How to Set Yourself Up for Success in 2012

When I came back from taking a few days off from the holidays, I hate a hard time getting my butt in gear. While I was excited about planning for the New Year and sinking my teeth into some great client projects, I just had trouble diving right in.

Why?

I wasn’t starting with a clean slate. I had too many things distracting me and getting in the way.

For me to start off on the right foot and prepare myself for 2012, I found that there were a few things I needed to do to get in the right mindset for the year.

Here are some things I did (and I encourage you to do) if you want to get the year started right.

Declutter your space.

When my office is a chaotic mess, I find it difficult to concentrate on my work. Not only that, when you’re busy, a messy office makes it difficult to put your hands on things when you need them.

We harbor so much clutter through the year that now is a good time to tidy things up a bit. To make things easy, make a decision with each paper or item you touch – file or toss. There’s no in between.

Having a tidy workspace does wonders for your creativity and productivity. Trust me.

Clean your Inbox.

For the most part, I was disconnected over the holidays. While I enjoyed the reprieve, it meant I came back to a bloated inbox.

I’m sure you did too.

Take some time to get caught up with your messages. (This is a great email management strategy if you need one).

As you’re going along, be sure to unsubscribe from emails you don’t read anymore. Even though you may have good intentions, if you’re not reading them, they are just taking up time and filling up your inbox.

Review your to-do list.

If you’re like me, you’re to-do list is a mile long. There are always the items that are “must-dos”, like client work and other deadines.

But, the bigger problem are those things you want to look into someday. For me, it’s things like testing out new social networks like Pinterest or trying out a new plugin for the blog.

The problem is the items on this list rarely get crossed off. They just keep accumulating and taking up mental space.

Know what I’m talking about, right?

So, here’s what I propose – carve out an 30 minutes to go through that list and make some decisions. Much like the physical clutter, make a decision for each item – either designate time to look into those things or just let them drop off the list.

Start good habits now.

One of my three guiding principles for the year is discipline – and for good reason. One of the reasons we often fail to meet our goals is that we fail to create good habits.

With running, for example, it’s important that I designate days and times to run otherwise, I won’t do it. Without a schedule, it’s far too easy to renege. The same goes with blogging, social media interaction, and a whole host of other efforts.

The trick is to set a schedule for the items on your list that will help you reach your goals this year. For instance, if one of your goals is to get two new clients every month, set aside time every day or every week to do one thing that will help you get closer to that goal.

This isn’t an exhaustive list, but doing these few things will help you give you a nice, clean canvas to start working your magic on for the year.

Have you done any of these things to get started for the year? What would you add to the list?

Image credit: Hamad AL-Mohannna

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Laura Click

Laura Click

Laura Click is brand strategist, speaker, podcaster and the founder of Blue Kite. Learn more about Laura and her work at Blue Kite.

9 replies on “How to Set Yourself Up for Success in 2012”

Whenever I commence a big project, or am looking to really get in gear, I do exactly what you described above Laura and ‘clean my space’. I’m not sure why it works so well, but it does, and the inbox goes hand in hand with it.

Great suggestions here and I hope your 2012 rocks big time! 🙂

Marcus

There’s something about a mental and physical “clean slate” that really helps my creativity and productivity. I don’t know what it is, but it works!

Thanks for stopping by and yes, here’s to a rockin’ 2012!

There’s something about a mental and physical “clean slate” that really helps my creativity and productivity. I don’t know what it is, but it works!

Thanks for stopping by and yes, here’s to a rockin’ 2012!

One of the things I’ve found helpful for those items that always seem to hang around my to-do list is to assign a benefit to them. I’ve found if I can’t tie a reason to the task, then it’ll never get done. So for example, Try Pinterest for a month to write a blog post review on it. That way you have a good reason for it and can prioritize it in your list!
 

Amazing write-up! This could aid plenty of people find out more about this particular issue. Are you keen to integrate video clips coupled with these? It would absolutely help out. Your conclusion was spot on and thanks to you; I probably won’t have to describe everything to my pals. I can simply direct them here!

Amazing write-up! This could aid plenty of people find out more about this particular issue. Are you keen to integrate video clips coupled with these? It would absolutely help out. Your conclusion was spot on and thanks to you; I probably won’t have to describe everything to my pals. I can simply direct them here!

Amazing write-up! This could aid plenty of people find out more about this particular issue. Are you keen to integrate video clips coupled with these? It would absolutely help out. Your conclusion was spot on and thanks to you; I probably won’t have to describe everything to my pals. I can simply direct them here!

Amazing write-up! This could aid plenty of people find out more about this particular issue. Are you keen to integrate video clips coupled with these? It would absolutely help out. Your conclusion was spot on and thanks to you; I probably won’t have to describe everything to my pals. I can simply direct them here!

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