The first official work week of 2016 is in full swing, meaning you’ve probably made a lot of promises to yourself. Whether your resolutions are to improve your personal health, skyrocket your career, or help more people around you, they are most likely lofty goals. It seems at this time of the year, everyone wants to be thinner, nicer, and happier.

Instead of looking so far ahead to the future. Let’s take a look at 2015. What is it that you would like to let go of? It could be a toxic friendship, a bad habit, or an attitude or thought that has continued to haunt your mind. Maybe you should leave those spandex, neon shorts that you wore last Halloween behind as well. Here’s a few more things to let go of while you’re at it.

Your gurus.

Okay, well not all of them, but the start of a new year is a great time to reevaluate who you have been listening to and think about who is actually influencing you. Do some up-to-date market research and see who you should be learning from. Narrow it down to two or three people who you really want to learn from and subscribe to their newsletters, webinars, and podcasts. By doing this, without even realizing it, you are aiming your business or your personal life in a direction that is more pointed to who you want to be like, professionally and personally.

Clutter.

If your inbox is being inundated by newsletters, sales notifications, and updates from websites that you probably subscribed to years ago and never read, it’s too much noise to listen to the good stuff. Free softwares, like SaneBox and Mailstrom, can help you unsubscribe to those pesky emails with only a few clicks. Other options like Unroll.Me can help you delete and stay subscribed to the outlets that you still enjoy getting but in one email called a rollup. Once your email is streamlined, don’t forget to clean up your working space and under the bed, too. Dedicate one day to reorganizing and it’s like accomplishing a resolution in a day!

The fear of trying new social media platforms.

There is a common misconception that social media platforms like Snapchat and Instagram are for teens and people who are obsessed with Justin Bieber. Not true. Snapchat is actually the fastest growing social network with over one hundred million active users snapping daily, while Instagram has more than four hundred million active accounts with 75 percent of them from outside the United States. While there are options to do paid advertising on these platforms, there is also value in promoting your handles and gaining some free and easy interest that way.

Marketing that you’re not tracking.

As the hecticness of the holidays wears off and and a new year begins, many partners and affiliates will ask to renew contracts or even upgrade them at a higher price point. It’s easy to sign a new contract for the year without looking into it too much, but if you are not tracking how many leads it is generating, then you are not doing your due diligence. Before you blindly renew contracts or software agreements, make sure you have some way of tracking it, at least going forward. That way, if it’s not working next year then you can nix it.   

Constantly checking your phone and email.

The early editions of smartphones became popular in the late 1990s, if you remember the invention of the Palm and BlackBerry OS. Email became widely used in the nineties as well, although it was invented in 1978. However, businesses have been operating without these helpful tools for much longer. As technology is constantly advancing, the human connection is constantly being interrupted to the point where when someone actually listens to you and looks you in the eye for an entire conversation, it’s noticeable. Leave the addition of constantly checking your phone and email hundreds of times a day in the past. Pay attention to the people, customers or not, around you and see how much more trust, business, and respect you gain in 2016.   

The idea that a new year = new everything.

If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. Even if an idea or concept is dubbed “old school” by others in the industry, if it’s working for you, keep doing it. While it’s always great to integrate new ideas and tools into a business or marketing plan, a complete clean slate is not always necessary, and the added stress of changing everything all at once isn’t necessary either.

Negative self-talk.

From the time we can remember, we are told what we are good at, what we are bad at, and what our flaws are. As we become adults, we believe all the things that we were told. For example, if you were always told that sports weren’t your strong suit, you probably hear yourself saying, “Oh, no thanks. I’m really not athletic,” when your friends ask you to join in an impromptu touch football game. Well, what if instead of coaches and peers telling you you weren’t good at sports, you were encouraged to play your whole life? Maybe you would be better and have more confidence in that area. “We control with our own minds most everything in our lives, including our health, our careers, our relationships, and our futures,” says Shad Helmstetter, author of What to Say When You Talk to Yourself. It’s difficult, but try to leave everything behind that you believe about yourself and create the person you want to be in 2016.

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