Our habits are ultimately what define us. While the word “habit” itself often carries a negative connotation, our habits are really the little things in our day- to-day lives that add up over time to create a life well spent.
Sometimes we engage in habits unconsciously – other times they are the result of starkly conscious choices. Either way, we should take care to choose habits that serve us well and ditch the ones that don’t.
- Start taking action, even though things are not perfect
As entrepreneurs, we have a tendency to want to produce perfection at all times or engage in things “at the right time”. But waiting until the perfect time can be detrimental to your growth or the growth of your idea. This is because, there is never a perfect time.
Life is short and taking small imperfect steps toward your goal today is better than waiting until next month, next year, or five years from now to take the giant leap. As the saying goes, slow and steady wins the race.
Give yourself time to make mistakes in the present. It is invaluable to your success and evolution, as well as your business in the future.
- Practice saying no
Saying no is a power tool for staying true to yourself, your commitments and passions. It is the ultimate act of self-control. Plus, it feels good to know that you have the final say on how you spend your valuable time and won’t end up resenting people for taking you away from what you want to be doing.
Studies show that trying to please everyone all the time can lead to unnecessary stress, depression — even burnout. In contrast, taking care of yourself and your own commitments first, puts you in a better position to help and accommodate others in the future.
- Don’t bring the Internet to bed
It may seem harmless, but leaving your phone, tablet or laptop within arms-reach on your bed or bedside table can have detrimental effects on your sleep quality and mood.
As entrepreneurs, we know how important it is to wake up feeling refreshed and energized. When you stare at your phone or laptop before bed, you are exposing yourself to short wave blue light, the same melatonin impairing light the sun produces in the morning hours to signal your body that it’s time to wake up. It doesn’t take a scientist to see how this could negatively affect your ability to experience the deep REM sleep you need.
- Be grateful for the present
Happiness means different things to different people, but one of its founding principles is practicing gratitude. If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re already on your way to a life most people only dream about.
Practice appreciating your current station in life, even if it’s not where you ultimately see yourself. Chances are, you won’t be in this exact financial, emotional, and personal situation ever again in your life, so take a minute to reflect and soak up the moment.
- Stop comparing yourself or your business to others
When we feel the need to “accurately” evaluate ourselves, we often resort to looking at others we think are in similar positions, locations, industries, or age range. With the prevalence of digital and social media, the comparisons have become so much easier to make.
In today’s world, we are no longer limited to comparing ourselves to the Jones next door. Now, we can measure how we stack up to someone in every state, city, and country around world!
If this sounds like a recipe for disaster, it is.
What we often mistake as a behind-the-scenes look into someone else’s reality is actually a calculated highlight reel of their best moments. And, it is likely that the life you are using as a benchmark, doesn’t actually exist. What you think is going to inspire you to reach your goals, may actually impair your ability to do just that.
Mark Twain wisely stated that “comparison is the death of joy” and research confirms he was right. Take it from us, leave benchmarks to measuring the performance of your portfolio because it’s a losing strategy when applied to measuring your self-worth.
- Focus inward
This goes along with comparing yourself or your business to others. When you are able to stop comparing, you are then able to focus on what you and your business are doing well and what you want to do well in the future.
Focusing inward also makes it is easier to appreciate everything you have and everything you’ve accomplished at this stage of your life. As we mentioned earlier in this article, practicing gratitude leads to feelings of joy and happiness that provide the energy you need to keep you moving forward in your life and your business.
- Surround yourself with people who energize you
We all have someone in our life that seems to drain us of all our cognitive, emotional, or financial resources. These types of toxic personalities are difficult to leave behind, but catering to their needs may not serve you in the long run.
Try to surround yourself with people that make you feel good about the life you’re choosing to live. There will always be people trying to break your stride. You have the power to ignore them and choose a positive, productive path.