by Jenn Aubert | Featured Contributor
We are quickly descending into the holiday season where distractions are plentiful.
As a business owner it is easy to write off the last few weeks of the year – go on autopilot – and then frantically throw yourself into the New Year already feeling behind and overwhelmed.
Between the binge eating, binge celebrating and perhaps even a bit of binge entertainment – you find your business has been put on hold. You think “What’s 6 or 7 weeks in the big scheme of things?”
Well – in fact – a lot!
You don’t have to dive into a new project or take on a new high-demand client but you can get a lot of things done that will set you up to have a great 2016.
Here are 6 powerful tasks you can do to create a smooth start to 2016.
1. Cross Off That One Lingering To-Do
We all have it. That one lingering to-do item that shows up week after week. This is the perfect time to finally take care of it. Even if by taking care of it means you just don’t do it altogether and finally release its hold of your list. However you handle it, don’t let it follow you into the New Year.
2. Finish Your Books Now
If you haven’t kept up on your bookkeeping this is a great time to catch up. It isn’t the most glamorous task but a necessary one. Put on some holiday tunes and sip some spike eggnog while you do it to make it feel more festive. Don’t wait until February to do your bookkeeping for all of 2015.
3. Reflect With Honesty
This is a great time to go back and review the whole year – month-by-month, project-by-project. What really worked? What didn’t go quite so well? Where were the holes and things that slipped through the cracks? What did I learn? We often keep our gaze constantly forward without truly reflecting on what worked and didn’t work in the past. Whatever it may be, take note and include it in your plans for 2016.
4. Give Thanks
You don’t have to send all your clients and contacts an expensive gift but do make sure you send a note of gratitude to them. For super special clients you can send a small gift of course. You can give a shout out to your loyal fans on social media as well to make them feel special. Be creative! Whatever makes sense for you and your business this is a great time to show your appreciation.
5. Prepare to Connect Next Year
We talk and connect with hundreds of people each year but if we don’t carefully track them it’s easy to forget to reconnect with them. One important aspect of networking is keeping in touch and if you don’t have a system to do so, you’re really missing out on potential opportunities. Go through your date book, calendar, stacks of business cards and notes and create a contact list of everyone you spoke with. Follow them on LinkedIn and make a plan to reconnect with the ones you most want to reach out to next year. You never know what may come out of it.
6. Dream, Scheme and Plan
Take an afternoon and sit in a quiet place (or bustling cafe) and make a plan for 2016. Write out your biggest dreams, your revenue targets, how you want to feel and what you really want to accomplish. Then, break it down into plans for each quarter which often feels much more attainable. Pull out your calendar and place real deadlines to keep you on track. If we don’t take the time to plan, we are simply just meandering about heading no where.
Let’s not waste these last few weeks of the year.
These are simple and fun tasks we can all do to prepare for an amazing and productive New Year.
Jenn Aubert is an author and entrepreneur. Her first book Women Entrepreneur Revolution: Ready! Set! Launch! (Balboa Press, 2014) explores the mindset, motivation and behaviors of successful female entrepreneurs and the role models in their lives who have influenced them. She is also the co-founder and CEO of LearnSavvy, an online education marketplace and community for women business owners and the co-owner of the site Showcasing Women. Personally, she adores inspirational quotes (long before it was popular), all things French (yes, that does include wine), Deepak Chopra and a comfy pair of ballet flats. She has recently relocated to Portland, OR with her husband and adorable son and is spending her free time exploring everything this gorgeous new city has to offer.