The year is drawing to a close and it’s time to start thinking about 2019. If you’re anything like me, you’re wondering where 2018 went! I swear, every year seems to fly by faster and faster the older I get…is it just me?
One thing is for certain, 2018 was a year filled with big changes for me. In the span of just a few months, I moved to a new city, bought my first house, started a brand new job, quit my brand new job, and started working from home full-time.
There have definitely been some big adjustments but I have to say I’m very happy with how this year has shaken out. Now that we’re nearing the end of December and the new year is getting closer and closer, I’ve started thinking about what I want the coming year to hold. So, I figured now would be the perfect time to start planning for 2019.
10 New Year’s Resolutions for Freelancers & Creative Entrepreneurs to Make in 2019
Now, truth be told I’m not a huge fan of New Year’s resolutions. I prefer to set goals and create a plan of action to achieve them, but I know there are things I should make a priority in the coming year, both in my business and my personal life.
…and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one!
After giving it some serious thought, I came up with ten areas I want to focus on in 2019. These 10 resolutions will give me a place to start and help me to better define my goals for the year.
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1. Set Goals
A new year means new goals! Define and set SMART goals for the year and break each one down until you have actionable steps for each month and quarter.
Need help? I suggest investing in The Freedom Journal which is designed to help achieve your #1 goal in 100 days while help you increase your productivity and manage your time wisely.
2. Automate and Outsource Work
In 2019, make a goal to work smarter, not harder. That means streamlining your business to maximize your workflow and stop wasting time on little things.
- Create templates for invoices, contracts, emails, etc
- Invest in financial software that automatically sends recurring invoices and late payment reminders
- Automate social media using programs like Tailwind and MeetEdgar.
3. Keep Learning
Plan to invest in your education in 2019, whether it’s free courses, classes at a local university, or online workshops. No matter the cost, continuing your education can be vital to your success as a freelancer.
Need some suggestions? Here are some great courses to take in 2019!
- Jorden Roper’s Killer Cold Emailing course
- Pixistock’s The Intentional Brand
- Megan Johnson’s Pinterest Ninja
- Ashlyn Carter’s Copywriting for Creatives
4. Practice Gratitude and Mindfulness
Gratitude and mindfulness go a long way in increasing overall happiness, which can help you achieve better business results. First, taking the time each day to write down a few things you’re grateful for helps to put things in perspective and you’ll begin to appreciate the small things in life. This is especially beneficial in reducing the feeling of imposter syndrome.
Next, practice mindfulness. Pay attention to what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Listen to the people around you and really focus on what they’re saying. Not only will you start to feel more in tune with yourself and the people around you, but you’ll also learn to be more empathetic.
5. Make the Most of Social Media
Truth be told, an email list ranks #1 but social media comes in at a close second. Make an effort to optimize your social media in 2019. Sure, other things may seem more important but staying active on social media creates brand recognition and increases your chances of getting noticed by your target client. Not only that, but staying active on social media can help you identify the needs of your audience and find ways to better serve them.
6. Learn to Say No
As freelancer’s we sometimes find ourselves trying to do everything. Even when we aren’t sure a project is the right one for us, we still take on the work. In 2019, learn how to say “no.” I promise the world won’t crash down around you!
Learning to say no to work can be scary, especially when starting out. After all, not working means you’re not making money. The truth is, taking on too much work for too little money, working with terrible clients, and working on projects you find unenjoyable or make you uncomfortable will leave you feeling burnt out and ready to quit; the exact opposite of what you want, right?
Learn to say no to:
- Low-paying work
- Projects that don’t interest you or outside of your wheelhouse
- Time-consuming projects
- Taking on more work when you’re overloaded
- Nightmare clients
Instead, focus on finding your niche and accepting work within it. When you see a red flag while discussing work with a potential client, don’t ignore it.
7. Get Paid Everytime
One of the biggest issues freelancers experience is related to invoicing and collecting payments. There are multiple projects happening at once, all with different deadlines, and handling admin tasks while completing work can be tough to balance. Make invoicing and collecting payments easier with financial software.
Most freelancers and creative entrepreneurs swear by programs like FreshBooks and HoneyBook, but for freelancers on a budget, paying for financial software can be difficult. Luckily, there are free programs like Wave that do pretty much everything expensive programs do.
With financial software, invoicing and collecting payments is easy.
- Set up recurring invoices to send automatically
- Set invoicing terms
- Send automatic reminders for invoices that are coming due as well as late payments
- Offer online payments to clients
Make 2019 the Best Year Yet
Regardless of the resolutions you make or the goals you set for 2019, the important thing is to stick to them! Stay dedicated, be willing to put in the work, and learn as you grow your business.
8. Evaluate Your Finances
It goes without saying the financial health of your business (and personal life) are important to maintain. The start of a new year is the perfect time to take a look back at your finances of the previous year and create a plan for 2019.
- Are you charging enough?
- What services were most requested by your clients?
- What was the least profitable service you offered?
- Where can you make adjustments?
Once you’ve identified the answers to those questions, make a plan to:
- Set financial targets for the new year
- Lower business and personal expenses
- Eliminate any business or personal debt
- Increase your credit score
- Hire an accountant
9. Practice Self-Care
No matter what you do for a living, self-care should always be a priority. Taking care of your mental, emotional, and physical health are so important to living a full and happy life.
There will be times when work seems to overpower everything else due to deadlines, needy clients, and overlapping projects. No doubt you’ll start to feel overworked and stressed out while finding yourself on the path to burn out.
Take time to catch your breath, even if it’s just for a few moments a day, and do something for you. Make time to unwind doing something that relaxes you at the end of the day. Whether it’s a soak in the bathtub or watching Friends on Netflix, do what makes you feel good.
Just as important as your mental and emotional health is your physical health. Freelancers tend to spend a lot of time sitting at their desk, only coming up for air to nuke the coffee they forgot about every once in a while. Living a sedentary life can lead to a lot of health problems, so adding some form of exercise to your daily routine is vital to your well-being. Schedule in a break during the day to go to the gym or simply take a walk. Even 10 or 15 minutes is better than nothing!
10. Be Present
An extension of self-care, making an effort to be present is important to building healthy relationships and enjoying life. Spend time with loved ones and do the things you enjoy while fully immersing yourself in the experience. Shut down your laptop, silence your phone, and just enjoy the moment.