Taking that initial leap into entrepreneurship is just the first step. Staying out here, as one of the many blessed-to-be self-employed, dream chasing, adventure loving business owners takes real work. And doing it while protecting your happiness?! Oh boy! I’m not just talking internal work like billing, management staffing struggles, blah blah blah. To stay actively growing and happy as a business owner you need to tap into that nitty-gritty personal and professional development work. Business owners that stop seeking new growth personally and professionally are at a greater risk for falling off, into a rut, or tapping out all-together.

The hard work is ultimately worth it. Happiness. Freedom. Living. I mean, that’s why we all keep doing it right? Living a happy and healthy balanced life as an entrepreneur is an intentional practice, and living your BEST LIFE is the natural side effect that comes from pursuing and improving that practice every day.

Over the past year I’ve been playing around with keeping a list of 5 daily goals as a way of providing some baseline structure and balance for my everyday growth as a business owner and an individual. I write out all five in my journal every morning. These are the things that I need to try to achieve on a daily basis to guarantee I keep moving forward in life and in business. I’m open to my list growing and changing just like I will always be, but for now these are my bottom-lines for a successful day. Do you have a list of daily goals? How do they guide you?

1. Insist On Self-Expression

The benefits of active self-expression are often times subtle and work “behind the scenes” in our lives. When practiced regularly, intentional and active self-expression promotes self-awareness, self-knowledge and self-control.

What does active self-expression look like? Active self-expression is different for everybody at different times. That’s the beauty of it! There aren’t any rules to how you do it because it’s yours! Singing, dancing, drawing, writing a blog article, journaling, speaking to others, designing a new workout… these are just a few that I rely on, but the possibilities are endless.

It also looks like healthy communication and boundary setting with others. Both in our personal and professional worlds. Being able to clearly articulate your feelings, needs and limitations is a core asset to healthy living and happiness.

2. Get In Action. Stay In Action.

Yes I’m talking momentum. On days when I have it the goal is enjoying the ride, not getting carried away but also not blocking that blessing.

On days when I don’t, the goal is finding it. Procrastination is frustrating, It can jack-up a whole day. Procrastination is usually rooted in fear, but knowing that isn’t always helpful in the moment because, “hello” we have things to get done. Pausing to evaluate our hang-ups, anxieties and inner struggles when there is a deadline to meet is not going to work.

What is helpful when I’m stuck, or can’t get started, is reminding myself to just do SOMETHING. Anything really. I’m not always convinced of that at first, so sometimes I practice breathing or singing to myself as I just go through rote motions of folding clothes or organizing papers until my workflow and clarity return. I’ve decided that’s my own form of “active meditation.” It works for me when I am willing.

3. Seek Gratitude Awareness

“When I am grateful, I am grace-filled.” I love this goal because gratitude is truly a game-changer and more importantly it’s a choice. I usually have to apply this at the end of the day when I’m doing inventory because I am quick to put myself down for not getting one or two things done in a day. Never mind the twelve things I did do (sheesh). If I don’t actively make myself aware of my flawed perspective it can carry-on into the next in the form of worry, fear and guilt.

The point is that what we focus on throughout the day (and at night) magnetizes in our minds. Choosing to focus on gratitude and positive takeaways keeps us MOVING FORWARD and attracts more good things into our lives. For that reason, gratitude is a core component of a healthy life and lifestyle.

4. Try To Help Someone Everyday

Helping others should be a natural extension of every business leader’s responsibilities. Working in a service profession I’ll admit this one did not become a regular daily practice for me for some time because, well, I thought what I was doing professionally was enough.

Going out of your way to help others is different. It forces us to get out of our own head and shift our focus away from self, and all the things we can’t control in life. It helps me put into perspective my own concerns and problems.

It doesn’t have to be complicated. If you’re fresh out of ideas try picking up the phone and calling someone to just ask how they are doing. A simple “how are you?” can go a long way.

5. Move The Body. Feed The Mind.

The most direct way to change how you feel inside is to change how your body is moving on the outside. Think about how our moods are reflected in our body language. When were tense or stressed we carry ourselves like it. When we are feeling free and loos we move like it too. It follows that creating movement in the body can move the brain as well. Maybe not as quickly but I like to think just as effectively.

Movement is also a great way to get unstuck and jump start my brain for doing work-work. I’m talking a 15 minute walk or sit-ups and squats by your desk if that’s where you’re stuck for a the day. It can lift you right out of a poor state of mind, or some form of procrastination, when you’re willing to let it. It creates the momentum you need to get in action and stay in action.

Feeding the mind goes hand-in-hand with moving the body. I believe that negative emotions like anxiety and fear are allergic to things like sunlight, fresh air, mediation, prayer, self-election and movement. If I’m insisting on being happy, it makes sense that those things are a part of my daily. Most importantly, exercise has helped me build confidence and self-esteem over time which are essential to living my best life, happy and free!

For inspiration, motivation and outside-the-box ideas for living a healthy and happy work life follow me on Instagram @SahmraStevensonEsq or @OfficeWithoutWalls

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