top of page

What worked (and what didn't) in 2023

Sun setting over a calm lake

If you know me, you know I'm big into reflecting, especially at the end of the year. I've been spending some time trying to figure out how I wanted to do this in a blog post. Partially because 2023 was pure chaos, so the thought of trying to sum it up feels overwhelming. Also because I've tried to move away from sharing much about my personal life online, so I wanted to honor that while still allowing myself to share a few highlights and things I learned.

Listening to The Next Right Thing Podcast the other day, I decided I'd follow in the footsteps of Emily P. Freeman and what she does at the end of every year. I figured the best way to talk about 2023 would be to list a few things that worked for me this year — both in my business and personal life — along with a few things that didn’t work.

What worked in 2023

Using Trello to track projects 

I rediscovered Trello this year shortly after I started freelancing, and it’s been a huge game changer. I use it to track client work, my internal business tasks, and my husband and I use it to track our house projects (since those are never ending). 

Investing in tools for my business 

While I currently use the free version of Trello, there were a few other things that I found made such a difference to spend the money on. Two of them were a professional business email account and Microsoft 365 (which I had put off purchasing for waaay too long). These are both things that I use daily for my business, so they were definitely worth the investment.

Writing poetry

I’m not sure why, but this year, I had so much poetry inspiration. (I even got a few poems published!) Poetry became the writing outlet I needed — a shorter and intentional form when there was so much happening around me that felt big and unknown. 

Starting this blog

I've started several blogs before that went nowhere, so I hesitated to try again this year. But I'm so happy I did. It's helped me stay on top of my blog writing skills while having something I can share with others. I know when life gets busy or when I'm swamped with client work, this blog will fall to the back burner, but I'm happy with where it's at right now.

Reading before bed

This wasn't really a new thing for me this year, but it's something I did regularly. If I scroll through my phone or watch a show right before bed, I'll likely struggle to fall asleep. Reading, on the other hand, helps my brain start turning off for the night (as long as I'm not reading anything too intense!) which I've learned is very much needed for a chronic over-thinker like myself.

What didn’t work in 2023

Cold pitching to find clients My first month of freelancing, I spent every week sending cold pitches…and I got absolutely nowhere. Here's the thing — I know this method works for some people. And sometime in the new year, I may try it again. But this year, it felt draining and discouraging (and kind of like a waste of time). I'll maybe share more thoughts on that in a future post. Keeping up with my planner and journal  While I love using paper planners and journals, there are some years where they don't work for me. And this was one of those years. I tried over and over again to get back into it, but life kept happening and it just didn't stick. Having any kind of routine In the same vein of not sticking with my planner, there was absolutely no routine for me this year. None. Some years and seasons of life are just like that — constant change or feeling like you're in survival mode. And I know I'll have seasons like this again in the future. But I'm really ready to find some kind of routine to keep me grounded in 2024. There are so many more things that worked (and didn't) that I could have listed, but in all honesty, there's still a lot I'm processing from this year! I've been learning that each year can look so different. Things that worked for me this year may not work next year and vice versa. And that's all okay. As much as I love stability and want to find practices that work year after year, I'm trying to learn to go with the flow and change things up as needed. So what worked and didn't work for you this year? Whether or not it's something you share, it can be helpful to write them down as you reflect on your 2023 and head into the new year!


bottom of page