I’ve said it once and I’ve said it again: new year’s resolutions are garbage. They simply don’t work. In today’s episode, I’m offering you 3 guidelines for preparing your business plan for the new year. These will help you design your best year yet with all the things that truly matter.
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Preparing Your TpT Business for the New Year
I am super excited to be here with you today. Because today I’m sharing with you three quick ways to get prepared for the new year in your business. And when I say quick, I mean the episode itself is going to be rather quick. But the tips I share are more big ideas of ways that you can approach business planning as the new year approaches.
Before I share the three ways to get prepared for the new year, let’s put it all out on the table. And I just want to tell you that I think new year’s resolutions are garbage. I don’t think they work. I think they’re super unrealistic, and there’s just a laundry list of reasons why it makes me cringe when I hear the word or the phrase new year’s resolution. So spoiler alert, that is not what I’m sharing with you today. We will not be making new year’s resolutions for our business. If you are someone who makes resolutions, I apologize. I’m just totally not a resolutions person.
The Problem with New Year’s Resolutions
For starters, I think that, like I mentioned, they’re super unrealistic. There’s something about the new year that makes us feel overly ambitious. Like we can all of a sudden accomplish things that we’ve never been able to accomplish in the past. And that’s not to say that you shouldn’t set your sights high. It’s just that when we set these resolutions for ourselves, we’re not realistic. We give ourselves a lot more credit. And we make these goals that would take longer than just one year to accomplish.
Secondly, I feel like new year’s resolutions are often just very surface level. Like they don’t target what actually needs fixed. For example, going on a crash diet and setting this huge weight loss goal is not going to be sustainable when really you probably need more of a lifestyle change. And I’m speaking from experience here.
Sometimes you get the urge to rebrand your business or something in the new year when realistically you should probably come up with a solid content creation plan first. Maybe you have a list of new products, and that’s going to be your new year’s resolution to create all of those products in the new year. But maybe what really needs to happen is you need to look at the products that already exist in your store and optimize and take care of them first. So a lot of times we don’t go deep enough into what we actually need in our goals. And because we’re unrealistic and because we don’t go deep enough, the resolutions, they just don’t ever last.
So that’s why we find ourselves in this constant cycle of goal setting and then forgetting. It’s not to make you feel bad because, like I said, I’m speaking from years and years of experience. This is just part of being a human being. Human beings are not wired to have new year’s resolutions. It’s a tale as old as time. You get all wrapped up in the holiday season.
I blame it on the holiday spirit. We’re all wrapped up in this good cheer and altruism. So we make these big plans for ourselves because everything feels nice and easy and relaxing. But then life comes back, and it comes back at you hard after the new year. And we go hard for a little bit on our goals. But then we burn out because regular life is hard enough, let alone keeping these gigantic goals on ourselves.
How to Prepare for the New Year Instead
So here’s what I recommend instead. And I’m talking about specifically in terms of your business plans for the new year. I have three tips for you about how you can prepare for the new year now before it even starts.
Don’t Try to Predict the Future
First things first, don’t try to predict the future. Yes, it is possible to plan your entire business year before it even begins. Bbut it’s going to be an educated guess and you have to treat it like an educated guess. You can’t treat your business plan like this watertight promise that’s never going to be broken. Because things will happen and things will change along the way. So in order to create a plan for your business for the whole entire year that’s realistic but also has room for changes and things that pop up, I recommend creating a tentative to-do list for every single month of your business.
And I actually recommend creating two: one tentative to-do list for your content creation plan and another tentative to-do list for the actual tasks in your business. So for your content plan, think about the emails you want to write, the blogs you want to post or share, the social media content you want to create every single month and create a tentative plan for every single month. That way when you open up your planner in the new year, you at least have some guidance about where you can go and what you can start with.
List Your Recurring Tasks to Help You Prepare
There are a lot of things in our business that are not going to be surprises in the new year. So things like recurring monthly or daily or weekly tasks can be compiled onto tentative to-do lists for every single month. You can kind of get a good idea of what your business will require from you from an administrative standpoint at least. So I recommend creating this content creation plan and creating this monthly tentative to-do list with the understanding that it might not all come to fruition.
I like to give myself the expectation that I’ll go through with about 80% of my plans and maybe those 20% will change in some way, shape, or form. I also recommend when you’re making these tentative to-do lists for your business to create them on pages separate from your actual daily calendar pages or weekly calendar pages, whatever it is that you have in your planner. There’s nothing worse than jamming our actual daily or calendar pages with ideas and maybes when really they should be saved for things that are definitely happening. So when you are making these tentative plans and lists for your business, make sure you’re doing it either in the margins or on a totally separate piece of paper.
Anticipate As Much As Possible
My second recommendation for you is that you think long and hard about what’s going to shape your year and try to anticipate as much as you possibly can. Now, of course, we are not fortune tellers. But like I mentioned earlier, there are things that are going to be recurring in your business that you can expect now even though the new year hasn’t even started. So for example, things like dates and events and obligations and plans that you can count on for sure.
Maybe these are events that are already planned and happening. You’ve already been invited to them. They’ve already been put on your calendar. Maybe these are recurring obligations that you can count on to occur year after year. Maybe you want to think about what you’re going to be teaching your own students every single month. That can inform things like what types of products you’re creating, what types of content you’re sharing on social media. And it’s a great way to work smarter and not harder. Your year is going to be influenced by more than you think. So try to cast a wide net when you start thinking about your year in terms of what you can anticipate and what types of factors might influence the way your year needs to go.
Do Not Wait Until the New Year to Prepare
My third tip for you about how to prepare your business for the new year is to not wait until January 1st. And I know that’s hard because I think it’s in our human nature to kind of just associate January 1st with, of course, the start of the year. But in our minds, it’s like we don’t even have to like think about the year until it actually begins. It seems so weird to think about the new year and saying 2022 feels so weird and so far off. But in reality, it’s not.
So in your mind it might feel okay to wait until then to plan your year, but what happens is when you wait until the year already starts, that’s when your planning process starts to feel more like an emergency and less like something you get to do for your business. And whenever something feels like an obligation and whenever there’s a sense of urgency involved because of the timing of something, it becomes stressful and it is simply unenjoyable. You’re not going to be able to create the plans that are best for your business if that’s the way you’re feeling when you sit down to attack this task.
That’s been my favorite part of starting to plan on December 1st every year. It’s just that feeling of having the whole entire month to sit with my plans and think about my business and reflect on so many things that I truly don’t take the time to do throughout the year, that I come out not just with a plan that is like the best possible plan for my business but the peace of mind I feel is invaluable.
And if you’re someone who is resistant to working ahead of time, which trust me, I am that person. I am like the queen procrastinator and I own that 100%. But this is one thing I will not ever procrastinate. Think about this. If you are still waiting and wanting to wait until January 1st to plan, think about what that January 1st is going to look like. Imagine waking up on January 1st in two different scenarios.
How do you want to wake up on January 1?
So think about waking up and having your plans all laid out and being able to spend the day however you want, whether it’s having a nice meal with your family, maybe enjoying some mimosas, whatever floats your boat.
But then the other scenario is you wake up and you want to do all those things still. You want to relax with your family. But then those thoughts start creeping in. And you know the thoughts I’m talking about. The thoughts that even when you’re trying to enjoy time with your family or your friends, you just can’t stop thinking about little work things, and those voices in your head are saying you should be doing this and you should be doing this. Well, I’m telling you, those voices are extra loud on January 1st when you haven’t even like opened your planner or thought about your business until that moment. So I’m just here to save you guys.
If you are someone who wants to get ahead of the game this year, then here’s what I recommend. I would recommend taking some time to sit down during your break. Or if you’re not in the classroom, sit down whenever, starting now. And you can sit down with this episode and your planner and some scratch paper. Kind of follow along and see what you can do to plan your business in the new year.
Now if you are listening to this episode in real-ish time in the early month of December, then you can also still sign up for Jumpstart Your Year. It’s the workshop where we do exactly what I talk about in this episode. But we do it together and I guide you through step-by-step through planning out your whole entire year. I go through the workshop too. It is my favorite time of year. I’m just like giddy at the thought of being so prepared for the new year because God knows I’m way unprepared in a lot of other areas of my life.
So I hope you’ll join me whether it’s through this episode or in the actual Jumpstart Your Year workshop. But either way, I hope that you have an incredible planning experience. My hope for you in the new year is to enter the year with a clear mind and a streamlined, laser focus on what is going to happen for your business and how you’re going to make it happen. I’ll see you guys here same time, same place next week.
Links mentioned in this episode:
- Jumpstart Your Year planning workshop
Looking for another way to get this episode? Download the transcript for 3 Ways to Prepare Your TpT Business for the New Year here!
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