Here’s a business truth: it’s impossible to do all the things you hope to do in a single year. And that can be infuriating. It leaves you wondering, ‘Well, what the hell did I achieve in the last 12 months?’ I felt this in my bones through most of 2022.
When I returned to work in January 2022 after maternity leave, I had naïve beliefs that having a work routine would be easy. That my four-month-old would be napping regularly by then.
Yeah, yeah. I can hear the parents amongst you chuckling.
That was my hope. It didn’t become a reality. But when you have a small human a lot can change very, very quickly. With the kid now in daycare and things feeling much easier than they did this time last year, I’m determined to have a very different business experience in 2023.
The masterclass that forced me to think
With time being more precious than ever, sitting through online masterclasses and webinars isn’t high on my priority list. But when I saw Court & Co promoting a free 2023 Planning Masterclass, I thought why not?
(Really, it’s because she was holding a riding crop in one of the promo shots and I instantly knew she was my kinda person.)
My hopes were to come away from the session feeling like I had some grasp on the year ahead. Already being booked out until March, I was feeling overwhelmed at the thought of fitting everything on my to-do list into the hours I have available.
The first question Courtney asked was, “What three words sum up your 2022?” Here are mine.
- Sporadic – Finding regular working hours that fit around my new family life has left me feeling like an amateur, doing things ad hoc and sporadically, squeezing in work when I can.
- Fraught – A lack of routine and structure left me feeling like I was constantly chasing my tail.
- Promising – It’s not all doom and gloom. New clients, big projects, repeat clients and ongoing work tells me I have a thriving business that’s ready to be let off the leash.
There are silver-linings to some of those words. I learnt things about myself and how I’m able to work which, pre-kid, I’d never have thought possible. I’ll talk more about flexibility in a moment, which I believe is the more optimistic way of looking at ‘sporadic’.
Choosing words for 2023
Thinking ahead to this year, I want the next 12 months to look and feel different to the last 12. So, my words for 2023 are:
- Settled – I will strive for more structure. Even if that’s just working out what days I’m sat at my desk. I’d like to eliminate the feeling of doing everything last minute.
- Fulfilling – Ideally with new adventures and experiences. I want to feel this not just in my business, but in my personal life too.
- Consistently profitable – 2022 felt like year one or two of business, with my income doing its own rendition of The Grand Old Duke of York. I’ve felt out of control of my finances. (Wow, that was very open of me.) This year, I’m planning to regain that control.
My one big word for 2023: flexible
Although I’d like my year to be settled, and I’d like some semblance of structure, I will also be flexible. That was something I struggled to be pre-kid.
It was a hard frog to swallow in 2022, learning to roll with things and realising a shit-storm of molten lava won’t engulf me if things don’t go to plan has been a big change in me. And for me. In the olden days, when things didn’t go to plan I’d fell pretty tense. And so flexible will be my word of the year and will be something I try to hold on to. Wish me luck. Because now it’s the hard part. Now I need to work out how I will make my 2023 be the year I want it to be.
How would you answer these three questions?
- What three words sum up your 2022?
- What three words do you want to use to describe your 2023?
- What would be your one big word for the year?
I’d love to know. Drop them in the comments below.