2012 was a huge year for my communications team. Culminating in our Christmas productions and our Christmas Appeal. We crossed the finish line in the knowledge that we needed to get started on Easter in the first week of February because Easter is especially early this year.

While that deadline looms for all of us, there are many things we can do in January to prepare ourselves for the year ahead. In Australia, February is launch month for churches.

1. Rest

Have a sleep in. I had my first in over 2 months. It was brilliant! Recharge those batteries. 8 hours sleep feels magnificent! If you can take some time off, do that too. I worked over the Christmas/new year period preaching twice at church here. But I am taking a few days off soon to go camping with the family. A change of scenery is good for the mind and soul. It refreshes you mentally and clears away the cobwebs.

2. Explore

Go do something you wouldn’t normally do. Visit a gallery, see a show. Whatever it is, do it. This is your moment to breathe in and feed your creative mind and heart. I’ve been preaching which is a very different muscle to use. Standing up in front of 600 people for 2 weeks in a row baring my soul and preaching ‘the word’. I’ve been exploring the inner reaches of my own person and exhaling them in a public space. Putting all of my resources and energy in two 30 minute speaking spots.

3. Plan

I actually started my 2013 Communications schedule in November 2012. But if you haven’t started yours yet. Get going. Sunday’s coming. I’ve nearly completed my 1st quarter of communications scheduling with a bit of finalising to do this week.

If you have never done a communications schedule it is basically a weekly/monthly scheduling list of the messages your church will send out in the various communications channels in any given year.

4. Reflect

What worked for you last year? What didn’t go so well. Reflect on why you think that was the case and do something about it. Make a list of what you think you can improve on in 2013. It could be communication processes that need tweaking or total makeovers.

What your hopes and dreams are for 2014. Yes it’s only 357 days away.

5. Imagine

Imagine what you would like to do this year. What do you need to focus on? Write down the top six most important things and put them on your wall to enable you to stay focussed to get those projects done.

6. Learn

Think about what you need to be up-skilled in. What training courses can you do? Or the members of your team. Where can they improve and develop their skill-sets? One of my goals this year it to learn more from other practitioners in different spaces and draw that into what I do.

7. Mobile

Whatever you do this year – get your church website optimised for a smart phone and tablet device. 30% of our traffic is now from these devices, we are in the final stages of being ready. Are you? If you aren’t there yet start talking to your friendly web designer/developer ASAP. I know a few if you want any recommendations.

What would be in your top ten things to do in January? Comment below.