We’ve all heard the expression “bad habits are hard to break” but maybe we just aren’t approaching it in the right way. Entrepreneurs especially need to watch their habits closely because being your own boss gives you the crown to choose how you work and spend your day. Making sure that your daily activities are positive ones that will stimulate you to be more creative and hardworking is important. In saying that, practicing work-life balance and healthy habits is also a key component in your success. If you are over worked or just completely numb from mundane tasks every day, something needs to change.
Every person and entrepreneur works differently so there is no one-size-fits-all way of creating good habits. Despite that, here are some things that can help:
1) How are you feeling on your day-to-day? Are you feeling happy, exhausted, bored, uninspired, lazy, excited? Being honest with yourself about your feelings and the things you want to see change in your day-to-day life is the first step to creating good habits. How can you create good habits, if you aren’t sure what habits will be good for you? For example, a good habit that some people develop overtime is to read the news every morning, but for others this may only stress them out. If you as sensitive to a lot of information or bad news around the world, it will only be a detriment to your day and leave you stressed. The mergers and worldly disasters can wait for lunch or later in the day; they really aren’t going anywhere. Instead, look at things that make you happy, inspire you, uplift you and figure out a way to fit that into your daily lifestyle.
2) Do you know where you stand financially? If you are in financial trouble, you have to start creating money saving habits that will encourage that. Don’t buy three lattes a day, splurge on lunch or go out for drinks three times a week with your friends. Pack a lunch, look for a good old trusty supermarket coffee mix and wake up early so that you have time to do all of this. Investing in a financial advisor could also be beneficial because they can give you a step by step by step plan to help you get out of debt, and save up for the goals you’d like to achieve.
3) What are some realistic changes you can make today? Creating new habits is all about baby steps. As the proverb goes, “if you cannot run, walk and if you cannot walk, crawl”, so do not set unrealistic expectations. Falling through with unrealistic changes are just going to leave you discouraged and push you further back to your old habits. If you’re exhausted every day and you do not have enough energy to accomplish everything you set out to, establish a realistic time to go to sleep each night and try and stick to it. That little change in itself with makes a dramatic difference with your morale and will help you get the rest you desperately deserve.
4) What are some changes you want to see overtime? The big picture can seem too big at times. When you figure out what big changes you’d like to see, for you and your start-up, break it down into smaller steps. This will provide you with a roadmap to see exactly what you need to achieve and accomplish over time, in order to get to your end goal. This can be simply taking coding classes once a week or attending seminars to help you work on certain aspects that need improving. The end goal could be to expand your business to over 50 locations. Whatever it is that you want or need to do, break it down and say it out loud. Make it real and you’ll understand how to achieve them.
5) Are the people you surround yourself with encouraging your new habits or are they a detriment? Listen, we all have that friend that we make bad decisions with. The fact is, it’s not responsible and if you want to grow, you’re going to have to let go of people that don’t encourage your success. There’s no need for a dramatic breakup with your friend or family member, it just takes a serious one-on-one conversation about the changes you want to make to better yourself and what you need from them in order for them to be supportive. If they really care, they will respect that and help you stay on track. For example, if you wanted to break your bad sleeping habits and replace them with better ones, do not allow someone to continuously call you at late hours with favors or other unnecessary disruptions. Be strong, because this is hard one to stand by!
None of this is easy. Please do not be discouraged after failing with maintaining new habits. It’s all trial and error and finding out what works best and what is realistic for you. What is easy to one person is impossible to the next. Try your best and continue to better yourself in small ways. Usually, that is how they best stick. Anyone is capable of creating good habits if you take these points in consideration.
Written by: Sara Pivato, Social Media and Content Intern, Futurpreneur Canada