Blue Monday - Stephanie O'Callaghan Photography

How to achieve more on #BlueMonday.

Top 10 tips for business owners.

So today is Blue Monday, ok I agree the weather isn't helping but seriously is it that bad?

Whilst I was on twitter earlier  (@socallaghan_uk) I noticed the top hashtag was #bluemonday so I had to have a little look to see what it was all about. Traditionally the 3rd Monday of January is meant to be the most depressing day of the year, and that’s today. A Telegraph article even has a countdown clock on it-‘ How Long Until Blue Monday Is Over’. Seriously people? it’s not that bad!

January is a funny one, people have always really hated it. Maybe it’s the bad weather, the new years resolutions or having no legitimate excuse to eat mince pies for breakfast anymore. Personally I love January, maybe it’s because my birthday is on the 21st (still time to buy a card guys!) But I find starting a new year totally refreshing. There are new goals to set, a new way of looking at your business new motivations and lots of new stationary shopping to be done! Seriously though, I think sometimes people can put so much pressure on themselves in January, ‘I must to do this’ and ‘I cant eat that’. By the third week it all becomes too much, all resolutions are broken and before you know it you’ve driven down to tescos and bought the biggest tub of Cookie Dough Ben and Jerry’s you can find.

I have learnt a lot over the last two years of business, and last year I actually gave myself some business goals to achieve for the first time ( I prefer the word goals rather then resolutions, as a goal you can work towards and achieve parts of, a resolution to me is too black and white- succeed or fail.) So in December this year I sat down and looked at how my year had gone, what I had achieved, what needed working on and how I would achieve that in 2017. I couldn't believe how much I had actually managed to do. When you’re running your own business it is so easy to constantly put yourself down and feel like you should be achieving more. But when I looked back at my goals I had set at the end of 2015 ( in both my wedding and photography business) I was surprised that those goals had been achieved, they were now a part of my everyday life and I could develop them onto the next stage for 2017. So if you’re struggling on #bluemonday and feel you’ve failed the year already here are my 10 tips on how to how to set goals and achieve more out of 2017.

1. Only give yourself one or a small amount of goals.

2. Break it down into achievable sections, not one big scary impossible goal.

3. Before setting a goal look at ‘how’ you are going to go about achieving it.

4. Check up on yourself with that goal regularly, whether monthly or quarterly. Just don't leave it until next January.

5. Don’t think of stereotypical goals, be specific with your goals. ‘I want to loose weight’ vs ‘ I want to be able to lift x amount and fit back into that dress I bought last year.’

6. Remember that a goal is a developing idea, it may change and grow through out the year.

7. Goals do not have to start and end in January.

8. Schedule in some time in December to look over your year and set new goals.

9. Do not give yourself a hard time if your goals are not being achieved, look at why and adjust them to be more manageable.

10. Set a personal goal as well as a business one- it will help give you a good work life balance.

Now go enjoy goal setting, and maybe we’ll reconcile again this time next year.

Remember a goal is just a dream with a deadline.

Diary from Life Styled Planner: To Do List from PaperchasePencil from BlovedHive. I am Really Busy Notebook from Sainsburys.