It’s that time of year: Everyone, at least on a personal level, is focused on their new years resolutions. Here are the most common new years resolutions, according to a recent study:
Learn a new skill or hobby
Live life to the fullest
Save more money / spend less money
Spend more time with family and friends
As a business owner, chances are at least some of your goals are tied to your business. Here are some common resolutions for business owners, in contrast:
Pay it forward, help someone else in need
As you probably could have imagined, the priorities of a business owner are a little different than someone who holds a traditional job. It goes without saying: business owners simply do not have the luxury of "turning off" when they leave the office.
Perhaps you are one of the few people on this earth who has had positive experiences and success with new years resolutions lists. Chances are you are like many people who really struggle with follow through as the year progresses, and that's for a self-motivated entrepreneur!
The one thing that never changes is the commitment you have to your business. Whether or not you follow through on any of the business goals you set for yourself this year, we can be pretty sure you will do what it takes to put your business past the finish line. After all, that's why you are where you are, right?
So instead of focusing on a self-ordained list, I suggest taking a different tactic this year: focus on building habits, not obtaining metrics.
Don't get me wrong: there is absolutely nothing wrong with setting metrics and motivating your team to crush them. Revenue goals, for example, always have a place in business and can work wonders when organizing teams and increasing positive competition.
However, as a business owner, your job is a little different. Even if you don’t have any employees (yet) you are still the CEO of your enterprise, and that entity carries potential. As the leader of any organization, the skills, personal traits, and habits you maintain must be a little different than everyone else's.
Here are some examples of how focusing on habits can be more beneficial to your growth as a business owner than focusing on high level patterns:
Instead of "communicate better", focus on ncultivating a habit of communication
Take time every day to stop and fully focus on what your partner, spouse, or co-worker is saying. Ask yourself, did I practice this today? If I was not fully present in that moment, why not? Allowing yourself to listen to others will inherently cause people to want to listen to you as well, which will make communication much easier!
Instead of "think ahead", focus on cultivating the habit of writing
Pick a writing schedule, and stick to it. It does not matter how many times a day or week you decide to write, just as long as you do it consistently, and at the same time every day. Use this time to reflect on things YOU can do better in your position, for the people around you: whether it be people in your business or loved ones in personal life. The practice of writing (even if you designate only 3-5 minutes) will naturally invoke ideas and suggestions for the future, with much more focus and intent.
Instead of "prioritize balance", focus on cultivating the habit of meditation.
First of all, let's be honest for a moment: there is really no such thing as balance as a business owner. There simply is too much on our plate in 2019 to strive for perfect balance. Sure, we can strive to take a few vacations a year and spend more time with out family, but in the end, it is our business that allows us to enjoy all the periphery pleasures that result from our hard work. Your business comes first, because it has to. Taking time to meditate daily provides massive mental health benefits, the likes of which I will not get into here. Needless to say, finding balance in your day is a lot easier when you commit to simply turning off your monitor for 5 minutes a day. Finding balance starts internally, and striving for balance starts with focusing on the balance of your mind. The balance you find internally will naturally flow through to your professional and personal life.
I highly recommend an app called Streaks. It is a useful and brilliantly-designed app that can hep you set, manage, and track the habits you would like to form.
What are some habits you would like to develop this year to ultimately help grow your business? Drop a comment below!
Happy New Year.