8 New Year's Resolutions for entrepreneurs

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December is always an important time for reflection, tying up loose ends, and planning the chapters we hope to write. While some of us marvel at our unexpected accomplishments of the past year, others envision the magic we’re hoping to create as a New Year unfolds.

But no arrival into 2014 would be complete without a new year’s resolution (or a few). Here’s a list of eight potential New Year’s resolutions for entrepreneurs:  

  1. Reflect more. Sometimes it feels like you’re juggling a hundred things, constantly doing whatever is thrown at you while trying not to drop the ball. You often barely have the time to process everything that you’re doing, what you’re learning, or whether or not you should even be doing it in the first place! Dedicate one day a week to step away from your work, just to think and reflect. This is often said to be the time we get our best ideas.
  2. Apply a filter. I read an article called The Disciplined Pursuit of Lesswhich really inspired me to audit my life and work priorities. 

    List everything you are involved in or business opportunities you’re thinking of pursuing and ask yourself:

    a) Does this bring me closer to achieving my overall vision, or is it a distraction?

    b) Does this make me happy?

    c) If I didn't have this opportunity what would I sacrifice to get it? Would I replace something I am already doing with this opportunity?

    d) Is my motivation to do this ego or impact? How much impact will this have on my business (or mission)?

  3. Stop letting people waste your time. I regret the countless hours I spent on proposals before evaluating the prospective client and/or opportunity in my first year as a startup. And the occasions I let people take advantage of my eagerness as a first-time entrepreneur. This is particularly relevant if you’re in a consulting or service-based industry. Time is the most valuable thing you have and people will take it if you let them.
  4. Tell more stories. Some of the most gifted entrepreneurs I know are the ones who artfully weave facts and figures into a story, compelling you to their mission. Storytelling might seem more appropriate if one is giving a TED talk, or presenting at a conference, but it is equally powerful in meetings, business pitches and presentations, and even in explaining what you do at networking events.
  5. Be bolder. Singularity University challenges its participants to apply exponential technologies that could impact the lives of one billion people. When co-founder Peter Diamandis launched the $10 million X-Prize he didn’t actually have the prize money until the day before the winner was announced! Be bolder in your vision and bolder in its pursuit.
  6. Be more present. Mindfulness and the ability to be present is a key leadership trait that influences decision-making, focus, clarity and mental and emotional wellbeing. But presence is also the greatest gift you can give someone. When you’re talking to someone, give them your full attention without checking your phone and replying to messages and emails. Nurture mindfulness through mediation, yoga or just being still.
  7. Have more fun. While it may be true that we entrepreneurs love what we do and therefore don’t mind working 80 hours a week, it is important to have balance. If you could do anything, what would your “perfect day” look like? How much of your perfect day is currently included in your schedule and what is missing? This could be spending more time with family and friends, or hobbies like scuba diving or playing an instrument.
  8. Treat yourself better. When we get busy, I am amazed at how we treat ourselves in a way that would be unacceptable for us to treat others. Sometimes for work, we sacrifice sleep, eating well — or at all — exercising, getting our teeth cleaned, going to the doctor… the list goes on. Think of the person you love most and ask yourself whether you would treat them the way you are treating yourself.

Please comment below to tell us which resolutions you’re going to do, or add more new year’s resolutions for entrepreneurs below!

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