Moment of truth: Besides the rewards that come with founding and managing a startup, it was a stressful year, I won't lie.

There were missed opportunities gone by, failures (which were huge learning moments), times of uncertainty and doubt about strategy and direction, and the financial challenges that come with bootstrapping it.

Entrepreneurship--it's a thing of beauty, sure, who doesn't want the freedom and autonomy to dictate your own course and be your own boss? It's a calling, not a job.

But with it comes great responsibilities which can take a mental, physical, and emotional toll. If you're like me, as a responsible entrepreneur, you want to do everything you can to stay healthy, balanced, focused, and prepared for the curveballs that life will throw at you in 2017.

Looking ahead, consider putting these techniques in motion as you manage the stress that comes with juggling work and life.

A Strategy for Managing Your Work Stress in 2017

  • Learn to say no.
  • Clarify your values.
  • Live one day at a time.
  • Slow down, walk slower, speak slower. Put the brakes on.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Don't go to bed in a state of emotional turmoil.
  • Focus on helping. It is difficult to worry about yourself when you're serving others.
  • Do mundane and difficult tasks first.
  • Do one thing at a time.
  • Rest, be good to yourself, pace yourself, and take some breaks.
  • Laugh and have fun.
  • Take time to sing. In or out of the shower.
  • Don't take life so seriously.
  • Praise and give thanks daily. Have a thankful heart and please....stop complaining.
  • Engage in some physical activity. Just...move.
  • Choose your friends wisely. No more than three will do.
  • Do not procrastinate.
  • Stop comparing your bank account to the Joneses.
  • Always do what is right. No lying, no cover ups, no lame excuses. That's integrity.
  • When a problem arises, talk through it immediately.
  • Bike to work.
  • Cut down on sugar.
  • Commit to start meetings on time.
  • Commit to end meetings on time.
  • Listen to other people without a need for rebuttal or to win your point.
  • Avoid giving the "silent treatment." For example, when asked, "what's wrong?" The silent answer is "nothing."
  • Be willing to compromise. You don't always have to have your way.
  • Don't assume. You'll make an ass out of "u" and "me."
  • Don't play the blame game and point fingers. For every one you point, there will be three pointing back at you. Take responsibility for your own actions.
  • Be realistic. Face up to your own problems. Don't let your reactions to stressors be worse than the stress itself.
  • Get rid of the clutter on your desk.
  • Get rid of the clutter in your mind.
  • Do what you say you're going to do.
  • Create margin for a simpler schedule.
  • Give.
  • If you're over 50: Take advice from someone under 30.
  • If you're under 30: Take advice from someone over 50.
  • Talk things over. Swallow your pride. Process things with your spouse, friend, colleagues, etc.
  • Seek a balance in your life. Choose family over work.
  • Get rid of performance reviews. Talk to your employees about their goals year-round.
  • Pursue activities that bring you peace.
  • Stop watching the news.
  • Turn off your phone after 9 p.m.
  • Stop accumulating material possessions.
  • Start accumulating experiences to share with special people.
  • Stop relying on technology to communicate. Pick up the phone or take the extra 50 steps to talk to someone in person.
  • Remember that some things are beyond your control. So stop obsessing.
  • Don't neglect the spiritual side of your life.
  • Yelling does not help to understand what your problem is.
  • Find a way to release your emotions. Don't internalize.
  • Look for ways in which you can demonstrate kindness. Every. Day.
  • Encourage someone above the org chart.
  • Encourage someone below the org chart.
  • Have I mentioned give?
  • See yourself as an equal among other people. "I'm OK, You're OK."
  • Plan with the end in mind.
  • _____________________________ (add your own).
  • _____________________________ (add your own).
  • _____________________________ (add your own).
  • Repeat process January 2018.

Published on: Dec 19, 2016
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