“Chains of Habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken” – Warren Buffett
Habits are precarious things. They’re difficult to start, difficult to change and bad ones can stick around for a lifetime.
The difference between good and bad habits is what makes the difference between subpar and proficient business owners. Successful entrepreneurs are the ones willing to double down on good habits and make conscious efforts to eradicate or re-channel bad ones.
Unfortunately, this generally fails because people use the excuse of having no time. Well, why not pick up better habits over the Christmas break? It takes about 30 days to go from new behaviour to habit, so the end of year break is the best time to start.
Check out our top 5 habits that you need to take up this Christmas break to better both yourself and your business.
#1 – Exercise
Yes, we can hear you groan from here. After such a big year of work, how can you fathom the idea of punishing yourself with exercise? The solution to your issue is to stop thinking of exercise as a punishment.
Instead of anticipating the pain of running or lifting, understand the benefits of having more energy, sleeping deeper and thinking sharper. Starting your own small business wasn’t easy either but it was the accomplishment, success, love and money that kept you going. Think of exercise as a similar investment in your body.
“New studies from Sweden have shown that physical activity can help protect us from stress-induced depression…” (Exercise & Sports Science Australia)
Whether you run a business or are employed, this is a real concern facing the working age population. Operating with a clear & positive mind will allow you to make those important decisions in 2018 that could potentially take your business to the next level!
How many books do the world’s top entrepreneurs read in a year? 10? 20? Maybe 30? No, not even close! The answer is 60 (Inc. Magazine).
As the owner of a business you do not need to be an absolute expert in one area; however, you must have an above-average knowledge across all elements of the business. If you are looking to grow your business, then you must be staying up to date with the newest trends within the business world. Updates in finance, HR, accounting, etc. could make huge differences in the way your business works if you implement them before the rest of the herd.
Consider the amount of time you spend either watching Netflix or on brain-numbing activities – now channel a quarter of that time into reading instead and work that up to more time slowly.
Taking your business up a notch does not require a reinvention of the wheel but rather a keen need to learn from the experts who have wasted their time making these mistakes for your benefit!
#3 Learn to Say No
Contrary to popular belief, saying yes to everyone all the time does not help you, nor does it help your business.
Growing your business requires you to respect your time and say no to things that will not benefit you or the greater good.
Tip: Work out your average hourly rate. Maybe its $20, maybe its $200. Next time you are asked to forgo your time, ask yourself whether it is worth spending your hourly rate on it. Always understand that the cost of you spending your time engaging in pointless activities is the time that you would have had to work on yourself and grow your business.
#4 Appreciate the people nearest and dearest to you
Work, work, work. That’s what we talk about…this article is mostly about how to benefit your worklife in 2018. Take this time to appreciate your friends and family that have stuck by you this year and every other year. Turn off your communication devices (yes, even your phone) and be present at your festivities.
The fast development of technology has broken down the barriers between work and life. This requires a greater understanding of barriers and knowing when to close out the outside world to pay attention to your own world.
Rest and refresh your mind on a regular basis and leave room for the important things in life.
#5 Make a Plan
Big or small, all goals count. Sit down and reflect on the year that has passed including the successes and losses. Understand where your strengths and weaknesses are as an individual and a company.
Take time to write them all down alongside what will be done differently next year. In addition, write down your business goals as well as your personal goals for 2018. Did you know that you are 42% more likely to achieve your goals and ambitions if you regularly write and update them?
Tips for writing effective goals:
- Keep them in a visible spot for the year to remain accountable to the goals the new year.
- Ensure that your goals are SMART (Strategic, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely).
- Note for big goals – Do you have a large goal (eg. Make $1m in one year)? We recommend working backwards, break the goal down into manageable and achievable mini goals or milestones throughout the year. This will reduce the daunting task of achieving that large goal.
You made it through another year! Celebrate that and all that you have achieved. Find something to celebrate and ensure that you implement this habit throughout the year. A celebration does not require great expense or a large party. Maybe enjoy a day on the beach with your family. Celebrations (in moderation) are an important part of maintaining a positive frame of mind throughout the year.
From the Waterman team, we wish you a safe and happy Christmas and New Year’s holiday and we’ll see you in 2018. We’ve got some exciting things planned and we hope you do too!