So, it’s a new year. Goodbye 2016, you weren’t that great anyway. Commit to making 2017 the best it can be. Have a blog or business? Awesome! Here are some things you should do to plan for success this year, especially if you got a little lackadaisical last month and swapped business stuff for eating holiday treats and Netflix on the couch. Get back on track with these tips and I guarantee you, you’ll be on your way to a better business in 2017.
1. Set Some SMART Goals
There are all types of goals. Short term goals. Long term goals. Business goals. And then we have SMART goals. What’s a SMART goal? I’m so glad you asked!
- S: specific
- M: measurable
- A: achievable
- R: relevant
- T: time-based
A SMART goal needs to be all of these things. If it’s not all of these things, it’s not a SMART goal.
Non-SMART goal example: my goal for 2017 is to lose weight
That’s a good goal and although it is relevant and achievable, it is not specific, measurable, or time-based. But I can revise it to become a SMART goal by adding in a few more details:
SMART goal example: my goal for 2017 is to lose 1-2 lbs every month
With that revision, it’s now specific (I’ve defined exactly how much I want to lose), it’s measurable (I can easily measure if I’m on track by hopping on the scale each month), and it’s time-based (my goal should be completed by the end of the year).
2. Update or Create a Business or Blog Plan
Business plans are major. I used to hate business plans. I thought they were boring. Who wants to sit down and write a business plan when you could just skip all that and jump right into the action? But take it from me: if you don’t write a business plan, it will catch up to you. Your business will either A) fail or remain stagnant because you built it the wrong way, or B) grow but become so disorganized and overwhelming that you’ll eventually spend most of your day-to-day working out the weird kinks rather than focusing on doing what you love. Even if you don’t technically have a business and are just running a blog, write a plan.
If you’re ahead of the game and already have a business plan, congrats! You rawk. Your biz plan should be updated regularly, so if it’s been a while since you threw it together, consider sitting down, reading through it, and updating it as necessary so it’s in alignment with your new year goals!
3. Get Organized
There is no time like RIGHT NOW to get your stuff in order! Maybe it’s going through the files on your computer and deleting things you don’t need. Maybe it’s clearing out the 777 unread messages in your inbox. Maybe it’s tiding up your desk and buying a cute new folder to keep your papers organized. Whichever part of your life needs a little organizational TLC, make a commitment to cleaning it up.
If you feel like your content and social media strategy is a mess, now may also be a good time to look into creating an editorial or promotions calendar. Honestly, it doesn’t have to be fancy; those free printable calendars can do a world of good.
4. Consider Hiring or Outsourcing
Are you starting to come to the realization that, despite how amazing and awesome and fabulous you are, you just can’t do everything? I hear ya! Now is a good time to consider bringing in some extra help. A good place to start is to figure out the tasks that you A) spend a lot of time on but B) don’t necessary love and C) could easily be completed by someone other than you. Determine how many hours per week you’d need someone to help you, what you can pay them, and if it all fits in with your budget and business (which, of course, you’ve previously defined in that aforementioned business plan 😉 ). If you’re on a tight budget, freelancers and virtual assistants are a smart hiring option.
5. Reassess Your Brand
Is your online presence a little stale? Now is a a good time to reassess it and make sure the look & feel of your brand is still in alignment with you and your goals. Consider a redesign of your website or some new social media graphics. Even small changes can have a big effect!
Related: Shop our WordPress themes to give your website a makeover
6. Expand Your Knowledge
Maybe you’re experiencing a post-holiday lull and have a little extra time on your hands. Why not take this break in the action to learn something new? Read up on SEO or brush up on the latest trends in your industry. Is your business or blog photo-heavy? Learn how to take better pictures. There’s always something!