There’s work to be done before New Year’s Resolution time

In three weeks or so our in-boxes will be brimming over with New Year messages. There will be e-mails engaging us in reviewing our year, learning our lessons and celebrating our successes. We’ll be encouraged to dream big for 2014, create resolutions, set goals and write plans. Then, of course there will be a flurry of e-mails selling us the tools and the trainings that are supposed to guarantee us a better year in 2014. The tools and the training may help, yet it’s ME/US that make the difference.

It’s that quote that goes something like “Success is doing small things every day and doing them repeatedly”. The problem I have is that I don’t do the things I already know work for me. You’re probably the same. All the tools and the training in the world won’t help if I don’t find ways to apply them more consistently. So, I’m using this blog as a reminder of what I know.

Making 2014 my best year yet

It struck me last week that if we’re going to make the very best start to 2014 maybe we should review 2013 now. Yes, I know it’s a busy period for most of us. All the more reason to find a couple hours to slow down and gather in the harvest before it leaks away in the end of year frenzy.

550x3812A couple of days ago, already in this state of mind, I received Leonie Dawson’s workbooks and calendars for 2014. She’s clearly not waiting until January to begin! The workbooks and planners are wonderfully colourful, fun, engaging and energising. They appeal to my creative side, whilst getting my mind working at the same time.

Yesterday evening the storms across the UK meant that my outing to TEDxLeedsWomen “Invented Here” at The Tetley in Leeds was cancelled. So I printed off 2014’s business workbook and spent my evening with the 2013 closing ceremony. Time well spent. Here’s some of my own big learning from this year.

Investing in help and support makes sense.

I changed my accountant to the fabulous Debbie Whitaker at Not Just Numbers. As a result I’m now using online accounting, I know exactly where I am month by month and I’m a Ltd Company with a proper business bank account. This may sound like common sense. Yet in order to do it I had to make a mind shift away from “I have to do it all myself” across to “other people have skills that I don’t have, I can use them to support me so that I use MY SKILLS to the best of my ability”.

A shakeup is good for business.

It’s easy to settle for cheap and online. When I started my business I looked online for good deals on new business bank accounts. I opened an online account and have had it ever since. What it means in reality is that I haven’t spoken to anyone in the bank for four years. It was simply a bank account. Yesterday I had to open a new account for my Ltd Company. Using Debbie’s advice I switched to a different bank. I still have an online bank account, I still have free banking. Yet I also have a personal relationship with the business banker, a face I can recognise, a UK-based business team available on the phone until 10 PM. Not to mention a warm welcome and a cup of tea. (It’s the HSBC if you’re curious). I feel like a person again.

The big learning is that it is relationships that support me. They are worth investing in. When the relationships in both my life and my business are supportive, rewarding and fulfilling I get to be more of who I am.

I usually end with a question or two, so here are today’s.

  • What percentage of your time do you use doing things that someone else could, or should, be doing for you – far better than you do it?
  • What investment of time, money or relationship building, are you willing to make in order to liberate your best skills?

Michael Bungay Stanier calls this our GREAT WORK.  Buy yourself a little Christmas present and get a copy of Do More Great Work. Try his stuff out with the maps you can download for f-r-e-e.

Then read it and join me in my quest to do more great work this next year.

have a closing ceremonyOr opt for Leonie Dawson’s 2014 Create Your Amazing Year Workbook, Planner + Calendar. There are two versions, a life one and a business one. They’re downloadable and you can either print them off or use them to write in online. They’re around £6 each, or £11 the pair. Cheap as chips. Then get moving into a 2013 Closing Ceremony – and share your insights here.

    1 Comment

  1. Helen December 10, 2013 at 9:19 am Reply

    Revisiting your blog Tilla because I know I need to review the year and plan for next year. Your point on relationships is so real. Thank you for being part of my circle of trusted and valued friends.

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