Whether on not you believe that the new year is a time for new beginnings, it’s at least true that the new year is a convenient time to start new habits, change your approach to work/life, or renew your commitment to an important undertaking (like, say, your design business). If you haven’t made your new year’s resolutions yet, here are a few ideas to consider
Learn A New Skill
Not only does learning new skills help inspire us in our work, but it’s great for your design business because you can offer more services to your existing clients.
Switch Sides Of The Battle
Far too often I see creatives acting as if their business is a battle ground with them on one side and their clients on the other. In fact, I think we all adopt the us-against-them attitude from time to time. This year, try being on the same side as you clients and you may find you both get much further.
Spend More Time On Real Art
I expect many of you will commiserate when I say that I spend so much time working on creative pursuits for my clients that I never get around to the artistic pursuits that I really want to do. More time drawing/painting/etc. is a resolution that can make you happier and even help you be more creative in your work.
Adopt Better Accounting Practices
We right-brained designers tend to be a little messy when it comes to finances and accounting. A great resolution is to have a year where your accountant doesn’t rue the day you hired them (even if that accountant is you).
Give/Get Yourself A Raise
If you’re a freelancer, January 1st is a perfect time to increase your rates, and if you’re an employee, you can resolve to ask for a raise this year (though wait for an appropriate time – we all feel broke after the holidays, even your boss).
Ditch A Pain-In-The-Butt Client
Is there a client that’s been a thorn in your side all year long? One that’s way more work than they’re worth? Wish yourself a happy New Year by saying goodbye to them. For tips on this, see our recent posts Why You Should Fire Some Clients and 5 Ways To Fire A Client.
This one may not be for everyone (or example, if you’re a new freelancer struggling to make ends meet), but there’s something to be said for working less and leading a modest, but happier, life spending more time with your family and loved ones.
It’s a great time to take up a new hobby. I recently while on Holiday in Louisiana tried out New Orleans kayak swamp tours, an experience that has got me hooked on kayaking.
Start That Project You’ve Been Dreaming Of
You know the one I’m talking about. That “one day” project that you’ve been thinking about taking on for ages. Be it your line of custom-printed toilet paper or the book you’ve been itching to write, there’s no time like the present to get started on it.
Volunteer Some Time
There are plenty of worthy organizations that would love to have the help of someone with your skill set and it feels great to do something selfless.
Start A Healthy Work Routine
Most of us sit in front of our computers for hours on end without moving anything but our hands and, often, munching on less-than-healthy snack foods. You could resolve to go for a lunchtime walk every day, or do a few stretches/exercises once an hour, or just buy some healthier snacks. You won’t regret it.
What Are Your Resolutions?
OK, now that we’ve given our suggestions, it’s your turn. Do you have any New Year’s resolutions? If so, what are they?