3 Guiding Principles for 2013

Happy New Year! I hope you had a fantastic holiday season and that you’re ready to rock 2013!

I’m especially pumped about 2013 because I have nearly one year of fulltime entrepreneurship under my belt and I’m excited to have a full calendar year to take my business to the next level.

In addition to setting goals and building a strategic plan at the beginning of the year, I always determine three principles to guide my efforts through the year. What this does it takes my big picture vision and distills it down into daily practices that will help me get to where I want to be.

Chris Brogan started this trend a few years ago and this makes the third year I’ve shared my principles with you. (Here are my guiding principles for 2012 and 2011 if you’re interested).

My hope is that by sharing these, it will help hold me accountable and also give you a glimpse into where I’m heading this year.

Create Space.

With this principle, I’m not talking about physical space; instead I’m talking about space on my calendar. I am notorious for over programming and filling my schedule to the brim. Instead of making me more productive, this causes me to become frazzled and worn out.

I want to change that this year. I want to be more intentional with my time so I can spend more time internally on building my business and also leave time on my calendar for down time and fun.

I’ve realized that I’m the only one who can guard my schedule and that means saying “no” to things that aren’t going to propel my business forward.

Michael Hyatt calls this “creating margin” – the space between your obligations and your limit. In other words, this means creating free time.  And, to do it, Michael suggests building a template for your ideal week so you can better schedule how you spend your time and even leaving space for free time.

I’m going to give this a try to see if it helps me be more intentional with my time.

Build Systems.

Now that I have almost a year of fulltime entrepreneurship under my belt, I have a better grasp of what works, where I want to spend my time and how I want to grow my business.

In order to do that, I need to build systems and processes now to help me be more efficient with my time. Also, because this is a building and growing year for my business, I want to lay the groundwork now for when I add team members to the mix.

Focus on now.

I am a very goal-oriented person. And, when I achieve one goal, quickly check it off and look toward accomplishing the next one.  And while that is a great mindset for business success, it can also leave you unsatisfied with where you are in the moment.

That’s why one of my enduring themes each year is focusing on finding the joy and focusing on what matters most – family, friends and faith.

My hope is that I can take the time this year to be grateful for what I’ve accomplished and where I am in my life in this moment. Life moves at a breakneck pace and I want to savor every moment instead of always yearning for the next phase to arrive.

What about you? What are your guiding principles for this year? And, how do they tie into your overall goals for your business?

Image credit: Danae Hurst 

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  • Sharon Gilmour-Glover

    Hi Laura,

    I love this post! I’ve never really warmed to the notion of new year’s resolutions. I do however, love this notion of guiding principles. I can see how they will help keep my eyes on the bigger horizon, while focusing in the now to get things done.

    So here are mine for 2013:

    Flow – I don’t need to drive as hard as I have been.

    Rejuvenation – Time to feed my body and soul.

    Focus on Now – Sorry to borrow yours but this is a very important focus for me too.

    Thanks for helping me focus so early in the year Laura.

    By the way, “walking the beans”? I’d love to hear more.

    Cheers,

    Sharon

    • http://www.flybluekite.com/ Laura Click

      Happy New Year, Sharon!

      So glad you liked this post and that it helped you focus on the year ahead. And steal away – I think focusing on now is so important! I love your others also – we have to take care of ourselves!

      As for walking beans, essentially it’s going through the bean field with a corn knife or bean hook and cutting down all of the weeds. Most farmers don’t do this anymore, but it was common when I was a kid. It was one of many “character building” experiences I had! Here are a couple of stories I found that detail the experience quite well:

      http://brianmpei.wordpress.com/2007/05/07/farm-boy-walking-beans/
      http://farmfutures.com/blogs-what-i-learned-while-walking-beans-2572

      Enjoy!
      Laura

  • http://www.craigmcbreen.com/ Craig McBreen

    Hi Laura,

    Happy New Year to you, Ma’am!

    And congrats on that one year of fulltime entrepreneurship! Awesome!

    Love Creating Space! I’m guilty of overplaying an cramming my calendar, but I’ve changed lately so we are on the same page. And yes, take a moment to appreciate where you are and what you’ve accomplished!

    Cheers to moving on up!

    • http://www.flybluekite.com/ Laura Click

      Happy New Year to you too, Craig!

      Creating space is so darn important. I think people (business owners in particular), overlook the importance of this. It’s so easy to let others eat up our time!

      Here’s to lots of space to dream and grow in 2013!

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  • http://newenglandmultimedia.com/ Michelle Quillin

    Laura, I love the principles you’ve chosen to guide your life and business this year! I can sure relate.

    Here’s mine: 1) Inspire. Everything I do, whether through New England Multimedia or not, must have the express goal of inspiring others and encouraging them. (This has made content planning much easier, too.) 2) Family. Every weekend, beginning on Friday evening and going through Sunday evening, is sacred time, carved out specifically for family (and that includes worship together) and no one else, no matter the “urgency.” Phone off. 3) Delegate. Let me repeat that. Delegate. That’s the only way the first two will be possible.

    Here’s to an amazing 2013, and your 2nd year of full-time entrepreneurship, Laura!! Happy New Year!

    • http://www.flybluekite.com/ Laura Click

      Ooooh! I really love these, Michelle! It’s funny – I almost made “get help when needed” number three on my list. I think creating systems is really part of this. But yes, delegation is critical, especially for entrepreneurs. This is something I need to do more of for sure!

      I also love how you are focusing on inspiring others and spending time with your family. Great ideals for sure.

      Here’s to great things ahead in 2013!

  • http://www.ltc-associates.com/ LTCA INC

    I am so into the “now” this year! It’s one of my mantras. I remind myself in various ways, such as “Don’t dwell on the past– you’ll find regret. Don’t anticipate the future– it brings anxiety. Allow yourself to experience the present. If not, you’ll miss it. Don’t live a passive life, and miss the world around you.”

    It sounds very self-help-y, but I simply made a commitment to change the way I live my life. I wanted to live what I considered an “active” (and not a “passive”) life, and that simply means experiencing my moment-to-moments.

    How timely you would write this : )

    • http://www.flybluekite.com/ Laura Click

      Those are excellent principles to live by! It’s hard to remember that sometimes, but it’s incredibly powerful if you do. Glad you found this useful!