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Dec 22

Five Essential Goal-Setting Habits for the Entrepreneur By Emine Suleyman, author of Aliya

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Ever wondered why some people get ahead and others tread water? It’s not luck, says life coach, mindfulness expert and career mentor Emine Suleyman – it’s about how well they spend their time. Here, Emine offers her own top 5 habits that every budding entrepreneur should practice to realise their ambitions in 2018. Her new book Aliya, a practical day-to- day productivity diary for 2018, is available now priced £25.

Habit #1: Clarify & Regularly Reaffirm Your Life Mission  

We spend the majority of our adult lives working, so we owe it ourselves to spend that time doing something we love and that we feel is a reflection of who we are and what we want to say to the world.

Finding our element – living a life of purpose – is crucial to our wellbeing and to our success. This has been well documented. The sooner we can clarify our life mission statement the sooner we can begin a fuller more satisfying life.

So how do you start? Kick back with a pen and a diary and write down what it means to be successful in your life and on your own terms. Make lists of all that you love doing, what all your skills are, what problems you feel connected to in your community or in the world.

Upon regular reflection of your purpose and these three lists, your day-to-day life will reveal a common thread where you can creatively tie aspects from each list into new ideas and projects. The side projects you pursue could well evolve into a great income and lifestyle over time.

Habit #2: Self -Reflection

Self-reflection is the school of wisdom. It is no secret that a regular practice of self-reflection is necessary for mental and physical health. Allow this to be a humbling process and use it to look back over your last year. Life must be understood backwards before it is effectively lived forward. At the end of each year, ask yourself: what were all my highlights? What challenges did I face and how did I grow through them?  Writing your answers down is a great way of extracting them into physical form and owning them.

In addition to annual self-reflection, regular monthly reflection throughout your year is a habit worth cultivating. We can do this is our diaries each month. Self-reflection helps to build two components to emotional intelligence: self-awareness and self-regulation. This gives us the ability to understand our emotions, strengths, weaknesses, drives, values and goals, and to recognise their impact.

Habit #3: Set & Monitor Goals

You have more efficacy to create your life than you may realise. What matters most is right now. You cannot change the past and the future hasn’t yet happened, so the only thing we can change is the moment. How you feel right now and the story you’re telling yourself will transcend as your future. Put aside all limiting beliefs and ask yourself, what would I do if I knew couldn’t fail? Literally make an inventory of all your dreams in your diary. Remember that we go only as far as our imagination takes us. Include a range of short, mid and long-term goals over the next three months, one year, three years, five years, 10 years and 20 years.

After listing all that you would love to have a go at in life, review your list and pick your top 3- 5 priority goals to get started on. Break each chosen top goal down into 5 actionable steps. Then simply give each step a deadline in your diary. You can include a reward for each goal if you wish. At the end of each month make it a habit to reflect on the previous four weeks and review your progress.

Habit #4: Identify Two Priority Tasks Daily

Before you go about your day or perhaps from the night before, take a moment to pause and decide what two things you can do today that will have the biggest impact on getting you to your goals. This habit is so simple yet so powerful and has the ability to focus your mind each day. Forget checking emails and running small errands until your two priority tasks for the day are done.

Habit #5: Keep a Gratitude List

The benefits linked to gratitude are one of the most beautiful things about life itself. Whilst a whole book can be written on all the endless benefits, I would just outline a few. It opens the door for better relationships, improves physical health, psychological health, enhances empathy and reduces aggression, helps you sleep better, increases mental strength and boosts self-esteem. It just simply makes us happy; if there were a key to happiness, this would be it.

Saying ‘thank you’ for all that we have and experience, doing it often and actually writing it down is the most important habit of all.

Aliya by Emine Suleyman is out now, priced £25 in hardback. Visit www.planmyvision.co.uk