Individuals everywhere are pondering what their goals and resolutions should be for the new year. Many will take the systematic approach of using the acronym S.M.A.R.T. to plan and measure their progress, while others will utilize an accountability partner or coach to move them in the right direction.
While I’ve personally used both techniques, this year I plan to take a different approach, one that doesn’t feel so overwhelming and demanding.
So what’s the big plan?
It’s really quite simple and it only involves taking a small step forward each day. Creating small, daily, positive habits, not only benefits your business, but it empowers your mind.
Here are 8 daily habits that will help you to nurture and grow your business.
1. Connect with One New Person Daily
“Sometimes, reaching out and taking someone's hand is the beginning of a journey.” – Vera Nazarian
Each day we have multiple opportunities to connect with other human beings, from correspondence via email, to social media, and face-to-face interaction when we’re running errands. During these times make a conscious effort to reach out and get to know somebody. You don’t have to sell yourself during these encounters, just be genuinely interested in the other person. The “what do you do” question will come about naturally, and those who are interested in what you have to offer will come to you openly, because of your friendly and authentic demeanor.
2. Embrace Your Weaknesses
“Let go of the need to become and embrace the need to just be yourself.” – Author Unknown
Even the best of best have weaknesses, the secret is to focus on your strengths and embrace your weaknesses. By concentrating on your weakness, you only deplete your precious energy and create a negative cycle of thought. However, once you acknowledge and accept your shortcomings, you can move on and cultivate the areas where you do shine, creating a positive thought pattern and a recipe for success.
3. Reflect Upon Your Successes
“Reflect upon your present blessings — of which every man has many — not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” – Charles Dickens
As they say, “we are our own worst enemies”. Nobody judges us harder than we judge ourselves. Take a few minutes each day to look over what you’ve accomplished in the last week, month, and year. By remembering our achievements, we not only receive the validation that what we’re doing is worthwhile, but it also helps to keep the momentum moving forward.
4. Plant a Seed
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.” – Dr. Seuss
Create a list of 12 business books that you’d like to read over the next year. Reading not only is a great and inexpensive way to stimulate your brain, but it also increases your vocabulary, comprehension, and introduces you to ideas, people, and information that you would not have known about otherwise.
5. Breathe, Relax, and Unplug
“Work is not always required. There is such a thing as sacred idleness.” – George MacDonald
Part of being an entrepreneur is knowing when to say no and when to unplug. For the majority of entrepreneurs, having a business is like having a baby. All too often we get caught up in working and achieving our goals, that we often forget why we launched our business in the first place (greater flexibility and freedom). Remember to take time out for family and friends, as well as regular vacations and breaks where you totally unplug. By taking a breather, you allow your body and mind time to recharge and restore itself.
6. Get a Gratitude Attitude
“Feeling grateful or appreciative of someone or something in your life actually attracts more of the things that you appreciate or value into your life.” – Christiane Northrup
Take time each day to write a couple of things that you’re grateful for. Cultivating an attitude of gratitude improves your overall outlook on life, and it makes you feel more optimistic about the future. Not to mention, people are drawn to individuals that have a more positive outlook on life.
7. Nurture Your Mind, Body, and Spirit
“We've got this gift of love, but love is like a precious plant. You can't just accept it and leave it in the cupboard or just think it's going to get on by itself. You've got to keep watering it. You've got to really look after it and nurture it.” – John Lennon
Make time for yourself. Whether it’s taking a walk, a long bath, setting aside time for meditation or exercise, you need time to restore yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally. All too often we put others before ourselves, which leaves us drained. When you take the time to nurture yourself, you have more to give to your business and others in your life.
8. Have a Plan
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin
Whether you decide to create yearly goals, daily to-do lists, or monthly schedules you need to have a road-map to guide you on your journey. Without a plan, your business will not run smoothly and your efforts will be diluted, making it almost impossible to succeed.
What habits do you have for nurturing and growing your business?