It’s the start of a New Year which means talk of resolutions is rife on most business social media accounts and blogs.

We’ve read our fair share and found that New Year’s resolutions, especially in relation to freelancers and small businesses, tend to revolve around three key themes…

Finding More Time To Unwind

Most business owners will work flat-out to establish their business from the beginning, developing relationships with clients and delivering above and beyond to build a reputation for themselves. Once established, a good reputation usually means more work and more work means less spare time to spend with family. It becomes increasingly difficult to work out when’s a good time to take your foot off the gas, a catch 22 that many will be familiar with.

But finding time for yourself is important, as Web Developer, Johanna Werb-Pieterman comments in this recent post on the Profoundry blog where 14 Freelancers Share Their Resolutions for 2018:

“by the end of the year I felt myself becoming irritated and angry for no clear reason which to me signalled the start of burn out. Now, after the holidays and a good rest away from computers, I am ready to start again with renewed energy but I am also keen to avoid the terrible work/life balance of 2017.

Her solution is enforcing shorter working days, making it clear to clients that she will only be available to answer phone calls and emails for a limited period during the day.

Business owners looking for other ways to improve their work/life balance could consider outsourcing work or phasing out the projects and clients that cause you most stress. It might sound ruthless but it could make all the difference to a happier and healthier working life in the long run.

Being More Organised

January’s tax return deadline causes many business owners to make a pledge that next year they will be better at getting their ducks in a row. It’s a noble vow to make but in reality, when the paid work piles in, unpaid admin tasks are likely to be pushed to the back of the queue.

So how do you escape this cycle?

If your workload continues to increase year on year, this is probably a sign that it’s time to get someone to help out with some of your business admin or at least explore the various online applications that have been designed to alleviate some of the burdens that the growing sector of self-employed workers face.

This article from Xero suggests a number of finance-related New Year’s resolutions and solutions for Small Businesses.

Acknowledging Your Successes

It’s easy when you’re working so hard throughout the year to find time to take stock of your achievements and the successes that you’ve achieved in your business life before you set your sights on the next target.

Luckily, New Year’s provides the perfect opportunity for you to finally acknowledge the good things that have happened to you and your business in the previous 12 months and this will hopefully get you into the habit of doing this each time you take a step forward.

Whether it’s earning a new client, expanding your team or moving out of your home office and into a private office suite, making time to register and reward yourself for milestones like these is important in keeping up morale and momentum.

As Olympian Silken Laumann writes in this HuffPost article, “don’t be too quick to commit to new resolutions and goals without first acknowledging and celebrating your successes from last year.”

How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions All Year Round

We all know that New Year’s resolutions are known to have a habit of fizzling out by February – but when it comes to business resolutions like the ones above, admitting to yourself that these are the areas of your business where improvements are necessary is the first step. Try not to think of them as resolutions that you have permission to give up on in a couple of weeks but good habits that you can train yourself to get into in order to make this year an even better one for you and your business.

If you’re struggling already, here are some handy hints from the BBC to help make sure your New Year’s resolutions become part of your normal routine.