For many of us, today is the last day of Holiday vacation, and tomorrow morning Monday is arriving in full force. At least, that’s how it will be for me anyway! Before taking my two weeks to rest at the end of the year, I was honestly hoping to be a bit more ahead for January. However, that didn’t quite happen exactly as I had hoped, so this week I will be doing quite a few things to start the year well in my business.
It can be an overwhelming feeling to start the year well. I mean, where does one even begin? I shared yesterday with my email subscribers about the pressure I was feeling to start the year perfect, and how I already had to take a step back and decide to determine what this month was going to like for ME, and not compare my pace or my goal setting (or announcing) to anyone else’s. So this here is just my list for the week. It may fit where you are at and provide a little direction in the “2016 noise”, or maybe you are already on top of things! Either way, I thought I would share my top 5 steps I am taking this week to get my business ready for the year ahead as my first week “back to work” begins!
- Clean and Organize your Work Space. Now, for years I didn’t have an official office, so maybe your space looks more like the kitchen table and that’s ok! Whether it has walls or is shared during the day, it’s the perfect time to set yourself up for success and clear the clutter, trash unwanted papers, restock the pens, file away 2015, and make room for a new year. This was something I really wanted to happen before Christmas, but that’s ok, I am starting it today so that this week I feel less overwhelmed when I sit at my desk!
- Simplify your Computer Files. Ugh. I am so dreading this task. BUT I know it really, really needs to be done!! Maybe you’re one of those amazing people who keeps their computer files organized and cleaned up all year long. But if you’re like me, your downloads folder is bursting at the seams, and your desktop is completely hidden by random screenshots that I saved for something or other. Wouldn’t it be nice to start the work year with a clean slate both around you AND on your computer? It’s on my list this week friends.
- Update your Website. If your fall was as busy as mine was, chances are you have beautiful new portfolio work. I spent time this morning updating my website, making sure my best work that shows more of what I want to book this year is front and center for potential clients to see. Don’t let this be another year that you say, “Here’s my website, but the galleries haven’t been updated in forever.” Maybe one of your goals this winter is to finally have a website you love, so this task may be more involved for some of you. I recently launched a new website this past fall, so there wasn’t much I wanted to review or update outside of my portfolio. If you know there needs to be some changes in your website, but you’re not sure where to start, you may want to download my FREE EBOOK on 3 Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Website to Book More of What You Love.
- Get the Inbox to Zero. Time to turn that auto responder off, and get to work on answering the emails that came in during the Holidays. This will also be a time where I file away 2015 folders and create new 2016 folders. I use Gmail and organize all of my email through labels and folders. This way every email has it’s place and I don’t lose important information I may need to return to later. This week I will be making folders for 2016 online receipts, inquiries, etc. If email feels overwhelming to you and something you want to feel more in control of this year, here’s a great post that Dear Sweetheart Events wrote on how she conquered her inbox.
- Clarify What Worked & What Didn’t in 2015. This step takes a bit more deep thought, but it’s how I always start my business year. It’s the most tangible way for me to review my year honestly, and pinpoint the things that worked really well so I can strengthen them, and also the things that really could have gone better. (Hint, I always start with what DID work well, it helps to begin this brainstorming on a positive note!) This could be a simple list in a notebook, or on your computer using a free tool like Evernote. I really felt inspired to be creative this year when I saw Nancy Ray whip out the big poster board, so this week my best friend who is also a photographer is driving up and joining me for a huge goal setting day, colorful sharpies and all. I can’t stress the importance of having another business owner that you can be honest with and define the areas that you are weak in (and strong in!) from an outside perspective. Most importantly though, completing this step, will also give me incredible clarity on what else needs my focus this month to start the year well.
Here’s to a successful week ahead full of clutter clearing, big dreaming, growth reflecting, and vision casting. Stay tuned, because I am starting this week with The Top 20 Portraits of 2015 on the blog, with a huge giveaway!