Tie up loose ends

Seeing January 1 on the calendar is enough to get almost anyone’s blood pumping. The thrill of starting fresh! The anticipation of creating new benchmarks and attaining new dreams! Oh, but wait. There’s a lot of crap that you need to get rid of –stuff that might get in your way if it doesn’t drive you crazy first.

What would it be like if the New Year felt . . . well . . . felt truly new?

This week’s action was first inspired by a previous edition of Rachelle Disbennett-Lee’s 365 Days of Coaching newsletter. She wrote:

I have what I call a Clean Slate week between Christmas and New Year’s. During this week, I clean my office, clean out files and cabinets, set up new files for the New Year and wrap up any loose ends. I also review my business and marketing plans and update them with my new goals for the New Year. And, of course, I make a new prosperity board that pictures what my goals and aspirations are for the New Year. Doing all this helps me start the New Year with a clean slate.

Hilton McLaurin
Hiilton McLaurin, Still December Day. Oil on canvas, 20 x 20 inches. ©The Artist

With Rachelle’s advice in mind, make this week after Christmas or even the next 10 days just for you. Don’t schedule outside appointments. This is your time to get straight with yourself. After you’ve carved out the time, consider the following as candidates for a good slate-cleaning.

Task List
What has been on your list for too long? If you’re procrastinating, do you really need to do it? If it’s not a definite Yes, it’s a No. If it is a Yes, take care of it. If you want to put highly productive habits into place, I invite you to register for the upcoming teleseminar with my personal productivity consultant, Leslie Shreve: The Road to Peak Productivity: Drive Greater Results by Living a More Productive Work Day.

What’s broken? What materials aren’t being used that you could store or give away? What emits negative energy and stifles your creative juices?

This is a biggie! Get those papers off your desk and off the floor and put them into some kind of system that makes sense. Set up files for the New Year. Recycle anything you don’t use or could find online.

Mailing List
Take all of those names and business cards you’ve been hoarding and add them to your database. This is so important that I’m offering an entire class on building and taking care of your contact list. Cultivate Your Connections starts February 11.

Complete a piece you’ve been neglecting.

Write your Thank You notes from holiday gifts and send New Year’s greetings to those you missed before Christmas. (Or, if you’re like me, send New Year’s greetings just because it’s different from everyone else who sends Christmas cards.)

Back up your files and throw out old files you no longer need. Do the same for your Web site.

Inventory your office and art supplies. What do you need to order that you’re running low on?

Personal Space
Tying up loose ends doesn’t have to be just for your art biz. Creating a more hospitable personal space will help you run your career smoothly. Clean out cabinets, drawers, and closets. Schedule a home pick-up for anything you no longer need. Donate and recycle. (See Get Organized class)

Tackle any after-Christmas returns or supply runs and stock your pantry with staples that make menu-planning easier.

KNOW THIS———-~> Tying up loose ends will give you a fresh start in the New Year.

THINK ABOUT THIS—~> What will it feel like to tie up all the loose ends that you’ve been tolerating until now?

DO THIS————~> Tie up loose ends between now and the end of the year. You probably don’t have time to take care of everything on this list, so prioritize. Go through each prompt and write down some things you’d like to make happen. Then, look at your list and decide what you’ll focus on.

Tell us about tying up your loose ends, your year-end rituals, and listen to the podcast on the Art Biz Blog.

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