I did a lot of things right in 2016. But I did many things wrong, or not good enough. And though I know that it’s really important to focus on the good, it’s at least equally important to take stock of the things I could have done better.
Here’s my personal list of 2016 fails and how I’m going to make good on them in 2017. If you can learn from my mistakes by becoming wiser than I was before I made them, my 2016 stumbles and falls will have been worth it.
So here are my 2016 fails and how I plan to turn them into my 2017 wins:
1. I didn’t target my ideal client enough
Until about halfway through 2016 I wasn’t entirely sure about my target audience. What’s interesting about this, is that understanding a business’s target audience is something I help clients figure out, if it’s not already obvious to them. But for some reason I was having trouble doing it for myself. I’m grateful to Charlie Kalech for helping me figure this out. Once I understood my target audience, I should have created an entirely new list of prospect. I didn’t.
I’m doing that now, and I’ll be reaching out to them in 2017.
2. I didn’t finish my book
I’ve been working on my tween novel for probably around 8 years now. And I’m not through the second draft yet. I promised myself I’ll be finished by the end of 2016, and though I’d like to believe it’s still possible, I know it ain’t going to happen. Yes, the work, life, novel juggle is hard. But there’s an expiry date on that excuse. I’ll be focusing more intensely on my book in the next few months and hope that will be enough to help me finish it mid-year 2017, if not earlier.
3. I didn’t build enough partnerships
So this is really hard for me to admit publicly, but I’m somewhat of a loner (in today’s jargon that might translate to introvert). It may not be how others perceive me, but many times it’s how I perceive myself. Having the ability to enjoy being on your own and accomplish stuff on your own has its advantages. But my goal in 2017, will be to build relationships. I enjoy being around people, learning from them and collaborating with them, so I hope that building partnerships will come naturally.
4. I didn’t meet my revenue goal
This really sucks, because I wasn’t off by far. (I don’t know what’s worse, being close to your goal and not hitting it, or being completely off.) Really, there’s nothing to make you lose confidence in yourself more than not hitting a revenue goal. At least for me.
Sure 2016 was a tough year, I had to take a few weeks of work off, blah blah. Not interesting. But the bar must be raised in 2017. A lot. Because I believe one should have to stretch to meet their revenue goals. But as opposed to 2016, I’m going to have to try different things. I’m going to have to be more daring. Because extreme results call for extreme measures.
5. I didn’t make digitizing my notes a priority
I do a lot of reading and I prefer books to a Kindle. I take notes, usually by sticking a coloured tag note beside/on the line I want to record. The tricky part is actually going back and typing my notes into a computer file. I’ve done this for some. Not most. And so the effects of my bad habits in 2016 will spill over to 2017. The solution of course is to make digitizing my notes a priority. The upside, once I’m done, is that I will have a plethora of searchable research materials at my fingertips.
6. I didn’t clear my desk enough
Here’s another embarrassing insight into my life: I am not a naturally tidy person (understatement. yes, my poor husband.). My desk is a constant mess. It doesn’t matter to me that I can find my stuff, most of the time. I hate having a messy desk. And don’t start looking for excuses for me. It’s not art, it doesn’t symbolize creativity, and it’s not a symbol of my genius or anybody else’s. It’s not anything except a messy desk and an eyesore. I’d be much happier if my desk were neat. And this is of course dependent on no one except myself. And so, my 2017 win will be a somewhat tidier desk. I can’t imagine that I’ll ever be neat. But I can do tidier. 10 minutes a day, at the end of the day should do it.
7. I didn’t promote my blog posts enough
When you’re a blogger, your job is not only to produce content for your blog. You also have to promote that content. In fact you should be spending more time promoting the content than actually writing your blog. In 2016, I’ve really sucked at this. I’ve mostly stuck to Facebook, crossing my fingers that my friends and family would actually be interested in what I have to say.
2017 will be different. Deep breath. I’m going to work towards promoting my content on other outlets and will double my 2016 views.
Change is not easy. But I think that much of it is about mindset. Finding the time. Making the time. And simply doing it without overthinking it.
What didn’t go so well for you in 2016 and what are you going to change in 2017 to get better results?