Happy New Year!
It’s the first blog post of the year and it feels wonderful to be back in the office, albeit for just for an hour to write this. I know there are plenty of people who have been dreading the return to work; having to face the daily commute or office politics again. But I hope, like me, that is it not the case for you.
Whatever reason spurred you on to work for yourself, being your own boss has its ups – freedom of where and how you work and time off when you want it – but it also has its downs. I wrote to my Ready Steady 2019 members yesterday about how excitement and fear are only one step apart; it can take just one step to go from anticipation to apprehension.
You see, coming through The Festive Fog can be one of those downs of being your own boss.
I know your Facebook and Instagram feeds are probably filled with upbeat, motivational quotes, just like my feed. Perhaps you’ve even been one of those people posting your word-of-the-year and 2019 intentions. Some of you reading this I know will be rocking your first week back.
But what if you’re not?
Coming through The Festive Fog can mean you don’t feel terribly motivated, particularly if you’ve been overindulging, clocking up hours on the sofa watching TV and enjoying wakeups without the alarm. So I thought I’d share a few things that I do that helps get my business head get moving and grooving again.
1) Be kind to yourself.
You wouldn’t go out for a 10K run without a) seriously training for it first and b) warming up your muscles. So if you’ve set yourself some seriously ambitious goals this month to kick start the year and it’s been a few weeks (and maybe even a few months!) since you’ve been on form, make sure you’re warmed up and have the training plan in place to build up gently.
It’s very easy to ROOOAAARRR yourself in the New Year … and then find yourself exhausted and emotionally wrung out when you get to the end of January without achieving all your high expectations of yourself.
Been there, got that T-shirt!
2) Be clear on where you are headed
If you haven’t planned this year out yet, now is the time to do it. Without knowing where you are headed, you have no idea where to set your compass.
Again, you wouldn’t go out for a 10K run without having planned your route first. It may feel like a fun adventure just to set off and see where you end up, but you are in danger of being miles away from home, with no idea where you are at the end of your 10K.
You certainly don’t need every path mapped out in detail but know your endpoint and the milestones and you can relax and enjoy the passing scenery as you go about your journey.
I simply couldn’t start a brand new year now without having focused milestones and financial targets set.
3) Don’t try and do it by yourself
If you are feeling like you need a reboot to get going this January, please don’t just hide away in your office. Reach out to a buddy or someone in your close network and set up a virtual coffee date. I have found shooting the breeze with someone who knows what it’s like to be your own boss an easy way to help ignite my mojo again.
But be careful who you reach out though; avoid anyone who may drain your energy or whose call could end up being a moan-fest.
4) Get some dates in the diary
Dates in the diary really help set structure to my work rhythms and flow. Don’t overbook and schedule yourself so that there’s no space for surprises and interesting opportunities. But having a few conferences, meet-ups and events lined up throughout the year can give you focus on what skills you want to develop and who you want to meet.
Be strategic about some. Schedule others for the sheer fun-factor. It’s your choice but the start of a new year is a great opportunity to make the time now for where you want to be hanging out with this year.
I’d love to know what you do to get through The Festive Fog. Maybe you haven’t experienced it this year. Perhaps you’re right in the thick of it. Comment below with your ideas and insights.
Until next time, remember to do less, be more and play that bigger game.