New Year, new me...?
All those resolutions, fresh energy and drive to grow your business can lead to you smashing it in the first few weeks of the year, and then losing both momentum and interest (along with feeling burnt out already, “oh the Christmas break, that was AGES ago” right?) when that intitial New Year, New Me energy and enthusiasm wears off. Shocker: this year is a continuation of all the previous years’ work you put in. Now take a breath.
The tips in this blog post will help you to balance your energy and pace yourself ahead of diving into any sales-y stuff this New Year, so that you can consistently and intentionally deliver for your clients, your business vision and yourSELF.
10 important practices to lay the foundations for a strong year
- Clear out your inbox – if you’ve been hoarding emails and have hundreds of the buggers sitting in your inbox so that you can’t find the thread you need, set up a filing system in your inbox – and make use of it – including the “circular file” (A.K.A. the bin). Refresh any auto responders, email signatures, remove spam comments from your website and run any updates.
- Tidy and clean your desk or workspace. Refresh the energy of the space that you’ll be spending a big chunk of your time in. Try and make that space feel fresh and inspiring. Personally, I like to do this as part of my end of year, pre-festive break wind down so that I feel I’m coming back to a clean and fresh space. By all means, get your incense burning whilst playing some energy clearing music. Whilst you’re at it, deal with any piles or folders of paperwork and have a good clear out of anything that no longer serves you.
- Show gratitude to your existing clients. Ask yourself whether people feel loved in your business and who did you make feel seen in the previous year. Meditate on your soulmate clients and then think back through everyone you worked with in the previous year. What went well? What was a lesson? What do you want more of? Write heart-felt thank you notes to as many of your clients as possible (ideally sourcing handmade cards from an indie creator) – you’re sure to brighten a gloomy January day and stick in your clients’ mind throughout the year. Also, have a good tidy up of any client or project management systems you have in place such as Trello boards or Excel sheets.
- Sort out your finances. Are your accounts up to date? Do you know how much income you generated last year, compared to prior years? How does that FEEL and how do you want to feel doing this same activity next year?
- Consolidate notebooks. Yes, a shiny new notebook is a lovely symbolic way to start the new tear BUT if you’ve already got notes spread across 5 notepads that you either don’t need or can’t find when you do need them, that’s not much help to you. Ceremonially burn anything you don’t need and make room for new wisdom. Gather together your content ideas, outstanding actions, goals and intentions from previous years.
- Set your intentions for life and your business for the year ahead. Remember a plan + purpose = taking empowered action. Write your wishlist for your business in the coming year – are their collaborations you yearn for? Is there training you want to invest in? Do you want to get featured on a particular podcast or in a favourite magazine? Get that all down on paper. Start assessing some of the lower priority goals / intentions / actions on your list against the “This is amazing, but not yet” qualifier, so that you can spend your energy wisely.
- Allocate projects to each quarter e.g. finish off any outstanding projects or training etc in Q! and commit to not opening new ones until Q2 when those are done. This is the optimum time to do a website review and to review or refresh your lead magnet and nurture sequence.
- Content planning and creation – adding value, getting found and freeing up more of your energy later on for client work. Remember, content creates change. Content planning is a win-win. Check out this previous blog post on using a content calendar. This is the time to sign up for support if you need it. Get essential tips on writing great content with this episode of the Just Start Now podcast.
- Take care of yourself, do a big batch cook of nutritious foods, block out time for walks to beat SAD, avoid getting swept up in the NYNM mania, get lots of rest and ease yourself in. Our natural energetic cycles, combined with the flow of the seasons, and especially the energy of the season we are in don’t encourage high velocity living at this point in the year.
- Block out your holiday and out of office time for the next 4-6 months now, otherwise you’ll get to July and realise you haven’t taken a break but “have too much to do” to squeeze in some desperately needed rest.
That New Year energy is exciting and can be fantastic for inspiring your creativity. Make sure you use these tips and start your year with strong foundations by doing these 10 things before jumping into your sales activities. Keep taking aligned action and your business will flow, rather than feeling forced; preserving your energy.
What do you think of these tips? Are there any you’d like to add? Let me know in the comments below!