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I'm Catie, a Dallas-based personal branding photographer for creative entrepreneurs. You can expect to find personal branding and business tips.

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Favorite New Year & Goal Setting Resources

Favorite Finds

Doesn’t it feel like once Christmas has come and gone, suddenly everyone jumps into goals for the New Year? I know that I have done that before. One of the things I wish was a resource when I was in college, and even when I was in high school was directed and intentional resources for goal setting and planning. I think my life would have felt a little less random sometimes.

I love stationery – the paper, the pretty design, the utility – and planners especially, but I’ve always been guilty of never really using one to it’s full potential. I always had this irrational fear of “messing things up” because the planner was pretty. I would purchase planners (and back in the day my mom bought it for me) and while I’d start out with good intentions, by March, it would either start to collect dust or be buried at the bottom of my purse of desk drawer. Sad. I know.

In fact, I love to plan. But sometimes, planning and thinking and dreaming can be procrastination in disguise. I know I’m totally guilty of this. I’ll sit down and brainstorm and idea, think up names or potential for income, and then do nothing with it. It’s procrastination in sheep’s clothing. Baaaaaaah.

For the new year, in 2016, I’m going to be intentional with my goals and plans. My favorite way of goal setting has been through using Lara Casey’s PowerSheets. It’s not just a way of listing out what you want to do, but really digs deep into how your previous month or year has gone, reflecting, and creating and setting intentional goals so that you can make what matters most happen in your life. I just received the new and re-designed version for 2016, and they are beautiful! But as Lara says, don’t be afraid to make a mess; the PowerSheets are meant to be used!


Lara Casey’s PowerSheets – available here

I’m a huge fan of Lara’s PowerSheets and have been using them since the second half of 2013 (I think!). However, they are meant for goal setting and are not a weekly or daily planner. So, in conjunction with the PowerSheets, I recommend getting a planner where you can see your months and weeks and days.

Here are a few that come to mind for pretty planners.

Emily Ley created the Simplified Planner to help women simplify their lives and make what matters most happen. She’s designed a beautiful planner that comes both in daily and weekly editions. You can easily plan out your week, pencil in appointments, meetings, exams, date nights, and everything in between that needs to be on your radar. I think the Gold Pineapple design is precious.

Simplified Planner – available here


Another great planner that I hear lots of creatives like is the Day Designer. Created by Whitney English, it’s made for what the name suggests – designing your day.

Day Designer – available here


For me, because I’m just a Target junkie, I fell for the Sugar Paper line of planners for Target. I’m the type of person who likes to be able to touch and feel a paper product before purchasing. While on a seemingly random trip to Target a couple weeks ago, I picked up the weekly edition of the spiral planner in white with gold polka dots.


Sugar Paper Planners – available here

Another good resource for setting quarterly goals is Krysta Masciale’s START goal planning guide. She breaks it down into simple steps with prompts and reflection questions that’ll get you really thinking about what you want to achieve.

Start – Your Quarterly Guide to Goal Domination – available here



I was Googling goal setting and stumbled upon LuluLemon Vision & Goals guide. If you go to the link there’s a PDF you can download and fill in with your goals. There’s also a video explaining what having a vision and setting goals is.


I believe it’s so important to set goals for yourself. Whether it’s setting goals for the year, the next 5 years, or even the next 5 weeks. By having goals set, you can then create a game plan or road map for how you’re going to get to that goal.

What should goals look like? They should be SMART!

Specific. Being successful in school or in business is a great idea, but it’s not a specific goal. If we want to achieve something, we need to get really specific about what it looks like in order to move towards it. For example, your goal might be to get into a specific college or maintain a 3.5 or higher GPA. Or, if you’re a photographer, you might have a goal of booking 20 clients.

Measurable. Just like being specific, you need to be able to measure your progress. Maybe it’s spending an extra 30 minutes a day studying a specific subject. Maybe it’s booking four clients a month. Maybe it’s adding 100 Instagram followers in three months. In some way shape or form, you should be able to measure the goal you want to achieve!

Action-Oriented. In order to make your goals happen, you have to take action, right? Just because you write down a goal, doesn’t mean that it’ll just magically happen. So make your goal action-oriented. What are you going to do to make this goal a reality? Maybe it’s running for 30 minutes a day, 3 days a week. Maybe it’s contacting a makeup artist or boutique. Maybe it’s setting up appointments with advisors or for campus tours. Take action!

Realistic. So who else has set a goal or “New Year’s Resolution”? And who else has given up on a goal just a few weeks into the New Year? I think it’s because we tend to set goals that aren’t realistic or actually achievable. I think this tends to happen a lot especially when it’s a goal around weightloss or working out – Am I right?! So for example, you may want to set a goal of working out for 30 minutes a day, 4 days a week, rather than trying to set a goal of 1 hour a day, 7 days a week. What is a realistic goal for you?

Time-sensitive. The last quality of a great goal is that it’s time sensitive. It needs to have a deadline. Whether the goal is in within the year, six months, or a month, set a deadline for your goal. It will also give you a good idea of what is working while you work towards your goal or if you need to recalibrate and reassess your goal.

What are some of your goals in 2016? What do you want to make happen?

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