As the year closes, it is often easy to focus on the negative aspects of your business: hard things you faced, goals you didn’t meet, or profits you didn’t earn. Waiting for your December data and celebrating the holidays create the perfect time of year for entrepreneurs to intentionally reflect and rest. This puts you in the best position possible to plan and set goals in January.
Everything slows down in December. While you probably won’t increase the bottom line, catapult revenue, build new offers or products, or have all the data to make decisions for the new year, you can take time to intentionally rest.
This is crucial because you need to rejuvenate your mind and body from a busy, full year. Intentional rest also prevents burnout before the new year, reminds you what matters most in life as well as the “why” of your business, and allows you time to reflect on the impact you made this year on your clients, team members, and vendors. It often results in renewed creativity and fun energy for the business in the new year.
Intentional rest is not just about taking a break. It is about consciously choosing activities and practices that contribute to overall well-being and fulfillment. So, what does intentional rest look like for a busy entrepreneur?
Let’s look at some fantastic ways for a busy entrepreneur to rest. Each idea is followed by some questions to help you practice this form of intentional rest. Remember, your body and mind need this!
Designate specific times or days for digital detox. Disconnect from work emails, social media, and other digital devices to create a mental break and foster a more present and restful atmosphere. Entrepreneurs are afraid of this because they think they might miss something, but walking away from everything digital for a day, 2 days, or a weekend gives your brain a mental break and allows you to be more present in your life.
Questions for Reflection: How does the thought of taking a digital detox feel? Why do you feel this way about it? What benefits do you see in taking a digital detox?
Clearly communicate boundaries with clients, team members, and vendors. Set expectations for response times and make it known that there are specific periods when work-related activities will be limited.
Questions for Reflection: What boundaries would you like to create for the next 3-4 weeks? What will these boundaries protect? Your time, energy, thoughts?
Prioritize spending quality time with family and friends. Engage in activities that bring joy and build connections. Whether it’s a cozy dinner, a movie night, or a nature walk, intentional time with loved ones contributes to your emotional well-being and allows for moments, memories, and conversations. We don’t want to be so busy that we miss out on what we value the most.
Questions for Reflection: Who would you like to spend quality time with? What does quality time look like to you? How does the idea of this make you feel right now?
Engage in self-care rituals that promote relaxation and rejuvenation. This could be long baths, practicing mindfulness or meditation, indulging in a favorite book, or trying a new recipe.
Questions for Reflection: How does your body feel? What does your body need right now? How do you need to care for it?
Reconnect with hobbies and activities that bring joy and relaxation to help you intentionally rest. Whether it’s painting or gardening or cooking or any other favorite pastime, engaging in activities that provide a sense of fulfillment can be rejuvenating and fight against burnout.
Questions for Reflection: What hobbies do you love or want to try, but haven’t had time for? What activities feel like fun but do not technically contribute to your daily responsibilities (and may feel somewhat selfish)? How much time would you need to engage with one of these hobbies/activities?
Use quiet moments for mindful reflection. This can involve journaling about the past year, expressing gratitude, and setting positive intentions for the upcoming year. Reflecting on personal and professional growth fosters a sense of accomplishment.
Questions for Reflection: What are you grateful for? Which is your personal favorite way of reflecting? What would you like to spend time reflecting on?
Delegate tasks and responsibilities where possible. Whether in personal or business matters, outsourcing or seeking help allows female entrepreneurs to lighten their load and focus on what truly matters.
Questions for Reflection: Is there something you’d love to outsource? Who on your established team can do this with a little training? (If there is no one who can do that for you, that is something you need to work towards in 2024.)
Spend time outdoors and connect with nature in order to intentionally rest. Whether it is a winter hike, a walk in the park, or simply sitting in the backyard, being in nature has proven benefits for mental and emotional well-being.
Questions for Reflection: What one place outside, but near your home, that brings you joy? When can you go there? Will you take someone?
Allow for unstructured time without a rigid schedule. This flexibility provides the freedom to follow spontaneous interests, relax without a sense of urgency, and enjoy life at a more leisurely pace.
Questions for Reflection: Is there a day in the near future that you can completely ditch clocks and your schedule? How would you prefer to spend this day? What would make this challenging?
Take intentional time to reflect on personal and professional achievements from the past year. Celebrate milestones, both big and small, and acknowledge the hard work and dedication that contributed to these successes.
Questions for Reflection: What have you accomplished or achieved in the last year? (Think of people you’ve impacted, activities you’ve done, places you’ve visited, relationships you’ve formed or changed, your body, your mindset, and your heart.)
Cultivate a practice of gratitude. Regularly express positive aspects of life, business, and relationships. This mindset shift can contribute to a more positive and contented holiday experience.
Questions for Reflection: What are you grateful for?
We don’t want to be entrepreneurs who just chase something without a clear direction. We want to create the best conditions for planning a new year. And while December is a great time to prioritize intentional rest, you can do it any time of year that you have a break in your schedule.
Taking time to intentionally rest will help you gear up for setting goals for the new year. While resting, take moments to consider personal and business goals, values, and aspirations. This planning can provide a sense of direction and purpose for the new year.
Do you love this kind of encouragement for female entrepreneurs? It’s what the Society of Women Business Owners is all about! Become a SOWBO member to have access to 1:1 coaching, group training sessions, networking socials, a carefully curated resource library, and much more!!