Here’s my effort to hold myself accountable this year, one bullet point at a time. I have big hopes for what 2013 holds for me personally and for my business. Time for 2013 GOOOOOAAAALLLLLSSS! (A lot of soccer has been on in our house lately, forgive me.)

  • Stop working for free. Toward the end of 2012 I took a look at how I was spending my time, and I realized that I was embarrassingly giving the proverbial milk away for free. Daily. Sometimes full days were spent working more or less for free. Even with some clients who were paying me, I realized that my hourly rate was averaging nearly $5/hour  for the amount of work I was offering. This is and always will be unacceptable. So, no more of that. Although two work days in I’ve already completed five “free” projects, and even if it’s only 30 minutes to an hour, that time adds up. In 2013 I will cut out that crap, one “no” at a time.
  • Trim the fat. In a similar vein, I want to focus on projects and clients that excite me. Why am I stressing about projects that don’t excite me anymore? I’m nearing my third year in business. I have no reason to continue with mindless projects to just fill the time. In 2013 I will shift my focus to projects that get me pumped instead of work that just fills my day.
  • Utilize more and better tools. Thanks to my friend Cheryl I found http://rememberthemilk.com, and I can’t say how much this has helped me stay organized every day. Also, sort of through Cheryl as well, I started working with Upsourced Accounting. Holy cow, why was I dealing with invoicing and following up with clients? They do it WAY better than I ever could. I also added a subscription to Lynda.com to learn more about WordPress and web design, and I’m hoping to free up some time later this month to finally take advantage. A monthly subscription to Slickplan has made my sitemaps way easier and generally way prettier. I finally bought good video and photo editing software, and I started using Jing for my video tutorials rather than my WAY outdated copy of Captivate. And perhaps the most important of the new tools I’ve found, my new, super awesome Keurig. No tool has greater power over me than immediate coffee.
  • Update my woefully out-of-date website. Frankly I’m embarrassed to be posting my “2013 is Gonna ROCK!” post on my old and outdated website. By February 1 I will have a newly designed responsive website that reflects the clients that I’ve had the honor to work with as well as the type of clients that I want to work with in the future
  • Get real headshots. I’m going to tap my husband of DMO Galleries on this one. While I love my Hipstamatic and Instagram shots I’ve used previously (and my engagement photos…eek) it’s time to grow up.
  • Seriously, practice what I preach. This was my number 1 work goal last year, and I give myself a C+. I can do better in blogging more regularly, updating my website and keeping a consistent brand message for myself.
  • Harass clients more. Sorry guys, I mean this in the best way possible, but I need to bother you to find out what’s happening with your businesses! This year I want to really stay on top of your specials, your events, your mouthwatering craft beer additions, etc. It’s not me trying to be rude, it’s me trying to be the best me I can be for you. Please don’t take it personally!
  • STAY POSITIVE. This is a very big one for me in 2013. I found myself disturbingly burnt-out throughout large chunks of 2012. I need to remind myself that this is the happiest and most wonderful job I’ve ever had. Even if it means midnight texts with emergency requests, I truly do love my work. I need a cat poster or something to remind myself of this throughout 2013. I love my job, and I’m very fortunate to do what I want for a living, so it’s time to cut out negativity.
  • Read and write more. I’ll accomplish more reading thanks to my friend Rachel and her fun new book club, and I hope that I can write more. Maybe even force myself back into writing comedy? Who knows what sort of silly 2013 holds, but I want it to mean more words in my life. And not just Buzzfeed headlines this year.

What tools have I missed? What are your goals for 2013? Do horses wear socks? All the important questions that need to be answered.

Happy 2013 to everyone. And best of luck as you seek out for your best year yet.