With 2020 right around the corner, it’s soon to be the start of a new decade! As with every new year that comes around, we start wondering about our plans or “resolutions” for the new year. Let’s take a look at some resolutions that work for freelancers!
It’s human nature – approaching the start of a new week, new month, or in this case, a new year with renewed vigor and plans for the future. We all do it – whether or not we believe in keeping resolutions.
Now as freelancers, you may not have to deal with the typical end-of-year issues that other employees deal with but it’s always a good idea to take a step back and review your progress as a freelancer this year.
What are some great new year’s resolutions for freelancers?
Here are a few new year resolution ideas that you could set as a freelancer:
1. Work on projects you enjoy
One of the biggest reasons to head into freelancing is the ability to pick and choose the projects you work on. So why would you work on
things you don’t enjoy?
Often times though, freelancers find themselves taking on jobs that they don’t enjoy. This could be due to a variety of reasons – to bulk up your portfolio, to make an extra buck or simply because it’s easy.
But try to start off the new year accepting projects and jobs that truly hold value for you as a freelancer. This will allow you to concentrate on growth and development instead.
2. Invest in career development
Welcome the new year with a “growth” mindset. Focus on developing your skills or advancing your career by learning new and emerging technologies or literature relevant to your career. Certificates, boot camps, and educational conferences are a great way to do this!
3. Operationalize your business
Try and get your freelancer business as organized as possible. Streamline your entire freelance process from setting up to date profiles, sorting out proposals, creating templates for contracts, etc. This should allow you to spend little of your time gaining projects and free you to work on more important things.
4. Get paid on time, every time
As you see can see in the graph below, almost 4 out of 10 freelancers who took part in our freelancer survey agreed that late payments is one of the biggest disadvantages of freelancing. Why should it be?
Get in the habit of setting strict payment schedules upfront when dealing with a client. No more waiting for clients to clear your repeated invoice requests. Making it a part of your contract is a great way to ensure you get paid on time, every time.
4. Adjusting your rates
If you haven’t increased your rates over the last year, now is a good time to think about it. You have undoubtedly learned new things and gotten better at doing what you already could.
With that experience behind your back, the new year could be the perfect moment to communicate your clients you will be raising your freelance rates.
So how do you go about making resolutions? And is there even a point?
Yes! With the right mindset, you can set realistic new year’s resolutions.
Tips to make New Year’s Resolution work for your freelance business
Resolutions are difficult to keep on. Most people just ignore them after a couple of months (or even weeks). So here are our tips to help you make them work for you:
1. Set evolving goals
You want to set measurable goals that allow you to track your progress. Instead of taking an “all or nothing” attitude, try and set goals that evolve and grow with you as a freelancer.
Getting more clients is not a goal. Getting ten more clients is already getting close.
A great goal would be:
Getting five clients that pay above rate X and will give you work for at least a Y amount of weeks.
A goal like this is not only measurable, it will also help you steer your business in the direction you want in the upcoming year.
2. Set achievable goals
Apart from setting measurable goals, you should also ensure your goals are realistic. We’re not trying to get you down or tell you that you can’t dream big. You can! But if you set goals that you cannot possibly achieve, you will only be disappointed and unhappy at the end.
If you’re not realistic when setting your goals, you won’t reach them most of the time. And even if things measurably improved, your own expectations will be the cause of frustration. Being fair towards yourself can be just as important as being fair towards others.
3. Find ways to track resolutions
So once you’ve got some measurable, specific and doable resolutions, you’re ready to start working on them. At the beginning of next year, the goals are still going to be fresh in your head, but as the year goes on, you might lose sight of them.
Pin a list of your goals and resolutions on your wall or desktop and get in the habit of doing a monthly review. Looking often at your goals serves another purpose as well – changing them when necessary.
4. Remember that resolutions can be adjusted
Your resolutions aren’t set in stone. Nobody really knows what the next years are going to bring. You should be willing to change your plans in accordance with your reality. This goes both ways – maybe you’ve figured out you can’t reach the number of clients you wanted, but maybe you’re already there and it’s only August.
That’s why it’s important to review your resolutions at least once a month and adjust them accordingly. This will teach you to reflect upon your business and keep up with your long-term strategy.
5. Succeeding is a state of mind
Success is fickle and it depends on what you make of it. Staying positive and motivated might sound like washed-out advice, but your state of mind will be a decisive part of how well you do as a freelancer.
Strive to learn from your mistakes, to adjust your resolutions, to keep going forward even when the times are hard.
Following up on the promises you’ve made to yourself won’t be easy, but remember to cut yourself some slack even if you break them. Beating yourself up over that won’t do you any favors. So get out there and be the best version of yourself!
If you have any feedback or questions, contact us via the comment section below! On behalf of the freelancermap team, I wish you happy holidays and a successful 2020!