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With the holidays upon us and the end of another year quickly approaching, it can create frenetic feelings when it comes to wrapping up final projects. On the other hand, it can provide an opportunity to reflect on how far we have come since January.
Most of us fall somewhere in between, and it can be easy to lose focus as December 31 approaches. But this holiday season, you can set aside time to tackle some tasks that will set you up well for the year ahead, give you space to reflect on what you’ve already achieved and prepare for 2023.
Related: 5 things entrepreneurs should focus on during the holidays
1. Write three goals you want to achieve
Whether you have ongoing monthly or quarterly goals, it’s a good idea to set three big goals you want to achieve in the new year. Consider whether you want to change direction in January or build on what you have already created. Start big. Then create a strategy with individual milestones to get you where you want to be.
In business, most goals are related to income, but consider alternative perspectives when planning for the future. What kind of customer or service growth do you want to achieve? Do you want to attract a different kind of audience? Want to add a new skill or certification to your repertoire? Perhaps a goal is to speak at an event or become an influencer in your industry. Whatever you want to achieve, attach your motivating “why” to each goal and map out concrete steps to make it easier to envision.
Related: This Simple Brain Hack Will Help You Achieve All Your Goals
2. Declutter your schedule
Adding new goals and plans for 2023 means you’ll need to make room by cleaning up your current schedule. The end of the year is an excellent time to review your ongoing meetings and commitments and consider where they can be trimmed or deleted altogether. Every entrepreneur knows that time is a precious commodity, so to avoid burnout, make sure your calendar is full of things that help your growth.
Simple changes could be changing a weekly meeting to twice a month or shortening regular hourly meetings to half the time. Take a look at all the organizations – both online and in person – that can take time with little or no return on investment. Also consider areas that limit your productivity. Social media is always a common distraction. Although for many it is necessary to maintain an online presence. To keep it a useful tool (rather than a place for mindless scrolling), schedule specific times to post and check your channels. Then step away from social media for the rest of the day.
Related: 10 ways to declutter without going minimalistic
3. Review your budget
As with cleaning up your schedule, take a look at your budget and consider areas that can be eliminated. Are there programs or tools you no longer use? Have you been putting off canceling your free trial on apps or subscriptions that could be better invested elsewhere or budgeted differently?
In addition, automatic payment makes it easy to forget where we spend our money. Take an overview of all automatic payments for businesses and see if any can be disabled. Also consider other business expenses such as online courses, educational or networking events and client meetings. Where do you get the most value? Weigh each one to determine if all the resources you currently use are still as useful as they once were. If not, get rid of them and know they will always be there should you need them again.
Related: 5 Ways to Build a Business Budget for Maximum Success
4. Make a list of all the things you are grateful for
Gratitude is the free, silent booster to success. Plus, it’s easy to get hold of. While you’re waiting for your morning coffee to brew or before you dive into answering emails, you can write down three things you’re grateful for. Take extra time to reflect and expand your list during the holiday season. Creating a daily habit of gratitude isn’t just something that makes you feel warm and fuzzy; it can help you focus, increase efficiency and create an abundance mindset.
Numerous studies illustrate the positive effects of gratitude on the brain. It changes the brain’s makeup and can help us feel more engaged and grateful, leading to greater productivity, optimism and overall better mental health. Consider the benefits that starting your day with gratitude can do for your outlook, especially compared to the frenzy we often find ourselves in first thing in the morning.
Related: Cultivating Gratitude and Happiness Will Grow Your Business
5. Take time for yourself
There has been a cultural shift over the past few years from a hustle mentality to a state of self-care. But for entrepreneurs, slowing down is sometimes not so easy. Many times there is no one to delegate work to, which means it is a difficult balance to maintain a steady workload. Nevertheless, it is always necessary to take time for yourself. It can seem overwhelming to some, so you have to be conscious of how you want to spend your time. Put it on the calendar. Make it a priority.
Good physical and mental health are two things that are easy to take for granted until they start to fail us. When you make time for yourself, these areas should be at the top of your list. Plan it, whether it’s a workout at the gym, a walk around the block, or a few minutes to stretch and meditate.
Putting it last on the list means it’s not likely to happen and burnout could be just around the corner. Add time for play and enjoyment into your weekly schedule as well. Essentially, time for yourself, planning or relaxing, needs to be part of your daily to-do list, and what better time to start than the holidays?