Goal setting for the new year: 6 tips to make 2017 your best year yet!

Making plans and resolutions for a new year can be empowering. The decision to make a fresh, new start and improve certain areas of your life, can give you that heady, I-run-the-world, feeling.

Unfortunately, life gets in the way, and we fall off the wagon, despite our best intentions. So much so, that many of us decide that new year resolutions are not worthwhile.

However, carefully planned for in a measurable way, new year resolutions can be a powerful way to improve and grow, year after year. The trick is to identify areas of improvement and create concrete, measurable steps to help you reach your goals.

Below are six areas you can focus on to make 2017 the year you crush all your goals and come out on top.

These recommendations are mostly general, so feel free to customize per your specific situation and needs.

1.       Kick a Bad Habit: We all struggle with at least one habit that has cost us opportunities in the past and held us back. In fact, the average person has several poor habits that hinder them from being our best selves. In 2017, decide to get rid of these habits for good, but don’t pick more than two at a time to focus on, to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Perhaps you need to kill procrastination. Instead of saying ‘I will stop procrastinating’ get more specific and say 'I will create weekly to-do lists and assign deadlines to each item'. This way, your efforts are measurable and putting it in writing helps to keep you accountable.

2.       Learn a new skill or improve an existing one: continuous improvement a definite path to growth for us as individuals and professionals. Determine what new skills you need to learn to boost your career and commit to it acquiring it. A great way would be signing up for a course, or allocating specific times to practice and hone your existing skills. Again, you will need to set tangible and measurable goals.

3.       Pick a role model to emulate: Learning from someone who has qualities we admire is a great way to better ourselves. Role models need not be larger than life figures. It could be someone in your field of expertise who is doing well. Being part of an awesome coworking community like CapitalSquare makes it easy to connect with great talent and accomplished people.

4.       Read a great book: Books are great ways to improve knowledge and gain wisdom. Perhaps there’s a certain book you’d love to read, but you keep putting it off because of the time required. Digest it one chapter at a time over a specified period. Again, it helps to set aside time to do so, otherwise, you might never get to finish it. A great read we recommend is Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman a Nobel laureate in Economics and Psychology.

5.       Try something new: Nothing makes life richer than new experiences and great memories. This year visit a place you’ve never been, try out new food or explore a new genre of music. Trying out new things keeps your mind agile and boosts creativity, so this is a great way to have fun and improve yourself at the same time.

6.       Take Stock of your progress: Peter Drucker says that only the things that get measured, get improve. Take the time every now and then, to review your life, career and goals periodically. This will help you determine how well you’re doing, what is working and what needs to be changed, so you can adjust where necessary.

What goals are you hoping to achieve in 2017? What are your tips for making sure you achieve them? Do share with us in the comments.

 

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These 5 habits will boost your productivity AND help you stay healthy

The world recently marked World Diabetes Day, with activities focused on increasing awareness about this killer disease. With speculations that a large number of cases go undiagnosed until its debilitating consequences set in, diabetes has become a global public health concern. This is particularly worrisome, as Diabetes could lead to severe disabilities, including blindness.

Even more worrisome is the fact that modern lifestyle habits such as poor diet, high stress levels and a generally sedentary lifestyle is a major contributing factor to the prevalence of the disease. Pulling long hours at work, sitting at your desk all day and eating too many processed foods, are all typical of the modern day professional.

Ironically, not only does this kind of lifestyle put you at risk for many life-threatening health problems, it affects your productivity in the long term too. 

Below are a few habits that are not only beneficial for your health, but for your productivity at work too:

Regular excercise: the benefits of regular exercise are much more than just looking good. Regular exercise boosts mental alertness, increases stamina and wards off many degenerative diseases. Thirty minutes of moderate exercise daily, will reduce your diabetes risk by forty percent.

Inactivity, on the other hand, predisposes you to obesity and a host of other health issues. A sedentary lifestyle negatively impacts immunity and energy levels, which means, even more days off work. 

Proper nutrition: As this HBR article proves, the right kind of nutrition is essential for optimal performance at work. Eating right, will give your brain the right kind of fuel you need throughout the day at work.

 on the other hand, a diet consisting primarily of refined carbs and saturated fats means that your energy levels are not sustained throughout the day, making you reach for even more unhealthy snacks. Not only is this bad for your productivity, but this also increases your risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease, over time.

Take the time to fuel your body with the right kind of food, and your health and work will thank you.

Adequate sleep: while many entrepreneurs pride themselves on being able to function with little sleep, it is too steep a price to pay for success in just one area of your life.

Not only do poor sleep habits diminish your ability to function optimally, it raises your stress levels, sets off poor eating habits and predisposes you to many health issues, including type-2 diabetes. Make getting quality sleep every night, a priority

Stress management:  Stress is not necessarily a bad thing. It is our inbuilt warning system that something is out of balance. At the very least, stress can be a source of motivation.

When stress levels get out of hand, however, heart rates and blood pressure sky-rockets. If this continues on a consistent basis, you risk developing heart disease and diabetes.

Learn to disconnect from work mode, and cultivate other areas of your life that bring you happiness.

Regular health checks: An ounce of prevention is better than a ton of cure. Annual health checks are an important way to ensure that everything is fine and problems are discovered early.

Blood sugar, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure are a few indicators for many major health issues including diabetes and should be checked from time to time.

 

Taking the time to include these habits in your daily routine, will pay off in more ways than one.

 

 

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Managing demanding clients: 4 tips for keeping them happy

 

The customer is king and your success as a business owner is dependent on your ability to deliver and even exceed customer expectations. Without customers, willing to shell out their hard-earned cash for what you have to offer, you might as well be playing at a hobby

In an ideal world, every interaction with a customer is positive and all your clients are smiley, happy bunnies. In reality, though, you will most certainly have to deal with the occasional client who is not so easy to work with.

the trick is to anticipate potential issues before they even arise and have a plan in place to prevent them. The tips below will help you avoid problems or resolve a difficult situation when it arises

Let them know they matter to you: Many times, that high-maintenance client is just looking for attention. They feel that they only get their money’s worth when they make you jump through hoops. You can avoid this altogether, by staying in touch. Call them every now and then to see how they’re enjoying your product/service. Give them the occasional perk or freebie. If you find ways to show them they matter to you, they are less likely to become a thorn in your flesh

Keep your client informed about what you are doing for them: this is particularly important if your work is project based. Don’t make your client chase you for updates. Take the initiative and give them feedback every step of the way. This ensures that you are always on the same page and they know exactly what you are doing, so they never have to question the value you are providing.

 

Show them that you are invested in their success: If a customer believes that you genuinely desire their success and are not just after making a sale, they are unlikely to be difficult. Provide outstanding customer service, even after you have made the sale. Resolve any issues and answer questions as quickly as possible. Your customer is truly king. Treat them like royalty.

As much as possible, document everything: This will ensure that all parties involved are clear about expectations and save you a lot of headaches. Make sure that everything is documented, agreed upon and signed off on. Indeed, this might save your neck, should you ever has to deal with a less than scrupulous client

 

While these are broad recommendations and might not be an exact fit for every business or client relationship, they will help you make every client interaction as painless as possible.

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So you want to build a startup.

So you want to build a startup.

From experience, I've learned that starting something does not always mean you'll complete it and most times this is mostly because of lack of a perfect structure and image. I've taken time to observe a couple of people and companies that have started and are still thriving and I was able to pick seven things that have helped them to build a successful startup

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Mentorship in Business

Mentorship in Business

George Lucas in an episode of star wars said “Mentors have a way of seeing more of our faults than we would like. It's the only way we grow”. If you had the opportunity of discussing with a successful business person, you’ll most likely get to know how beneficial having a mentor in the course of growing their business was to them.

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Member Spotlight: Moses Ayeyemi of Affordable Lekki homes

Member Spotlight: Moses Ayeyemi of Affordable Lekki homes

CapitalSquare member spotlight serves to highlight and provide visibility to our members with regards to their career path, contributions and experience with CapitalSquare. We have a lot of amazing members working out of CapitalSquare, and because they are so great, we feature one each month. This month's spotlight turns to  Moses Ayeyemi, Client Relations officer at Affordable Lekki homes.

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Best business practices and tools to help you achieve them

Best business practices and tools to help you achieve them

Starting your own business is only one step. Making sure your business succeeds, however, can be quite daunting. This is why as an entrepreneur, it is  important to imbibe the best business practices as well as adopt tools to make them easily achievable. Doing this will not only help you be your most productive self, it could be thing to set you apart from competitors and put you in a league of your own.

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5 mantras to achieve productivity

5 mantras to achieve productivity

As a Freelancer or Entrepreneur, it's easy to get carried away with doing so much. During the day, you are so busy but at the end of the day, you find it hard to account for what you've been able to achieve. If this sounds like you, these mantras will transform you from slacker to game changer in no time.   

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