52 weeks of focus

This is my word. My intention for 2014.

To focus on the present. To focus on who I am. Focus on learning and growing. Focus on finding my passions. Focus on the task at hand. 

This year I will learn to pay closer attention to how I am spending my time and adjusting to the world around me without losing sight of my goals. I desire to make things happen. 

Here is the game plan for 2014...
- Cancel my cable and spend less time in front of the television (absolute time suck!)
- Set up and organize my studio for creative focus
- Take web design and photography courses
- Make weekly and monthly goals to keep moving in the right direction
- Eat healthy and exercise (because that's the doctor's orders for the focus-challenged)

In addition to the practices above, I've started a 52 week project focusing on my unique interests. There are so many things I want to learn or try that I often find myself overwhelmed by The List. So this year, I wrote down 52 things I would like to learn about or do this year, put each on a slip of paper and dropped them in a jar. Each week I will pull out a slip and spend some time working on that project. This week...learn ways to light a photo. In particular, I would like to learn more about properly lighting my product photos for the joyfullifeshop. Tips, tricks, you name it...I want to find it, absorb it and use it. As I go, I hope to share only the best parts of what I learn from each project with you here. 

So...I'm off to learn a little about photography lighting from the novices, masters, and DIYers. If you know of any great resources, or have tips of your own, I would love to check them out. Just leave a link in the comments so readers can check them out too.

Until next time! Keep on working towards your best self. 


  1. Great goals. My word…Hope….

    I'm a real beginner with photographer but have been using Pintrest to help me

    Am also going to take a night time course - as while I'm beginning to understand the camera a bit I'm hopeless at night.

    Have fun

    1. Isn't Pinterest a wonderful resource!? It is my go to for finding DIYs, tutorials, inspiration. Thanks for sharing your board!

      I look forward to hearing more about your hopeful year and what it brings for you over at KT and Coffee.

  2. Hi Mara,

    Focus is a good word to go choose! I'm sure this will be a year of focus for you and you will come out with lots of clarity.

    I can suggest you the book Taking great Photos, if you focus on product photography for your shop.

    I love to learn photography skills at Creative LIVE, they have courses in different categories and you can see their workshops live or purchase them afterwards, but there is always something to learn over there!

    Hope I could help you!
    Best wishes

    1. Thanks Eos! I will definitely check out that book and hope to be taking some photography courses from Creative Live this year. Great ideas!

  3. Funnily enough I chose 'Focus' as my word last year. This year I have chosen 'Start' to help me with my procrastination habit... but I am carrying focus along with me into 2014, too.

    Your game plan for 2014 sounds brilliant, and the 52 week project is such a great idea! :)

    Xanthe runs some brilliant courses, and I expect you'd love her work: http://www.xantheberkeley.com/


    1. oooooooh....I may need to use "Start" next year! I like that word. I too am a huge procrastinator. The 52 week project has been a lot of fun so far! I'm just dabbling in a little bit of everything and learning a lot...not to mention FINALLY getting a few things off of my to do list. Is it weird that I was excited when the "clean out your closet" project came out of the jar?!

      I'm going to check out Xanthe today. Thanks for the link!