Have you done EVERYTHING you can to set your business up for success this year? 🤔

I’m willing to bet there’s a thing or two you haven’t done yet or maybe missed altogether… but don’t panic!! You have more than enough time to get it done and/or do it right!!

I don’t know about you but January always feels like it’s 93 days long, and then suddenly February is here and gone in the blink of an eye.

No matter if you started the year off on the right foot or the wrong foot, there’s still PLENTY OF TIME (300+ days by the time this post goes live to be exact) to regain your footing and set your business up for success!!

Honestly, after seeing a million and one tips about setting yourself, your home, and your family up for success at the start of a new year, I thought it was high time someone shared tips for how to set YOUR BUSINESS up for success at the start of a new year!!

And in case you’re already feeling behind this year, remember that it DOESN’T MATTER what day of the year it is!! You can start fresh and see success ANYTIME with these tips!!

young blonde woman sitting at a desk with an open planner and notebook in front of her, pen in hand ready to write

(This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase using these links.)

1 | CLEAN UP YOUR OFFICE/WORKSPACE

Your office/workspace (no matter how big it is or where it is) should be an inspirational and productive place to DO work. It should not be a dumping ground for everything else.

Physical clutter is mental clutter (as Emily Ley likes to say) and clutter is DISTRACTING!! Don’t let clutter keep you from getting stuff done!! 👊🏻

Pro Tip: If you work from home and don’t already have a designated office or workspace, make it a goal to set one up ASAP!!

Related Post: How to Set Up and Love Your Workspace

2 | CLEAN UP YOUR COMPUTER DESKTOP

If your computer desktop has become a catch-all for documents, photos, screenshots, PDFs, and downloads, it’s time to clean it up and embrace a digital folder system!!

I promise it’ll be SO MUCH EASIER to find the files you need when you need them instead of wasting precious time searching high and low for them. Your business will run more efficiently and your computer will actually run better without all of that crap cluttering up your desktop.

Pro Tip #1: You can group like-files together into folders, label them appropriately, and store them in one central folder on your desktop for easy access to everything.

Pro Tip #2: If you own a Mac and think cleaning up your desktop will take a while (IYKYK), try using Stacks on your desktop. Your files will automagically sort themselves into groups (like documents, images, and PDFs) that neatly stack on top of each other. You can then click on a stack to see all of the files in that stack and go through them one at a time. I recommend setting aside a little time each day until this task is done!!

laptop mocking showing the magic of STACKS on a computer desktop

3 | CLEAN UP YOUR INBOX

Does your inbox scream like that book Harry Potter opens in the Restricted Section every time you open it? If the answer is YES, it’s time to DO SOMETHING about that.

  • Spend some time creating folders, labels, and rules to sort through and file emails faster.
  • Unsubscribe from anything that doesn’t excite, educate, entertain, inform, or inspire you.
  • Last but not least, introduce your pointer finger to the DELETE key and let go (🎶) of anything that’s unimportant or more than 6 months old.

Pro Tip: If you don’t have one yet, create an FAQ page on your website to lessen the number of emails you receive and have to respond to every day.

4 | CLEAN UP YOUR PHONE

How many apps do you have downloaded on your phone? Now, how many of them do you ACTUALLY use? Do your swiping finger a favor and GET RID of the ones you no longer use!!

If you’re not sure, open Settings on your iPhone, scroll down to General, then tap Phone Storage. You’ll be able to see how much space each app takes up on your phone (starting with the most) and the last time that app was used.

Pro Tip: Group like-apps together in folders like games, photography, social media, and productivity. You can even have a folder with the apps you use daily/most!! I recommend putting this folder on your home screen or even in the bottom row for easy access.

iPhone in a light blue case lying face up with the charging cord plugged in

5 | TAKE WORK EMAIL OFF YOUR PHONE

While you’re in deletion mode, go ahead and delete work email from your phone!! It’ll be quick and painless, I promise. And if you’re anything like me, you won’t even miss it!!

#nobutreally, taking work email off my phone was one of the BEST things I ever did as a business owner. I only wish I had done it SOONER!! In other words, DON’T WAIT!!

Pro Tip: If taking work email off your phone totally freaks you out 🤯, start by turning off your email account on nights and weekends. Once you get used to that (and you will), try a one-week trial period. This will ease you into not having work email on your phone, but eventually (trust me), you’ll want to leave it off completely!!

Related Post: What Happened When I Took Work Email Off My Phone

6 | CLEAN UP YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA FEEDS

If your social media feeds are filled with posts and/or people that negatively impact you or drain you—unfriend, unfollow, or mute them. Fill your feeds instead with people, places, and things that excite, educate, entertain, inform, and inspire you.

You can also reset the algorithms by liking, commenting, and otherwise engaging with a bunch of things you WANT to see (like funny animals, pretty manicures, or recipes).

Pro Tip: Don’t forget about Facebook Groups!! I’m always shocked and amazed by the number of Facebook groups I find myself in each year 🙈. If you, like me, find the noise overwhelming, I recommend taking a close look at the groups you’re in and leaving the ones you’re no longer interested in.

7 | SET UP YOUR NEW PAPER PLANNER

New Year 🥂 New Goals 🎉 New Planner 😍 I believe every female entrepreneur should have a paper planner that helps her manage her days and tackle her to-dos in a pretty and practical way. 🙌🏻

But I know that setting up a brand new planner can be kind of intimidating so I recommend checking out my tried-and-true planner setup system!! I guarantee this will help you set up whatever planner you purchased so you actually use it all year long!!

Pro Tip: On move-in day, pour yourself a fresh cup of coffee or glass of wine, gather all of your planner accessories, hit play on a good book or playlist, and have FUN setting up your planner!!

Related Posts: Why the Simplified Planner is the ONLY Planner I Use and Recommend + My Favorite Planner Accessories (And How I Use Them)

8 | SET UP OR CLEAN UP YOUR PROJECT MANAGEMENT TOOL

A project management tool can be used for SO MUCH MORE than just task and project management in your business. It can also help you organize and keep track of ideas and information AS WELL AS streamline and house your workflows and systems!!

I have more than TWO DOZEN strategic systems (built out in Asana) that help me streamline, organize, and keep on top of all the moving parts of my business including content, courses, and clients, flash sales, launches, and funnels, biz information and education, CEO systems, and goals!! (When I say I use Asana for everything, I mean EVERYTHING!!)

Pro Tip #1: If you aren’t using a project management tool yet or you aren’t using yours daily, please click over and read this post so I can convince you why you should!!

Pro Tip #2: If you are at all unhappy with your current project management tool, it’s not your right hand in everything you do, I would LOVE to help you get rocking and rolling in Asana!! Because it’s HIGH-TIME you had a project management tool that works FOR YOU!!

laptop mockup showing Asana My Tasks monthly view

9 | COLOR CODE ALL THE THINGS

Color coding is one of the BEST business systems you can have. It’s also the EASIEST to set up!! But it can ALSO get overwhelming and out of hand pretty fast.

My best advice is to keep your color coding system as SIMPLE as possible and as CONSISTENT as possible across your ENTIRE business!! If the system is even a little bit confusing or complicated, you simply won’t do it, be able to remember it, or want to follow through with it.

Pro Tip: For the biggest impact, start with color coding your digital calendar, project management tool, paper planner (if you use one), and digital folders/files. I think you’ll find that you’re a more organized, efficient, and productive business owner almost instantly!! Try it and see if you don’t believe me!!

Related Post: 5 Things You Need to Be Color Coding in Your Business

10 | DEFINE WHAT SUCCESS LOOKS LIKE FOR YOU THIS YEAR

You’ve probably heard me talk about holding on to your version of success before, but this time I want to talk about it on a slightly more granular level.

Your OVERALL version of success is something you should always have in the back of your mind. But at the start of a new year, you should also be getting crystal clear on what success looks like for you and your business THIS YEAR!!

In other words, what are your overall intentions for the year? What do you want to have accomplished by the end of the year? How do you want to feel by the end of the year? What do you need to do each day, week, month, quarter, and year to make that happen?

Pro Tip: Focus on progress, not perfection. We are our own worst critics and don’t give ourselves nearly enough credit for what we have done. But guess what? Two steps forward and one step back is still progress. And a little progress each day adds up to big results!!

11 | ASSESS WHAT WORKED + DIDN’T WORK IN YOUR BUSINESS LAST YEAR

Being honest (like really honest) about what worked, what didn’t work, what only partially worked, and WHY in your business last year is one of the BEST things you can do for your business at the start of a new year.

There is NOTHING WORSE than doing the same thing over and over again and realizing too late that you are getting the same results (when you wanted to see more), fewer results, or no results at all. You need to know what’s working and what your strengths are so you can continue doing those things. But it’s also equally important to know what’s not working and where you fell short so you can find solutions and do those things better going forward.

Pro Tip #1: Start with your list of what worked. That way, when you’re going over the things that didn’t, you can quickly look over and remind yourself that you’re still a rockstar!! Just because you have to change or tweak some things doesn’t make you any less.

Pro Tip #2: Give yourself permission to experiment!! Not every idea is a bright one. Not every pitch is a home run. Not every launch is the best ever. But don’t let that stop you!! Give yourself the room and the grace to experiment and try new things!! Try, test, tweak, then repeat!!

12 | TAKE A LOOK AT HOW YOU’RE SPENDING YOUR TIME

How we WANT to spend our time, how we THINK we spend our time, and how we ACTUALLY spend our time are three very different things.

If you ever get to the end of your workday and wonder what in the world you did all day OR feel like you were busy all day, every day but don’t have much to show for it at the end of the week, it’s probably time to track and audit your time!!

Every minute of your workday counts—especially if you have a finite amount of time to work each day or each week—so you have to know HOW you’re spending it (even if the results may be hard to accept).

Pro Tip: Track your time for a whole day (better yet, a whole week). Write down everything you do including what tasks you’re working on, completing, and not completing. Keep track of how long things take, how many times you get distracted (including what’s distracting you), and how much time you spend scrolling on social media. Make a note of how you FEEL throughout the day as well (i.e. overwhelmed, stressed, tired, energized, content, or accomplished).

blue leather cardholder with $20 bills sticking out of it lying on top of an apple keyboard, a legal pad and pottery dish with a watch nearby

13 | KNOW WHERE YOUR MONEY IS GOING & WHERE IT’S COMING FROM

Don’t be the person who looks at their bank account at the end of the year and wonders where the heck their money went!! Even if you hate math (hi, it’s me 🙋🏼‍♀️), you still need to know your business numbers, baby!!

The first thing you should be monitoring is where your money is going.

For most online businesses, overhead is generally (thankfully) low. However, if you discover there’s an expense you’re no longer using, cancel it. If you can downgrade any of your expenses because you don’t need as many features, do it. If you need to upgrade for more features, do that, too.  But don’t let your expenses get away from you!!

There’s nothing worse than continuing to pay for something that you don’t like, don’t get anything out of, or don’t have time for anymore.

The second thing you should be monitoring is where your money is coming from i.e. what products and/or services are converting/selling well and which ones aren’t. Then figure out why and what to do next.

(Maybe you have a messaging problem, or a marketing problem, or a traffic incoming problem, or an “I’m over this product or service” problem. Figure out what the problem is and then make a plan to either fix it or ditch it.)

Pro Tip: I am constantly (maybe obsessively) checking my credit card statements and bank accounts. I have A LOT of transactions coming and going and I don’t ever want to miss anything or let anything fall through the cracks (like fraudulent charges or missed payments). Checking these regularly means I’m not caught off guard by anything!!

14 | GOAL SETTING + GOAL PLANNING

People use these terms interchangeably, but goal setting and goal planning are actually two very different things. You see, goal setting is just a list of goals. Goal planning is the action plan you need to achieve them. You need both in order to CRUSH them!!

Pro Tip #1: I haven’t set yearly goals in YEARS. I set quarterly goals that I break into monthly projects, weekly action plans, and daily tasks. It’s much more manageable, actually doable, and wayyyyyy less stressful.

Pro Tip #2: I don’t know about you, but I’m always super inspired and motivated to do ALL THE THINGS at the start of a new year. (It’s so easy to get caught up in the “new year, new goals” excitement.) But it can also be incredibly EXHAUSTING and OVERWHELMING. (That’s why 80% of people fail to keep their New Year’s resolutions by February.) Instead of going ALL IN on all the things, try focusing on a few things or even just one thing at a time. (When you focus on less, you end up accomplishing more.)

Pro Tip #3: You can also try setting ULTIMATE goals and BUILDING goals that help you start small and build up to bigger and better things throughout the year!!

close up of a young blonde woman sitting at desk with her hands on the keyboard of the open laptop in front of her

15 | REST, REST, REST

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, taking care of yourself is taking care of your business. But you’ll never just FIND the time, you have to MAKE the time, and by that I mean, you have to SCHEDULE it!!

You need to actually put on your calendar or write in your planner: a few hours off, a day off, weekends off, an entire week off!! The hours you spend resting are just as important (if not more important) than the hours you spend working. Give yourself the time and permission for much-needed and well-deserved REST!!

Pro Tip: Having a bonafide start and end time to your workday will be HUGE for creating that boundary between work and life that is necessary to achieve the work/life balance YOU want!!

16 | SCHEDULE HIGH-LEVEL CEO TIME (AKA CEO DAYS)

The NUMBER ONE thing you can do (read: should do) to set your business up for success this year (and beyond) is to schedule high-level CEO time (aka CEO Days) where you work ON your business, not just IN it.

Because NEWSFLASH: It’s not enough to just work IN your business all the time. I know you THINK it is because working IN your business means you’re doing the money-making tasks (like doing coaching calls or completing client projects).

But you also have to work ON your business on needle-moving tasks aka the tasks that drive growth and sustainability in your business (like big-picture planning and marketing).

Pro Tip: Take it from someone who was once so caught up in the day-to-day of DOING business, that she forgot to RUN her business behind the scenes. (Hi, it’s me 🙋🏼‍♀️, I was the problem.)

I got to a point where I had NO CLUE what was going on in my business. I was just winging things and throwing spaghetti at the wall.

I didn’t know what was working or not working, I was just working. All the time. Without actually getting anywhere or accomplishing any goals.

I was taking such good care of my clients and customers, but completely NEGLECTING my own business in the process. I was so overwhelmed, exhausted, and burnt out those first few years in my business that I almost gave up the dream of working for myself.

I tried implementing all kinds of CEO days, admin days, and duty days, but they just weren’t enough. That’s when it finally clicked… CEO DAYS are NOTHING without CEO SYSTEMS!!

Lucky for you, I’ve spent the last 14 years and 2 different businesses (with 3 different business models) building my signature set of CEO SYSTEMS!! And now I’m passing them along to you!!

CEO Day Systems course mockup on a blush pink background


I hope these tips and my signature set of CEO Day Systems help you set your business up for success this year and for many years to come!! If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments and I’ll get back to you. Most of all, I hope you have a more positive and productive outlook for the rest of the year!! 🥰


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young blonde woman sitting at a desk with an open planner and notebook in front of her, pen in hand ready to write

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