It’s been quite a year, hasn’t it? From the landmark Presidential election to the Cubs winning the World Series, 2016 has been an eventful and exciting year.
But it’s also been tough. If you’re a business owner, you might have noticed the U.S. retail sales decline this year.
If you’re anything like us, you’re hoping earnestly for a better year in 2017. That hope is not unfounded. You can take a few actions to make the new year easier than last year – check out our list of 15 ways to do it below!
15 Things That Will Make the New Year Easier Than Last
Go easy on the resolutions
Resolutions are great motivators for some and excellent reasons to procrastinate for others. If you’re part of the latter group, why make things difficult for yourself? Skip the resolutions this year and instead make some general goals to crush.
Get better at delegating
Maybe 2016 was hard because you were doing too much of the work at your business. Even if you’re running a one-man show, you can hire third party providers, freelancers, and part-time employees to help you pick up the slack. Get better at delegating to make the new year easier on you and boost your productivity.
Download productivity-boosting apps
No, apps don’t have the power to make the new year easier all on their own, but using them smartly does! Find some apps to help you increase your productivity without making beau coup lists and calendars. Apps like Evernote, Remember the Milk, and Trello will make it easier for you to stay on top of your to dos.
A virtual receptionist
Yes, this is a shameless plug for our virtual receptionist service. We’ve had hundreds of business owners hand us their call answering and administrative duties in order to make running their business easier. You can do the same for around $129 per month. Click here to find pricing and plan details.
Plan a 2 week vacation
Harvard studies have shown that taking a one-week vacation doesn’t provide the same relaxation and stress-relieving benefits that a full two-week vacation does. Additionally, vacations that take you out of the country are more likely to give you lasting relaxation benefits. Make the new year easier by taking a full two-week vacation and bringing the zen back with you!
Have your office parties catered
After the holiday rush, you’ve probably thrown a few parties at your office. Maybe you cooked and cleaned up for each one or asked employees to bring a dish. You’ve seen how stressful that can be – from planning the menu to worries about cleanliness and proper food preparation methods. Instead, start having your office parties catered to make this year easier than last. Use disposable cutlery and dishes to cut down on cleanup as well.
Institute a no-smartphone rule at meals
One sure-fire way to make the new year easier is to detach from your electronics a bit. While the life of a business owner doesn’t often mix well with going off the grid, you can benefit just by making some rules around the way you use your technology. Vow not to use your phone during meals to have a less stressful 2017.
A virtual assistant
In addition to virtual receptionists, we also provide virtual assistants for companies that need some extra help. A virtual assistant will make the new year easier by taking over a multitude of tasks for you – making reservations and appointments, doing research, planning content, paying bills, proofreading and editing, answering the phone, etc. Click here to view pricing and plan details for virtual assistants.
Take more time with your family
We promise – the new year will feel less stressful if you make a point to spend more time with your family. Being around people you love is the best antidote to stress, so use it well and use it often!
Take a day to declutter your office
Clutter makes everything seem chaotic. Cut the clutter in your office (and home) to make sure 2017 gets off to a fresh, clean start. Throw away (or shred) papers and items you don’t need, change the color scheme, and get organized in your office to make the new year easier.
You might not consider yourself the meditating type, but the truth is that anyone can enjoy the benefits of meditation. Studies from respected institutions like Harvard and Yale consistently show that practicing meditation – which does not have to have a religious component – reduce stress and increase mental well-being. Who doesn’t want that? Here’s a guide to getting started.
Hire someone to help with tax planning
Tax season always seem to come around at the most inopportune times, even though we know when Tax Day will be each year! Get ahead of the curve this year by hiring someone to help you with tax planning so you’ll have a plan for making payments and finding deductions you might have missed.
Make a list of this years’ wins and successes
This is really just an exercise to help you feel as competent and prepared for the new year as you can. Make a quick list of the wins and successes you had during 2016 to get you fired up and ready to take on 2017. The new year will be easier to face on the memory of the triumphs you managed in 2016!
Repeat this phrase: Not my monkeys, not my circus
One thing that unnecessarily complicates many peoples’ lives is dealing with the drama of others. While empathy and compassion are certainly important traits to possess and act on, getting too involved in others’ problems only creates additional problems for you. Repeat this phrase to have an easier 2017: Not my monkeys, not my circus.
Come up with a theme for the new year
Finally, if you can come up with a theme for the new year, you might find that it’s easier to approach optimistically – think “The Summer of George.” For example, 2017 might be The Year of Growth for your company. Throughout the year, when you reach a new milestone or have a win to celebrate, you’ll be able to say it’s all part of your Year of Growth!