Event professional’s New Year’s resolutions are often predictable variations of the same goals: selling more tickets, achieving a better work-life balance, or learning how to relax. It’s human nature to want to grow and improve — but resolutions are doomed to fail if you keep making the same ones year after year without a game plan.
Keep reading to see which of these New Year’s resolutions you’ve likely broken in the past — and how just a little tweak might make this the year that you finally follow through.
1. Have more “me” time
You’re coming off of a crazy busy event planning year and likely feel burnt out. That’s why you’ve declared that in 2019, you’re going to put you first.
Why you usually blow it: Because you’re available 24/7 to vendors, sponsors, staff… everyone but yourself. You’d like some alone time, but always make lofty goals that aren’t realistic.
Try this: Go into your calendar right now. Yes, right now! Block out 15 minutes during your work day that you will not be available to anyone but yourself. Power down your tech, and use the time to meditate, go for a walk, or focus on something meaningful to you.
2. Add cutting-edge tech to your next event
It’s only natural to want your events to be bigger, better, and more impressive each year. But bringing in virtual reality and live streaming capabilities might be beyond your budget or team capabilities. And depending on the types of events you run (say, a yoga retreat), it might even be out of place.
Why you usually blow it: Because you let event envy overshadow your own planning.
Try this instead: If you see something cool at another event, think about how you can apply it on a smaller scale. Maybe you can find a vendor to add a VR component during session breaks, or you can stream Facebook Live attendee interviews.
3. Eat better, even during event crunch time
Let this be the year that you stop relying on power bars and food truck meals as your main source of sustenance. Easier said than done when you’re in full on event creation mode, but it can be done.
Why you usually blow it: Because when you’re busy and stressed, you end grabbing whatever is easiest — if you have time to eat at all.
Try this instead: When you have a full week ahead of you, spend a weekend morning meal prepping. Also, make it a habit to stock your work desk, refrigerator, and go bag with healthy snack options at the beginning of each week so you can eliminate the daily treks to the vending machine. Bonus tip: Find a work buddy who wants to do this too and swap with each other. Variety will help you stick to your new routine.
4. Cut out caffeine
If you’re an event creator, this is one vice that you’ve come to accept. And while there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a coffee or two, there are days when even an IV drip of the stuff isn’t enough. You’ve tried and failed miserably to cut back, but it feels like an impossible mission.
Why you usually blow it: Because stopping cold turkey isn’t realistic.
Try this instead: You’re likely not going to cut coffee and caffeine out of your life completely, but you can cut back. Start by going down a size when you order a cup. The next stage might be to have a decaf afternoon cup.
If you’re downing carbonated caffeine all day too, try switching to caffeine free or better yet, sparkling mineral water. Another trick is to carry a bottle of water with you at all times. Chances are you’ll be just as happy to drink that because it’s within arm’s reach.
5. Increase your social media marketing knowledge
Another year, another platform to master. You have good intentions when it comes to wanting to improve your digital marketing know-how, but who has time? And just when you get the hang of something, algorithms change, and new features emerge.
Why you usually blow it: You have a small team with limited time, and social media is a beast.
Try this instead: Instead of trying to master all of digital marketing, pick the platform that’s the most impactful for your target audience and focus on just that.
6. Embrace event data
You’re not a numbers person, and Excel gives you a headache. But your event data holds the secrets to how you can sell more tickets — which is why you’ve vowed to actually look at it this year.
Why you usually blow it: Because you’re trying too hard to collect your data without a cohesive system to do so.
Try this instead: If your current data is all over the place or requires manual importing and updated, you’re doing it wrong. Going into 2019, it’s time to have better data tracking and reporting systems that do the number crunching for you. With the right tools, you’ll learn to love this resolution.
7. Improve your workflow
Are you starting from scratch every time a new event is launched? Do you currently have more than a dozen post-it notes hanging from your computer monitor? Do you find yourself hesitating to delegate tasks to other staffers? If this describes you, you’re micromanaging and multitasking yourself into a stressed-out state.
Why you usually blow it: Because you’re set in your ways and trying to do it all.
Try this instead: Create a team resolution to explore tools and processes that will help everyone communicate and collaborate more efficiently. Try out a tool like Asana and institute a weekly 15-minute check-in with staff. Use the time to delegate tasks, discuss priorities, and track progress.
Resolutions are great in theory, but they can ultimately end up having a negative effect on your motivation if they are too hard to keep up. By setting more realistic expectations, putting a plan in motion to see them through, and bringing in others to help, you just may keep your 2019 resolutions.
For more ideas on goal-setting for the year ahead, read The Event Professional’s Ultimate Guide to Productivity.