freelanceresolutions.pngAs tradition dictates, the end of December is a time to reflect, appreciate the things you’ve done well or enjoyed, and evaluate what things you need to change.

2013 has been an odd year for me. Actually, this seems to be the case for a lot of people I’ve spoken to. On a personal level, it’s been a very mixed bag. Planning a wedding was pretty stressful for me (event planning is not my forte), but getting married was wonderful. On a professional level, the first half of the year was tough, but the second half of the year has improved – it certainly feels like we’re bouncing back from the recession finally. I’ve also been excited about finally launching some projects that have been floating around my brain for a while – particularly the 30 Day Freelance Lifestyle E-Course (sign up now for the January one!).

So, onto 2014’s goals and resolutions. Some are an extension of lessons learnt this year. Some are brand new.

I will work to my strengths

In 2013, I learnt a lot about how I work best. In the past, I’ve spent too much time doing things I felt I should, and trying to work in a way that didn’t come naturally. Understanding how I work best, especially as an introvert, is something I’m planning to continue to do in 2014. I now know that more structure, planning less, daily meditation and having a dedicated work space all work well for me.

What are your strengths?

I will learn a new skill

My personal life has dominated 2013, so I want to add some professional development to 2014. Something manageable, that I can do in an afternoon or on a quiet Sunday. At the moment, my biggest goal is to gain a better understanding of Google Analytics.

I will prioritise

In 2013, I’ve developed a few strategies for improving how I prioritise. Eat That Frog, taking on the hardest task first, is the strongest influence on this. Identifying three things I HAVE to do on my To Do list has helped let go of the guilt that not everything is going to get done. And identifying a morning and evening routine has been hugely beneficial (more on that soon). I plan to continue putting these into practice in 2014. I’m also in the process of reading The Chimp Paradox, which I suspect will have a big impact on how I work next year.

I will keep on top of my accounting

Same resolution every year. This year though, I have Rosie’s excellent Tax Return Toolkit to keep me organised.

I will reflect

How much time do you take to take a step back and reflect on your day and your achievements? There are plenty of apps that make this easier to do now – my favourites being Lift and Happier.

I will take time out

This year, I took my first proper holiday in five years – and that was my honeymoon. This year, I plan to pack in a few weekend breaks away. I’ve learnt that short and sweet works for me, and controlled access to wi-fi keeps me sane! As much as I love the idea of a technology detox, it really doesn’t work for me.

I will have more fun

If I had to sum up 2013 in one word, it would be ‘stressful’. I plan on having a lot more fun in 2014.

I will plan less

One of the most successful things I’ve done in 2013, is plan less. One of my worst habits is to procrastinate in the process of planning, and put off the scary concept of actually putting a finished product out there. By limiting pre-planning to the minimum, then planning as I go along, I’ve been far more successful in reaching some of my goals. This is a resolution I’m planning to continue into 2014.

I will implement some more processes

I’m not a naturally organised person, so I need processes in place to get stuff done. I’ve had some success with this in 2013, but in 2014 I’m planning to put some processes in place to deal with my emails better, keep this blog on a more regular track and, inevitably, some processes to get my diet back on track (I couldn’t talk about resolutions without mentioning food at some point…)

I will reduce my information intake

I’ve got subscriptions coming out of my ears at the moment – email subscriptions, Facebook page likes, magazines subscriptions, blog subscriptions. My target is to unsubscribe from five things every day. I’m using the Lift app to prompt me to do this.

What freelance resolutions are you adopting in 2014?