Take advantage of this week to recharge your business for 2013. While many are still on holiday, consider going through this checklist to make sure you are ready to hit the ground running this year.

1.  Update your contacts.  Most people build a great contact list when they launch their consulting practice, and then neglect it.  A good contact database needs maintainence.  Ensure that you have up-to-d
2013-new-yearate information on all of your clients, prospects, colleagues, peers, and that you have added in the new people you've gotten to know in 2012.  Where appropriate, invite new contacts to join your mailing lists.  

2.  Update your own information. Review your bios and profiles.  Check your LinkedIn information and make sure it's current and reflects where you are today.  Update your portrait too. Google search yourself and update wherever you can.  You'll be surprised at where you might find bios–professional associations, blogs, university alumni records etc.  Take advantage of this "free marketing" and make sure you are represented in the best light.

3.  Reflect on the past. Briefly.  I am not recommending resting on your laurels or dwelling on past mistakes.  But take a moment to analyze what worked well, and what you'd like to change for 2013.  Just reviewing a list of past projects and considering deal sources, project structures and recurring clients can be highly instructive.  And the end of the year is a great time to jettison whatever isn't serving you, and envisioning the changes you want to create. 

4.  Clean your desk.  This is the hardest one for me.  While my office is generally tidy, it's hard for me to throw away papers (or delete digital files).  But having a clean desk and roomy file cabinets gives me a sense of possibility and creates the emotional space for new and exciting projects.  If you need a buddy to help you, enlist someone and offer to reciprocate.

5.  Be grateful.  Take out some nice stationery, and send out 10 thank you notes to people who have made a difference for you.  It will give you energy to take on bigger challenges in 2013, and maybe make someone else's day too.  I promise.