“Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning, but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.”
~ Hal Borland

You know, I think the end of one year and the birth of another is my favorite time of the year.  I love the looking back and reflecting that you can’t help but do as the year slowly comes to its end.

And at the same time, I look forward to the blank slate, the endless potential that the new year holds in store.  There are so many options, so many opportunities to design and create the kind of year you want to have.

It’s as if you have a free pass to do whatever it is you want to do…for a WHOLE YEAR!  Think of the possibilities!

I think that’s why I enjoy my year-end free call that I’ve been doing these past couple years.  I feel like it’s a way to take stock of the past year and to clearly focus on the new year.  And I love being able to give back to my community like that.

To help close down your 2012 and start fresh with your 2013, I’ve come up with five simple things you can start doing today. 

Are there more than five things you can do?  Of course!  There are tons of things you can do.  But let’s face it, no one wans to  get caught up in the should’s and outta’s right now.

I want you to have just a few simple things you can do to easily create order and set the tone.

Show Appreciation – One of the things I like to do at the end of the year is send out emails (or cards or even phone calls) saying thanks to special people for being a part of my life.  It’s so simple, yet it touches someone personally.  I just received one of these simple year-end notes of thanks from one of my good friends (and fellow brainstormer) and I will say, I’ve reread it with a huge smile at least five times now.  And I only received it yesterday.

Look Back – Another thing I like to do at the end of the year is look back over my year and acknowledge on all I’ve accomplished.  I reflect on the big stuff and the small stuff (nothing is ever too small to celebrate!) You’ll find that you might think you didn’t get around to doing a whole lot, but once you get going with that list, you’ll find it’s a lot harder to stop than you realized.  And you can’t help but feel proud of all you’ve accomplished.

Delegate or Ditch – While you’re looking back, think about what you did that you maybe didn’t enjoy.  I may have created a few opt-in pages that I’m proud of, but that doesn’t mean I enjoyed myself in the process.  Or more importantly that it was money (in this case energy) well spent.  In fact, I’d go so far as to say that it was money lost.  Know your strengths. Know your weaknesses.  Spend your personal time doing what you’re good at and what makes you money.  And ditch or delegate the rest.

Claim those Deductions – I am by no means a tax expert here.  But…you do have many deductions you can (and should) claim before the year is out. I encourage you to check out a list of what’s deductible or to speak with your financial or accounting professional.  That said…just an FYI…coaching, training and classes are deductible.  So if you’ve been considering working with someone for your business (I have January VIP slots available), secure that 2012 rate now and claim that deduction!

Get Some Accountability – I know I talk about accountability enough that you must think I’m a preacher in another life.  But trust me, it makes a difference.  Find a Mastermind Group.  Reach out to someone that could become a mentor (and remember to return the favor).  Talk to a fellow entrepreneurial friend about teaming up as accountability partners. Hire a coach.  Do whatever you can to get that accountability and support for your business.  You’ll be surprised at the strides you’ll make in your business with your own accountability team.

Make a Decision – Decide here and now that what your business (and your life) is going to look like in 2013.  Set that intention.  Create that plan.  Hire that coach.  Secure that VA.  Make a decision that this year is going to surpass each and every year that has come before it.

Albert Einstein tells us that the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

So make a decision to do it differently this year.  

Shake things up.

Live dangerously.

Invest in yourself and your business.

ACTION PLAN: Pick at least one of these and get started working on it TODAY.  Not tomorrow.  Not in a couple days.  TODAY.

I encourage you to download a copy of my LOOKING BACK | LOOKING FORWARD: Reflection and Journaling Exercises for Closing Out Your Current Year and Creating the Vision For Your Upcoming Year workbook for more exercises like this (20+ to be precise).  It’s totally free and one helluva resource if I do say so myself…and I do!