I'm not sure how this is possible, but today is the 1001st day since starting my 2nd list of 101 goals to complete in 1001 days. I even used the date calculator a 2nd time to make sure it was right. I was sure I must have another year left. But no, November 26, 2012 is it. Where does the time go? (If you're not familiar with my 101 in 1001 list, click here to see it. Goals in red are completed & you can click on them to read a blog post from when they were checked off. Goals in black are yet to be completed.)

This is my 2nd attempt at completing 101 goals in 1001 days and I gotta say, I'm not sure it's possible. Maybe if you make goals like "brush teeth every day for one week" or "eat cereal with milk," or "don't commit murder," it would be possible to check one goal off every 10 days on average, but not with real goals that change your life. Maybe if I was able to make my goal list my full-time job, it would have been possible. But alas, it doesn't pay my bills, and I failed to complete all 101 goals in 1001 days.

As I'm sitting here feeling like a slight failure -- after all, I wasn't even able to come up with 101 goals -- there are still six that are completely blank! -- I'm reminded that the purpose of this challenge wasn't necessarily to complete them all. While that might feel more neat and tidy in the end, I have always said that I'm not going to live and die by my list. While I think writing down your goals is HUGELY beneficial -- and I know I wouldn't have been this productive if I hadn't written them down in the first place -- I seek to follow God and live my life by his direction and time table.

So I'm choosing to celebrate today. I completed 55 goals in the past 1001 days. And it's SO gratifying to look back on my list and click through those that I did complete and relive the memories I've made. That's the best thing about sharing my goals with you. I get to document and celebrate the process.

Today I'm going to officially check off 4 more goals:

#69 - Update the bio page of my website with new photos of me yearly

While photographers are notorious for not enjoying being in front of the camera, I've forced myself to get over it. As I tell the photographers who attend my workshops, it's SO important for us to have updated photos of ourselves on our websites so that clients can see who is talking to them through our sites. Photos of ourselves personalize our businesses and make us accessible and relatable.

In 2010, I had updated photos taken by the fabulous Promise Tangeman. And last year my friends Gina and Marcus of Gina Meola photography did a shoot for me. This year, I've been updating the bio section of my site with photos that my office manager Sara has been taking of me weekly for my Frivolous Friday posts. All of these shoots had a different feel to them, so it's fun to see the combo of photos on my bio page now. Thanks to all my dear friends who helped me check this one off the list!

#71 - Find a church home and get involved

After moving into my new home two years ago, I visited numerous churches in the area in an attempt to find a new church home. But it was tough. I've always been super-plugged in to the churches I've been a part of throughout my life, so it was hard to show up by myself and be the new kid each Sunday morning. One Sunday last fall, I drove back to Gilbert to see my friend Scott Swanson preach at The Grove. Scott and Julie are dear friends of mine and I've been in ministry with them for over a decade. When I visited that day to support my friend, I ended up finding my church home. Even though it was a half hour drive, I loved the worship, preaching and missional focus of the church. I've been attending ever since. I am hesitant to check this goal off my list though, because I still feel like I want to get more involved. Right now I'm only attending on Sundays and participating in occasional special events. So there's room for improvement, but I do love my church and am so happy to have found a place to call "home."

#92 - Incorporate more detail shots that highlight the location into my wedding photography - work on sense of place

About a year and a half ago, I wrote this post about how frustrated I was with my own work and how I added this goal to my list in my determination to improve. Since then, I have continued to try to push myself in this area. I show up early to the venue and do some scouting with my camera in hand. I shoot some scene-setting detail shots that I often use in my blog posts and that work well in album designs too. While I would like to continue to focus on this goal, I feel like I'm at a place where I can check it off and say I'm excited that I have improved.

#93 - Figure out a way to breathe new life into my blog -- get inspired

I've been blogging for 6 1/2 years now and while I love it, it can be hard to come up with new content and keep it fresh. I have a feeling this goal will be an ongoing focus of mine, but I'm excited I've made some progress in the right direction. One of the best ways I've found to keep readers engaged Is through the use of ongoing series. Plus these REALLY help with blog content planning. Some of my favorite new series that I've developed this year include Frivolous Fridays (which helps me to make sure I'm including personal content on my blog on a regular basis -- another one of my goals), MJ2Day Alumni - Where are they now?, and my client anniversary/favorite photo posts. I recently created a form for monthly blog planning and I try to strategically plan out my blog content a month in advance. Of course, this is just a rough shell -- things are always flexible and the schedule often changes, but it helps me to make sure I'm staying consistent with the type of content I want to deliver.

Yay for checking 4 final goals off my list!

Even though my time is technically up with this format, I of course will continue to work toward many of these unfinished goals. Of the 40 that haven't been checked off yet, I'm in process with 7 of them. So hopefully there will be more to celebrate soon. As for starting a third round of 101 goals in 1001 days, I'm not sure I'm ambitious enough for that. We'll see. I'm a huge believer in the power of writing down goals, so I for sure will continue to do so in some format, but I might look for a format that will better suit this season of my life where my goals tend to be growing in size and decreasing in number. If any of you have suggestions, let me know! I love the accountability that sharing my goals publicly on my blog provides, so I'm definitely looking forward to continuing to do that some way or another.

I hope you also feel encouraged to write down your goals! Like I said in my original post, I've heard that people who write down their goals make 9 times more money over the course of their lifetimes than those who don't. I'm guessing that's because people who write down their goals actually accomplish 9 times as much over the course of their lives than those who don't. And the money is just a side effect of productivity. So dream big dreams. Then write them down.
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