Jonathan Dwoskin
By Jonathan Dwoskin

Monthly challenges help keep our brains healthy and aware.

It’s always great to close out a year and start a fresh, new one. The same can be said with a fiscal year, a quarter or a month in any business. Regardless which of these you are beginning — including a new and, most likely, improved goal — we must remember that what got us to where we are will not get us to where we want to go. This is a simple concept many people have a hard time grasping because with new comes an increase in discipline, resilience and seeing things through new lenses.

Here are three ways we can make sure our new lenses bring us the clarity we need to thrive and achieve our goals.

Increase our Awareness

We must take a hard look at the limiting beliefs that continually get us stuck in our business, with our people and our ability to grow our own leadership skills. This requires us to look introspectively and evaluate ourselves first, not just those around us.

Studies show that we need 7-16 minutes a day where we turn off all external stimuli and tune internally for deep thinking and/or to think about nothing. Our brain needs time to process and simply not be so overworked all the time. We must pay attention to keeping our brain healthy.

A Monthly Challenge:

Take 7-16 minutes each day to do nothing. Go for a walk without your iPhone, sit in a chair daydreaming without your phone nearby and/or make up your own routine that allows you to unplug. This may also be great to incorporate into your company’s culture. Show your people you really care about them by paying them to daydream and take care of their internal world. I think you may be surprised by the results!

Understanding and Overcoming your Limiting Beliefs

We all have them, yet many of us don’t even know what they are, nor do we want to know what they are. That being said, if we want to grow, we must know what our limiting beliefs are.

According to Body, Mind and Mouth, we have nearly 50,000 thoughts a day and most of them are negative. How are we supposed to grow our business when our own thoughts and mindset are holding us back? This is unacceptable.

A Monthly Challenge:

Every time you think, say or hear yourself saying or echoing a negative thought, I want you to say to yourself or quietly, “shhhh.” The thought process here is simple: If you are the one filling your own brain with these negative beliefs, then you are the one that needs to tell yourself to be quiet. A simple “shhh” will get that started and begin to stop you in your tracks. You can even say to yourself: “Shhh, say/think something positive right now and release the negative thoughts.” I know this exercise is not easy, but you need to start somewhere.

Get Unstuck

It’s common for most people to not even know if or where they are stuck. How many times do you feel like the Dunkin’ Donuts guy and say or think to yourself: “Time to make the donuts!”

Research shows that 80 percent of Americans see themselves as “creatures of habit” and many have not changed their schedules in more than 10 years. I’m a big believer in habits that work in the growth of your business, life and mindset. That being said, what habits and schedules have not changed for you, but should? This is an important question to know where you may be stuck and need to get unstuck.

A Monthly Challenge:

Take 15 minutes this week and do the following:

  • Make a list of three areas in your business where you may be stuck.
  • Write about what you do.
  • Write about what you believe you should be doing.
  • Highlight the areas where you need to grow.
  • Once you highlight those areas,create three specific and measurable leading activities to begin your journey of getting unstuck.
  • Create a 30-day plan and begin taking action today .

Tap into your hunger, drive and courage to have    a year of significant growth. In order to do this, you must:

  • Spend time increasing your awareness.
  • Don’t let your own mind get in your way.
  • Pay attention to where you are stuck and the action steps needed to create change.

None of this is easy, but it’s important for the growth of your mind, your business and your soul. When you do the work internally, the external work gets easier because you and your business matter.

Jon Dwoskin is a business coach and executive adviser who grows businesses. He is the author of “The Think Big Movement.” Visit for more or email him at