New Year Offers Chance to Improve

By Chemeketa SBDC

The holidays have come and gone, a new year is here, and it’s a blank slate. A lot of people go through a slump in January and it’s hard to keep up the energy. Your business depends on your being motivated though, so you need to be playing to win every day. Here are a few tips on staying at the top of your game.
-Remember that you made the choice to be in business to begin with, and it’s still your choice (every day) to stay there. You are in control. You are the one who decides at the beginning of each day where you will go and what you will do. No matter what circumstances are swirling around you, you are ultimately the one who makes the decision to stay in or get out. Own it.
-Carefully limit the amount of media and economic news you watch and listen to. It seems that you just can’t read or hear a business story these days that doesn’t predict that the sky is falling and the world is coming to an end. Do you need to ingest those stressful messages on a regular basis? And will knowing how bad things are really help you run a more successful business? Do whatever minimum you need to in order to stay informed, and then spend the rest of the time filling your mind with motivational messages and helpful resource information.
-Pay attention to what triggers negative thoughts and emotions. Is it the economy? Unhappy customers? Bookkeeping duties? Maybe a couple dozen other things? When those things happen, what are your responses? And more importantly, what can you do to head off the negative responses at the pass? If you recognize the patterns you can change them.
-Choose to avoid negative people and spend more time with positive and supportive people. For the most part you control who you spend time with, so make choices to be with people who uplift you and make you glad to be alive. You know the ones, those who are pleased about your successes and wish the best for you. Resolve to stop complaining about things and hanging around people who complain. Don’t commiserate with negaholics. Who needs it?
-Practice gratitude and determine to thank at least one person in your life every day. Stop to appreciate how people are contributing to your life, and make sure they know you have noticed. Move on from there to spend a moment at the end of each day listing ten things you’re grateful for. Remind yourself why your life is good. This one tip alone can transform a dragging spirit into one that greets the day, motivated to be and give 100 percent.
Marcia Bagnall is Director of the Chemeketa Small Business Development Center and instructor of Small Business Management Program. The Small-Business Adviser column is produced by the center and appears each Sunday. Questions can be submitted to Visit the SBDC at 626 High Street NE. in downtown Salem or call (503) 399-5088.

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