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Five Gifts You Can Give Yourself That Don’t Cost a Thing

Five Gifts You Can Give Yourself That Don’t Cost a Thing

This time of year can be so stressful and busy, with holiday obligations and commitments to keep while continuing to run your business. Make sure you take the time to give yourself some gifts.

No, I don’t mean the kind that come from a store. Here are the top five gifts you can give to yourself that won’t cost you anything.

1) The gift of time.

Are you looking back at 2019 wondering where the time went and why you didn’t complete the big projects to grow your business that you had planned? As business owners, we often get so caught up in the day-to-day that we do not leave time for strategy, projects, and big-picture thinking.

Now is the time to change that for this year. The most successful businesspeople actually schedule time into their schedule for strategy. If you have a goal you want to accomplish - whether it is writing a book or running a marathon - it doesn’t just happen. You need to set aside time each day or week to move closer toward the completion of that goal.

Tip: I’m a big fan of author Laura Vanderkam and her philosophy on prioritizing time. Check her out.

[Related: 5 Things Highly Productive People Do]

2) The gift of help.

Where are you spending your marketing dollars for your business? Is there a way you can reallocate them so that you can delegate some tasks and take things off your plate for 2020?

For example, do you pay for an ad that hasn’t netted you any business? You could reallocate those resources into using a part time VA (virtual assistant).

Maybe you could hire a bookkeeper. Maybe it’s a personal task you can reallocate monies toward that would also give you more time to grow your business - for example, a monthly housecleaning service or meal delivery. 

3) The gift of no.

Did you have a plan in place in 2019 to decide how you spent your time? How many family events did you attend? How much time did things take that you agreed to do for your child’s class? How many boards or committees do you sit on?

It is important as we near the end of the year to look at whether saying "yes" to all of these things meant saying "no" to yourself and your own well-being. If it did, you need to say "no" now to these activities in order to say "yes" to those things that are more important to you.

Whether it is time for date night, barre class, learning a new skill, or something else, it is okay to say "no" to some of the things that are unnecessary and taking your time in order to say "yes" to those things are personally more fulfilling to you.

[Related: How to Confidently Say "No" at Work]

4) The gift of fun.

Did you know there is actually science that supports the idea that the further in advance you plan an outing or a trip, the happier you will be? This is because there will be a longer time to look forward to the outing or trip.

I went to London last May and planned the trip a year in advance. Then I took time out every week to look at excursions, museums, restaurant recommendations, and more. Each week it made me more excited to plan out my time away.

Another added benefit of this method is that many business owners do not take vacation or time off. Even people that have a regular 9-to-5 lose paid vacation days each year because they don’t plan. If you plan well in advance, you will have things to look forward to that will make you happier, more focused, and more productive.

5) The gift of letting go.

Just because we have always done something does not mean we have to continue to do it.

Is there a networking group you’ve been attending for years that has not netted you any ROI as far as clients or customers? It is time to give it up. You can always make plans to see those people you have developed relationships with, but don’t spend your time going to meetings that are not serving you.

Are there people in your life that are negative or take a lot of your time? How are those relationships serving you? Is it a give-and-take or one-sided relationship? As the saying goes, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

As you are trying to get through all your holiday tasks and obligations, don’t forget to put yourself on the list. Take a day to look at the five gifts outlined here and start off 2020 with a renewed spirit.

[Related: Two Questions to Maximize Your Achievements by Year's End]

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Jennifer Lynn Robinson, Esquire is the CEO of Purposeful Networking. Her services include consulting, keynotes, and workshops for individuals, law firms, companies, non-profits, universities, and conferences to help build strategic networking skills. You can learn more at purposefulnetworking.com and follow her at @areyounetworked.


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