Getting back into the swing of things in January always fills me with equal parts elation and existential unease.

I must admit I don't crave the return to routine after a festive week or two enjoying life as it happens.

For me the break meant spending more time gazing into my childrens' eyes and less time gazing at a screen - something I'm very grateful for. My unbridled state wasn't lost on my daughters either and they took full advantage of how often I said 'Yes' to things ordinarily out of bounds like ice cream in bed and other rare indulgences. 

In 2024 therefore, I'm looking forward to finding balance between the part of me that wants to make progress and be super productive, and the part of me that wants to savour the richness of life in the moment and be really present.

The new year gives us each the opportunity to start afresh and begin again. Whatever you hope to achieve, give up or improve this year, I encourage you to make 2024 the year you really believe in your incredible potential and to do it all without being too hard on yourself.

Believe in yourself!

As the UK's only professional body dedicated to bookkeepers, here at ICB we talk a lot about how we 'believe in bookkeepers' and their power to transform outcomes for the businesses they work with.

Seeing thousands of our students pass exams each year has taught me that no matter what your age, circumstances or background, you can do something meaningful and find success on your own terms. 

I believe Tony Robbins once said something along the lines of 'the only limit to what you can achieve is your imagination and your commitment!'

Value Every Win

It's not just about big achievements like passing exams and getting the job or client of your dreams, even small improvements and habits can make a big difference. By building the habit of celebrating your successes, no matter how small, you are training yourself towards success and gratitude.

James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, reminds us that "You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems." Most good bookkeepers are naturally adept at building great systems to help keep businesses stay on the straight and narrow - but are you setting up systems for success in your own life?

Engage and Grow

ICB isn't just a professional body; we're a community. Our events, qualifications and Continuous Professional Development (CPD) resources are designed to empower you with the knowledge, skills and confidence to get where you want to go.

I encourage you to attend our events, not just for the learning but also for the invaluable opportunity to network. Remember, there's always another bookkeeper in our community happy to lend a hand or share insights.

As I announced at the Bookkeepers Summit, this summer we're launching our new website. One of the cool new features is that you'll be able to chat to and connect to other members online through direct messaging.

Leverage Your Network

Networking isn't just about expanding your professional circle; it's about leveraging collective wisdom.

When you connect with fellow bookkeepers, you're not just building professional relationships; you're cultivating a support system that can propel your career to new heights or even just meeting people to share a lovely cup of tea with.

A bookkeeping life well spent

"How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives," or so said Annie Dillard, an American author who speaks to the existential tension I feel each new year, between the need to get to work and the desire to be fully present in the moment.

The sum of our daily activities and where we focus our attention ultimately shapes the story of our lives. So make sure you enjoy what you do each day! 

For me this year is all about balance and intenionally enjoying both the being and the doing.

I hope that 2024 brings much joy and success to you and your family, enabling you to enjoy both the beauty of the moment, and at the same time giving you the opportunity to achieve your long term goals and realize your incredible potential!