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12 Things You Can Do Every Day To Become Highly Successful

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 July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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