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DesignGood_Jan-1By this point in January, it can feel like all the bubbly optimism of the New Year is slipping into the past. The weather for a lot of us is gray and dreary, and the daily demands of work have come roaring back full force after the holidays. (When, exactly, were we supposed to fit all those big-picture business resolutions in again?) But hey, 2015 is actually still pretty shiny, new and full of potential. We've got a few simple refreshes that will help you rekindle that New Year's positivity, set the stage for personal and professional success in 2015 and maybe even give you a little push on your resolutions.

01 | REFRESH YOUR SKILLS
Don't let your learning and growth slip onto the back burner this year. Picking up some new knowledge and skills not only improves your work; it'll also give you a happiness boost. It doesn't have to take long either. The time you devote to listening to a podcast, reading a great book or taking a course will pay off many times over.

02 | REFRESH YOUR BUSINESS
Whether you own a small business or have a pet project you want to take to the next level, think about where you want your business or project to be in December. Now, think about the steps you need to take now to get it there. Once you know what needs to be done, consider partnering with a branding studio that helps you accurately develop your messaging and your tone, while also helping you implement a fresh look and feel. When working with DesignGood Studio clients, we find that sometimes the best ideas develop at the start of the New Year. Consider giving your business or project a first quarter boost – it’s a great time to start fresh.

03 | REFRESH YOUR TO-DO LIST
If your list fills you with dread instead of motivating you, it's time for a refresh. Are there things on your list that aren't the best use of your time? Could you outsource or delegate some of them? Take a hard look at all those tasks you've been putting off for months. Can you let some go?

04 | REFRESH YOUR MINDSET
One book that's made a huge difference for us lately is "Mindset: The New Psychology of Success" by Carol Dweck. Here's the gist: We succeed more when we think of our skills and talents as flexible instead of fixed. In other words, instead of seeing a setback as proof that you're just not cut out to have your own business, try reminding yourself that you can learn from it and do better next time. You'll be more resilient, less defensive when you get feedback and a lot less angsty.

05 | REFRESH YOUR RELATIONSHIPS
Before we run out of January, make time for New Year's check-ins with clients and colleagues. It's easy to put our relationships on autopilot — to think we have others all figured out. But they evolve and change as much as we do. Ask them where they are as 2015 gets under way. What are their goals? What's going on in their lives? You'll be setting the stage for more understanding and a smoother working relationship in the months ahead.

06 | REFRESH YOUR SYSTEMS
There are thousands of software packages, apps and organizational tools out there that can make your job easier. The question is – why aren’t you using them? Refresh your business’s infrastructure by adding the organizational tools that will make mundane administrative tasks easier. Use the time you’ll save to develop your business, find new clients or get creative. You’ve earned it.

07 | REFRESH YOUR OUTLOOK
Remember that it's not all about disasters. Take a look at your wins from the previous year, and think about what you did right. Compare that to the year before and take note of your progress. It's not about focusing on what you did wrong. Think about what you did right, and then consider how you can take those wins one step further.

Try out these ideas and let us know how it goes. And if you ever start running low on moxie as they year goes on, just remember we're always here for you at DesignGood with inspiring weekly features and roundups of the best things happening in the worlds of socially conscious design and business.

Photo: Pearl

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