It’s admirable to have a lofty list of New Year’s goals, but far more important to set ones that you can consistently commit to. Instead of listing, say, ten to twenty ways of improving yourself or your business, pick just four or five that can be practically built into a daily routine. Here are a few that helped make a real difference for me.
1. Build solid morning habits
I’m an early riser, largely because I crave a certain routine before I sit down at the office or begin meetings: It makes all the difference in setting my headspace for the work day. I start with affirmations and mindfulness exercises — some good quiet and motivational time. I also get some exercise in and/or some time outdoors, which ensures a clear head and that endorphins will be flowing. So, find a couple of healthy actions that will help you focus on yourself before you dive into work.
2. Plan your business for the year
In the real estate world, much time is devoted to networking, relationship building, dealmaking and lead generation, and I’ve found that it’s vital to sit down and think of how to increase that precious network of connections and hit other goals over several months. Are there two or three major conferences you’d like to attend this year? How will your marketing plan play out? How to reach a bigger target audience? Plotting specific milestones and events on a calendar will help you work towards true success and remove the guesswork as you travel through the months.
Related: 4 Motivating TED Talks to Help You Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions
3. Set additional goals for each week
We all operate differently when it comes to planning, whether you’re a Google calendar devotee, a handwritten planner type or someone who has Siri set reminders. However you operate, make sure to set goals for each week. Daily ones might sound great, but can be harder to achieve because things pop up in business that rearrange short-term priorities. So, on Monday, think about the top things you want to accomplish, then on Friday review how many were ticked off. The takeaway is that it’s all about staying organized and that, hopefully, planning will take the stress out of last-minute shuffling. Preparation is key, and revisiting goals regularly and adapting them when necessary is critical.
4. Reflect with gratitude
It’s as important to start my day with morning mantras and affirmations as it is to end it with reflections. Life is hard, full of difficult decisions or results that don’t match expectations, and how you handle them determines the pace of personal growth. So, reflect on challenges with an eye to what you’ve learned, what was in your control (vs. not) and how you’re going to react and move forward. Be grateful for challenges, because they’re opportunities to grow and show others true character. Of course, on the flip side, be thankful for any wins — the deals or moments that make you proud.
5. Check in with a mentor
Whether it’s twice a month or once a quarter, take time to sit down with a respected person who motivates and inspires you and ask them for honest advice about business goals and vision. Seek their expertise, learn from their experiences, and nurture that relationship. The point here is to avoid getting stuck in a rut, so make sure you’re plugging into an extra perspective. Having support from a trusted colleague can make all the difference in empowering you to push toward goals.
Related: Good Advice Is the Secret to Success in Entrepreneurship. Here’s How to Get It.
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