With 2017 behind us, everyone has likely spent the month of January and maybe a little of February getting to grips with their plans for 2018. The to-do lists have been written, the goals have been set. But how can we make sure this year really is a good one? Obviously, (much to the dismay of our OCD) there’s external factors we cannot control but what can we do to make sure this year is awesome?

Whether you’re a business owner, freelancer or blogger, we think the new year is what you make of it. So we’ve put together some ideas for how to get the most out of 2018, without being too hard on yourself!

Make being organised a priority

You’ve bought the notepad, the diary and you’ve made the lists. But being super organised isn’t just for January. And, being organised actually takes time. So how can you make being organised a priority this year? I find that setting aside a set time each week helps with this enormously. And my ideal time is Sunday afternoon, between 3-4pm, but work to find a time that fits you. I schedule (in my calendar, highlighted in pink) a set time for ‘weekly planning’ and sometimes, I only spend 20-30 mins doing so. But, it makes all the difference come Monday morning when I can start the week off relaxed and with intent. Doing the legwork in advance can save you lots of time, effort and help you stay focused, too.

Make positive, useful connections using social media

We all too often hop on social media to aimlessly scroll. But what about leveraging some of that ‘online time’ to make positive, useful connections with real people? An easy way to do this it to explore hashtags on Instagram. Think of it as ‘joining a community’ via social media, and you may well gain some real-life friendships in the process. Next time you’re on Instagram, visit some of your favourite accounts. Take the time to notice if they use hashtags. If they do, click on each one and explore! You can use the new feature to ‘follow hashtags’ too. So, if you hit follow on a tag you’ll start to see images from that gallery appear on your feed. And don’t limit your interactions to just ‘likes’, why not spark a conversation by leaving a comment or two? Show some love to an account that inspires or helps you. You never know, it could lead to a new friendship or even business opportunity.

Make sure not to over-complicate things

I don’t know about you, but I have the tendency to overthink and therefore overcomplicate things. Sound familiar? Well for me, 2018 is the year of simplicity. And by that, I mean having clear objectives for the year and making a conscious effort not to side-track. One way I’ll be tackling this is to stay focused; by planning my workload in advance and not spending time worrying about what other people are doing. This year, keeping things simple is the way to go. And if you feel like you are side-tracking, then ask yourself, “what am I trying to achieve here”? and hopefully, it’ll bring things back into focus.

Make things happen, but don’t lose it when they don’t

Only you can do the work to make your business a success (until you’ve #madeit and have an entourage, of course). But the point here is more about putting the time in, having patience and trusting that things will happen for you if you put in the graft. If you have a clear goal and objectives for your business and you’re working towards them in a passionate and organised way, then you’ll get there. You’ve just gotta put in the time and trust that things will work out. Rushing, getting stressed and freaking out when things don’t happen immediately is a waste of time and energy. So instead, focus on working hard and having patience and things will soon start to fall into place!

Make time for yourself

Towards the end of last year, I saw so much online about self-care. It’s a positive change that I’m 100% behind as I truly believe in self-care as a ritual for being healthy, happy and at your most productive. I used to practice ‘self-care’ every now and again, but before it was a relaxing bath and a face mask. But self-care is so much more than a candle-lit pamper. Yes, pampering is part of it, but any activity that allows you to treat yourself, unwind and think, forms part of self-care. How can you make things happen if you’re exhausted or lacking energy? Getting out for a walk, practising yoga, meditating, listening to an inspiring podcast or getting lost in a book. They all count! Schedule self-care in and make sure you stick to it, once a week. Your future self will thank you!

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