Welcome to the blog! This week I take a break from scheduled programming to discuss goal-setting in the languages and translation industry!

Happy new year 2015!

I hope you had a great time celebrating, whether that was out with friends/family or enjoying a quiet night in. My new year has been especially celebratory, because the blog will be a year old this week! Here’s to another year sharing knowledge with friends and colleagues. 🙂

 

To resolve or not to resolve

With the turn of the new year, many people are thinking about their resolutions for 2015 – and I’m no exception!

Some are fashionably claiming they ‘don’t do resolutions’, because it’s more productive to actually do something, but we can only know what we want to do by thinking about what we want to achieve.

Don’t waste your time just writing a list. Instead, break down your resolutions into bite-sized action points that will help you achieve your objectives. Then, build up to your goals slowly and check your progress throughout the year to avoid falling off the wagon. Read more on this approach here.

 

Taking stock

Of course, the very first step is to see how far you got with last year’s goals. Here are mine:

1. Practise saying ‘no’.

This was important because I wanted to learn how to set proper boundaries and fiercely guard my time. I definitely succeeded, and actually found it easier once I introduced fixed office hours in the summer. Find out more in my upcoming blog post entitled ‘The Power of No’!

2. Practise saying ‘yes’.

This is another success story for me. This year I did plenty  of things that both frightened and excited me, including teaching abroad part-time while running the business.

3. Simplify complicated things.

This is a topic I’ve returned to time and again on the blog. According to my time-tracker RescueTime, I increased my productivity by 21% over the last year, which is an incredible achievement! I’ll definitely be pursuing this again this year.

4. Be a healthier freelancer.

This is definitely something I’ve achieved – and the entire experience has been chronicled on the blog! Healthy freelancing is key to happy freelancing, and the popularity of my blog series on  boosting health awareness proved that it’s important to you too. Click here for a refresher.

5. Give something back.

I did manage to do this, but not in the way I’d planned. I’m currently working on a number of hush-hush projects that will help me to contribute to the next generation of linguist-entrepreneurs, and will hopefully be able to launch one or two of them in 2015! Stay tuned for more info 🙂

6. Finish studying for my legal secretaries’ diploma.

Oh dear. I was doing so well! Unfortunately, I still haven’t managed to do this. I’ll naturally be working on this over the next year too, and plan to be done by the summer.

 

Onwards and upwards

Given that I did quite well with last year’s resolutions, I’ve decided to post the ones for this year too:

  • Finish studying for my legal secretaries’ diploma
    For real, this time! I managed to complete a module over Christmas, so I’m feeling positive about this one 🙂
  • Start a marketing campaign to enable me to work with my ideal partners
    Involves an updated website, a new round of professional photos and some new print materials!
  • Continue to work smarter, not harder
    I’ve already invested in a new CAT tool that automates more for me, and am also hoping to simplify my working processes and bookkeeping system. Of course, I’ll share everything I learn here on the blog!
  • Continue giving back
    As mentioned above, some top-secret projects are already underway. Productivity will feature heavily! A key aspect of this is also covered by my next goal.
  • Continue posting regularly to the blog
    So far, so good 😉
  • Gradually increase my workout time by two hours a week
    Running helps to clear my head and give me downtime for more creative ideas.

 

The ‘Why?’

Understanding the reasons behind your goals is key to achieving them. Essentially, I want to be a happier, healthier freelancer doing less work for more money (a dream I’m sure you share!). I’d also like to see my little business grow to new heights. I’ll start by getting the website updated with more information on the kinds of people I love to work with most. Finally, I love helping colleagues work smarter, not harder, so I’ll be pursuing this more on the blog this year.

 

The plan

Of course, all of this is for nought unless you have a plan in place. All of my resolutions will feed into my 2015 business plan, which will hopefully mean another successful new year’s post in 2016!

 

What are your new year’s resolutions for 2015? Why not share them in the comments?

 

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