New Year’s Eve is almost here, and for most of us (the busy, overachieving, goal-setting types, anyway…) picking out some New Year’s resolutions is a fun way to think about how next year can be your best yet. The way I see it, goals are different to resolutions, as most resolutions concern things that you want to start doing or stop doing, not something you want to achieve. For example, your goal might be to learn to speak Italian, but your resolutions might be to stop working at the weekend and to start spending more time with friends.
You don’t need to have any resolutions if you don’t want to as they’re just another tool for self-improvement, but if you fancy setting yourself a few resolutions in 2019 and don’t know where to start, I’ve come up with a list of a few that are sure to suit any self-employed person. Not all will apply to your situation, and you won’t want to attempt all of them at once, but choose a few and keep them in mind for when you start working again in January. You deserve the benefits that every single one of them brings. Let’s begin…
My New Year’s resolution is to…
- Always prioritise my sleep over work, even if there’s money at stake.
Because if the last few years have taught us anything, it’s how important sleep is for our physical health, mental health and productivity. Thanks Arianna Huffington.
- Stop answering my emails first thing in the morning.
Have you ever wondered how much more you could get done if you didn’t start your day by putting out fires for other people? Start your day by getting done only what is on your list, and answer your emails in the afternoon.
- Work beside other people more.
Being around other like-minded entrepreneurs can be so beneficial for our social life, mental health and business, as it gives us a chance to bounce ideas off of one another and share our triumphs and struggles. Finding an accountability partner and spending time together can really help improve your work motivation, and one of the best ways to do this if you don’t already have a community is to visit a coworking space. I love the Croissant app for this, which offers a selection of spots you can rent a desk in by the hour, all using their handy app, so you don’t need to commit to one location. Check it out for a free week trial when you use my affiliate link (click here).
- Stop striving for perfection.
Remembering that finished is better than perfect can save us a lot of time and effort, and is just good sense. Don’t go overboard trying to make things perfect because there’s no such thing.
- Start journalling.
OK, so this one isn’t for everyone, but if fitting in time to be mindful, meditate, visualise, etc, feels impossible for you, but you still want to reap some of the benefits, sitting down to write in a journal for even just 10 minutes a day can help you to jot down creative ideas, think about things you are grateful for, take a few moments of quiet to yourself, think about what you want in life, and even staring at a blank page not knowing what to write (we’ve all been there) can eventually lead to breakthroughs and masterpieces. Give it a try.
- Stop being so negative.
This one can be extremely hard to recognise in ourselves, and with the stresses of running your own business you might miss those moments when you feel so frustrated that you pick fault in everything, moan about what’s going wrong, tell everyone you’re super stressed without actually doing anything about it, try to drag people down to your level, and feel like the world is out to get you. Recognising a tendency to jump straight to the negative is never a bad thing, and if you can learn to catch a negative thought and turn it into a positive, it can be life-changing.
- Ask for what I want.
Many of us go through life waiting for the things we want to fall into our lap, our inbox, our bank account, and so on, while others are much more comfortable telling the universe or one of the people in it exactly what they want, how they think they should get it, and why they deserve it. Being confident in what you do, and unashamedly and politely asking (not demanding, there’s a difference) for what you desire could be exactly what you needed to do all along to actually get it. Imagine that.
- Start being more realistic with deadlines.
Are you guilty of telling clients “sure, I can do that by the end of today!” instead of looking at your schedule and giving yourself realistic time to take on the task? Or emailing everyone with “ASAP” in the subject line because you haven’t planned your week well enough? We all bite off more than we can chew every so often, but if you’re constantly playing catch-up, it might be time to rethink how long each task takes you. It will help you plan better in your business and for your work life balance, too.
- Delegate more.
Believing that if you want something done right you need to do it yourself never works if you’re looking to scale your business in any way. If you want to grow (and most of us do) then you’ll need to look at outsourcing work and delegating tasks if you’re going to have any hope of planning ahead to the future.
- Put myself first.
Starting your own business means putting a lot of time and energy into something. Sure, it’s probably something that you’re incredibly passionate about, but don’t lose sight of the reasons you did it in the first place, which are most likely things like the freedom and flexibility to work your own hours, and the excitement of working on something you love. If your business turns into work that you no longer enjoy doing, then you may be taking on the same stress and burnout that you did in your 9-5, so take care of number one before all else and you’ll have the energy, passion and drive to continue making your business the best it can be. Remember, you are your business, so take care of you.
I hope some of these resolution ideas resonate with you, and if you write your own list of things you’d like to work on next year, share them in the comments or on our social pages – we’d love to hear them!