By Ann Elliott
If you are like many people, at this time of year, you are setting goals and planning for the New Year. Surrounded by gloom and doom, it can be challenging to look forward with positive expectations.
The protracted economic recession has exacted a heavy toll on many businesses and people. Congratulations if you have managed to sustain your business.
Now that we see progress toward a recovery, what can you do to support the ongoing success of your business? It is easy to understand that working harder and longer hours was necessary. However, prior to the severe downturn of the last five years, entrepreneurs were talking about their long hours and heavy workload. The unrelenting, steady grind of work almost seemed to be a badge of honor for them.
The downside of being able to outwork anyone day in and day out is that it depletes your energy, creativity and focus. Poor decisions, short tempers and confusion are hallmarks of this life-draining pattern. Does this sound like a leader you want to follow?
As you set sail into a new year, consider making rest, recreation, play and good work part of your plan. For some, this is a scary idea. Work can be a very effective numbing agent.
Consider these guideposts for a year filled with joy, adventure and power.
1.) Plan downtime in your schedule and honor it
2.) Say “no” to requests that are life draining for you
3.) Say “yes” enthusiastically to requests that are life supporting for you
4.) Find or rediscover a hobby that excites you
5.) Be honest about how much sleep you need to function well
6.) Ask for help when you need it
7.) Be clear about what you can control and what you cannot
8.) Accept yourself as you are and know that you are enough
9.) Give a hand to someone who needs it just because they need it and you can
10.) Express gratitude
Now more than ever, businesses need leaders who are passionate and optimistic. Be willing to take care of yourself so you can take care of business. Play is an integral part of leadership. Give yourself permission to integrate play into your business plan.