My years as an undergraduate got me used to not viewing the calendar in 12 months, but in 3 parts. Semester 1, Semester 2, long semester break. So for the past 4 years, I made new semester resolutions instead of new year resolutions.

Now that studies are over and done with, I find myself having to change how I view the year. Instead of planning for every 4 months, it's liberating (and exciting) to see that I can plan for my business for the entire 12 months. Anything seems possible because it seems like a lot of time to work with.

We know that it's dangerous to plan too far ahead. Circumstances change, even your interests might change. A small business is best when it's flexible and manoeuvrable. But you know what's equally (if not more) dangerous?

Taking the business month-by-month. Not actively growing your business, even for just a tiny percentage.

There's a lot of things that one person can do in a year. The key is to not make wishy-washy resolutions. 

Focus on things you can really act on, challenge you as the business owner, and make you feel like you want to do it right this instant. It has to be that exciting for you, because you'll be the driving force.

More than anything, planning the whole year makes you see the big picture. When you have the big picture in mind, then only you figure out what you need to do to make that happen.

Deconstruct the big picture to see the details. This way you don't waste time doing things that don't contribute to your ultimate goal. 

For year 2016, I want to challenge myself by doing things I haven't done before and are pretty much outside of my comfort zone. They're monumentally important to my goals, so I'm all raring to go.

1. Create at least 4 email courses

I am honestly so encouraged by all your responses to my survey in the last email, when I told you about the FREE email courses I'm producing for 2016. (If you haven't sent in your input, now would be a good time too! I'm all ears)

What I confirmed is that the majority of you are juggling your passion and full-time job/studies (just like me). So that means that you need practical, efficient and concise steps for growing your brand on your own.  

I won't throw quick fixes your way. What I'll do is show you growth strategies that will make you feel good about what you're doing. When you're being interviewed a few years from now about your success, you'll be able to answer all questions with genuine pride. That's what I'm aiming for. 

2. Join/create a mastermind group

When I first heard about mastermind groups, it felt like a 'must-have'. Flying it solo can mean that you're alone with your worries and questions. A mastermind group will feel like bestfriends that know exactly what you're going through. 

A mastermind group is a group of 3-4 people who have a common interest. The members discuss their experiences (in this context, their business), give and receive feedback, and keep each other accountable.

The best practice would be to meet in person every week, but online Skype meetings work well too. Are you interested in joining/creating one too?

3. Produce at least 1 video

You know what I'm seeing on Facebook and Twitter these days? Videos. Videos being shared by hundreds of thousands of people. That's a huge reach and I don't think this trend is going away anytime soon.

The video that convinced me was the Ixigo Coolest Hotel Room Secrets video that I saw when a friend shared it on her Facebook. This video and other popular ones have three things in common:

  • They're short -- usually just 1-3 minutes per video. 5 minutes tops!
  • They get to the point quickly.
  • They have useful/relevant/informative content.

Another inspiration is the many short videos that Buzzfeed makes. (Example: How to Make Your Food Look Fancy AF)

The way these videos are formatted makes me think that it didn't take too long to film them. They look like they will be a worthy investment of my time and money!

By sharing my new year (business) resolutions with you, I've essentially made a public promise that I will deliver. When I'm feeling lazy, I'm going to think of this public promise and get back to work, because otherwise I'm just all talk. 

What are your new year (business) resolutions? I'd love to hear!