Success isn’t luck. You’re not going to stumble into success by chance. It takes hard work and planning, which means what you do today (or don’t to) will influence tomorrow and your future. As a business owner, entrepreneur, or startup founder, you already know this but it doesn’t make it any less scary. If you’ve ever felt like a failure in the making because you had a cold and didn’t do as much work as possible, don’t worry. Self-care comes first, and everyone has off days, whether by choice or force. Fortunately, there are many little things you can do today to help prepare yourself for success tomorrow.
You don’t need to make grand, sweeping gestures to better position yourself. Little things add up, especially when you adopt them regularly to form a habit. We hear a lot about bad habits, but what about good habits? Identifying your “bad” habits, as well as good ones you’d like in your life, is the first step in planning for a more successful future.
Ready to get started right now? Here are a few things you can do today to optimize your future and that of your business:
- Get enough sleep. You hear it all the time, but it’s true and the National Sleep Foundation has some startling facts that’ll have you prioritizing sleep hygiene. Without proper sleep, which varies and merely averages at eight hours (you might need more or less), you’re more prone to disease and illness. Americans are chronically sleep deprived, and it’s impacting all aspects of our life including business.
- Write down your goals. Hand-write them to maximize effectiveness and include both short-term and long-term goals. How can you get where you want to go if you don’t know where that is? How will you arrive if you don’t know the pathways that lead in the right direction? Without goals and plans to achieve them, you’re winging it. That’s rarely been a successful business model.
- Practice positive cognitive restructuring. There are two pillars of cognitive restructuring that are most vital: self-talk and self-confidence. Unsurprisingly, they’re closely intertwined. We live in a space where it’s encouraged to be sarcastic, falsely modest, and self-deprecating. However, our brains are really good at making what we think and say come true. If you talk negatively to yourself, it’s time to consciously stop. Be kind and supportive to yourself. Don’t say you’re a terrible manager or that your business is doomed. Be encouraging yet realistic.
- Keep a clutter-free space. Wherever you work, whether it’s in a home office or a brick and mortar establishment, make it as conducive to work and clarity as possible. Keep it clean and free of clutter. If natural light is available, make use of it. Ensure that it’s as quiet and peaceful as possible with minimal distractions. Your work space has a big impact on your mindset, which feeds your success (or lack thereof). Make it yours.
- Keep up with those doctor appointments. Get an annual physical, stick with those dental check-ups, and explore various types of care such as massage therapy or acupuncture. It’s a lot easier, faster, and more affordable to embrace preventative care or catch a problem early than trying to reverse it. Your health plays a vital role in all parts of your life, including your business. Seeing professionals is one of the easiest forms of self-care, yet many people think they’re too busy to make it a priority.
Finally, identify what success means to you in every part of your life starting with your business. Most people spend the majority of their waking hours at work, so you want these hours to be enjoyable, challenging, and productive. Create your own definition of success based not on a dollar amount but what you’ll likely find important when reflecting back on your life.