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  1. Your New Year New You check list

    A silhouette of a man out walking his dogs in the countryside at sunrise.

    Last year, just as we were all winding down for summer holiday season, we wrote a post about some of the things you could do during the quiet(er) summer months to get yourself ready for the busy autumn/winter season.

    We can’t believe six months have passed and we’re now on the other side of Christmas. But as we all poke our heads out of our festive caves and try to do up the top button of our trousers, we thought we would do a similar post with our take on some of the common New Year’s Resolutions!

    1. Meet new people

    Is there anything like the sense of relief when you bond with someone over a common challenge, or the feeling of inspiration when you see a peer achieve great things? The seminars and conferences from CharityComms showcase the best of what our sector is doing and they run great socials and UK-wide networking groups too.

    The Lucidity Network is a wonderful community perfectly pitched for new managers and the self-employed; topics recently include imposter syndrome, giving yourself time to think, using mindfulness and how to step out of your comfort zone.

    And we run the Story Network, a place where charity story gatherers meet to share experiences and participate in open and honest discussions about challenges and best practice – we call it part inspiration, part therapy!

    2. Learn a new skill

    Investing in training is not just great for skills development, it’s great for staff morale and the injection of energy that comes with learning something new can bring a much-needed creative boost to a team. SoundDelivery’s Social Media Exchange is back again in March and this year it is heading to Newcastle. Delegates can create their own personal training day, picking and mixing from a series of bite-sized interactive and practical masterclasses and with prices starting at just £75 for micro organisations it’s excellent value.

    Platypus Digital run Control R, the first free digital marketing training tailored for charities and non-profits which in just seven webinars will give you a great digital foundation. And look out for our new Smartphone Filmmaking course dates coming soon.

    3. Save money

    I can’t write a blog without banging on about planning and the best way to spend wisely is to plan properly. Think ahead about what your content needs are and put long-term plans in place with the agencies and freelancers who support you to get best value for money.

    Consider how you can capture content that can be repurposed or used at a later date – this Thank You film that we made for Sense was created by filming a selection of clips at different locations and combining them with smartphone footage shot by staff and existing B Roll – film a series of thank yous, Merry Christmases and ‘because of you…’ statements throughout the year and your round-up films will be all the better for it.

    4. Travel more

    Sat behind our desks, wading through emails, budgets and timelines is the worst possible way to stay engaged with and passionate about your cause. For those working in head offices the work of your organisation can feel miles away – literally and metaphorically. Make this the year to travel more, whether that means working occasionally from a regional office, visiting a service for a briefing meeting or even volunteering in one of your services. Having first-hand experience of the work your organisation does will inspire you more than any written report ever will so find the time and budget to get out more. And as this old post from Scope tells us, investing time in meeting your colleagues can do wonders for your storytelling.

    5. Get fit and healthy

    We’re not fans of January guilt and we very much enjoyed all the delicious cheese and wine we consumed in December. What we’re talking about here are the day-to-day things we can do to stay well. I have an exercise bike in my office so it’s not unusual for me to pedal away while I clear emails. Not every office has a bike but can you be active while working? When I was a line manager I was a big fan of ‘walk and talk’ one to ones – not all meetings need to happen sitting down in stuffy rooms. Join the Charity Softball League! And keep an eye on how Kirsty Marrins’s important work on mental health in the charity sector develops this year.

    Why not start the year off by following our weekly blog for all the latest stories, smartphone filmmaking courses, top tips and guest posts?

    Next week we have a guest article from Emmelie Brownlee of Bioregional with some fresh ideas on how to make your annual review sing.

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