The new year is upon us. It’s time to reflect on the year that was, prepare for the year that will be and try to justify all those irresistible foods you came across during the holiday season.
Hey, I don’t judge.
When it comes down to reflecting on 2015 and gearing up for 2016, maybe you are happy with the year that was. Or maybe you're looking for redemption in the year to come.
It’s natural to dream up a resolution or two.
Maybe you're against resolutions entirely.
I personally have mixed feelings about them.
Studies show that only 32 percent of people who make resolutions stick with them for a month or more.
Even then, that’s a third of people making it through at least one-twelfth of the year. It's hard to call that “sticking.”
This isn’t about making a resolution you can keep (sort of). It’s about making resolutions you can’t afford not to keep.
Here are three resolutions every freelancer should make in 2016:
1. Do more with less.
If there’s one thing in life you cannot change, it’s the number of hours in a day. It’s 24.
Actually, that’s not entirely true. If you moved to Venus, a day would last 243 Earth days.
But you wouldn’t survive nearly that long on Venus, so stick to Earth.
The good thing about those 24 hours is (for the most part) you can choose what to do with them.
In the new year, try to make the most of your time and technology.
Try to do more with less. There are apps and sites to help you manage your time, but the key factor is changing the way you think.
These apps help you track time, block out your calendar and do other necessary things, but they are only useful if you get yourself in the right mindset.
Set your times for work, exercise and personal space.
Don’t focus on adding more tasks to your schedule. Choose one, two or three goals you want to accomplish, and do them.
You have 10, 20 or 50 things you want to do, and the list keeps growing.
Instead, change your mindset.
With one or two things to accomplish, you’ll find yourself more passionate, more focused and more productive.
Stop adding and start focusing.
It won’t be perfect. Some days, it will still feel like there aren't enough hours in a day.
It’s about making something a priority.
Use the tools at your disposal, but not until you choose what you truly want to accomplish this year.
2. Seek collaborations with others.
Somewhere between the third grade and college, the term “group project” lost its luster.
You went from working with your best friends to worrying about everyone pulling his or her own weight and calculating how much time it would take you to do everyone’s work if you had to.
It's not a fun experience for some.
As a freelancer, you may be bred and attuned to doing it all yourself. It’s the nature of the job.
However, if you are not collaborating with others, you are missing out on a lot of opportunities.
There are a number of tools at your disposal, like Trello, Slack and Basecamp. They help to communicate and track projects so you can see what others on your team are doing, all while focusing on your task.
By using these tools, you can collaborate with anyone in the world at any time.
Save time, meet your peers and get access to more opportunities.
The more you turn to others and do good work, the more others will turn to you.
It opens you to (literally) a world of opportunities. Don’t go another year with one hand tied behind your back.
3. Start right now.
The funny thing about the changing of the calendar is most of us don’t wake up on January 1 feeling ready to take on the world.
Maybe that’s why people have such a hard time sticking to their resolutions.
It doesn't matter what level you are: yet-to-start, beginner, intermediate or expert. We all have tasks we have been wanting to start, or have been putting off for one reason or another.
Starting can be the hardest thing to do.
No many how many times you've started before, it can be a new challenge every day.
The hardest part of going for a run isn’t the run itself: It’s making the decision to run, and actually following through.
It’s dragging your butt out of bed and lacing up your shoes.
It’s starting. Once you get going, you'll feel pretty good.
Once you finish, you'll feel fantastic.
Does it make it easier to go the next day? That depends.
All the time, we face this starting phenomenon. So resolve to start.
The more you start, the more you'll finish.
The more you delay, the more things will stay the same.
You wish, yearn and dream. But you never start.
It’s the hardest part because it’s the most important part.
A good resolution is one you keep. A great resolution is one that can keep you going.
Do not look back, wishing you had started now.
Start with these 100 tips on making your first $100 k as an entrepreneur.
Start by hustling.
Start by investing in yourself today, so you can be great tomorrow.
Do not bookmark this post to reread in December 2016.
It won’t help you then if it doesn’t help you now.
The best resolutions are specific, actionable and attainable. Use these to improve in 2016, whether your goal is personal, financial or professional.
Your dreams can all be attained if you use these resolutions.
Don’t be a part of the 32 percent. These resolutions can carry you through the whole year.
What are you going to do to improve and make 2016 your best (and hopefully most profitable) year yet?
Ross Simmonds writes at RossSimmonds.com, where he talks about entrepreneurship, startups and technology. He's also the author of "100 Tips For Making Your First $100,000 As A Freelancer." Check it out.