I’m in a new year state of mind, so here are a few items to get you focused and ready to meet 2017 with a bang!
“But Mariah!! We still have two months left of 2016.” I hear you my imaginary talking back audience member 🙂 But that’s right we do have two months – two glorious months – to start getting ourselves organized and ready for 2017. Did you ever lay out your clothes and pack your backpack in anticipation for the first day of school? Well I sure did, I wanted everything to be all ready, no scrambling in the morning, no being frazzled. I wanted that first day of new classes, teachers, etc to go as smooth as possible. So I wanted to make sure I had ready what I could control. I feel like the start of the new year is similar, I want to start off as nice and in control as I can, so that I can focus on the new challenges and projects planned for the year.
Getting yourself organized and systems in place is key in starting 2017 off on the right foot. Over the next two months I’m going to be sharing blog posts that are targeted at just that. For now I want you to start thinking about what your focus for 2017 might be and where can you best focus your time and energy now to get you ready.
Start Formatting Your Focus
The better the idea of what your focus for 2017 will be, the better you can prepare for that focus. What areas of your business are you going to try to grow? You don’t have to come up with a full plan just yet, but start thinking about it.
Maybe you are going to focus on growing your email list, or maybe you want to get started with Pinterest. Maybe you want to start doing video, or you are finally going to launch that course you have been thinking about.
Sit down and figure out your top areas you want to focus on for 2017.
Examine what is working in your business and figure out how that impacts what you think your focus for 2017 should be. Really look at your efforts and what results are you getting from those efforts. For example: Are you spending a lot of time on Twitter, but you don’t get very much website traffic from there and none of your clients have said they found you via Twitter. Then this might be a sign your time is best spent on another social media channel, and you should put Twitter on the back burner and only maintain your presence there. This is the time to really start looking at your follower numbers, analytics from your social media channels, and diving into Google Analytics reports.
Another great tool for seeing where your time is being spent is by tracking your time. Check out this post to learn more about the benefits and how to start tracking your time. Again, this is going to give you data to assess what is working in your business. It’s all about figuring out your return on investment when it comes to the time you put in.
When examining your areas of focus ask yourself:
- Is there a way for me to reduce my time investment? Automation or a system to make this task less labor intensive?
- Is this an area I should be spending less time focused on because it does not seem to be yielding a good investment on my time?
- Is there another area where limited time is invested but results are better? This can be an indication more time focused there will yield higher results.
Do keep in mind though that sometimes, especially if you are in the first year or two of business, certain marketing focuses do take time to gain traction. One area I would advise you double down on, even if you feel like growth is slow, is your email list. While some social media channels can be given less focus, you should maintain a focus on building your email list always.
Think about what systems and tools will help support your primary focus in 2017.
What things in your business right now are not systematized? Are you continuously reinventing the wheel each time you take on a client or you work on social media, or even write a blog post? Are there areas of your business that you know take more time than they should? Are there tools you keep saying you will implement “when you have time?” Now is the time!! Invest the time now to get process and systems in place to save time later.
Organize and DeClutter
Is disorganization in your digital or physical life causing you frustrations? Now is the time to get organized there too. Is your desktop a catch all? Are your photos as mess? Do you normally find yourself searching for files you use regularly? Are you continuously pushing piles of stuff around your office, is your office more storage room than work space? Seriously getting your space organized can make a big impact, even if you think it doesn’t bother you, often times it is a bigger distraction than you realize.
Again, this will save you time but also give you a fresh slate in more than one way when you start the new year. It can be hard to really feel like a fresh start when you feel bogged down by the same clutter you did a month ago.
Focus on new skills
If your focus in 2017 is going to include getting familiar with a new program or developing a new skill now is the time to start trying to educate yourself and be ready to put that knowledge to work when 2017 rolls around. Often times when the new year starts we overload ourselves and that fresh start motivation burns out quick. Now is a great time to try to sneak in some extra education because you have time to schedule it out instead of trying to do it all come January 1st.
Learning something new actually does take more energy and if you are trying to learn lots of new things at once it can be very tiring. Also, try to keep this in mind when developing your plan for 2017. You may want to space out adding new habits and skills to your agenda, and don’t forget this includes areas outside of running your business like physical fitness or new hobbies.
Planning & Productivity
Get yourself into the right mindset to get ready for 2017. Now is a great time to read and focus on learning more about planning and productivity. Think about what habits you could try to start to establish now that will support you in your 2017 goals. I highly recommend reading Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin, Switch by Chip and Dan Heath, and The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. All of these are great books to help you think about building habits and making changes for the new year that will last more than 2-weeks.
I also have a whole blog section to help you on productivity 🙂 and this board on Pinterest…
Don’t forget to get your planner order in now, so you aren’t waiting on it! That is not the way to kick off 2017 🙁