This has been a great year for ATLAS Workbase and for many of its members. An incredible group it is. As the year closes, all are encouraged to take some time to reflect back on personal, professional and business affairs that took place this year. Examine the highs and the lows, the ebb and flows that impacted 2017.

For business, look back on that which went well and the things that could have been done better. Think of what, if improved in 2018, will yield more meaningful and impactful results. Some processes and methodologies will need to be eliminated entirely. Mistakes are OK, that is part of the business journey and the experience.

For personal/professional growth, now is the time to look inward, to honestly take stock in the whole, to see where tweaks can be made, then take bold action. Be a better manager. Be a better leader. Be more productive. Perhaps it’s a more specific agenda, such as Improve emotional intelligence. Learn to program. Get published. And so on.  

They call them New Year’s resolutions for a reason! As time passes and dark winter melts into a brighter spring, resolutions can be hard to stick with. Nobody’s perfect, but a little awareness coupled with bit of effort is a great start.

ATLAS Workbase members are already ahead of the game, as in general, entrepreneurs are glass half-filled types, highly optimistic people who focus on the positive. The quest then is to challenge the mind or it stagnates.

Hence, here’s a bit of inspiration, as no year-end piece would be complete without a helpful little hit list.

  1. Words are power. Take the initiative and figure out ways to expand vocabulary. Hear a new word? Jot it down and look up its meaning. Create a running list that can be added to and referred to often during the year. Use these new words in real life to make them stick.
  2. Read a business or management self-help book or two or three. The bestseller lists like The New York Times are chock full of titles that speak directly to common business issues, both macro and micro trends. These books are best sellers because they give people who read them an edge.
  3. Build up or create a new skill, or hone up on the core skills necessary to run a successful business.
  4. Producing that client-facing gold work is always key. Embrace software and tools that automate mundane business tasks so there’s more time for great work and more cycles available for new business efforts, creativity and brainstorming.
  5. Get an honest day’s wage for an honest day’s work. Sounds simple, but underestimating what to properly charge leads to less profit and reduced satisfaction. A simple trick is to make more money without doing more work, which can be accomplished by charging appropriately for the work. If reading this and nodding, there’s a good chance those prices are too low.
  6. Manage stress levels. Try delegating more and micromanaging less. Take short (10-15 minutes) strategic breaks during the day. Don’t put off that vacation, instead use it to detox. Schedule regular exercise which is healthy for the body, cathartic for the soul and meditative for the mind.  
  7. Tighten the ship. Eliminating needless money drains and unnecessary expenses is a simple exercise that should be done every year. Add to the bottom line, reduce stress at the same time. There’s no better time for this kind of audit than now.

One final tip before saying goodbye to 2017. It’s easy to stay in the comfort zone. Instead, make a challenge to grow and stretch. Embrace uncomfortable. Yes indeed 2018. Onward.

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