Unplug, sleep more, empower: 8 entrepreneurs share their 2019 resolutions

As we wipe the slate clean on 2018, consider some of these resolutions from successful entrepreneurs.
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By Julianne Pepitone

Changing habits is hard, whether it’s creating healthy new ones or breaking the old. But the fresh start of a new year is a rare chance for a mental reset, so it’s no wonder that New Year’s resolutions are a year-end tradition for many.

If you need a little inspiration for creating your own improvement plan for the next 12 months, check out what these eight women entrepreneurs will do to create a happier, healthier and even more successful 2019:

Lisa Sun, founder and CEO of Gravitas, maker of inclusive women’s work wear

Lisa Sun, founder and CEO of Gravitas.Georgia Nerheim

Like many people, Sun has failed to achieve some of her past New Year’s resolutions. This year she looked back and realized “the ones that haven't stuck were tasks — ‘I will exercise every day’— and the ones that have stuck tapped into my core beliefs or set a mindset — ‘I will treat my body like it belongs to someone I love.’”

With that in mind, “I am grounding my goals in intentions” for 2019, Sun told Know Your Value. Her first intention is to live life to the fullest. "I will not shy away from the uncomfortable; challenges are opportunities to exhibit the best of myself," she said. "I will be an active, not passive, explorer of new experiences.”

Sun’s second intention is “to empower others' success,” in part through self-care. “I love seeing others be happy and fulfilled. I've recently learned that for me to live this value to the fullest, I too need to be centered, healthy and happy — which means taking time for myself so that I can give to others with my best self.”

Elizabeth Atkins, co-owner of Two Sisters Writing and Publishing, which prints books by authors of color, women and those who celebrate diversity through stories

Elizabeth Atkins, founder of Two Sisters Writing and Publishing.Courtesy of Elizabeth Atkins

“In 2019, I am no longer desperately seeking someone else to save the day, whether that’s a client, a lover, an investor, an agent, a media person,” Atkins told Know Your Value.

This year, Atkins said she finally learned her true value, and she plans to build on that momentum: “[I now] walk in my own power and know that I’m already a star from the inside out. And amazing people and opportunities began showing up out of the blue. I will be walking in this power into next year and the rest of my life.”

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Tiffany Breeding, co-owner ofStudio 2, a fitness and nutrition center in Nashville and author of “The Metabolic Makeover”

Tiffany Breeding, author of "The Metabolic Makeover."Johanna Wickham

Next year, Breeding is determined to have more fun. “As a business owner, wife, daughter and competitor, I spend so much time working on my personal and professional growth, but I often forget about the importance of relationships, social and emotional wellness,” she told Know Your Value. “This is where growth really happens.”

Breeding, who tends to live in yoga pants and tank tops due to her job, also wants to find her flair.

“There are I times I want to dress up, but I have no idea how. This year I want to learn more about trends and fashions and try some out,” she said.

Anu Duggal, founding partner, Female Founders Fund

Anu Duggal of Female Founders Fund speaks at the Know Your Value conference in San Francisco on Dec. 1.Miller Hawkins

Duggal splits her resolutions into personal and professional, and this year she created three for each category. On the personal side she plans to “create a phone-free bedroom environment, incorporate acupuncture into a regular routine and throw a dinner party every month,” she told Know Your Value.

Her professional resolutions are centered on prioritizing what matters. Duggal plans to start each day by setting key objectives and planning accordingly, and she also resolved to “create one meeting-free day a week and explore new avenues to meet female founders.”

Kate Westervelt, founder and CEO of MOMBOX, which makes postpartum care kits

Kate Westervelt, founder of MOMBOX.Jayna Cowal

For Westervelt, simply putting the phone down isn’t enough. “In 2019, I resolve to put my phone not just down but out of sight between 5 and 8 p.m.,” she told Know Your Value. She won’t check it at all during that three-hour block, which she’s calling “my undisturbed mom hours."

Those hours “belong to my son, dinner conversation, eye contact with my husband and healthy home-cooked meals,” Westervelt added. “It holds space for the things loved ones have to say. It gives me a lot of balance to not glance down at my phone every 30 seconds.”

Jean Chatzky, financial editor of NBC’s “TODAY” and host of the podcast "HerMoney"

Jean Chatzky, financial editor of NBC's "TODAY."Ari Michelson / Photo Editor: Jane Clark, Styli

Chatzky has long thought about the importance of daily meditation, but something finally clicked when she moderated a financial panel at this year’s Know Your Value conference in San Francisco. “I got a boost from Amy Errett, the CEO and founder of [at-home hair dye company] Madison Reed,” who was on the panel, Chatzky told Know Your Value. “She mentioned she sets aside time for meditation, just as she does for her physical workouts.”

To kickstart the habit Chatzky downloaded the meditation app Headspace (another tip from Errett) and her resolution is “to stick with it through the new year.”

Robyn Sue Fisher, founder and CEO of Smitten Ice Cream

Robyn Sue Fisher of Smitten Ice Cream speaks at the Know Your Value conference in San Francisco on Dec. 1.Miller Hawkins

Smitten as a company has “big goals and dreams,” Fisher told Know Your Value. And “in order to make those become a reality, prioritization and delegation will be critical.”

For 2019, Fisher resolved to switch up the way she thinks about her never-ending to-do list: “Rather than struggling not to let any balls drop, aim to figure out which ones are glass and which ones are rubber,” she said. That’s key to her ability to “lead my team with energy and poise and live the values of Smitten.”

Stephanie Bagley, chief operating officer of Frequency, which is launching its first space for consciousness and connection in New York in early 2019

Stephanie Bagley, chief operating officer of Frequency.Kat Bagley
Stephanie Bagley, chief operating officer of Frequency.Kat Bagley

In 2019, Bagley will run her third New York City marathon, and she resolves to increase overall cardio time during her training all year to avoid aggravating an old injury. She also wants to save more money and “spend more time sharing money knowledge with my fellow ladies in an effort to help close the gender money gap.”

And when it comes to her social life, Bagley resolved to “say no more, and only say yes to attending or leading gatherings that foster genuine human connection and conversation, versus staying at the surface level.”