This is an oldie but a goodie from a few years ago.
I recently went through quite a stressful time which included breaking up with my boyfriend and moving out of what was our ‘home’ together. It’s been a big transitional time for me with lots of changes to get my head around all whilst trying to keep the momentum going (or balls in the air) to ensure my business didn’t suffer too.
Today, sat on a train on my way to London (I’m off to network with some like-minded peeps – it’s good for the soul), I am taking the time to be grateful for the routines and habits I have put in place that have enabled me to hold everything together throughout all the ups and downs I was experiencing – mainly allowing me to continue running my business whilst keeping my sanity in check!
Here’s what helped me not completely lose control of everything:
Tip 1: Set me up for success Daily Routines
Seriously I fought this one a lot when I first started working for myself, but I learnt pretty quickly that this wasn’t a recipe for success, so I started getting more disciplined with how I worked. Ironically the more disciplined you are around your structure the more freedom you actually end up with. Strange but true. Fortunately for me, I have some great basic habits in place now which although pushed to the limits, still kicked in and kept me moving forward without too much effort. Thank goodness for habits.
Tip 2: Setting my monthly goals
I often talk about how dating is good for your productivity and by this I mean – I always end the month with a ‘date with myself’. I reflect on what did and didn’t work over the last month, celebrate my achievements and then strategically plan for the month ahead. As these ‘dates’ are already in my diary for the whole of the year I still kept my side of the deal and turned up for them (even if I wasn’t looking or feeling my best, dating yourself means you can show up in your trackie’s if you like!!).
Sticking to my monthly dates meant that no matter how I felt on a daily basis, I still knew exactly what I had to achieve that month and therefore that particular week to hit my goals. Not having to decide ‘what’ to work on was a big help, I just did what I had to do without having to give it too much energy (which I didn’t have much of).
Tip 3: Self-Care, Self-Care, Self-Care
I’ll hold my hand up to this one, I am definitely still work in progress when it comes to looking after me. First I turned to food, ditched my usual ‘non-negotiable’ daily exercise – then after more than one stern conversation with myself I picked myself up, squeezed into my (by now too tight) jeans and started taking care of Jo again. Ok so I may have been less than perfect but what a difference it makes to EVERYTHING when I do consciously take care of ME. Note to self – I need to strengthen my habits around this area so they just happen automatically, that’s the beauty of a habit, it’s like breathing, it just happens.
Tip 4: Using my support crew
It’s hard enough this solo empire-building let alone bringing in stressful and life-changing circumstances! Over the last few years, I have built up a support crew of like-minded folk who totally ‘get it’. I have my own business coach, my fellow mastermind buddies and my business BFF’s all there ready to pull me back up when I needed it. My default is to beat myself up over my lack of progress and these girls always lifted me up and helped me see I was still running a successful business and that I needed to be kind to myself. We tend to focus on the stuff we haven’t done rather than the progress we are making.
Big thanks to those who reminded me that looking after my VIP’s (and me) was all I needed to focus on right now and that the empire-building and the new this, that or the other idea could come – later.
And guess what – I’m ready now.
If you have loads going on right now and are finding yourself feeling overwhelmed and frustrated with your lack of progress, take a step back and check that you have the above 4 things in place and functioning well – and know – it’s not long until you’re out the other side too.
Love Jo x