My January did NOT roll in with gusto, making me feel all fresh and new and like I could tackle the world. Instead, I’m dealing with an elderly dog with glaucoma, dementia, arthritis, and a new diagnosis of a bulging disc from when my other dog accidentally pushed him down a full staircase – in the top five for most terrifying moments of my life.
But I recently saw a post on Instagram that said “Reminder that January can be a month of rest & reflection instead of resolutions. Look around you, we’re in the thick of winter and everything else comes back to life in spring! We don’t need to rush into the new year, we can get to spring gently.”
I love this. When I feel like I’m failing at life because I’m not checking every single box on my to-do list, I’m reminded that life truly is a marathon and not a sprint and also that I get to choose to start over any day that I’d like to. January 1st is an arbitrary day – just like Monday is.
So if you need a break this month because 2023 was really hard on you – that’s great. Take it. And if you need some help finding your mojo again, I also have some suggestions for what you can do this month to gently rediscover the spark within – this isn’t one of those “kickstart your year in thirty days” plans, but more of a “let’s rely on the things that bring you joy and support” things.
- Craft a plan: Maybe you ended 2023 with planning, or maybe that’s something that fell by the wayside. Regardless of how you finished 2023, use January to craft your plan. Think about the year ahead and set some achievable goals. Start small with short-term objectives and break them down into manageable steps. Want to meet with three top clients next month? Schedule emails or calls, follow-ups, and open dates for face-to-face meetings. The key here is to develop something that fills you with anticipation, not dread, for the months to come. Which brings me to my next point…
- Rediscover Your Sweet Spot: We all have our favorite BD activities, whether it’s networking at cocktail parties, connecting online, speaking engagements, or writing articles. Pick at least one or two of your go-to activities and add them to your plan for this year. If something comes up for January and you’d like to do it, sneak it in there to help get your mojo back – perhaps seeing a favorite client, meeting up with some referral sources you enjoy, or chatting with some online connections will help get you back into the BD groove.
- Build an Accountability Crew: Motivation is hard to come by after the holiday lull. Even if you don’t seal any big deals in the next few weeks, connect with colleagues and discuss your goals for the upcoming months. Having an accountability group or buddy will keep you on track and make you feel like you’re heading into the new year on the right foot.
- Inject Some Fun: Who says business development has to be boring? Spice things up! Write themed articles (if the stores are prepping for Valentine’s Day, maybe you can too?), invite clients for hot cocoa – many places are still pretty chilly, co-author a fun piece, or join your clients in volunteering. Get creative with your connections – the holidays may be over, but the creativity doesn’t have to be!
January can sometimes feel like it’s a year-long, but we don’t have to try to rush through it – instead, we can gently ease into the year and either reflect on what we’d like the rest of 2024 to be, or find our mojo again. Either is a fantastic way to ring in the new year!