Starting your own business and wearing the “entrepreneur” label for the first time can be so exciting. It can also quickly become overwhelming. Creating strong daily habits from the start can be a great way to set the tone for success in your business. In this post, I’m sharing 9 daily habits that have been the most impactful in my entrepreneurial journey.
Daily habit #1: Pray or meditate
This is a big one for me–in fact, it’s the most important of my daily habits. It can take many shapes, so find what suits you best and stick to it. I like to use the YouVersion Bible app on my phone. On it, there is a section called “Plans,” where you can select various devotionals. They even have some devotionals that are written specifically for entrepreneurship and business leadership.
I spend about 30 minutes reading Scripture and studying these devotionals, and I try to do this first thing in the morning.
No matter what this looks like for you–reading Scripture, devotionals, quiet time alone with the Lord, guided meditation, etc.–be intentional with it. Be diligent. I find that it’s often difficult for entrepreneurs (myself included) to stop, rest and just be for a moment. Daily prayer time can be a great way to find that moment of stillness we all need so much!
Daily habit #2: Practice gratitude
This is another big one for me: intentionally practicing gratitude. At the very end of 2018, I ordered Rachel Hollis’s Start Today Journal. I’d been doing a kind of mental gratitude checklist each day after listening to Dean Graziosi on Ed Mylett’s podcast (YouTube version here), and I could see a shift in all aspects of my life.
I thought the Start Today Journal would be a great way to be even more intentional both with gratitude and goal-setting. Turns out, it was even more impactful than I imagined!
In this journal, you begin by listing out 5 things each day that you’re grateful for. These can be anything, from having a bed to sleep in and a roof over your head, to landing a new pay-in-full client or buying that dream home. The point is to make you constantly aware of the blessings in your life, no matter how small and no matter what is going on.
Next, you list out 10 dreams (goals) that you’re going to make happen–but you write them out as though they’re already true. You’re emphasizing to yourself, “I DID have my first 5-figure month.” “I DID land that big new client.”
It’s important that you not only write out these 10 dreams, but that you also visualize what it will be like when they are no longer dreams, but truths. Your mind believes what you tell it–so tell it every day what a badass you are!
Daily habit #3: Wake up early
I woke up at 4:30 this morning, specifically to have some quiet time to write this blog post. I don’t wake up at the same time each day, but there are usually several days each week that I get up between 4:00 and 5:00 to be sure I have at least an hour before anyone else in my house wakes up.
This is helpful for a number of reasons: for one, I can have my prayer time while it’s still dark outside, when there are no distractions–even the dogs are quiet! Two, I tend to be slightly more productive first thing in the morning, so this is the time I like to write (especially since writing is NOT one of my favorite activities!).
On days that I wake up before 5:00, I have more energy throughout the day. I seem to get more accomplished (not just because I gave myself a couple of extra hours, either). My brain seems a bit clearer. Give it a try and see how it helps you!
Daily habit #4: Prioritize the day’s tasks
If you’re like me and you tend to get complete tunnel vision while you’re focusing on the task at hand but you also are easily sidetracked and can quickly fall into a rabbithole, this one will be helpful!
Pick the top 3 things that you MUST get done today. Not the top 3 things that you want to do–the top three things that have to be done. Got it?
Do those three things first. Stay focused on those three things until they’re done. No rabbitholes until you’ve got all three marked off your list!
Daily habit #5: Control your schedule
Ladies, let me tell you: not even a month ago, my schedule was out. of. control. It was crazy! I felt like I had calls booked all day, every day. I’d have a 30-minute call, then a 45-minute window of free time, then a 60-minute call, then a 20-minute open window, then another 30-minute call.
The windows of free time were rarely enough for me to complete a significant task–my mind doesn’t switch directions very easily! I felt like I was busy all the time but not actually accomplishing anything.
Limit your available booking windows
A big contributor to the calls-all-day-long issue was that I was making myself available from about 8:30 – 4:30 Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. That was way too much!
To take control of my schedule, I drastically reduced my available booking windows in Calendly–now I have a 3 ½-hour window on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, and that’s it.
My calls are consolidated, which means I’m staying in the right frame of mind for those calls, but that also means I have a solid four or five hours each morning for web design, email campaigns, other client work, social media catch-up, etc. Such an improvement!
Schedule time for the must-do tasks (especially those you don’t love!)
I’ve also added time each week as a recurring event on my calendar for writing blog posts and working on social media posts (two of the tasks I struggle with most!). The reasons for this are twofold: first, if I actually have the time scheduled on my calendar, I’m much more likely to actually DO IT at that time.
Second, I’m less likely to book an appointment during that time (which I was also very prone to doing in the past) because I know that I’ve already dedicated that time to another activity.
Stop saying “yes” all the time
One other thing I’ve done to take control of my schedule is to limit the number of calls I have each day (outside of my 3 ½-hour Calendly availability). At any given time, I’m participating in at least 3 group and/or one-on-one coaching programs (sometimes I’m a student, sometimes I’m the coach).
Taking part in these programs means that I might have 2-3 coaching calls scheduled each week in addition to any other appointments I’ve made. To be sure I’m not over-booking myself, I do everything I can to limit each day to a maximum of two calls (outside my designated Calendly booking windows).
In other words: I had to start saying “no.” This one can be tough for me, because I love helping people more than anything–it’s why I love coaching so much.
However, saying “yes” to an extra meeting meant I was saying “no” to something else. As soon as I figured that out and began saying “no” more often, I felt a huge weight lifted from my shoulders!
Collectively, all of these help ensure that I’m leaving enough time to complete the tasks that I must complete each day to move my business forward.
Daily habit #6: Educate yourself for free!
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a huge nerd, so educating myself is fun to me; it’s something I’ve always done, even before I began my entrepreneurial journey.
Even if it doesn’t sound fun to you, though, I encourage you to suck it up and give it a try 🙂
Let’s talk podcasts. When I first started my business, I had never listened to a single business podcast. The idea of a business podcast sounded boring, truthfully. One day, though, my friend, Rena, a fellow online entrepreneur (and a graduate of The Worry-free WordPress Academy!), told me that I really needed to listen to Christy Wright’s Business Boutique podcast.
Begrudgingly, I listened to one episode. And then another. And then another. Within about 3 weeks, I had binged every single episode she had at that point. From that one podcast, I found other podcasts. From all of these podcasts, I discovered all of these incredible Facebook groups with other like-minded entrepreneurs. I found Rachel Ngom and her Impact Blogging Academy.
I can say without exaggeration: Had I not started listening to podcasts, I would not have found the Impact Blogging Academy. I would not be writing this blog post today. I wouldn’t have an amazing network of friends and colleagues scattered across the country and around the world. My business would not be what it is.
Podcasts are powerful, my friend. They are an almost endless resource of some of the best business advice and strategies out there–and it’s all FREE!
My favorite podcasts
Here are some of my favorite podcasts (in no particular order):
- Elevation Church with Steven Furtick
- The Ed Mylett Show
- The She’s Making an Impact Podcast
- The Mind Your Business Podcast
- Gary Vee Audio Experience
- The Goal Digger Podcast with Jenna Kutcher
- Rise Podcast with Rachel Hollis
- The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey
- The Jennifer Allwood Show
- Lewis Howes’ School of Greatness
- Limitless Mamas with Tara Counterman
- The 6-Figure Mompreneur Podcast
- Real Talk with Rachel Luna
- Don’t Keep Your Day Job with Cathy Heller
- That Sounds Fun with Annie F. Downs
- The Science of Social Media from Buffer
- Kwik Brain with Jim Kwik
- Manifestation Babe with Kathrin ZenkinaSmart Passive Income with Pat Flynn.
I shuffle through mine–right now I’m on a James Wedmore kick, so I make sure to listen to all of his. I definitely don’t listen to all of these every week! But, I’m subscribed to all of them, so I know I can find them at any time.
Daily habit #7: Move your body
If there is one that I struggle with most, it is this one. I’m not talking about working out (though that’s another important one and another one I struggle with!).
Because I get such tunnel vision, it’s easy for me to sit completely focused for several hours on end–seriously. Working at home alone contributes to this even more.
Learning to be intentional about actually getting up from my desk and MOVING throughout the day has really helped me. I’ll go outside and play fetch with my dogs for a few minutes. Sometimes I’ll just stand up and walk a couple circles around the house. Maybe I’ll run some laundry upstairs or take a minute to vacuum up the little piles of dog hair (gotta love Border Collies and Labs in the house!).
Whatever I do, I just try to DO SOMETHING!!!
Daily habit #8: Drink lots of water!
I love water, so this one is pretty easy for me. That being said, I also love my hot tea with honey–and sometimes I drink it all day… I guess it’s a good thing that I drink decaf (for the most part)!
Anyway, what I’ve been trying to do lately is limit my tea intake since I noticed I was drinking more and more tea and less and less water… Oops. So, I’ll drink 24-30 oz. of water, have a cup of tea, drink another 24-30 oz. of water, then a cup of tea–you get the picture!
If you can, try to drink 100 oz. of water each day. If that’s totally impossible for you right now, start by drinking 50 oz. per day. Then the next week, bump it up to 75. By the following week, you’ll reach your goal of 100 oz. per day!
Daily habit #9: Do something for YOU
As a very general rule of thumb, we as women tend to put others’ needs ahead of our own–especially the needs of the others in our household. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with this, it might start pulling you in too many directions at once.
If you don’t take care of yourself, how the heck are you supposed to take care of everyone else around you?
Take some time each day to do something for YOU. I don’t mean you have to get a massage or pedicure every day (though that sounds like fun!). You don’t have to leave your house at all.
Take 30 minutes to read for fun, if that’s your thing (totally my thing!). Watch an episode of Friends or Gilmore Girls. Take the dogs for a walk. Go for a run. Have coffee (or cocktails!) with a friend. Take a nice, hot bath.
Whatever it is that you enjoy doing–whatever it is that relaxes you, grounds you, energizes you–be sure to do it! Do it every day!
When you’re fully energized and fulfilled, you have more to give to those around you. Plain and simple.
In short, as I’ve seen all over the interwebs recently: self-care is not selfish!
All right, there you have it: my most impactful daily habits. When things are feeling a bit “off” for me, I take a step back to see what’s changed for me over the last couple days or the last week. In most cases, I find that I’ve been skipping at least one of these daily habits. As soon as I identify what’s been missing, I’m able to get back on track!
What are your favorite daily habits? Share them in the comments and tag me on social! I love introducing new habits into my routine!