In last week’s blog, I looked at a different kind of business goal business owners could (and should) adopt this new financial year: putting themselves first and their business second i.e. looking after number one. By making this your main goal, I believe you will find personal “happyness” (spelling intended) and your business will be all the better for it. It’s a win-win! This week I’ll explore some of the things business owners can do to get them started in their quest to put themselves first.
Making goals for any initiative is generally the easy part. The hard part is putting these goals into action. Setting goals for “the year of YOU” won’t be any different of course but if you are serious about looking after yourself, you will make the time.
Creating the “how” in your quest for happiness doesn’t have to be overly complicated. Start by writing a simple list of activities you like and want to do. You will need to be practical and know that you cannot do everything so perhaps limit the list to 3-5 activities you will be able to enact this financial year.
You can also add to your list mini personal goals such as weight loss or further education etc. – all those things you’ve been putting off because you’ve forgotten how to put yourself first.
For those of you struggling with ideas, below you will find some tips that I’ve personally adopted to help you get started.
I highly recommend exercise as a way to not only stay healthy but also as a way to “reboot” the brain. It’s a well-known fact that movement and increasing oxygen to the brain can improve memory, thought processes and yes, happiness. I do weight training 3 times a week which I find loosens those tight back and shoulder muscles I get from sitting down all day at the computer. You don’t have to join a team sport or do anything really intense but it’s important to do something – your health depends on it!
Stick to your work hours
Business owners often fall into the trap of working much longer hours than their employed friends. When you don’t have set working hours, you can easily find yourself working late into the night and on weekends (I know, I am guilty of doing this!). While sometimes it can’t be avoided, it’s important not to become a slave to your business. You can do this by setting firm work hours and sticking to them. When 5 o’clock comes around, shut down the computer and walk away – don’t worry, it will all still be there tomorrow waiting patiently for you!
Book a holiday and take days off
This year (and every year), book a holiday somewhere. You need to take time off and rest; you know what they say, “all work and no play……”. Also, in between holidays, make sure you take several short breaks – have an extended weekend and take a day off here and there. Doing this will give you much-needed rest and ensure that when you return, you will be more than ready to give your business 100% of your energy.
Get employees and/or outsource
Don’t try to do it all yourself! Learn to delegate and spread the load. While managing employees can be a stress in itself, done properly, having the right employees can help to bring joy back into your working day. If you aren’t ready to employ staff, think about outsourcing some work tasks instead. There are many services around offering to assist businesses just like yours. I use Interim Business Solutions to help with social media tasks (but they can help with much, much more!). It’s like having an extra pair of hands in the office that you never actually see! I love my virtual assistant, Kirsty Wilson. She’s a breath of fresh air!
Outsource jobs like cleaning to take the pressure off
Recently I engaged a cleaner because I realised that my life had just become one big endless “circle of working”. When the working week was over, I spent the whole weekend catching up on domestic chores. All I was doing was working in one form or another. Now, with my lovely new cleaner on deck, I can actually have a relaxing weekend! I highly recommend that you look at some of these types of jobs e.g. ironing, window washing, mowing etc and if you can afford it, outsource them. Give yourself permission to have time off – life isn’t any fun when you remove the “fun element”. Again I say, stop trying to do it all yourself – life is too short!
Spend more time on hobbies
I think this is a big one! Business owners often get so caught up in their work that they slowly but surely find they rarely have any time for activities they really like to do – their hobbies. If you have a hobby that you love (or used to), it’s important to find time for that hobby. These are the activities that make us truly happy and make our hearts sing. It is time just for you, doing something you really love – it’s important to find time for your hobbies so make sure you do!
We all have a mental list of those things we’d like to do for ourselves but never do because they fall into the category of “spoiling” ourselves. Well, since this is the year of YOU, it’s time to give yourself permission to start doing the spoiling! Everyone is different so your idea of spoiling may not be the same as mine but here are some ideas:
- day spas
- movies and dinner
- book a night in an expense hotel
- book tickets to a concert
While I do believe that goal setting for your business each financial year is very important, I also think that business owners need to look after number one first and foremost. I reckon if you feel happy and healthy, you will be a better business owner which can only be good for your business in the long term. So, business owners, this new financial year consider taking more time for yourselves – you’ll be happier, more enthusiastic and more motivated than ever! Cheers!