We should start by saying that there is no magic formula for success, and being consistently successful is not easy. It won’t land at your feet if you do one or two productive things. However, there is definitely a correlation between routines and habits established by successful people that no doubt, contribute to their success. These successful people include business owners and entrepreneurs, just like you.
Want a slice of the success pie? Here are five morning habits you should start establishing now to help you be successful. It can take just 18 days for your body to form a new habit, depending on your attitude and commitment.
1 – Zzz
This habit starts the night before. You’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it twice, you’ve heard it a million times but getting a good night’s sleep really is essential.
Sleep affects almost every tissue in our bodies. It influences stress hormones, your immune system, appetite, breathing, blood pressure and so much more. Without a good night’s sleep, you may find yourself easily confused and irritable, and making silly and avoidable mistakes.
As a small business owner and entrepreneur, you are everything to your business. The success of your business really does depend on you and your performance and any task you are working on needs to have your full focus and attention.
Ensure you’re getting at least 7 hours of sleep every night. Those extra few hours will see you firing on all cylinders and saving a dozen of extra hours fixing mistakes you would have made if you were burning the candle at both ends.
#2 – The early bird catches the worm
Now, number 2 really depends on the success of the night before, so make sure you go to bed early. Going to bed early will enable you to get that all-important 7+ hours of shut-eye and ensure you’re ready to set an early alarm.
Starting your day earlier is a psychological hack. By 8am, you’ve already ticked a number of things off, you’ve achieved and are on the front foot and feeling good. There’s still so much of the day left to accomplish things.
Set the tone of your day by setting an early alarm.
#3 – Start your day like a Navy SEAL
Have you heard of Naval Admiral William H McRaven, ninth commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command? In his commencement address to the class of 2014 at the University of Austin, Texas he shared 10 lessons he’d learned during his intense 6 month Navy SEALs training. The first lesson: “If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day…it will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another…and if you have had a terrible day, which we all have sometimes…you will at least come home to a made bed, a bed that you made”. Seeing that made bed helps you remember that tomorrow is a new day and holds all the possibility of being a better day.
#4 – Think of Dolly
It’s a floor filler at parties and weddings alike, but really listen to the lyrics in Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 and you’ll hear some words of advice. The first being…
“ …Jump in the shower and the blood starts pumpin’ ”
Which is particularly relevant to this blog post.
That’s right, you’ve guessed it, number 4 is to jump in the shower and get ready for the day. Even better, take a cold shower to increase your heart rate and oxygen intake, this will automatically make you feel more alert and awake.
It’s all too easy when working from home to just sit at the kitchen table working in your PJs. We know it’s comfy, we know it’s easy, but if you prepare your body for work, your mind will be prepared for work too.
#5 – Fuel up
It’s obvious, but do you do it? Think of it this way, without food and drink, (a basic and crucial human need) your brain and body go into shock. They’re trying to function with what you’ve given them but it’s not enough and they’re working overtime. This might not be obvious to you because you feel fine on the surface but think about how else it might be manifesting. Have you had an emotional reaction to something minor? Are you struggling to concentrate and make decisions? Does walking to the end of the corridor to grab your laptop charger feel like a mammoth task?
When you run your own business, the stakes are high and work is demanding, but making time for a slice of toast and a piece of fruit in the morning could make all the difference.
Every day, establish 3 things that absolutely must be done that day and do them. Everything else can be flexible. Having a plan for your day is important but do not get bogged down in a strict structure with no wiggle room. It will limit your productivity and put unnecessary stress and pressure on you. If something important crops up, don’t put it to the bottom of the list.
Maintain focus and perspective with a structure that works with you, not against you.
For more advice and guidance on how to become a successful business owner, check out the My New Venture platform.