look like. Planning a wedding in the fourth quarter of my business (which is always the most stressful time of the year) was a lot! I was burnt out and exhausted. On the first days of our mini-moon, I slept a lot and just needed to regroup. This made me re-evaluate how I could make my life less stressful and give it more balance.
One of the big things I am working on this year is my work-from-home weekly schedule. I have been working from home for over ten years wish I had it all figured out but I feel with the addition of Henri (who is two) and a growing business, it feels chaotic and completely overwhelming some days. I love structure and routine and I am working on creating and maintaining something that works for me to make me the most productive.
This means moving my schedule around to maximize Henri’s nap time so I can be productive at home. I am big on the Focus function on the Mac and iPhone. It has been one of the key features I use on a daily basis to minimize distractions while I am working and writing at the computer.
I am lucky to work with one of the most amazing and supportive teammates, Alyssa who helps me in every part of my business. One of my goals is to learn to delegate more tasks and be able to execute some bigger projects in 2023.
The idea of the top 5 lists came at the end of 2022 and I thought I was crazy for undertaking such a big commitment and didn’t know how it would be received. We have done the Top 5 things to do in the winter and the top 5 Paris bistros. I am very grateful that it has been a hit so far with readers and I am getting suggestions for future post ideas. Having a more consistent post schedule knowing that these will be up every Friday helps me plan content. I can even batch write these for when I am traveling or have extra time in my schedule.
One of the requests I hear over and over is more help with trip planning. I am working on The Paris Guide which will be a downloadable PDF (for purchase) and will have all my recommendations in one spot. This includes my favorite restaurants, drink spots, and places to explore, shop, and stay. It is a main focus for this year as travel to Paris continues to be a hot destination and I don’t expect it to slow down. Get on the list to be the first to download The Paris Guide coming this spring.
I wish I was able to answer everyone’s individual questions through email and DMs on Instagram but I am just one person and I am managing a lot.
I wrote a list of dream partnerships at the end of 2022 and I can’t wait to take action on making these happen. My partnerships and recommendations are something I take seriously and your trust as a reader is very important.
This year marks my 13th year photographing Paris. It continues to inspire me and I am still learning each and every trip I shoot. I can’t wait to see my business grow even more in 2023. This year one of my dream retailers is happening in July and I can’t wait to see the project hit stores. I have a bottle of champagne for the occasion. (it is something I have been working towards since 2012)
The Print Shop functions mainly on Shopify which I worked with a designer and developer to update at the end of last year. I would love to learn more and build out the functions of the site making it more shopper-friendly and growing The Print Shop with more product offerings (notecards and wrapping paper) and images from upcoming travel. I am already dreaming up the 2024 Paris calendar.
I have a love/hate relationship with Instagram which I feel you are hearing across the board with creators. Instagram has introduced me to some amazing friends and business contacts over the years and I am so grateful for helping the app grow my business. I also feel completely overwhelmed by DM questions these days which I struggle to answer along with emails, write posts, and be present in my personal life. It is a LOT. I am working on a plan to make this easier and more efficient for readers and me.
My number one focus this year on connecting with my audience is my email list! (sign up and help me here) I love connecting more personally sharing thoughts, images, and favorite links in my emails. While people can miss content through algorithms on social platforms, this is a much more direct way of sharing my work.
It is important to write down your goals and dreams on paper to make them a reality. I have shared this before but I truly believe in the power of manifestation. On December 31st, over dinner with my husband I wrote down BIG goals for my business. I am excited to make these a reality with hard work in 2023.
I will be the first to admit I am a workaholic, I lost my job in 2008 and have been hustling and working ever since to be successful. My photography business started in 2010 with my first solo trip to Paris I have been able to slowly grow it over the years with pivots and the introduction of the blog in 2016. I am a firm believer in slow and steady wins the race. The last week of 2022 was the first time I have ever completely shut down, put an out-of-office reply up, and not worked. It was amazing and felt so good to unplug and rest.
It isn’t healthy and productive to wait again until the end of 2023 to take time off, I plan on doing it more regularly. I am working on structuring my week to take time off on the weekends and plan emails and posts in advance so I can shut down and rest for the week ahead.
So far I have booked manicures, read books, taken long walks with friends, and had date nights out. It truly has been refreshing to have this balance.
Cooking and baking were such a great escape during lockdown months. I was able to put on music, unplug, and make something delicious to enjoy at home. Since work has kicked into high gear, we have been leaning more toward ordering out than I would like. We got a pizza stone for one of our wedding presents and a pasta maker I would love to make our own pizza dough and pasta.
The last few years have been very chicken-focused in my cooking since I don’t eat much red meat. I am ready to learn and cook more fish and balance our meals more.
There is a more in-depth post on this coming up soon. My husband and I have been working on this over dinners and weekend trips to furniture stores. I moved in three years ago and I am ready to invest more in our home and make it my own. Plus, I would love to share more on the blog and have spaces to create content, especially in the kitchen. I recently ordered this piece for the kitchen which I am so excited about and wish I had ordered sooner but it didn’t click that I found the perfect spot for it until now.
I also want to change out some art of mine that is hanging and put up bigger pieces.
We are playing with the idea of switching out a room to a dining room which will require us to give up some space. I moved in during 2020 and we haven’t done much entertaining with friends or family at home and I would love to be able to have a dinner party.
That’s it for now in terms of goals. There are a lot of personal and work goals. I hope this inspires you to create goals of your own. Just a reminder that you don’t have to cross everything off your list in 2023. There is no guarantee for anything. I felt flipped upside down at the start of 2020 as a small business owner and will always feel a bit strange planning for the future. Give yourself grace and know that change and progress in the right direction are better than where you started.
*Photos of me by Katie Donnelly Photography
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