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An Ode To The Little Things in Life

Founders of top brands pay homage to the daily practices that keep them grounded

Welcome to 2020: the year (read: decade) that promises to be your best yet. But, here’s the thing: New Year’s resolutions have the potential to be highly problematic thanks to some unattainable, perfection-driven expectations.

Independent of the yearlong goals you may have set, the horribly trite saying still applies: “life happens when you least expect it,” and the reality of it is that while you are on a great quest for self-discovery, it is the small daily habits firing in the background that could offer the greatest impact. From how you spend your mornings and how you talk to yourself to who you share your energy with–these acts come to not only define our lives, but have the powerful ability to change it.

Below are little things, according to several of today’s most hard-working, passionate business founders that keep them grounded in the present. Whether it’s walking to work, sipping some tea, or silencing their cell phone, these little, daily rituals help these practitioner remain present, stay grounded, and live a fuller life. And although your ‘little thing’ might not look and feel the same as these founders’, the message is more prescriptive than it is literal. We may always be on the move–seeking, wanting, seemingly never finding–but that’s exactly why these practices should not be disregarded or prioritized lower in your life. It is not the big, hard, enormous factors that define us, but the little, beautiful things that beat out an incessant need for self-improvement and contribute to self-acceptance.

Cheers to making the little things really big things in 2020.

Ara Katz, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Seed: “I find great meaning in walking to work. It’s a time when I think about something I am trying to solve, creative ideation for a project we are working on, or call my Co-Founder before the day starts to talk through anything that’s come up in the last day. It also means I get the maximum morning time with my son in the morning, which I love.”

Kathrin Hamm, Founder, Bearaby: “I always try and take a small window of ‘me-time’ to create a space where I can feel calm and collected. At home, I turn the lights down, light a candle, sip some tea, and cuddle up under my Bearaby Napper. When my mind is racing, this practice slows me down and helps me reset for the day ahead.”

Danielle DuBoise, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Sakara Life: “On Sundays, I try and turn off my phone and focus in on my family—whether that’s playing music, making breakfast together, or reading to each other, it feels good to go back to basics and practice the art of staying present.”

Oli Walsh, Co-Founder, ASYSTEM: “Whenever I get home from work or travel, the moment my hand touches the front door handle, I say to myself, “Your day begins now.” I find it to be a simple and effective way to remind me to leave any baggage at the door and give my closest loved ones the energy and attention they deserve.”

Catharine Dockery, Founding Partner, Vice Ventures: “The most important part of my day is the email I get from my husband each morning. My husband works a job with very long hours at a bank, so every morning at around 6am he sends me a note since the time we have together is so limited. Each email is really different. For example, sometimes it’s a to-do list, sometimes it’s instructions on how to do or something differently, but each email always expresses me how much he loves me and how proud of me he is.”