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2013 Blog Goals

Ugh, I’m the worst at setting goals. I like to think that I’m constantly in a state of self improvement and don’t need January 1st to start the ball rolling for me. But it is a great time of year to be reflective on what I’d like to do differently in the new year. So I’m going to share a few of my thoughts on how I’d like to improve my blog today, then in a few days share a few personal goals. It’s a spot to hold myself accountable.

{This is me juggling life and the blog. My real goal that I’ve maintained pretty well in 2012 is to blog when my youngest is in pre school and late at night. It continues for 2013.}

When I say blog goals, that encompasses everything from my photography business to my book sales to the projects I share on this blog. I’ve gone through 2 different blog transformations this past year with my logo and name change, and feel much more organized with the LOOK of my blog thanks to some wonderful behind the scenes helpers like Cyndi Marie and Happy Potamus Designs as well as a few of my sis in laws.

{Re purposed frame}

Home Projects

About 2 months ago, I pulled out a sketch book and wrote every room of my home on it’s own individual page. On each page, I listed various ideas I had for that space. Anything from painting the walls to window treatments to wall art to organization. I just counted through that list, and found there are 75 items.

I have 4 rooms in my home that I’ve been working on the past 6 months or so, that I consider 85% done, and just need some finishing touches FINISHED, and I can consider it DONE. Then, I will of course reveal it to all of you dear sweet friends out there. In my dream world, I’d say I’d have a different room reveal each month. Lets call that a “dream” goal. For a realistic goal, I’ll say 2 home projects a month. I’m being very liberal with my self expectations while having a dream world in the back of my mind. So here are a few goals for the home:

  • Reveal a room project each month
  • I am going to build something with wood, and not have my husband do it
  • Try wall stenciling
  • Make chalk paint
  • Learn how to distress furniture correctly

{Photo shoot in Philadelphia}


  • I REALLY love photographing families more candidly. I’d like to have more in home/playful photo sessions this year, while still holding my mini sessions for the “mom” shots that we all love;)
  • I have 2 workshops planned in the next month. One in Austin, one in Houston. I’m traveling some this summer, but not quite sure where yet. I love teaching and helping others Say NO to Auto and take more beautiful pictures.
  • My cute little books. I have plans. Dreamy plans. Too dreamy to share. I am pretty happy about Say NO to Auto being on Amazon, and I need to prep Get Focused and get it up and on there, too! I want to find ways to break out of the blogosphere to sell it, and being on Amazon was one way…if you have other ideas, I’d love to hear!
  • Start an affiliate program for my book.
  • learn how to edit video

Blog, misc.

  • I’m already signed up and headed to 2  conferences to mostly meet up with my bloggy friends, but to also tap into creativity and organization.
  • I want to commit to share more photography posts, since this is where it all started!
  • I want to READ more inspirational blogs and not just write mine!
  • Start a newsletter
  • share a few videos
Lastly, my goal for this blog is to HAVE FUN!!!
This blog started for fun, and it is still fun for me, but sometimes I feel self conscious or compare myself to others. It’s reality, people. I need to compare myself and this cute little blog to ME, and no one else. No hurt feelings, just fun. There, it’s a goal, it will be done.
Here’s to a fun 2013!!


Kristen Duke

Kristen Duke

Thank you for stopping by my little spot on the web! If you enjoyed this post, you can subscribe to my future posts via RSS, Facebook, and if you are looking to improve your photography, see my beginner books HERE.
Kristen Duke
Kristen Duke
Kristen Duke
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  1. So I am not new to the world of blogging but have been not so diligent in my own expectations over the years. I love love love this site! I found you on pinterest about starting the photog business. I am going to jot down my goals in each of the areas and hobbies of my mediocre life. I would also like to know how much time you currently commit to keeping up with your blogging and, photog sessions and other hobbies each week. I am a mum to 4 with one not currently in school. Thank you so much for any response in advance!

    • Kristen Duke says:

      Hi there! I’m so happy to hear from you, and glad you are enjoying the ‘ole blog! What’s funny is I have found that my “other” hobbies have gone to the wayside since blogging. Even watching TV is VERY slim around here, sometimes I”ll set up my phone with hulu while I type on the blog, and multi task, but then I get distracted with one and don’t do the other! I would say on average it takes 1.5-2 hours to blog a post each day. That’s editing pictures, loading them into the post, writing it up, etc. For actual photo shoots, I do when my hubby is home, and really that is my “time away” as well. I don’t generally run an errand alone in the evenings or weekends like a lot of my mom friends do, I’m happy to shop with my little sidekick at my side during weekdays. Hope that helps….I think I’m going expand this and make it into a post, so much to consider!

  2. I haven’t been to your blog forever; it looks great, not that I ever remember it looking not great, but I notice a few changes. Anyway, you are one of the bloggers I think about when I think about someone doing what they love. I really enjoy coming to look around. It’s been awhile since I have been so Pinterest absorbed, but I’ve been wanting to read more blog entries lately so I am glad I follow you on FB as well.
    I like that you mentioned not comparing yourself, because I know that is something that a friend of mine and I have to keep in check. I don’t do a lot of blogging anymore overall, and my blogging is really for myself, but I have had some moments when I wondered what I want out of my blog. I don’t know if I want to become a “blogger” for others, or just myself. It sure does make me more self conscious to think about others reading my blog. I don’t know who my audience is if I don’t just write for me. At times I’ve wanted to quit all together, and then to combine my family blog with my craft blog and do the tabbed categories (I don’t know how to do much on blogger anymore since I have stopped staying up to date over the past couple of years) but so far I haven’t done much of anything. Still in the thinking process.
    Do you ever feel guilt about spending time on photography and crafts? That is a big struggle for me. I avoided doing anything for a long time because I thought I was being selfish, but I find I really need creative outlets in my life. I feel a lot better. Financially I can’t do everything I want, but I know that i could do more than I actually do if I would not be afraid so much. I admire you ladies who have focus and direction in your pursuits…. it is inspiring for me on many levels of thought.

    • Kristen Duke says:

      HI Jeanne, glad you have you back! Yes, I know how exciting Pinterest can be, and playing on there! Yes, my blog got a little facelift, glad you noticed. I think every mother feels guilt, no matter what. I love to do projects and share them, and it is rewarding to get feedback from all of that, I’m not gonna lie. I think we have do have a daily evaluation of how we spend our time. Combining also what is necessary to keep us emotionally afloat. We can’t give to our families and not get something in return in way of a hobby. I am a firm believer in that. But it’s true, too much can be selfish. Funny is that I hear of my friend “ignoring their kids all day so they can read a book for 8 hours straight” doesn’t sound as bad as “ignoring so I can blog for 8 hours.” Kids need independant time, but they don’t need to fend for themselves all day. A healthy balance is key. Determine what is healthy for you, and make clear expectations.

  3. Kristi Haskins says:

    Thanks for sharing your experiences and growth with your blog. I think many of us have businesses, lives, etc. that are works in progress and it is refreshing to hear from others going through the same experiences. I always appreciate your honesty and creativity. Cheers to a fun and creative 2013!!

    • Kristen Duke says:

      Love ya, coach! Miss AJ just saw your name and called it out loud! Works in progress, that’s for sure! I want to hear more about your venture!

  4. Happy new year! These are fantastic goals, and I totally want to learn to distress furniture too! That’s been on my list forever lol :)

    • Kristen Duke says:

      Cyndi, you rock! I’ve been reading up on distressing and will be sharing what I’ve learned after I do it!

  5. Fun post. I should get more specific with my goals too. My favorite is the one where you are going to blog conferences so I can meet you! :) What other one are you going to?

  6. Kristen, you’ve become one of my fav. bloggers this year! I think I started really paying attention/connecting with you when you wrote about being LDS, so I found that I had that in common with you as well as a love of photography (and I guess the whole photography blog evolving into a blog where you share projects, as well). I like how you’ve been able to post about personal thoughts/feelings as well. I have really enjoyed some of those posts. It’s something I often want to do on my own blog but rarely get up the guts to do ;) I’m hoping I can break through that shell a bit more this year! Hope you have a great 2013 :) I look forward to following along :)

    • Kristen Duke says:

      Thank you, Heather! I am an OPEN BOOK, something my husband wishes I weren’t so much. I love to share my heart, but there are still things that I wish I could share, but can’t because it affects others, so it’s tough. Break through your shell, it is SO refreshing, but don’t look for comments for a day or two b/c that part can be scary! Tell me when you do (I need nudges) and I’ll leave you some comment love!

  7. Great goals!

  8. Yours is one of my favourite blogs and I will look forward to reading your posts through 2013. By the way, I received your photo Christmas card on Monday – took a little longer to get to Canada! Thanks so much!

    • Kristen Duke says:

      Thanks, Carol, that means a lot, and I love hearing from you! Glad my card finally got you, that DID take a long time!

  9. Happy New Year! I love the way you organized your home plans by writing down each room and then making a list. My house goals are very scattered. Your method gives focus and perspective. I’m going to give it a try! Thanks for sharing. I’m excited to see you bring your goals to fruition

  10. I like that you have specific blog goals. I am so behind when it comes to planning things ahead in my blog. Arrrggghhh! Perhaps I should make it a New Year’s Resolution to set myself some blog goals. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Kristen Duke says:

      Well, my day to day planning isn’t so organized. I”ll often look at the week and think, “what can I post this week” and look at partially done projects to finish up!

  11. Oh, I love you photography goals for the year. That sounds great…and I definitely plan on buying your books this year ;) :) :) In fact, it was because of a short video segment you posted quite awhile ago that got me to using the manual focus modes on my camera much more often now :) :) Happy New Year to you and your family :) Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)

  12. I want to copy all of your goals, because I think they are so great, and realistic. I so enjoy your blog, and am grateful for the photography tips!

  13. Great goals! I’m working out my own set of blog goals. I want 2013 to be my best blogging year yet!



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