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12 Things You Can Do Every Day To Become Highly Successful

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12 Things You Can Do Every Day To Become Highly Successful

Success is defined many ways. Financial, relationship and philanthropic success are just a few ways we can measure success. How does someone become successful in their goals? Here are 12 things you can do to help you achieve success.

1. Plan your day the night before

Stephen Covey stated in his book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People that you should review the coming day the night before. This way you have already created a mental map of how tomorrow will flow. You can make sure you have the information for your meetings and if you need to add other activities you can know where you may have time. By planning your day the night before you are being proactive and not reactive.

2. Create a “to do” list

Okay, so you have just planned your day. Any thoughts pop up? What main topic were you going to cover in that customer meeting? Make a note. Were you low on milk this morning at breakfast? Grab some on the way home from work if you forgot to already. Any calls you need to make? Write it down. If you create a list of things you want to accomplish the next day you have a greater chance of accomplishing them.

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3. Get a good night sleep

This is easier to do after you have planned your day, feel comfortable with what you have to accomplish tomorrow and then can clear your mind of it. You won’t have to lay in bed trying to keep straight in your head what you have to do tomorrow because you have a list. You should also sleep no less than eight hours and make sure you go to bed about the same time every night. If you do like to read before bed do it somewhere other than your bed.

4. Get up earlier than you need to

Getting ready for work in the morning always seems to take longer than we think. Then there is traffic, weather and parking to deal with. If you give yourself extra time you will be more present in the moment when you load your car or computer bag and the chances of forgetting something is reduced. You will also be more relaxed when you reach your destination. Nothing says failure like a rushed, disorganized sweaty guy running into a meeting late.

5. Read

You have been hearing this since elementary school. It doesn’t matter what you read. You can read the Wall Street Journal for 45 minutes a day or a novel at night before you go to bed, just not in your bed. You can read business or books about hobbies. The point is that you read. Reading increases our vocabulary, makes us better spellers and exercises the muscle that is our brain… Well, the brain is an organ, but you get the point.

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6. Set goals

A goal is a dream with a timeline. Not only do you need to set goals, but set different sized goals. If your goal is start your own company you need to set goals about gaining skills that will help you run a small business. Start by getting a job in the industry and then try to get promoted in the first year. Or if your goal is to write a book set a goal of having a certain number of chapters done by a certain date.

7. Measure your goals

How do you know if you are on track if you don’t measure your goals? If you are six months into that job and things are not looking like a promotion is going to happen… Why? Did you underestimate how much you needed to learn? That’s fine – adjust your timeline. If you are not doing what you need to be doing think about why you have lost interest or momentum. Maybe this line of work is not for you?

8. Reflect

Our lives are a story, not a plan. A plan is linear and a story does not follow a straight path. Your life is a story with subplots and surprise characters. It is okay to reevaluate your goals and where you think you were headed and change direction. That is how you learn and figure out what you are good at doing.

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9. Get a mentor

A mentor should keep you honest. If you are not hitting your goals they should call you on it. You should have regular meetings with them and let them know what your goals are and the time frame you have given yourself to accomplish them.

10. Stay healthy

Sick people find it difficult to be successful because they are just trying to stay alive. Take care of yourself. Exercise, stretch and eat right. Exercise is a great way to keep you mind fresh by letting off stress. It can also give you time to gather your thoughts. Stretching is important because it keeps you from getting injured and then not being able to exercise. I am not talking about running a marathon – A long walk on a regular basis counts.

11. Focus

Multitasking is a lie. Successful people focus on what they are good at and leave everyone in their dust  Look at what you are interested in doing in life and see if you are good at it. If you are, you are done looking. You have found your ONE thing. See you on the other side!

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12. Rinse and repeat

Consistency is what makes people successful. I’m sure you have all had that coach who told you, “what you do in practice, you do in a game.” That person is a genius, listen to them. Practice makes perfect… fake it ’till you make it. Whatever saying you want to use it all means the same thing. Once you have found your one thing keep working on getting better and better at it. How do you do that? Start with number one on this list and do all twelve steps over again, day after day until it becomes second nature. It takes 21 days to form a habit.

Featured photo credit: http://www.self-inspiration.com/ via yahoo.com

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Last Updated on October 21, 2021

How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

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How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

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Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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