If you don’t already know this about me, let me say this again, “I totally love New Year’s!” Not the party part (staying up until midnight? #thestruggleisreal) but the New part. I love the idea of a fresh start, a new beginning, wiping the slate clean, forgiveness, moving on, out with old and in with the new. It’s an opportunity for all of us to have a do-over plus there’s time built in to the calendar to make it even easier.
While I love the new year, I’m not a huge resolutions person. I believe you have to set goals in order to move forward but mine are more on the business level of measurable growth goals for number of new clients or types of projects to take on. While I’m practically breaking my arm patting myself on the back for making it to yoga twice this week, I think a lot of us start off with lofty aspirations that really peter out by mid January. I really want that new year/new car smell to last longer so here is what I’m doing differently this year to prolong the motivation.
I actually got this idea from a Tim Ferris podcast and it is remarkably similar to the process I go through with clients organizing their spaces. While everyone wants more order and structure in their office, for example, even if it’s a disaster, there is always something that is working well.
Accentuate the Positive
So look back at last year and list out what you loved doing most. What fed your soul, gave you energy, was fun, or brought you the most satisfaction? He went through his iCal to refresh his memory of what he did last year but find what works for you. Think back to the projects you loved most or the enjoyable partnerships that also helped your business grow. Were there new or different clients that you worked with that you especially enjoyed? Did you do any special activities with your family or friends that really ignited your inner fire?
None of these evaluations are really quantitative so it’s not about “I earned 20% of my income from this project or client.” What did you love most and let’s have more of THAT this year. Back to the office organization example: you may have piles of paper you don’t have time to sort through that are driving you crazy but maybe you love the colors of the accessories on your desk. Ok, we’re going to put more of that in your office so we can build on the positive.
Did you travel more or less or to someplace that really inspired you? My sister went to South Africa last year and probably won’t repeat that exact trip but she has appreciated the small things like electricity and plumbing more in her life this year. She’s welcomed more spontaneity and cut her stress level by not focusing on the small annoyances that tend to ruin our days. Did you have to fetch your own water and heat it on the stove to take a bath this morning? No? Then it’s a good day!
Did you spend more time around the table with your family last year? Add more family meals to your weekly schedule so it gets done instead of forgotten. Were you able to connect with friends by getting together for a milestone birthday? Schedule a smaller, more immediate time to get together so you don’t have to wait another 5-10 years. Or schedule regular time to make phone calls to connect with distant family.
Find the top 3 things that you experienced last year that helped/ inspired/ fed/ was most fun and SCHEDULE more of that for this year. Actually mark time on your calendar for these to happen. If it’s not scheduled, it’s not happening.
Eliminate the Negative
While you’re evaluating last year’s great experiences, also look at what you hated doing or what brought your mood and energy levels down. Did you serve on a committee that you thought would be educational or fun and it just ended up being a drag on your time? Did partnerships not work out the way you thought they would? What were the bad parts of the year that you can eliminate? While you won’t be able to completely defend against bad things happening, you can at least minimize the ones you are aware of.
[bctt tweet=”Give yourself permission today to drop the things that aren’t working well for you in your business and in your personal life.” username=”thesouthernc”]
I used to go to this weekly local business networking lunch that I dreaded and never got any referrals. But I knew that you had to network in order to grow your business. Finally a business coach gave me permission to stop going there and I found other sources for referrals through networking that I actually enjoyed. Don’t get stuck doing the same thing that isn’t bringing you the results you want. #definitionofinsanity
Give yourself permission today to drop the things that aren’t working well for you in your business and in your personal life. Politely decline joining another committee that saps your energy. Say no to the projects that give you ulcers. If it gave you agita last year, save your Tums for something else.
The new year is all about a new beginning. Learn from last year and add more of the good stuff so there’s less room for the bad.