New Year’s Resolutions. Better late, or not at all?

Twitter sent me a “Happy New Year” message the other day. In it they described their New Year’s resolution, which is to help me (and all the other 200 million — and rising — accounts) get the most of out of Twitter in 2011. So I reckon if Twitter can be late with their New Year’s resolutions, I can too.

I’ve had a busy January and ideas for business-related resolutions have been percolating around in my head without ever making on to the Definitive List. On the way to the gym, in the bath, on the train — plenty of ideas but so far not committed to paper (or to the computer screen). But here they are now. Some for me to start with, then in the next couple of posts some for my clients (please, clients, read and act on them!) and a couple of suggestions for other business owners — especially, but not only, translators and editors.

Resolution 1

Raise my fees. Inflation is rising in the UK and the VAT rate has gone up from 17.5% to 20%. That means prices and business costs will rise. So will my fees. In fact, they already have.

Resolution 2

Make better use of of my time by making better use of productivity software.

Resolution 3

Spring-clean my beautiful Mac and keep it running at peak performance. I’ll start with Maria Langer’s advice in her Peachpit Press article on What to Do When Your Mac’s Hard Disk Runs Out of Space. Mine hasn’t — quite — but it’s getting there.

Resolution 4

Deal with obnoxious tax and admin issues as and when they arise. Get on top of the filing. Find an admin assistant, but not a virtual one. Someone like the wonderful Louise (Jennifer Hudson) in the Sex and the City film so that I never have to think about these things again. Ever.

Resolution 5

Learn something new. A new language? Singing? Car maintenance? I don’t know, but something.

What about you? Did you make resolutions this year? Have you stuck to them so far? Or don’t you believe in them…

By Marian Dougan

Published by Marian Dougan

Marian is a translator and editor (specialising in web content) currently based in Glasgow, Scotland. Marian previously lived in Italy for over 20 years, working as a language teacher, translator and policy analyst with the British Embassy in Rome. A qualified member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) and its Italian-language and ITI Scotnet networks, she is currently Scotnet's Convenor and Deputy Webmaster. From 2003 to 2006 Marian taught translation skills at the Italian Department of Glasgow University and now gives Master Classes as part of the new Masters in Translation Studies course. She also conducts web-writing and usability workshops to help people improve their websites and communicate more effectively with their readers, users and customers. In September 2014 Marian obtained User Experience Certification, with specialisation in Web Design, from the Nielsen Norman Group. She loves language, especially English, and is convinced that learning languages opens up people’s minds and horizons (and increases their brainpower!). To share her enthusiasm, she advises schools and educational authorities on language skills and enterprise. She gives talks to pupils on how to combine language studies with other subjects and so enhance their potential and increase their career options. Marian is an active member of organisations such as: Scottish Council Development and Industry (SCDI); Association of Scottish Businesswomen; Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce and the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Scotland. She also loves architecture, design, fashion (British Vogue!), cities and chocolate. She’s a great fan of Twitter and you can also find her on Linkedin.

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  1. Thanks for the plug!

    All great resolutions. I especially like the last one. Some years ago, I created a list of things I wanted to learn in my lifetime. I achieved two of them (learning to ride a motorcycle and learning to fly a helicopter) and now need to work on the other three (learn to speak Spanish, play piano, and juggle). What’s the point of life without achievable goals?

    Good luck to you!

    1. You’re welcome, Maria – your article contained some great tips! Well done on achieving your first two goals, and good luck with the Spanish, piano and juggling. The sound like fun!

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