What New Year’s Resolutions Can Accelerate Your Freelance Career?

As the current year comes to an end, now is the perfect time to reflect on your career and find opportunities for growth.

While many people set New Year’s resolutions for their personal life, such as joining a gym or eating healthier, it’s also beneficial to consider your professional goals.

What New Year’s Resolutions Can Accelerate Your Freelance Career?

When you’re a freelancer, it’s even more important to set and track your goals to stay on track and avoid burning out or falling behind.


What New Year’s resolutions can you set to accelerate your freelance career? Here are 10 actionable goals to consider for 2024.

1. Give Yourself a Specific Number of Clients to Work With

This depends on your service offers. If you offer services like social media marketing or copywriting, it helps to aim for the number of clients that will give you your desired income. This will help you market your services effectively and to know when to stop looking and focus on the work.

2. Build a Brand

Maybe you’re finally ready to take a leap and develop a personal brand to market your services.

Some steps you can take include creating a social media strategy with the number of followers you want, the number of posts you upload per week and the way you can facilitate organic interaction on your pages.

It could help you to create a vision board with images of your goal.

Aim for gentle goal motivators and reminders like motivational phrases to stay consistent with content creation or pictures or affirmations that inspire you to design a new website.

3. Work on a Technical Skill

When creating an actionable resolution, your goal should have a clear first step if you want to increase your likelihood of ticking it off the list. For technical skills, this first step could be thorough research on skills in demand and finding the right one to pursue for your career growth.

Then, schedule some time in your calendar for courses, programs, note-taking, tests and projects.

Break these down into smaller goals.

Maybe you could spend half an hour every day on building that new skill or have a jam-packed study session every Thursday afternoon.

4. Restructure Your Workflow

Maybe this year, you found yourself working from nine to five and completing fewer projects than planned. You may need to start scheduling your day with block schedules with intense, focused work hours. This could be four to five hours where you ignore all distractions and just grind.

Or, you could cluster four hard work days and take the fifth to learn or pursue career growth. You can combine this with working on a technical skill or experimenting with new techniques that you’re learning.

Restructuring your workflow gives you a refresh and helps you to see ways you can improve efficiency.

5. Improve Your Time Tracking System

Time management is one of the most important skills in a freelance career.

Your pay depends on your hours, so you must use those hours as effectively as possible. A new time-tracking system will refresh your workflow and help you stay updated with invoices for different clients.

This goal is a simple one — all you need to do is find a good app that lets you track time, create automatic invoices and provide transparent billing information for clients.

A good time tracker will also help you see where you can improve your efficiency and can help you estimate future projects and charge accordingly.

6. Get Published or Work on a Specific Number of Websites

While it’s great to aim for an efficient system, goals with numbers are a great way to increase motivation and grow as a freelancer.

Once you reach that number, you know you’ve reached your milestone and can aim higher.

Depending on your field, you will work on various client projects. If you’re a freelance writer, set a goal with the number of new sites, or the total number of sites you want your work to appear on.

If you’re a photographer, this goal might include 10 projects and 20 social media posts monthly to promote your content.

7. Earn a Specific Amount Monthly

This goal can be broken down by project or client.

Calculate how many projects you would need to complete to get to the goal and plan accordingly.

Another great way to reach your financial goal is to update your rates. If you started your freelance career several years ago, you have likely grown in skill and efficiency.

With all your experience and growing talent, you deserve more.

Learn how to sell your efficiency and charge your clients your worth.

8. Enforce a Strict Payment Schedule

A good way to do this is to ask for 50% of the payment before you complete the work or a non-refundable down payment for your services.

You also attract more clients who pay on time, as these approaches are effective ways to weed out timewasters.

It’s better to have five regular and consistent paying clients than 15 who give excuses and delay their payments.

Considering 74% of freelancers experience late payments, according to the Independent Economy Council Report, freelancers need strategies that protect their income. You can work around this disadvantage with strict rules of payment.

9. Shorten Your Workweek

Some people’s ultimate goal is a four-day workweek. Some want to push and make enough for an early retirement.

What do you want out of this new year? Maybe you want to spend more time growing a technical skill that could increase your earnings or do more of what you love without worrying about finances.

How can you make a full-time income with a shorter workweek?

This is about efficiency as much as it is about your overall well-being. Higher paying clients mean less frequent projects and more time to yourself.

10. Complete Certain Learning Courses

Upskilling can create a notable salary increase as a career development move.

This can look like completing one course each quarter of the year or learning how to apply new skills and technology that’s in demand in your industry.

You can also learn through collaboration with other freelance creators. Find events and workshops to attend that will fast-track your skill acquisition and career progress.

Accelerate Your Freelance Career With Actionable Goals

Remember to measure your progress to keep track of each goal.

Choose two or three goals to work on and focus on them for six or so months to boost your freelancing career.

Cora Gold is a freelance writer and Editor-in-Chief of women's lifestyle magazine, Revivalist. She has been featured on sites including Mediabistro, Wrkfrce and Remote Tribe, covering productivity, mental health and organizational tips for freelancers.

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