Is it just me, or does January 1 always feel like a crisp new piece of blank paper, waiting to be filled with your wildest dreams scrawled in blue pen?
(Did you know that you’re more likely to remember something if you physically write it down on a piece of paper in blue pen?)
There are few things in life I love more than a reason to start fresh—a Monday, a 1st of the month, a new year—even if “starting fresh” stresses me out a little bit. (There’s so much POSSIBILITY to unlock, and so little time!)
*insert deep, meaningful sigh*
Let’s talk about 2023.
I’m taking a solution-based approach to goal-setting and new-year planning this time around.
Similar to last year, I’m being very conscious of what I set out to do this year, and not setting any lofty or frivolous intentions. I want there to be a reason behind every resolution.
So, I made a list of all the “problems” I’m currently facing—all of the situations I don’t like to be in, the scenarios I’d like to avoid, the repeat issues I can’t quite resolve—and then I brainstormed all the possible solutions for those things, to hopefully help mitigate their wrath in 2023.
As I wrote in my 2022 epilogue, 2021 was a very hard year, and 2022 was hard, but better. This means that 2023 HAS to be my year, right?
Well, I’m not leaving it up to chance.
I’m more dedicated and determined than ever to approach this new year with a clear head, clear intentions of what I hope to achieve (both personally and professionally), and promises to myself that I plan to keep—which, historically, is a difficult task. Raise your hand if you’re an external validation girlie like me.
That being said: it is quite literally impossible for 2023 to be a bad year. I rebuke that in the name of Jesus Christ himself. I simply straight up refuse for these next 12 months to be anything but glorious.
(Will I still have shitty days? Yes. Will I be able to snap out of it? Also yes. It’s fine.)
So, without further ado—let’s talk about how I plan on making 2023 the best year of my whole damn life.
Hilariously, I have a million of these scenarios written down. For the sake of time—and to temper my desires to overshare every detail of life—I’ll just share three, so you can see the whole “problem-and-solution” intention setting vibe, in case you’re hoping to do it, too!
Always feeling like I “need another day between today and tomorrow” → finding a schedule that works for me, prioritizing my sanity over my bank account, and remembering how much it hurts to be awake at 3:17am writing launch emails.
(It’s definitely not 3:18am right now; I’m definitely not writing this blog post directly after finishing the aforementioned procrastinated-on launch emails; I definitely didn’t drink a Celsius at 2:10am; I definitely didn’t almost give myself a seizure; I’m definitely not considering just staying up until tomorrow night…)
Setting goals that I don’t reach, then feeling disappointed or sorry for myself → not setting goals that I have 0 control over.
Instead of saying “get 100 students to enroll in my course,” I should say “spend time writing the sales copy, interviewing my target audience, and editing launch emails.”
Instead of saying “lose 20 pounds,” you could say “go to 20 workout classes.”
(Credit for this super important mindset shift goes to my bestie, Sarah Kleist. I talk about it in detail in this blog post.)
Wishing Wesley would stay in his own bed all night → buying the baby Hatch alarm and telling him he can’t leave his room until the light turns blue.
(God bless all the moms that are actually successful at this; I know a huge part of goal-setting and manifesting is believing in the outcome of the intention you’re putting out into the world, but nothing in me can muster enough faith to believe that my child will actually obey this.)
I’m for sure not naive enough to think that I can solve all of my “problems” in one year, but I’m going to make my best effort to make tiny improvements. Baby steps, right?
Last year, my word of the year was “intentional”—and I can’t think of another word I’d rather embody for 2023. And as I mentioned earlier, my resolutions must have reasons.
(If they don’t, I’ll straight up ignore them. Or forget about them.)
A couple weeks ago, while
searching for helpful, inspirational information scrolling on TikTok, I came across a video that absolutely blew my mind.
This girl separates her yearly goals into months, so it’s less overwhelming and more meaningful.
Naturally, I sent the video to everyone I’ve ever met, and declared “I’m doing this.”
So, this is me doing this. 👇 Here’s what I’m (hoping to) focus on for the first 3 months of 2023:
January: setting myself up for success by getting on track, working on systems, solidifying routines, and thinking a lot about which elements of my life deserve to be priorities.
(Having ADHD makes everything feel like the same level of priority. It’s time to work on that. Now feels like a good time to reread Atomic Habits.)
February: fit girl Feb, baby! It’s cliche to only focus on fitness in January. And I’m feeling inspired for some sort of 28-day challenge.
March: money. Spring is always the time I find myself spending my way out of light seasonal depression, and it never works. So, maybe a no-frivolous-spend month is in my future.
While I’m definitely a huge planner—I love a good intention (as we know), and I love a good itinerary (as you may have guessed)—but I’m also definitely no stranger to plans going awry.
(This is where cliche lovers might say “you make plans, and God laughs!” – hardy har har.)
So, this is what, as of now, I’m planning on doing this year, but, of course, it’s subject to change, based on any which way my life could turn. I have NO idea what will happen on the ‘personal life’ side of 2023, but I’m excited to find out.
I’m also excited to come back to this list at the end of the year to see which plans actually came to fruition. Hopefully all of them? Buuut I’m trusting that Future Me will make them happen.
This sounds ambitious, but I think it’ll actually be pretty easy for me—especially because the “somewhere” could be as close as the one-hour drive to Newport, or as far as the six-hour flight to LA. (Or further! Who knows!)
My toddler hangs with his dad for a weekend roughly once a month, which means I’m free for a coveted 2-5 days every 6-8ish weeks, and ur gurl is restless.
Ironic that “rest” is coming right after “travel” because, if I were smart, I’d stay home and stare at the wall while Wesley is off with his dad, instead of hopping on a flight to Phoenix the second I drop him off.
But I had him when I was 24, okay? I missed some fun years. I’m reclaiming a little bit of that fun once every few weeks. I’ll sleep later.
If I don’t lay eyes on Noah Kahan or Taylor Swift or somebody singing a pop punk song in person this year, I have failed.
There’s just something about the pure joy of singing along to your favorite songs live, next to a bunch of other people singing their same favorite songs live. It’s a beautifully feral yet harmonious experience that I demand to have this year.
Water, sunlight, love. Feels like a pretty good existence to aspire for.
In January, I’ll be launching my email marketing course, where I’ll be teaching a select number of students LIVE everything they need to know about how to grow an email list, actually sustain it without feeling stressed, and leverage their inbox presence to accomplish amazing things in 2023.
It’s a 6-week course, primarily hosted via video calls with me, with some pre-recorded content & homework.
I’ve been teaching my 1:1 mentees live all year, so I’m wicked excited to bring that same energy into a course full of people who can’t wait to use email marketing to get killer results!
Then, later this Spring, I’ll be launching Sales Series – a sales page copywriting course for business owners who want to get better at selling, writing about their offerings, and conveying just how worth it their products, programs, and courses are.
Students will learn how to develop their target audience, how to position their offerings, and how to write a sales page. (Maybe they’ll even get some bonus lessons about launching… 😏)
And then, lastly, I’ll be bringing back my signature website copywriting and content marketing course, Site Series®, in September, where students will learn the basics of copywriting, how to write website copy, how to master SEO, how to use blogging to grow their brands, an overview of email marketing, and best practices for launching a new site (along with guest expert lessons about Pinterest, keyword research, legal logistics, and design).
Big year for BTL education, baby!
(And, no: this isn’t me announcing I’m transitioning to solely offering online education—I will ALWAYS do 1:1 client work; it’s what I enjoy most, it’s what makes me qualified to educate, and it’s what fulfills me. So, while I love teaching, I also won’t ever stop doing.)
I’d love nothing more than to say that I’m planning on taking up plein air painting and pottery and film photography, and that I’m going to read 100 books on my cute little balcony, and that I’m going to thrift all of my loved ones’ birthday presents and wrap them with hand-dried fruit ribbon, but I’m just fucking not, okay?
I’m just not.
I run a business, I run a household by my own damn self, I run a squirrel brain. I take care of the most energetic child on planet earth, despite preferring to be a literal potato myself. I teach courses, I mentor copywriters, I write info-packed blogs and emails. I send a long ass weekly newsletter, I write websites, I host a book club. I audit copy, I have strategy calls, I audio message at least 2 hours of (sometimes unsolicited) business advice per day.
I don’t have TIME for hobbies—and that’s my fault. I don’t take the time for hobbies. But I’ve accepted it.
Notice how I own the responsibility here? Because that’s how schedules work. There’s no such thing as not having time; everyone has time. When we say we don’t “have” the time it means we aren’t taking the time, because it’s not something we prioritize.
If I wanted to prioritize becoming better at painting, I would make the time.
Right now, my free time consists of about 2 hours (at the maximum) each night, when I’m dead tired, my brain is fried, it’s dark, and I can’t go anywhere, because I’m a mother.
Hobbies would require extra daylight hours, a babysitter, and a ridiculous amount of motivation and passion on my part.
But I’m a capricorn sun, capricorn moon, virgo rising work-obsessed enneagram 3. I’m only ridiculously motivated and passionate about work.
So, instead of setting goals that I won’t reach and feeling like a piece of shit for ignoring, I’ll play tennis on Mondays and Saturdays, I’ll read Elin Hilderbrand novels on the beach during my month off in July, and I’ll occasionally engage in an extracurricular that doesn’t have to do with work when and if I decide to make the time.
And, you know what? I’m 100% okay with that.
Putting too much on my plate always stresses me out—unless it’s my work plate, then fill that shit up like we’re at Golden Corral—and in 2023, I’m using what I know about myself, my brain, and my peace to reflect the resolutions I’m setting.
(And before you get nervous about my mental health, please remember that I’m basically taking a vacation once a month, then taking all of July off. I’m good.)
In 2023, I predict that long-form content is coming back.
I know we live in a short-form content and instant-gratification-obsessed world, but when you really stop and think about it, all of those 60-second videos are either directing you to a different medium to learn more, or are being posted to further a larger goal. Short-form content doesn’t exist just to be short-form content.
Now, of course this is true for all content—even long-form content usually comes with a CTA go elsewhere, or is being posted to further a larger goal—but I think people are starting to miss the way information used to be shared.
Either that, or we’ll all short-circuit from the info overload that we get on the daily. And this is coming from a VERY “right now” person.
I’m impatient, I have ADHD, I don’t like to wait; you’d think I’d be obsessed with short-form content. But sometimes it moves too fast for me.
If we’re talking lifestyle content, I just want something on in the background, like an old school 2010s YouTube grocery haul.
If we’re talking helpful marketing content, I’d rather watch a longer video, read a blog post, or take a course, because scrolling through a collection of snippets and saving them to a folder on TikTok I’ll never look at again doesn’t usually help me.
Buuuut that’s just my opinion. 😏 DM me on IG and tell me how you’re predicting the trends will sway in 2023!
In addition to manifesting more focus, grace, and discipline for 2023, I’m also coming into the year continuing to embody 2 things that help me keep a positive outlook:
It’s so, so easy to get caught up in wishing and wanting and praying and manifesting and searching… but, at the end of the day, all you can really do is wake up in the morning, try your best, and have faith that everything is going to work out the way it’s supposed to.
I tend to be always living in the future, considering the possibilities and potentials, and picturing what my life will be like when I get there, or if I do this, and worrying about how to get there, and what to do, and who will be by my side, and where I’ll live, and… for what?
I like where I am right now. I don’t want to rush through phases of my life, only to later look back and realize I missed out.
This may sound a little sad or dramatic, but I swear I don’t mean it in this way: a lot of milk spills in my life. As in: a lot of unfavorable things happen to me that I can’t change, and I don’t see any use in crying over it, getting upset about it, or wasting time dwelling on it.
Now, of course, I’m not saying “don’t feel your feelings”—I’m saying “don’t sweat the small stuff, because everything will work out.” You can cry over the big things, but you can’t cry over spilt milk.
I’m so excited to finally reopen my books in the early Spring of 2023—and I’m even more excited to craft compelling narratives for cool, creative businesses using my signature sales-focused storytelling method.
Because I specialize in website copy, let’s talk about that first. 😏 There are two ways I can help you with your website copy:
Done-with-you website copy audits: perfect for you if you want pro copywriter level results, without the price tag (or the wait!) attached.
(Website copy—or any copy!—audit projects take one week, and they cost $1,000 USD.)
Done-for-you website copywriting services: the best solution for business owners who want website copy that speaks their target audience’s language + inspires them to actually take action.
(Projects like these take 3-6 weeks, depending on whether or not you’ve decided to add on brand messaging or SEO, and start at $6,900 USD.)
If you’re more of a DIYer, though, don’t worry—I’ve got two more options for you, too:
The Wicked Easy Web Copy Template: aka the easiest way to write your own website copy.
When you purchase my template, you not only get access to my exact website copywriting formula that I use for my own clients, but you ALSO get…
This template is such a good solution for you if you’ve been wanting to work with a copywriter but don’t have the budget, or don’t want to wait for your copy—or if you’d rather take the money you’d spend on a copywriter & invest it in other things, like a a fancy vacation or a website design template.
Site Series: the most comprehensive website copywriting course on the Internet. If you’re interested in learning about copywriting basics, how to write your own website copy, how to optimize your site for SEO, how to write the best blog posts, how to take advantage of email marketing, AND how to successfully launch a new site, you’re gonna want to join the waitlist to be notified when Site Series comes back in 2023!
Now, back to the 1:1 services chat… here’s how else we can work together in the new year:
Launch copywriting: have a course, product, or program you’re launching in 2023? Then you’re gonna need sales copy to sell it!
Sales pages and email launch sequences are some of my most favorite copy to write, because it’s always so much fun to draft AND so rewarding when it performs well!
(Who wouldn’t want to see their clients earn hundreds of thousands of dollars thanks to something they wrote?!)
I’d absolutely love to collaborate with you on a launch copy project in the new year—click here to inquire.
In addition to done-for-you copywriting services, I also offer…
I’m ridiculously excited to announce that there’s a brand new way to learn from me this year: MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL!
I’ve been wanting to launch a YouTube channel for over a decade, and I’ve decided that 2023 is FINALLY my year. I’m also predicting the return of the love of long-form content. Mark my words.
You will never meet a more lifestyle-content-obsessed person on this Earth—I’ve been watching content creators before they were even called content creators—and I’m beyond pumped to throw my hat in the ring.
While I will be posting occasional vlogs (who doesn’t want to see the mundane life of a freelance website copywriter slash course creator slash mom slash chaotic ADHD sufferer?), I’ll be focusing on posting copywriting tutorials, marketing content, brand case studies, and tips about how to become a successful freelance copywriter.
Other places you can learn from me this year:
And, of course, you can always learn from me right here on the BTL blog, where I post about copywriting, marketing, SEO, business advice, and more!
Thanks so much for reading—I hope you have the best 2023. ❤️
If we haven’t had the chance to *virtually* meet yet, hi! I’m Sara Noel—website copywriter and marketing mentor for creatives, copywriters, and all-around cool people. If you like my content and you want even more BTL in your life, here are a few ways you can connect with me:
Subscribe to my newsletter! I send one marketing tip, once a week – and, according to my subscribers, it’s “the best marketing newsletter on the Internet” and “the only reason to wake up on Tuesday mornings.” So… yeah. You’ll love ‘er. 😏 Click here to subscribe!
Check out my services. I write website copy, sales pages, email sequences, blog posts, and brand messaging guides for entrepreneurs of all kinds! Maybe you’re my next favorite client.
Read the rest of my blog. It’s home to everything from copywriting tips, to marketing education, to freelance advice, to portfolio-worthy projects… if you like this post, you’ll love the blog. Here’s a quick roundup of my most popular posts.
Sign up for my web copy course. Actually, it’s not *only* about website copywriting—I also teach modules on copywriting basics, developing your target audience, search engine optimization, blogging, and email marketing.
Enlist me as your mentor. I have an entire in-depth blog post about my one-on-one consulting process for new and aspiring copywriters, if you’re interested in having a big-sis-style mentor to help you grow your freelance copywriting business & get results.
If you're an entrepreneur, business owner, or course creator with big dreams of success and growth—and a big, scary blank document standing in your way every time you sit down to write your own copy—nice to meet you, I'm your new solution.
Through what I like to call sales-focused storytelling, I'll help you find your brand's voice, perfectly position your offerings, develop your target market, and write copy that resonates with your ideal audience. And I'll do it all while keeping your personality at the forefront of every draft, to ensure that each word aligns with your true self.
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Writing your own website or sales page copy doesn't have to be something you stress over anymore. I'd love to work with you to craft conversion-friendly, SEO-optimized copy your leads will love.
As an absolute email marketing fiend, there's no one more qualified to teach you how to get new subscribers on your email list and write the most click-and-binge-worthy newsletters.
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