18 Small But Mighty Changes for 2018
If you've come across this post, you may be thinking that 18 changes sounds like a lot, but don't be overwhelmed. All the things on this list are achievable and all are small tweaks that can really build into some great momentum for the whole year.
I hope by sharing some of my goals and changes for this year it can inspire you as well if you’re looking to make strides forward in your business or if you want to implement actionable changes that can make a big difference.
1. Write down some achievable goals
We all know that a new year brings new years resolutions. It's easy to get swept up in the hype and excitement that you can achieve anything– and you can, but instead of getting overzealous, think of attainable, achievable goals.
This year for me, I’m not making one of my goals about a dollar amount or quantity of followers, I'm focusing more on serving well, providing an excellent client experience and building community.
These things may not sound quantifiable but when you excel in those things, you CAN reach a numbers goal. I really want to make an impact for my clients in their day-to-day. What this looks like for me is to have my clients tell me that working with me was one of their best decisions of 2018 or that it made their life a lot easier. If I hear things along those lines I will have succeeded.
2. Keep up with bookkeeping from the start
I suck at bookkeeping. There, I said it. While I have a software that’s easy to use it can seem like one of those pain-in-the-neck things, like flossing. But I want to build it into my schedule so I won't feel overwhelmed at the end of the month or the end of the year.
What this looks like for me is putting it in my schedule. Every Friday in the afternoon I will do my bookkeeping for the week.
3. Show up more often
Showing up on social media can seem like a struggle for me. I think it's because I treat my Instagram feed like a business feed, which it is, but I want to try to mentally get past that and treat it like a personal account like I'm chatting with my friends.
I've found that my favorite people to follow on Instagram integrate their business with their life beautifully and I want to do more of that. Not have such a harsh dichotomy. After experimenting with video, I've decided I want to show up in that format.
My goal for this year is to give Facebook Live a try and to show up in my Instagram stories weekly. To be honest, one of the things keeping me away from video is my sudden and surprising bout of acne. This is a little embarrassing to admit but it’s true. I'm investing in some quality products so I'm hoping that it clears up my skin and gives me back my confidence for showing up in front of the camera.
How can you be showing up more for your audience and your business this next year?
4. Offer your services more AKA marketing 101
I always feel like I’m being a pain when I say, “hire me!” on my Instagram or at the end of a blog post. But the truth is we have a business to make money- or else it would be a hobby.
So sharing my services is part of the whole game and a part of how my business will make money. So I'm planning on embracing this fact, offering my services, sharing what I'm up to and not being shy. How are you doing in this area?
5. Take one full day off a week
For me, my days off would be dependent on what I would be working on, but I would love to schedule this "rest day" in and stick to it.
In 2017 I would do really good and have a couple Sundays off in a row, but then I would find myself working Sunday afternoon into evening. The thing about being a side-hustler is that you don’t have a lot of time during the week to work so you tend to work on the weekends when you’re off.
But I really think taking a full day off (no exceptions) would help curb the burnout I felt last summer and keep me feeling excited about going back to work on Monday. So I will implement this little change as well.
Do you take days off away from all work?
6. Pay yourself
Ahh.. this thing. I’m one of those people who doesn’t like to go shopping or spend money. I’m kind of a saver. And when I started making money last year I found that I didn’t pay myself for months. This left me feeling unmotivated because it felt like I wasn't getting rewarded.
This is an easy fix, and maybe you don't struggle with this, but I definitely need to get better and pay myself regularly.
7. Closing programs at the end of the day
This sounds almost silly even bringing it up, but this is something that REALLY helped me separate work from home.
I started closing out the tabs and focusing on the one project I was working on. So instead of having Illustrator open, and tabs on styling, Pinterest, and my email open, I close out all those things and only have what I'm working on open, like Photoshop for photo editing.
I found that doing this really clears up my head and I feel mentally "done" with work at the end of the day instead of always feeling like I have things to do.
Closing up programs and staying laser-focused on the task at hand has really helped me be productive instead of busy and I'm excited to continue this good habit in the new year.
8. Schedule your year
This is something that may sound daunting but it can be very helpful when looking at the year ahead. It can give you a general idea of when you want to get things done or planning for launches and things.
Basically this means you have a yearly calendar and you write down all the big things that you want to have happen. This doesn’t mean you have to follow it to a T but it means you have a roadmap for the important things that you want to have happen, like product launches or vacations.
Plan out your year
Download your yearly planner
9. Have an idea of how you want to work
Your business is YOUR business. You created this baby and if you don't feel happy or fulfilled in what you're doing, then you need to change it.
We're pouring our sweat and tears into this so it should be, at the least, enjoyable.
You can hear how people do things and you can try it out, but you are ultimately the one living your life so you need to be enjoying the work you produce and create.
10. Know what to say NO to
I heard this in a podcast recently, about understanding what you will be saying no to and I think it’s brilliant. Especially as your business grows and you may be getting more busy or have people who want to connect with you.
Know the things that will your business forward and things that won't. Maybe it’s a blogging collaboration that you just don’t find that will serve your audience or a networking event that’s not up your alley.
Whatever the case, know now what will help you and what may not serve your greatest purpose.
11. Identify your overarching goal
In the first half of last year, I found myself at the whim of my clients, and since it was my first year I was open to willing to do anything that helped them or could move the business forward. This led to burnout... and it was bad.
I found myself dreading my work and not looking forward to my projects. I think this was a combination of several things but mainly, it was that I didn’t have an overarching strategy or way of working. It was doing anything and everything to help my business or my clients.
This year I’m doing things differently. I want my business to be a source of enjoyment and delight. This means I’m open to hiring out, I’m open to saying no more often and making more of a schedule for myself because I know where I'm headed.
12. Question things that aren’t serving you
I found myself questioning a lot of things toward the end of the year, and one of those things was blogging. While I did my best to stick to a strict schedule, it was not a source of enjoyment, it was more of a to-do like working out when you don’t feel like it.
So while I believe blogging is very beneficial to your business, I don’t want it to be a source of stress. I want to do it for the enjoyment and to help my audience. The same goes for Instagram. I want to be putting things out there that are truly helpful and not “just because.”
13. Improve one social media platform
One of my most neglected parts of social media is Pinterest and I really want to get better at utilizing this platform. Pinterest currently drives 80% of my website traffic so I want to get more intentional with this platform for sure.
14. Plan out vacation time
I'm not just talking about your yearly vacation, I'm talking about taking intentional time so you can recharge. Maybe it's once a quarter or once a month, taking a day off to just enjoy yourself. Or maybe it's planning out time for yourself during a slow season.
Write down when you’re going to take a little break and when you plan on focusing more time on YOU and YOUR business. I'll be planning out some time for every quarter.
15. Don’t be a prisoner to your schedule
Something I want to work on this year is to not feel so guilty. Tell me I’m not the only one who feels this way.
If I don’t post to the blog every week it’s a source of extreme guilt, but I don’t want to live with that, so I am hoping to work more on what’s flowing. If it feels forced or full of resistance, I want to take a step back and not feel so much stress about it.
Basically I want to stress less and enjoy more :)
16. Monthly check-ins
Thanks to my new planner the Cultivate what Matters Powersheets I’m excited to have a quarterly review as well as a monthly review to log in all that’s happening.
I’m such a pen and paper girl, that this planner has my name all over it. It's easy to "get behind" or forget to check in more often with how things are going but I’m excited to stay on top of the months and quarters with this.
17. Quarterly reviews
In addition to the monthly check-ins to track progress and stay on top of my biz health, I have a quarterly review that I made for myself.
I wrote down questions that I can print out for each quarter and I’m excited to put those questions in the quarterly section of the Powersheets.
18. More time to reflect and be creative
Getting stuck is one of those things that happens without realizing it. Last year I found myself burned out, stressed out, trying to keep up with what everyone else was doing and I want this year to be totally different.
I don't want to hate what I've created. On the contrary, I want to LOVE what I'm doing and enjoy all the things I put my time into. So I'm more open to trecking my own path, questioning things more often, and taking time to enjoy being creative.
Being creative for me means is taking more time to enjoy and do things I love like coloring, drawing, taking normal photos. Being creative in other areas also really helps your creativity in general so I’m excited to put more of that in my life.
These are all little changes I will be making and I'm thrilled for what 2018 holds. I think it's going to be a great year.
Tell me, did any of these changes resonate with you?
What would you add to the list?