It’s December and the silly season is now upon us.

Traditionally, this time of year signals the perfect time to break out the bubbles and the cheese board, let our hair down and put off all the important things until the new year… Or does it?

Contrary to popular belief, now is actually the best time to get serious about your potential. Of course, make time for bubbles and cheese platters (and we all need to let our locks flow free every now and again), but more than that, make time for yourself. Many people say that business isn’t personal, however I disagree. When you have your own business, you are the brand. Any successful entrepreneur will tell you that ‘mindset’ is one of the most critical elements to being successful in business – even during the festive season.

From now until February is actually the perfect time to invest in preparing yourself for ‘girlbossing’ 2017 like you’ve never ‘girlbossed’ before!

Here are my top 5 reasons why:

  1. When the world slows down, it gives you space to reflect, grow and learn.
  2. Some of the best ideas and revelations can occur when your brain stops. The outside world goes quiet and you have time to re-wire. As the everyday demands of working in your business slow down, it enables you to start thinking about working on your business (and yourself). It’s a great time to tackle problems, issues and worries you have been putting off and get your creative juices flowing to sculpt your business strategy for the New Year.
  3. Working on your business and yourself now will give you a head start for the New Year.
  4. While everyone else is rushing back in a mad panic to get their new year’s resolutions in a row, you could be sailing back to work clear on the direction you are heading in – because you’re already one step ahead of yourself! While everyone else is trying to remember their computer password in a fog of champagnes past, you’ll be kicking arse like you’ve never kicked arse before.
  5. A key aspect to being successful in business, particularly in the beginning is being able to utilise the resources you have at your disposal to achieve your goals – one of these resources is time, which most of us feel like we don’t have enough of. Feeling stressed, trying to prioritise this during the New Year buzz could be counterproductive. Think about what you could achieve if you started now!

Investing in yourself is an investment in your business

“Potential” seems to be buzzword of the century, I get it. The reality is we all have it and it will serve us best if we make the most of it. If you have issues, worries and stress holding you back in business and depleting your energy, potential can be the difference between mediocre and good or good and great. Who wants to be mediocre and just scrape by when you can be good or even better, great?!

Being in business is hard. The good news is it doesn’t have to be THAT hard if you are investing in the right resources to get you where you want to be. I’m working with coaching clients right now who have recognised that they have the potential to start 2017 renting less headspace to problems and stress and more headspace to implementing goals and strategy to grow themselves and their business. You can too!

Self-care isn’t selfish, it’s mandatory – Jemimah Ashleigh

 I absolutely love this sentiment. The way you self-care is entirely an individual decision, based on your needs and personal preferences and can cover body, mind and spirit. People often save all their self-care up for holidays and run themselves to exhaustion the rest of the year. Instead, self-care is something that is best practiced regularly, particularly when you are in the all-consuming world of entrepreneurship!

Instead of relentlessly being at the grind stone until 5pm on December 23, aim to incorporate self-care into your routine all year round. If you’ve been working to the bone, don’t panic. Instead of putting this off until the New Year, just start. The best place to start is somewhere – and that somewhere is here and now.

It doesn’t have to be a huge, time consuming or expensive exercise – something as simple as prioritising taking a break from your desk and walking around the block to clear your mind and get your heart pumping can be beneficial. Think about what you need and what’s realistic for you to incorporate regularly. Taking some time out for thinking, creating and problem solving now can be a great way to dedicate time caring for yourself and in turn, your business.

Investing in yourself is also investing in those we care about – friends, family, colleagues and clients.

We spend so much time investing in other people and putting our all into caring about them that we often forget to invest in ourselves – particularly over the silly season.

When we are our best selves, we have much more to give to those who are important to us. This is true in both our personal and professional lives. Of course, we don’t want to spend the entire holiday season focusing solely on our business – it’s all about balance and being present to the different elements of our lives (including time with our loved ones). However, instead of feeling guilty about prioritising and investing in ourselves, it can help to recognise what the wider benefits could be to everyone who matters to us.

In summary, the silly season doesn’t have to be entirely silly. It can actually be a great time to begin achieving what you want to achieve now to give yourself the best head start in the New Year!

Shevonne Joyce is the Founder of Yellow Palomino and the Co-Founder of The Business Experiment. She works with womenpreneurs to assist them with achieving in business and life. She also co-hosts a weekly podcast about the real of starting a business for the first time and has listeners in 15 countries. Shevonne can be contacted by emailing *protected email*, on Facebook or Instagram.