It is a new year for entrepreneurs, which means you are more than likely already consumed with everything from reviewing last year's profits and loss, planning this year's goals and objectives, preparing to meet with your CPA, and the list goes on and on. But what we do not often think about is how to manage our emotions during the year. In short, how do we remain cool under pressure, create an environment of harmony and tranquility, and find balance that supports us mentally and spiritually?
By the end of the year, we are often so frazzled and tired that we welcome the holidays not because of the meaning behind it but to try to rest our mind and reenergize. Here are some things that you can do during the year to pace yourself and be in a space of peace that often eludes entrepreneurs.
1. Recite Affirmations
In the morning before you begin your workday, speak your truth. Each morning, I will say aloud very specific words to really structure and frame my day. I will close my door, sit still for a moment and then say aloud with a very slow pace, "Peace, joy, tranquility, serenity, laughter, love, harmony, accomplishment, courage and strength." I then add, "I speak these words into existence, and I allow these words to guide and direct me." I find that similar to meditation, these words provide a calming effect and allow me to focus on the state I want to be in versus the problems awaiting me. You can select words that resonate with your spirit. Saying a few words will serve as a reminder to what you want to achieve, which will drive your actions and thoughts throughout the day.
2. Practice Journaling
This is one of the most powerful tools a businessperson can use to not only record his activities, but to capture how he is feeling and thinking. One thing that an entrepreneur should recognize is that he is in fact on a journey and that a journal gives you an opportunity to go within to be honest with yourself about that journey. I have written several books, and I am often pulling information from my journal to write about a particular incident or situation. My son recently started a sauce business. I persuaded him to keep a journal. He thanked me just the other day for that advice because he has been reviewing his journal from the past year and he is amazed at what he has written. He either overlooked, took for granted, or just forgot certain things that now reveal his progress. A journal is the one place you can keep it real and express your inner thoughts, fears, joys, accomplishments, and successes. It allows you to see your path to have a better grasp of your situation, especially if you write with consistency and review it occasionally.
3. Express Gratitude
For the last few years, each Sunday morning I think about what I am truly grateful for by making a list of the top ten things that come to mind. As a professional, you may want to do this first thing Monday morning to set the tone for the week. I find that I will list things such as my health, my family, my career, etc. But, interestingly it changes slightly depending on what is going on in my life. It serves as a reminder of how blessed I am. I have gone through a significant storm. I believe that everyone is either going into a storm, in a storm or coming out of a storm. To be honest I went through the 'Perfect Storm' which was a real phenomenon. I have come to realize that everything can easily change based on a storm, so I focus on and express an appreciation for what I have, who I am and for getting through the storm. Take a moment to express your gratitude to minimize the overwhelming thoughts of what is not working or the problems that come with life and business ownership.
4. Maintain Mental Wellness
Last year, I wrote about meditation, massage therapy, listening to soothing music, and a whole host of ways to manage your mental health. In 2016, incorporate practices of mental wellness into your work week. Try something different that will help you to achieve or sustain an inner peace that will improve your management style, help you to think clearly, lower your blood pressure, and so forth. There are so many things that we can do to improve our mental state, but we often do nothing because we are not trained or conditioned to guard our mind or even think about mental health. You will probably get a yearly physical and even take your car in for a tune up, but fail to do anything that will impact your mental health. If you want to experience less stress and anxiety, you have to commit to doing something that supports your emotional well-being. This may mean going to bed earlier than usual, taking a power nap, seeing a therapist, meditating, reading books that are inspiring, taking a mental health day versus a sick day, saying no and not feeling guilty and more throughout the year. I can go on and on with the many things that you can do to rewire your mind so that you are more effective and impactful. But the trick is to just get started and be consistent.