Dog using a laptopWe made it past the holidays and onto a brand-new year. Hard to believe the calendar when you see 2018 staring back at you.

Didn’t we just start a new century yesterday?

Most of us have spent a few weeks looking for the perfect gifts for loved ones, employees, clients, pets, teachers, and a host of others. It’s time you shift that generosity to yourself and your business with these gifts you should be giving.

Gifts to Give Yourself and Your Business in the New Year

  1. Start scheduling those things you’ve been meaning to do like exercise. Treat it like a meeting and schedule something regularly to meet your goals. Don’t cheat yourself out of this time. Your schedule will fall into place around it.
  2. Everything you touch won’t always turn to gold. Cut yourself a break when it comes to your failures. Which brings us to….
  3. Whether it be learning from your failures or taking an online course, self-development is critical to all business professionals these days. Most likely, no one will tell you that you need to learn a particular skill. That’s on you. You need to keep up with what’s important in your industry and stay on top of the new tech and best practices associated with it.
  4. Yes, seriously. It’s too easy to get busy and forget but our bodies are ¾ water so it’s an important one. While you’re at it buy yourself a cup you love, and it’ll be easier.
  5. Maybe it’s time to hire help. It doesn’t have to come in a full-time role if you’re not sure about it. You can use a virtual assistant or project person to handle things while you gauge the workload. Still, getting someone on board to handle a few of the things that keep you up at night may make you feel better.
  6. Do something for someone else. Volunteer a few hours at a soup kitchen, mentor a young professional, or create a program at your business that gives employees a few hours to help in the community. It helps your marketing too.
  7. Look for ways to streamline things personally, professionally, and in your business. Your future self will thank you.
  8. Yes, “no” is a gift. Stop saying yes to everything simply out of obligation. Say no more so that you can give more attention to the things you really want to say yes to and those that will help you achieve your goals.
  9. Business owners must trust their employees and while most say they do, they often have created an environment where the subordinates don’t feel empowered to make decisions on their own. Make sure you’re clear about what they can (or can’t) handle on their own. You’ll have far fewer interruptions if you take the time to clear up the process.
  10. Less television. Television is a time suck. Even if you enjoy unwinding every night in front of it, you may not be aware that you are losing hours and hours out of your day or your valuable sleep.
  11. 7-8 hours. Anything less impairs cognitive and decision-making abilities.
  12. Chamber membership. It’s not enough to just pay the dues. Use your membership this year to grow your business in a new way. Extend your network, get involved, volunteer, or ask for assistance. There’s likely a whole world of services you’re not using.
  13. Ending a bad habit. You have one. If it’s unhealthy or taking up room in your head, get rid of it.
  14. Start keeping a journal or carry a notebook or use your phone and begin capturing the things that inspire you. Then once a month or so look for ways you can use those in your business.
  15. It’s hard to hear the inspiration when you don’t take a moment to listen to the silence.
  16. Upgraded tech. If it’s been a while, you’re due.
  17. Select one area of your home or life and organize it. Areas you might target are pictures, the basement, your storeroom, apps, or your mind.
  18. This year read something you normally wouldn’t and see if it doesn’t make you think or reconsider previous thoughts. If you read fiction, try non-fiction. If you never read anything more than a magazine or a blog post, try something that’s a larger commitment. If you always read books, try an audiobook.
  19. Try setting out a plan and sticking to it or, if that’s what you always do, try something unexpected and unplanned. Shake 2018 up. Finally…
  20. It’s nice to live in comfort but no growth occurs there. Do something that terrifies you this year.


Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers, and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine,, and AssociationTech. She is a regular blogger at and the Event Manager Blog.