Diana Elizabeth photography goals and personal post

Discovering YOUR Definition of Success: Helps with Focus and Avoids Envy in 3 steps

Diana Elizabeth photography goals and personal post

In a world full of distractions and endless ways to market to be successful person or business owner, after seven years of being a full-time entrepreneur (from graphic designer to photographer to blogger to reverse and back again on any given day), there are a few thoughts I wanted to share about staying goal focused. I’ve watched the changes in social media, an increase in saturation in one of the fields I was in (photography) and I’m currently in another saturated market – blogging. I have never had any angst about markets being saturated (I’m an early adapter and move quickly to the next thing). But if you let it get to your head you’ll never jump in and try something new! It’s all about how you perceive how you can bring your passion to the table. It’s easy to get discouraged when there’s a lot of visual ways that can make us feel behind, and the journey to success can be filled with high and low emotions and can strain relationships and hearts.

Even as adults with personal life goals or even work goals, we can struggle with the feeling of never being enough or feel like we’re getting ahead. I want to share how I have kept focused on my goals in order to reach them while cutting out the noise, competition, saturation (whatever you want to call it) and most importantly, able to continue having a celebratory heart for those who are doing the same thing as us, and even better than us.

Someone who is achieving their dreams doesn’t take away from me pursuing or successfully chasing after mine.

1 / Define what success means to you


  • Making extra money for savings, paying down debt, family vacations
  • Having fun, it’s your creative outlet, and you don’t need the money
  • Making a certain amount
  • Earning a certain title at work
  • Flexibility
  • Investing in individuals, serving
  • Raising your kids
  • Make money so you can save up to go on an international trip
  • Creative outlet
  • Growing your social networking platforms (have a reason WHY this is a goal)
  • What are your goals? Write them down.

It can be a career or personal goal, our definition of success is different. My personal definition of work success may be very different than yours, because of how hard I want to work, where I am in my career, personal life, and how long I’ve been doing this, as well as what I have time for, and what I want to achieve in the future.

Do not feel as though my goals need to be similar to yours, but feel free to use these for yourself as well this is what you desire.

Diana Elizabeth photography goals and personal post

My goals 

  1. Make money – a good living off what I do. This can vary depending on the year. Sometimes what I make is extra and goes to home projects, vacations, or sometimes it’s play money. Last year and this year it’s to make an actual good living that if Benjamin didn’t work, I could float our life – this is just a challenge to myself not because I need to, but I want to see how hard I can work and if I can do it! Setting that goals means I invest in certain activities and pull away from others.
  2. To have work without having to advertise or market my services.  This has been my goal for years. I want opportunities to land in my inbox from word of mouth, SEO searches, already producing strong content that generates attention. I haven’t marketed my services for over a year (as in posting a reminder I am a photographer or reaching out to brands to get paid) – blogging and photography opportunities land in my inbox. Getting here has not come easily, I worked hard hustling for years for this to happen. This might change if I want to get busier but for now, I enjoy this pace of work and life balance.
  3. To always maintain a celebratory heart of gratitude, appreciation, and admiration – towards those in my life, and those who do the same work as I do. (Read this post on how to cleanse your heart).

I always want to maintain a celebratory heart of gratitude, appreciation and admiration – towards those in my life, and those who do the same work as I do.

No amount of success, likes, money, or growth in following will ever compare to a healthy quality heart. I say this from experience. I’ve felt it (friends unfriending, unfollowing), and also heard it. The more you focus on our own success and how you get there will allow you to celebrate others on how they do too. Read this post on how to kill jealousy.

If you are a Christian, you have to watch this sermon from my home church about practicing gratitude and how it can change your entire life from the way you perceive hardship and just daily life. You will not be a toxic person and be able to celebrate others, and also live longer!

2 / Once you define what success means to you, then…FOCUS!

Focus on your goals and – forget everything else.

  • Example: I focus on my definition of success which is – am I making money? Then the rest doesn’t matter – how many followers or likes I get. There are so many other accounts that have more everything – likes, followers, engagement, and we can easily get lost in the popularity of it but in the end, I am making money on my posts and that makes me happy. My bills are getting paid, that home project I can justify doing.
  • Example: Co-workers are getting promoted around you or it seems like everyone is running their own business.  But you have the flexibility to work from home and pick up your kids from school which was your goal to spend more time with them. Or you can turn off your brain by 5 pm and be home and not worry about marketing your business. There is a bright side to everything if you can focus on your true goals.
  • Example: Others in the industry seem busier. This might be their bread and butter for the entire family, or they are full-time instead of part-time. The hustle might seem more intense because it needs to be – do you really want to be that much busier? Do you have time?
  • Example: Everyone is going on vacay but you have debt to pay down. You know what’s glamorous? Paying your bills, not having debt, then after you can go on that vacation guilt free. Say no now so you can say yes later – and read this post about loving your life.

If we give time to the the things that don’t matter or bring us closer to our goals, then we are actually wasting time and getting further away from our goals – so spend your time wisely!

Diana Elizabeth photography goals and personal post

Staying focused on my goals also allows me to take time off when I can – pretty much the overall goal of why I’m my own boss. I hustle hard and get my work completed and checked off my list so I can play for a week before I go back into it.

Busy is not a badge of honor to me. While busy is a blessing, there are also perks to not being busy – I try to balance both.

Busy is a blessing, but it depends on what you fill your days doing, is it productive? Up to you to decide and also some people decide that they want more personal time to attend their kid’s events, or rest, or travel. Knowing what you want helps stay focused whether this season you should be busy working and building up something to get somewhere or say no to things that will make you wander from your goals.

Because I know my own goals and seasons (sometimes balance is not attainable, or if only for a short while), when I see what everyone is doing, I can cheer them on and say, I hope you meet your goals too! And this is something I often do – I will ask people how I can help them with their business, can I send referrals, send them books or articles I see that will help them? But remember it’s not just a one-way street, help those who also help you, and you will build not just a friendship but a supportive community.

3 / Avoid Envy by…

Remembering what success means to you.

This is important because –

  • It will make you focus on what to put time and effort toward.
  • It will allow you to celebrate others instead of feeling competitiveness or inadequacy.
  • You will find inspiration from those who have the same goal as you and are doing well.

I love social media, I find it completely motivating, inspiring and I love seeing my girlfriends excel and even those I don’t. I watch in admiration, not competitively. I also don’t focus on growing it long term, perhaps sort term but right now I have other areas I am focusing on.

If we give time to the the things that don’t matter or bring us closer to our goals, then we are actually wasting time and getting further away from our goals – so spend your time wisely! You’ve got this, no matter what everyone else is doing, focus on your goals and reminding yourself of them will set you free from distractions in your mind and heart! Good luck! xx

Further related reading

How do you stay focused in a world full of distractions? Do you struggle and what have you overcome?

Diana Elizabeth is an author, photographer, and obsessive thrift shopper. You can typically find her in the garden wrist deep in dirt, at a local estate sale or planning her next epic party. She continues to blog weekly.


  • Kate

    Such a fantastic post Diana! You are such a light in this world and have the best heart. Thanks for inspiring us to look internally. And thank you for always supporting, encouraging and helping me!!!

    • Diana Elizabeth

      Thanks love bug, you do the same for me when we spend time together. Thanks for your encouraging comment, keeps me wanting to share. xx


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