5 Things Every Entrepreneur Should Do This Holiday Season Even though the holidays are stressful for some, take time to practice these habits, and you'll notice a change in 2023.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
With the holiday season upon us and the end of another year quickly approaching, it can cause frenetic feelings about wrapping up final projects. On the other hand, it may offer a chance to reflect on how far we've come since January.
Most of us fall somewhere in between, and it can be easy to lose focus as December 31 approaches. However, this holiday season, carve out time to tackle a few to-dos that will set you up nicely for the year ahead, give you space to think about what you've already achieved and prepare you for 2023.
1. Write three goals you want to accomplish
Whether you have ongoing monthly or quarterly goals, it's wise to set three larger goals you want to accomplish in the new year. Consider if you want to switch direction come January or build upon what you've already created. Start big. Then, create a strategy with individual milestones to get you where you want to be.
In business, most goals are attached to revenue but consider alternative perspectives as you plan for the future. What kind of client or service growth do you want to achieve? Do you want to attract a different type of audience? Do you 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 tangible steps to make it easier to envision.
2. Declutter your schedule
Adding new goals and plans to 2023 means you must make room by decluttering your current schedule. The end of the year is an excellent time to review your ongoing meetings and commitments and evaluate where they can be trimmed or deleted altogether. Every entrepreneur knows time is a precious commodity, so to avoid getting burned out, make sure your calendar is full of things that help your growth.
Simple changes may be to change a weekly meeting to twice a month or shorten regularly scheduled hour meetings to half the time. Take a look at all the organizations — both online and in-person — which may be taking up time with little to no return on investment. Also, consider areas that limit your productivity. Social media is always a common distraction. Although, for many, it's necessary to maintain a presence online. To keep it a helpful tool (rather than a place for mindless scrolling), schedule specific times when you'll post and check your channels. Then, step away from social media for the rest of the day.
3. Review your budget
As with decluttering your schedule, take a look at your budget and consider areas that can be eliminated. Are there programs or tools you're no longer using? Have you put off canceling the free trial on apps or subscriptions that can be better invested elsewhere or budgeted in another way?
Additionally, auto-pay makes it easy to forget where we spend our money. Take stock of all business auto-payments and see if any can be deactivated. Also, consider other business expenses like online courses, educational or networking events and client meetings. Where do you receive the most value? Weigh each individually to determine if all the resources you're currently using are still as helpful as they once were. If not, get rid of them and know they'll always be there should you need them again.
4. Make a list of all the things you're thankful for
Gratitude is the free, quiet booster to success. Plus, it's easy to obtain. While waiting for your morning coffee to brew or before you dive into answering emails, jot down three things you're thankful for. Take extra time to reflect and expand your list during the holiday season. Creating a daily gratitude habit isn't just something to make 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 appreciative, leading to greater productivity, optimism and overall better mental health. Consider the benefits of what starting your day with gratitude could do for your outlook, especially compared to the frenzy we often find ourselves in first thing in the morning.
5. Take time for yourself
There's been a cultural shift over the past years from the hustle mentality to a state of self-care. However, for entrepreneurs, sometimes it's not so easy to slow down. Many times there is no one to delegate work to, which means there's a difficult balance to sustain a steady workload. Nevertheless, it's always necessary to take time for yourself. It can seem overwhelming for some, so you'll have to be intentional in how you want to use the 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 taking time for yourself, these areas should be at the top of the list. Plan it out, whether it's a workout at the gym, a walk around the block or a few minutes for stretching and meditation.
Putting it last on the list means it's not likely to happen, and burnout could be around the corner. Add time for play and enjoyment into your weekly schedule as well. Essentially, time for yourself, planning or relaxing, must be part of your daily list of to-dos, and what better time to start than the holidays?