THE BLOG
12/31/2015 10:29 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

7 Creative Ways to Prepare for the New Year

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At the beginning of a new year, there's no shortage of ideas and articles about goal setting and getting the most out of the upcoming year. While certainly helpful, those of us in business marketing ourselves and our talent, when we are our brand, we need a different set of ideas.

When your business is personal, and you're putting yourself on the line day after day, being an entrepreneur is as much a course in personal development as anything else. Personal growth on steroids I might add! So it only makes sense then the tactics one needs to set out to accomplish big things in a New Year need to be different. As much of an inside development approach as a practical outside one.

Below are the seven best ideas I know of to accomplish great things in the New Year when your business is as much a personal journey as a profitable business venture:

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1. What Will Be Your Theme For 2016?
Choose an over-arching theme for your year. It's not a goal. It's a theme aligned with your natural growth and your place in life at this time. You listen and sense your theme more than create it. By listening for your theme to emerge you are working in flow with what makes sense for you and not against it by pushing towards a goal you set. I find this to be the foundation for the year ahead.

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2. Set Big Dreams, Create Small Wins
We are often capable of more than we imagine. At the same time, we set short-term goals that are unrealistic. This sets us up for failure. Success DOES breed success. And to keep you going, you need successes and accomplishments for fuel. So create some goals you KNOW you'll accomplish on a regular basis -- monthly, weekly, even daily. Feel successful. At the same time, set your long term goals beyond your wildest dreams. Without any limiting thoughts. And be ready -- you just might get it.

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3. Be Clear On Your Direction
As busy entrepreneurs, we often chase a lot of squirrels! Creatively speaking that can be a good thing. It opens up more creativity, more possibilities, and maybe more fun! It can also create a diverse business model with multiple streams of income. But it must all point somewhere. To a direction. To your purpose and what you want to stand for in this world. So you can consider many possibilities but you must be clear on your direction to organize your efforts and keep you on track.

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4. Make Space
You can't expect what you want in life to come in if you don't make room for it. Make space by good use of time management. Eliminate, automate and delegate everything you can. Strive to have time on your hands and the time will be filled with more meaningful things. Make space in your life for creativity, growth and self-care. This will increase your capacity to give more of yourself. You have to be ready and make space for success and abundance to arrive.

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5. Big To Small Goals
Start with big goals and trickle down to small goals. Begin with the lofty goals for the year. Then divide the year by season and then by month. Finally, decide which specific tasks need to be done on a weekly and daily basis to accomplish that month's goals. I suggest, unless it's absolutely time critical, that you focus more on the monthly and weekly goals rather than daily. It provides more flexibility and less criticism of tasks not completed. By approaching your goals from big to small, you are taking small steps, every week, towards your big dreams.

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6. Prepare To Receive
Everyone always thinks they are more than prepared to receive abundance and success. If that's the case, then why do so many people fall apart when good fortune lands in their lap? It's because they haven't prepared to receive. They haven't considered the sense of responsibility and fear that come with "having it all." Ever notice how often something goes wrong just when it seemed everything was going right? Or parts of your life are going incredibly well but not other parts? All because you've reached the limits of your comfort zone of receiving. So prepare for these emotions. Starting now, savor the good moments. Train the "what if" thoughts to stay away. And be very self-aware of any self-sabotage keeping you in your "enough" comfort zone instead of fully receiving beyond your imagination.

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7. Own Your Awesomeness
Without a doubt, this is the most important thing you can do to have the life and business of your dreams. Own who you are -- your awesomeness. This is not just feel-good advice. In business, this is practical and essential to skyrocketing your success. When you are your brand, and you're marketing yourself, the more you own who you are, the tighter your branding will be. With a clearer message, more of the right clients show up and the more success you will see. It's almost as simple as that. Owning who you are requires bravery, authenticity, and transparency. But it's so very worth it! You are awesome. Own it!