Your business will stop growing when you do. Plain and simple. If you want your business to grow, you must also keep growing.

Because personal growth is a passion point for me, I’d love to give you the top five habits (Yes, that means actions that are done repeatedly, not once!) that will keep you growing.

Let’s dig in:

Pray specifically.

My prayers used to be pretty general: “Thank you, God, for everything You’ve given me. God, use me. God, help me pursue You in all things. God, be with my family.”

While those aren’t bad prayers, I’ve found praying specifically has helped me increase intimacy with the Lord as I speak with Him like my trusted Father. For example, just this morning, I was praying for my oldest, Noah. Instead of just asking God to protect him and guide him, here is part of my prayer from my journal:

“God, thank you so much for the responsibility of being Noah’s mom. Help me be the kind of earthly parent that continuously points him to You. God, I pray that He will accept Jesus Christ as His Savior at a young age and walk closely with You always. Help him see You in the big and little things. Use him as a leader at his school. Start tugging on his little heart now to see the influence he can have for Your glory. Give him friends who are pursuing You. Ban Satan from his life. Even now, give Noah the discernment to recognize Your voice.”

Prayer may not always change our circumstance, but prayer changes us. Let God mold You to be more like Him as you speak with Him daily.

Read daily.

First of all, read God’s Word daily. Not just books about His Word, but read the Bible. Every. Single. Day. There is no greater source of wisdom than our God Himself. His Word is the only word that has power. The Bible is not just words on a page. It’s instruction, encouragement and correction straight from our Heavenly Father. Go straight to the source for the best kind of growth.

Second, leaders are readers. I always say that my undergraduate degree in Communication Studies was the best degree for me to get because it taught me how to research and study. If there was something I didn’t know how to do, I learned how to locate resources that could equip me. That was a habit I developed in college that I’ve never stopped.

Between books in your field of business, books that address your weaknesses and sharpen your strengths, read daily. Some people will try to tell you how much. Here’s my advice:

Read until you get a nugget you need to implement. Some days, you may read a few chapters. Other days, you may only read a paragraph. But reading doesn’t change us; it’s doing what we read that brings change. So read until you’ve got something to do. Then do it.

Listen carefully.

First, of course, listen to God. Spending time with Him regularly will help you discern His voice. Prayer is a conversation. So after you pray specifically, pause to listen. Ask God to speak. He is not silent.

Next, develop the habit of listening to those around you. Have you ever complained about someone who listens too much? Of course you haven’t. Let’s not be guilty of talking so much that we miss out on the good God is doing in and through others. He created us to be better together. We should listen to others so we can learn from what God is teaching them, too.

Pursue discipline.

I’ve found that when I allow myself to be lazy in any area of my life, it typically has a domino effect. Staying disciplined ensures protection around the things that matter most.

Think about it. Plants come with instructions for growth. Some need light; others need shade. Some need water daily; some only need water every few days. But the bottom line is that growth works best under certain conditions.

I could probably make this one habit into at least eight different blog posts. But from your body to your mind, your emotions to your work, your time to your home, pursue living a disciplined life. Give yourself the best conditions for steady growth.

Stay challenged.

One of the quickest ways to stop growing is to allow yourself to get bored. The quickest boredom fix is to make sure you stay challenged. The longer you remain in your field, the more difficult this becomes. Tasks that used to challenge you become routine. Staying challenged requires more work the more you grow.

So just like anything I prioritize, challenge goes on my calendar. At the end of every month, I plan one thing for the following month that scares me. It’s never easy, and it’s always uncomfortable. But it keeps me challenged and prevents me from both boredom and burnout in a single swoop.

What habits encourage your personal growth? I’d love to hear the top habits that keep you growing!