3 Profitable New Year’s Resolutions for Southeast Asian Entrepreneurs

Sound mind, sound body

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BY Tanya Mariano - 29 Dec 2016

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

‘Tis the season to pause and reflect on what was and what you hope will be.

In 2017 set goals for these three important pillars in your life: physical, mental, and emotional. All are equally vital to the development of what we at Inc. Southeast Asia wish for our readers this coming year: a sound mind, body, and soul.


Quite a few entrepreneurs swear by the benefits of regular exercise.

Dominik Weil, co-founder of Bitcoin Vietnam, says it clears his mind and relieves stress. It helps Brian Foote, Zennya co-founder and COO, get through a slump and stay focused and energized, and Kalibrr CEO and co-founder Paul Rivera spends an hour at the gym in the morning, saying it’s also “a great time to actually spend thinking.”

Try creating a workout schedule and stick to it, even if – and perhaps especially if – you're feeling lazy. Or simply target to workout X number of times a week if a strict schedule isn't feasible.

Other goals that could make 2017 a better year for your body would be to eat healthier food and avoid fast food, get enough sleep, take more breaks at work, and walk more.

Just take care not to over-exert yourself. Listen to your body and respect its limits. Progress takes time, so patience is key.


Much has been said about the state of the mind and well being. External factors matter, of course, but sometimes, all it takes to make a positive change is a change in mindset.

Consider becoming more mindful of your choices, big and small. Maybe try meditating, which practitioners claim improves focus, reduces stress, and nurtures creativity. It even helped An Alcantara – a freelance writer, editor, clay artisan, and proprietor of Casa San Pablo, a bed-and-breakfast in the Philippines – make the leap from corporate world to entrepreneurship. In this Inc. Southeast Asia article, she says that sitting brought her closer to her true self, which then fueled what she calls her “reinvention.”

Try to seize opportunities for growth, too. Lessen the time you spend passively scrolling through your social media feeds, for instance, and try to read real books more, or sign up for a class. 


For emotional growth, one must “know thyself,” as the Ancient Greek aphorism instructs. This one requires a lot of reflection and the will to confront yourself squarely, warts and all.

Emotional awareness, as Nicolas Cole writes in Inc., “is what allows you to know what to say yes to and what to walk away from. Emotional awareness is what resolves conflicts, empowers others, and ultimately creates situations in which you thrive.”

Cultivate a habit of self-inquiry. For instance, Cole recommends journaling regularly. Becoming more vocal and upfront about your thoughts and emotions, and communicating these properly to others, could also help fuel emotional growth.

However you go about improving yourself on these three aspects, keep in mind that they are inextricably linked. Growth in one area will spill over into other areas, and so neglecting one will also negatively impact the rest.