There are just a few days left before Christmas and right now everybody is busy. In contrast, the week between Christmas and New Year’s always feels slow after the frenetic build up to Christmas. I like to use this week to prepare for the new year.

Here are eight simple things you can do to set yourself up for success in 2024. (Don’t try to do them all. Pick a few that feel the most helpful to you.)

1. Plan your creative projects.

I keep my appointments on my computer calendar, but use an old-fashioned paper planner for my creative projects. I like to pick one that has something positive on the cover. Here is ​this year’s​. It even has stickers!

2024 the year she got everything she wanted

I use my planner for monthly and weekly to do list to keep me on target with my creative projects.

  • Make a list of the projects you want to complete this year.
  • Order them by preference or urgency.
  • Assign one or two to each quarter.
  • Put them in your planner with beginning and end dates.
  • Then chunk down each project into 5 – 10 steps and put those steps in your planner.

Now you can start each week, clear on what you have to do to make progress towards completing your projects. This planning will increase your productivity and creativity.

2. Organize your business expenses for taxes.

Create an Excel tax template spreadsheet that lists all of your reoccurring expense categories. If the expense is the same every year like your Linked In membership, put that in too. If you’re feeling ambitious, go ahead and fill out your 2023 details. Here is my ​tax deduction spreadsheet​. I’m sharing it because there may be some things on here, you haven’t thought of. *Disclaimer* This is not tax advice. Please consult a professional.

3. Organize your home office.

Clean off your desk, file those papers, shelve those books, and ​upgrade to an ergonomic desk​.

4. ​Create or update your website.​

​5. Update your LinkedIn profile.​

​6. Write or update your bio.​

​7. Get business cards​.

​8. Read a book on writing craft or business.

Check out my holiday gift guide for writers.

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