This was the first year I wasn’t irritated seeing Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving. I think I am desperate for anything colorful and cheerful as it gets dark so early.

Or maybe it’s because of the absolute grind this year has been. I can’t be the only one feeling this way.

That said, there are things we need to do as small business owners to wind down the year and to set ourselves up for success in 2022.

I fully realize that some businesses are in heads-down mode, like retailers, trying to bring as much revenue in as they can from holiday shopping. Shop small business!

Others of us may be trying to get business to close before the Christmas to New Year’s Day slowdown happens so we can count it for this calendar year.

I fall into that category. I am making a list of prospects who have expressed interest in moving forward and checking it twice to make sure I am following up appropriately.

I am thinking about my product and service mix, and how I want to support my clients. This year I added group coaching and it has been fantastic. I have loved doing it, and the professionals in the group said they got a lot of value from it. I will definitely be bringing that forward into the New Year.

Do I want to do more 1:1 coaching? Yes, I will do some, but I may try to funnel more people into the group option because it leverages my time and provides real value.

The big thing for next year is my This Isn’t Working! book launch. Currently, we are targeting spring 2022. I am hoping for April, but we’ll see what feedback I get from my publisher on the book draft I just sent in, and what kind of a backlog they have. I am at their mercy on this.

I will need to create a whole marketing and social media plan for the book launch. I am excited to really dive into the content I covered in the book, and also a little nervous, if I am honest. Have you heard the term BHAG? It stands for big, hairy, audacious goal. A book launch is definitely a BHAG.

I am very lucky to have a colleague who made me commit to doing some deep-dive planning sessions using the exercises in Pam Slim’s new book, The Widest Net. Pam is a fantastic strategist and connector. I am looking forward to completing the worksheets. Having an accountability buddy means I will actually do it, instead of meaning to do it, and never actually getting to it.

So, that’s the planning part.

The joy part is meeting up with my favorite networking group next week and also with some friends I haven’t seen in a long time. With my book in progress with my publisher, I have a few weeks to reconnect with people and enjoy some of the lovely Chicago holiday festivities.