I don't know about you but the end of the year always energizes and excites me.
I'm excited about the year to come and I'm also excited about finishing the year strong.
Now is when I start to put dates to my ideas and start thinking about "how" I want to do the following year.
It must be the time of the year but I've been attracting a whole bunch of conversations with my peers, with many of them doing stuff in their businesses they don't love; they're continuing to offer packages and programs they don't like to deliver and serve a market they no longer enjoy.
I couldn't think of anything worse than heading into a new year dragging things that make me unhappy, with me.
A habit I got into a few years ago was nothing short of life-changing.
I'm going to share it with you in the hope it changes the way you go about things in your new year.
About 4 years ago I was in a place where everything seemed stressful and I wasn't enjoying my work and the thought of heading back after the break didn't excite me like it used to.
I decided that things needed to change - fast!
So I sat down and wrote my "annoyance list".
This was a brain dump of everything that was pissing me off and stressing me out both inside my business and outside of it.
I looked at this list and immediately saw where I needed to implement change and spent the next few weeks doing just that.
Some of the changes were huge (like separating from my husband) and some were minor, but together they added up to a life that wasn't much fun.
The following year was a joy and I was back enjoying both my business and my life and I have to say I haven't looked back since. This was a major turning point in my life.
I now do a similar thing about this time every year, it's never going to be as life-changing as that first time (there is far less on my list these days) but it's always incredibly valuable.
Here's the version I run through every year now...
I create a list of all of the things I LOVE to do in my business, these are always the activities that keep me firmly planted in my zone of genius.
Next, I create a list of the things that stress me out or that I just plain old fashion loathe!
This is my "annoyance list" and everything goes on it; this list is not restricted to business and it's usually a reasonably sized list with lots of small annoyances on it. Things I can knock over quickly and easily.
Then I create a list of the things I do that anyone could do, regardless of whether I love doing them or not.
These three lists give me a pretty good snapshot of what needs to change.
Note: There is always a need for change from year to year; we evolve, our brands evolve, the market evolves and unless we embrace this change and flow with it we're left behind.
Once I've got a good sense of where things are at I create a list of personal items that need taking care of and more often than not -- I'll get cracking on that list ASAP so I can get it out of the way and clear the "noise" that these items cause.
This list looks something like this:
My wardrobe annoys me - Purchase storage for my walk in robe, throw or donate and organise.
My bedroom annoys me - Re-decorate bedroom.
I'm annoyed I'm paying for stuff I'm not using - Cancel memberships I'm not using.
I'm bored with my gym - Try a new gym.
Once I have the list and have started clearing it it's time to move on to my business stuff.
The first thing I do is look at my current offerings and start to cull.
I remove any offering I don't love delivering, stretches me too thin to deliver or is attracting a market I don't want.
Then I look at what's left and do an audit on each offering to see if it's perfect as is or if I need to tweak it.
I record the changes I want to make (if any) and set the wheels in motion to get it done.
I also let my creative side go wild and start to think about fresh ideas for a new offering I can get excited about (I love a launch!).
I map out my launch and program dates and get excited about building sales pages and sharing it to the big wide world.
Then I move on to the final list - my delegation list.
Back in the day I would only ever delegate stuff I didn't like doing or was really crap at.
Now I've trained myself to let go of most things that have me stray from my ZOG (zone of genius) and the result has been massive growth and more freedom in my business than I've ever known.
The time to delegate some tasks in your business never feels right, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't leap, and sometimes it might take a few attempts to find the right person to delegate to - but you must persevere because it truly is a necessary step if you want to grow as a solo-preneur without running yourself ragged.
Don't fall into the trap of thinking you need to keep doing what you're doing year after year if you aren't getting what you want from your business.
I was running my program for martial arts school owners and I loved it and I was good at it.
But it was a tough market.
To achieve the income I'm now generating in that market would mean working 100 times harder than I do now.
I also found myself resenting my market because it was so tough and I lost the love for what I did.
I let it go despite the money and time invested and a lingering sense of knowing it was just a matter of time before success hit.
The signs were good; I had started to be invited to speak internationally and my profile was rising after my e-book went viral, but I was done.
The horse had already bolted.
When I did the exercise above I realised my desire to work with female entrepreneurs again.
I dreamed big about where I could take it.
I had so much fun creating a girly brand instead of a masculine one.
Every step of the way has been effortless and an absolute joy.
I earned twice as much in my new brand in the first 3 months of launching than I did in a whole year in my other brand.
I had the product right but I was in the wrong market.
Had I persevered in that market I dare say I'd still be in the grind and hating my life!
Don't be afraid to let go of what's good, to pursue the possibility of what could make life great.
Life is too short to feel trapped in your business.
Dream big and don't be afraid to go after what you truly desire.
Make 2016 something to behold.
Now go forth and conquer!