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 2016!

I hope you had a great time celebrating, whether that was out with friends/family or enjoying a quiet night in. Mine was great with lots of well-overdue family time and a good rest. Here’s to a happy, healthy and productive new year! 🙂

I’m going to start this post by reposting a note I made on 2015’s resolution post:

 

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To resolve or not to resolve

With the turn of the new year, many people are thinking about their resolutions for 2016 – and I’m no exception!

As usual there’s a rash of people claiming they ‘don’t do resolutions’, believing it’s more productive to take action, 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.

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Taking stock

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

1. Finish studying for my legal secretaries’ diploma.

Alas, although I finished my course material, I still have some coursework outstanding. In my defence, I was rather ill this year, so I think that’s understandable – and despite being ill, I only have two or three pieces to go.

2. Start a marketing campaign to enable me to work with my ideal partners.

This one didn’t get off the ground due to being ill, so it will be carried over to this year. That said, I got my T&Cs translated, made one or two tweaks to the website and still picked up new clients in my target market thanks to referrals and word-of-mouth – who said nice guys finish last?

3. Continue to work smarter, not harder.

This did happen this year. My bookkeeping system is leaner and I’ve learned more and more about my new CAT tool, which has sped things up. I’ve also focused on focus itself and have spent less time chasing side projects that weren’t serving me or the business. Finally, I prioritised my health, which is the first step in any successful business. Click here for a refresher on this.

According to my time-tracker RescueTime, my productivity dropped by 3% last year, but that can largely be attributed to my illness. My income rose significantly and I translated more, so I still see 2015 as a win on the productivity front. I’ll be pursuing this again this year.

4. Continue giving back.

The biggest way I did this is one-to-one productivity consultations in the new year. It was amazing to help colleagues cut through the haze and get themselves back on track, and I’m hoping to offer the same again later this year. I also began creating productivity cheat sheets and other materials for the subscribers to my newsletter. These materials are exclusive so you know what to do if you don’t want to miss out (you can subscribe here)! 😉

5. Continue posting regularly to the blog.

This didn’t happen due to having to prioritise clients and my health, but very soon the blog will be back with a bang – with more from the Great Productivity Project and new additions to my series on working smarter, not harder.

6. Gradually increase my workout time by two hours a week.

Nasty kidney infection aside, this is definitely something I achieved this year. Before I was felled by illness in May, I was running for at least 40 – 60 mins every day. This is something I’ll be reinstating as I recover throughout 2016. I’ll also be adding bodyweight exercises to my workout, which are great because you don’t need any equipment. More on this in my interview with Sara Colombo!

 

Onwards and upwards

Now that I’m ready to get right back up in the saddle, here are my resolutions for 2016:

  • Finish studying for my legal secretaries’ diploma
    Seriously! With all but three pieces of coursework completed, this should be a breeze.
  • Start a marketing campaign to enable me to work with my ideal partners
    Same as last year: involves an updated website, new professional photos and some new print materials!
  • Continue to work smarter, not harder
    I’m targeting simplified project management and streamlined onboarding to guarantee the best possible client experience. I’ll also dig deeper into the art of productivity and will share everything I learn here on the blog!
  • Continue giving back
    More productivity consultations, more advice to fledgling translators and interpreters and more newsletter exclusives.
  • Continue posting regularly to the blog
    I’ll be starting slowly, but will ramp things up over the coming months.
  • Gradually increase my workout time by two hours a week
    Running helps to clear my head and gives me downtime for more creative ideas, and bodyweight exercises help to keep me fit and healthy, so this is a priority.

 

The ‘Why?’

Understanding the reasons behind your goals is key to following through. I want to be a happier, healthier freelancer doing less work for more money (a dream I’m sure you share!). I also want my business to grow to new heights, and will start by updating the website with information for the 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 2016 business plan, which will hopefully mean another successful new year’s post in 2017!

 

What are your new year’s resolutions for 2016? Why not share them in the comments?

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