Freelancers: 5 Ways to Make 2013 A Better Year
How was 2012 for you? Did you have a fruitful year, or a pretty bad one? Did you achieve any or all of your resolutions for 2012? Or do you think that it could be better but it just didn’t work out as you’ve expected?
(Image Source: Romina Militante)
We all want to have the best year this year, but life doesn’t work that way, does it? Usually you won’t see a change in your life year in, year out. But we all strive for a long-term positive change – we want it to get better and better, year after year.
However here’s the reality of the situation, life won’t change much if we stick to the same old lifestyles, making the same, unchanging decisions and the same, stubborn mistakes. If you’re serious about making 2013 a better year, here are some suggestions we want to share with you to help you get there.
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1. Set new year resolutions for 2013
It’s time to lock yourself in a quiet room and really put down on paper what you really want to achieve in 2013. Write them into a list, be as detailed as possible with what you want to achieve. Then, divide them into categories e.g. personal life versus career.
Next, ask yourself why you want to achieve these resolutions? What is the strong reason behind that line of resolution? What is the drive behind them? What makes you commit?
And finally, detail your plans to achieve them. Explore the plans you have, the timeline you will allow yourself to progress in, and split your goals into short-term, long-term types then give each one a deadline and stick to them.
2. Regain Control of Time
If you want to build a better lifestyle but find that you don’t have the time to do so, something has got to give. This calls for a need for some smart time management and time planning. Here are some suggestions to reclaim some of your time that is lost in time-zapping activities.
(Image Source: Max Mitenkov)
Activities like running through the channels on your TV and settling on none even after going through hundreds of channels. Do you really need to check Facebook that often, or surf on the tablet, then the smartphone, then your laptop and back to smartphone throughout the day? Is the time spent gossiping about your colleagues necessary to your social life? You get the idea.
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Try to relocate more of those spent hours on constructive work or rest. Spend quality time with your family, get out of the city, unplug from the Internet and just enjoy the company of your spouse, your kids (they will grow up very fast) or the favorite people in your life.
3. Expand your Comfort Zone
If year in, year out you find yourself ending up on each New Year’s Eve without a change in your life, career, self value or relationships then perhaps you should consider stepping out of your comfort zone and take up new challenges. Ships in port are safe, but that’s not what ships are made for – (Grace Hopper / William Shedd).
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One way to do so is to find new friends and meet new people, the kind that can help you expand your social networks (offline!) The thing with old friends is once you are comfortable enough being in their presence, you don’t think about working hard to win their approval or to make yourself more likeable. New friends, they keep you on your toes, and with each new friend comes new ideas, opportunities and collaborations that could work in your favor.
Recommended Reading: Freelance Designers: How To Balance Your Work Life
You deserve new hobbies, and we suggest three kinds that will help you make 2013 and the future years better.
Read more books, they are vessels of knowledge, passed on from one man to another, from a mother to her child, from a master to his apprentice. It doesn’t matter what you read about — money management, leadership, cooking, or arts and crafts. Reading is always the best learning tool to bridge the wise and reward those always in pursuit of higher knowledge.
Run, brisk walk, pull weights, jog, stretch, swim, do yoga or play a sport with friends. It is never a wasted purpose to invest in your health. And while we’re on the subject, perhaps it’s time to start eating the right foods to go with your new health plans.
Charity starts at home but don’t let it die there. Don’t think of doing charity work as a chore, sometimes it’s as simple as helping out a stranger in need without expecting anything in return. Give the cashier loose change, give free coaching to kids in school, donate your old books to your local library, etc.
4. Find A Mentor
Regardless of which field or industry you are in, nothing beats instruction manuals, blog guides, books and lectures better than a stand-in teacher, or more precisely a mentor. Trying to find a mentor who
- has a wealth of learnable (transferable) experience
- succeeds in their selected field
- is willing to share their trade secrets and advice with you
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Hitting the Jackpot
If you do find one, can it and listen to them. Absorb their teachings like a sponge, and don’t let misplaced arrogance rob your future of the experience. And be open to the idea that you can have more than one mentor in your life. In fact, the greats learn from the best and some of them keep real good company. Plus, even they never start from scratch. If I have seen further, it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants – Sir Isaac Newton.
5. Take Action
This is the hardest part to carry out. Have your gameplan in hand? Now think about the reasons why you want to make 2013 a better year. Pinpoint the core to your resolve, your willpower. Remind yourself every day about your reason and purpose and let your passion lead you to take action, one day at a time.
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Be consistent and persistent. Gaining momentum is important but once you have cultured your new actions into a daily habit, it is easier to maintain it or keep at it. If you don’t like to think or plan much, then let’s cut the long story short: Just do it.
Happy new year, and we hope that you can make 2013 a better year.