We often focus on the year end tasks surrounding our small business. (Read our business related article.) Getting yourself ready is just as important and probably even more beneficial in the long run. In a small business, our personal lives are so tied to the business that the overlapping areas are often gray. Here are 10 tasks you can do to get prepared.
1. Write a family holiday letter, summarizing the major events for the year. People really do like to know what you’re up to. Keep it light and fun and only about a page or two long. This also provides a history for your family files of what happened this year. Put a copy in your family scrap book.
2. Start or update a blessings log (or whatever means something to you, like accomplishments or thanks). Just seeing a positive list of what you’ve managed to do will help reduce a total focus on the negatives.
3. Get your family budget in order. Decide what major home improvement or decorating projects you want to do. Decide what vacations you will go on. Having a money plan is so important!
4. Choose your intentions or goals for the upcoming year. What do you personally want to accomplish? Type them up and assign dates you’d like to aim for. I go one step further and choose a theme for the year. It is my “Year of <whatever>”. This helps to keeps me focused and is easy to remember. Some previous years have been titled “Year of MY choices” and “Year I Become a Writer”.
5. Create or reassess your personal mission or purpose statement.
6. Get your files in order or have a file cleanout day. Paper can be so overwhelming if we don’t have a good system established.
7. Clean out your closets or garage and donate to your favorite charity by December 31st. You get the write-off and they get use of your items. A win-win for all!
8. Decide if you need to lose weight right now, not after the holidays. It may help your willpower to say “no” to a few cookies or that eggnog. If you want to join a health club, look now. There will be less crowds and pushy salespeople, plus you may get a better deal.
9. Get a gift wish list together. Look at what you need more than what you want. If you don’t “need” anything, consider choosing your favorite charity people can give to in your name. Or, like my family is doing this year, go on a day trip to spend time together. You’ll remember the experience far longer than the stuff.
10. If you’re having a hard time focusing and you know you need to regroup, consider going on a personal retreat. I do mine in October and have a favorite hotel right on the beach in Laguna Beach, CA. I can really hear myself think when alone and at the beach!
So, what did you do to get ready for this new year?
(This was orginally posted in 2005.)