Winding Down 2016.  Planning for 2017.

Winding Down 2016. Planning for 2017.

As an entrepreneur, the notion of a new year invokes ideas of fresh starts and doing life better. The ability to change and evolve yourself and your business is a beautiful thing and extremely necessary.  The ability to always look ahead and to plan and strategize is an essential part of any business owner’s daily life.

This week between Christmas and New Year is a time to reflect and start structuring your activities to hit the ground running on January 2nd.  Loose ends should be tied up and maybe the good habits you start this week will carry through all of 2017.  2017 is a blank slate with a promise of new beginnings.  A perfect time to do-over the mistakes of 2016.

Set Realistic Goals

Decide on a realistic goal for yourself. Monitor your social media time and make sure your goals are achievable.

My goals revolve around searching for new work, blogging and social media posting.  I also realize I like Facebook.  It is my water cooler conversation because I work alone a lot of the time.  So my goals have to be realistic and obtainable, or they will get abandoned.

Tamara Tran of Rylex and I started a podcast recently called 2BizChicks. 2BizChicks, (, is a podcast about empowering women and minority business owners to overcome the discriminatory barriers for starting, operating and growing their businesses.

The podcast is available to listeners for subscription on or on Apple iTunes ( The 2BizChicks podcast focuses on topics related to entrepreneurs and is geared toward Small Business Owners and Women.

Realizing the dream of helping other women and minority business owners with a podcast was a huge success for the last month of 2016.

The first podcast was a rough draft, but I felt it was a realistic goal and we got it out. Now the bigger goal is to get some web traffic and produce one podcast a month through 2017. Would I like to do two podcasts? Indeed the thought of two podcasts a month overwhelms me. The goal has to be realistic.I have a particular monetary goal for 2017.  I have an actual dollar figure in mind, and so my goals revolve around meeting that number.  It isn’t millions it is an attainable, realistic goal to survive and possibly go on a few vacations.

Money is a tool that betters our lives and also rewards us for hard work. A tradesman is not going to say, “Oh, you don’t need to pay me. I just do it for fun.”

One of my top goals for 2017 is to be on time to appointments.  By reviewing my calendar the night before and making a logistical plan on how to get to places with plenty of time for congested traffic.

Be Organized

I need to be more organized.  Running my life by the seat of my pants no longer works as well as it once did.  I need to work smarter and not harder.

My calendar is imperative.  I maintain my calendar on three platforms, Outlook, Gmail and my phone.  Making sure appointments have mappable locations is critical.  If I have not been to the place before, I need to know how to get there and on time.

My system will make certain organization of digital assets are in folders and easily identifiable by their name.  Folder equals Category.

Every social media post will be tracked to determine what value it brought to the business at hand.  The system is very manual right now, and a lot is a look here or there and a hmmm…I wonder why that post did so well.  I want numbers and graphs.

Make a plan

It’s great to make goals, I LOVE to make goals.  But implementing them is another story, and I do not want to be disappointed in myself when I do not achieve the goals I set.  Therefore I have a plan.  Asana is a perfect place to put tasks that will not be forgotten.

Also, Asana lets you break down a task into subtasks and allows reoccurrence of tasks such as blogging and social media posting.

Plans are great, but if you are optimistic like me, sometimes they get derailed or delayed.  Most of the time my plans get overcome by events.  I overcommit to people or organizations.  Learning to say No and know how much my time is worth is a vital portion of my plan.

I plan on rewarding myself when I accomplish my mini-goals.

I need to remember to reward my hard work.

Learn to say NO

I really enjoyed reading the article How People Pleasers Can Learn to Say “No” More Often.  I am guilty of so many of the points made in this article.

  • Email / Text / IM
  • Useless Meetings / Appointments
  • Excuses
  • Events
  • Client Management

I naturally want to help people and in the process help myself.  Until.  I don’t realize I need to put myself first and then help others.  The bank of Karma is plenty full.  This year has to be a make or break year.  It is critical I meet my goals first.

I will not fear the “NO.”  I want to embrace it and be liberated by using it more often. 

Saying “NO” to that which does not truly matter, so that you can say “YES” to that which does.

Find Time for What Is Important

Sean Stephenson Get Off Your

Sean Stephenson Get Off Your “But”

Stop making excuses and just begin. I love the phrase used in the book by Sean Stephenson, Get Off Your “But”: How to End Self-Sabotage and Stand Up for Yourself.   Get off your “but” doesn’t refer to your buttocks. That phrase relates to the beginning word of almost every excuse.

“I could do it, but…”

Figure out how much time something will take and schedule it into your calendar.  Set reminders or tasks in Asana.  Make the time and stop making excuses.  If you say you are going to do something, then make damn sure you do it.

Let this week be productive by getting yourself in order.  Attend the New Year’s Eve festivities with a smile on your face and let the stress lines on your face reduce naturally.  You will feel amazing.

Happy New Year!