9 Ways to Sustain Yourself and Your Business over the Holidays

If self-love feels like too big an ask this month, at least do these things to stay sane, leave time for the important things and maintain your business

 

Yes, yes, yes, Christmas is upon us and all The Usual Crazy promises to get even crazier each year and drive us closer to another mug of punch (if not another punch in the mug). As if shopping, cooking, wrapping, entertaining, driving and smiling weren’t enough, you also have a business to maintain.

Hand me the sticky tape and let me at your wrapping paper while I talk your ear off for just a moment… If you don’t feel a little more calm and confident about the Silly Season, I promise I’ll sneak in and move your Elf On A Shelf until the 25th!

 
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Procrasti-Planning is a fabulous way to feel temporarily productive

Hands up if you’ve spent the last few months procrasti-planning and then un-planning and then re-planning and then making another piece of toast in a meagre attempt at keeping 2018 at bay? Thought so. And I get it… I’ve done a fair bit of it myself!

I’ve also done a shed-load of simplifying, undoing and down-bubbling with all the business and life stuff. My gorgeous first-born starts school in the new year and, as I wipe away a stray tear at the thought of having to start packing his lunches as well as the fact that he’s growing up and the day he won’t need to me to wipe his boogers is drawing ever-closer, I’m also profoundly aware of the decrease in available working hours for me. This both excites me and scares the shite out of me.

On one hand, I’m stoked at getting to spend more QT with Mr. 4.75, losing what’s left of my pelvic floor while jumping on trampolines, burning 27-ingredient cookies and invariably ending up covered in mud, food and kisses… and on the other desperately trying to grow my business to be the sustainable, gorgeous beast I know it’s becoming.

 

What’s in a year?

This time last year, I made some pretty big statements. During a fab session with my biz bestie, Ale Wiecek, I identified the 3 things I wanted to spend the most time doing in my business. I also identified that at the time, those three things were pretty much at the bottom of my list when it came to what was actually using up my precious, precious time. They were:

  1. Writing & creating content
  2. Speaking
  3. Delivering 1:1 business mentoring sessions (that didn’t require my time and attention unless I was ‘in-session’)

Twelve months down the track, I’m incredibly happy to report that those Top 3 priorities ARE I spend most of my time and energy and, not-surprisingly, where most of my income comes from.

 
Claire Barton - Goa - Palolem Beach.jpg
 

 

Where focus goes, energy flows

It didn’t happen overnight (but it did happen, and will continue to)! Now, I’m not talking about all the plans for the next year (watch out for the next blog on that, if you’re not already dry-retching at the thought of yet another person talking about 2018 planning).

Here are a few tips on staying sane AND keeping up with your business over the holidays, school break, down-time, or whatever else is going on for you in December and January!

  1. Set some un-goals for your business while you’re away
    Un-goals? Claire, what the hell?’
    Yeah, some un-goals. Like, how many hours you’re not going to work. Like getting ok with wrapping up the hustle and purposefully not opening that gift until Crazy has left town. Like not checking your inbox Tuesday-Sunday. Those sorts of things. Capiche?
  2. Review & reflect on your progress this year
    Seriously, take a little time to look at where you were this time last year and how far you’ve come, what you’ve learned, who you’ve connected with, what you’ve tried.
  3. Celebrate the wins and the fails
    Babe, we all know there may well be a few bonus glasses of Christmas Cheer getting guzzled anyway… why not chin-chin to a few of the wins you’ve had this year? Oh and while you’re at it, celebrate some fails too - mustn’t leave those guys out… after all, they’ve quite possibly taught you more than the winds have!
  4. Plan some goals, intentions and rewards for the new year (& make sure any old ones are still relevant and important)
    By goals, I don’t mean a To Do list. By intentions, I don’t mean resolutions and by rewards, I DO mean rewards. How do you want to feel in 12 months? What do you want to be different? And how will you reward yourself and celebrate? No need to go Full Mood Board if cutting and sticking one more thing actually feels a little #vomvom, just throw it in your journal. Hell, a post-it note will do too!
  5. Delete everything on your to do list that doesn't ACTUALLY need to get done
    If it was on there a year ago and the world is yet to implode, do yourself a freaking favour and can that thing. Take some pressure off. Pump those brakes.
  6. Get some accountability - a biz bestie, group mastermind or coach
    I’m not talking about daily check-ins, just someone who gets you and your business and will help hoist you back onto the band-wagon once the tree comes down and the kids have completely forgotten about that really expensive gift, (but still insist on swinging that plastic piece of noise-making bon-bon crap around 24/7)
  7. Pass all activities through the filter of YOUR goals
    Planning to steal some laptop time in favour of family? Refer to Point 1. Spending way too long in the loo to Insta-scroll? Refer to Point 1. Tossing up the post-lunch-coma-mega-nap or designing a new opt-in? Refer - Point - ONE!
  8. Get help (now's a great to time to get a VA)
    Outsource. Life and Biz. I shan’t continue - I have a habit of getting pretty bloody ranty here!
  9. Prioritise the important things
    Hint: this includes your own sanity, family, connection, reflection, peace and all the other gorgeous opportunities this year.

Babe, this is definitely a smorgasbord of options. Pop onto your paper plate the ones that appeal and leave the others. It is my wish that, at this time of year (and all the other times, for that matter), we as business owners are exactly that - Business Owners. And not owned by our businesses.

 

If you’d like to join me for a free online session to review and reflect on your 2017 in business, I’m running a free Plan+Do session on Wednesday 13th December from 12pm AEST… you can register at bit.ly/Pause2017