It’s that wonderful time between Christmas and New Year, the perfect opportunity for reading, planning and generally creating a cocoon of calm (and eating copious amounts of chocolate, of course!).
I typically use this precious week to write myself a to-do list the length of my arm and sign up for every productivity challenge I’ve come across on Facebook in an effort to explode off the starting blocks into the new year. But, by the end of January, I’ve generally lost my focus and motivation.
So, this year, instead of setting myself a gigantic list of tasks, I’m going to try a slightly different approach in an attempt to bring my business to life in an organic and much more sustainable way.
I’ve written some of my thoughts below for how a winter mindset can be applied over the next few months when you’re working on your business:
Enjoy the winter stillness
You know those crisp, frosty mornings where the grass glitters in the low sunshine and everything is quiet and perfectly still. Make it your mission to get outside with your camera and enjoy taking your time and noticing the details.
Create some empty space
Tidy your workspace so that you only have the absolute essentials around you. There’s no better way to start the year than with a really good declutter.
Reflect and focus on what you can do differently this year
Tuck yourself away somewhere quiet and spend an hour or two having a think back over the year and the progress you’ve made. What habits have crept up on you? What can you tweak and change? Do you need to introduce a way to end your mindless social media scrolling or, if you’re frustrated that you don’t have enough time to work on your creative ideas, look at what stuff you can ditch or delegate. How can you carve out regular time to work on your business?
Take stock of what you already know
However tempting it might be, you probably don’t need to sign up for another online course in order to move your business forward. Just take some time to do a mini-audit of the skills you have and the things you already know and then work out how you can package it in your own unique way.
Before you start making your big plans for the year ahead, take a moment to remind yourself why you want to do this so badly and what your future success looks like. It’s so easy to get tangled up in the day to day stuff and the endless to-do list that you can lose sight of the bigger picture. Get snuggled under that blanket with your hot choc, gaze into the open fire (if you are lucky enough to have one) and drift into your thoughts. How will you feel when you have achieved your goals? What value will you have created?
Make sure you have some good people around you
If you’re feeling like a bit of a lone wolf on your mission to achieve your creative dream, you might want to use this time to reach out and start building relationships with people who are on your wavelength, people whose opinions you value and make you feel inspired when you chat to them. Perhaps you could join a group or reach out to people you know on Instagram and organise a real-life meetup.
Creative breathing space
If we don’t experiment and try new styles and techniques, then your work and ideas will not be much different to last year. Do yourself a favour and give yourself some dedicated time to indulge in creative play. Write in a new style, use acrylic paints instead of pencils, learn how to dance or play an instrument – just make new things in new ways, just for the fun of it.
Preparing for the other seasons
Whilst you’ve got your new 2019 diary out, why not get ahead and plan in some key dates for the rest of the year. Set yourself a day for creative brainstorming in early spring – maybe get together with other creative ladies and inspire each other. Think up a fun marketing campaign for the summer which draws on creative play in some way. Book out a few days for yourself in the early autumn to reflect on the progress you’ve made in your business – perhaps a spa day or a solo retreat?
Speaking of solo retreats, I’ve not been on one before but I really like the idea of it so I’ve blocked out a week in April and I will be creating my own trip in the UK – I’m hoping to find some nice campsites with shepherd’s huts where I can lose myself in nature and work on my creative ideas. I’ll be sharing my trip plans (and lots of other behind these scenes things) in my monthly e-newsletter which you can join here if you fancy, it would be so lovely to link up with you.