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10 Mistakes Successful People Refuse To Make

10 Mistakes Successful People Refuse To Make

Successful people use many strategies to obtain and maintain high performance. Learn about these inspirational practices and look for ways to improve yourself starting this week.

1. They Don’t Start Their Day Without A Plan

While no plan is perfect, it is a vital tool to maintain focus. For example, many successful people use the 5 Minute Journal which asks yourself, “What are 3 things that would make today great?” Keeping to a small list of key tasks is a great way to plan your day. As an alternative, you can use a 3×5 index card to write your day’s top priorities. This is a method that author and entrepreneur Tim Ferriss has used for years.

2. They Don’t Focus on Perfection

Working toward perfection is often a trap — one that successful people have learned to avoid with practice. Instead of aiming for perfect, complete and deliver quality work. To learn more about this concept, read about the Learn Startup methodology. It is better to take chances, make mistakes, and learn to do better next time.

Resource6 Reasons Why Perfectionism Kills Your Productivity.

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3. They Don’t Obsess Over Failure

Successful people encounter failure as much as anyone else. However, they take the time to study the failure and learn how to do better next time. In the business world, continuous improvement is used to learn from errors and become more effective each time. Once you have extracted lessons and improved your ideas from failure, move forward with your life.

Learn More10 Great Lessons Highly Successful People Have Learned From Failure.

4. They Avoid Spending Time With Negative People

The people we surround ourselves with make a major impact on our outlook on life. For example, if you regularly train with an award winning coach, you are likely to be inspired to reach higher levels of performance. Unsuccessful people often struggle to see possibilities because they are surrounded by negative news and people constantly talking about negative events and opinions.

Resource9 Helpful Tips To Deal With Negative People.

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5. They Refuse To Slow Down During Slow Periods

From time to time, many companies have slow periods. For example, August and December are slow periods in many organizations because many people go on vacation. Instead, successful people start a summer project to learn new skills and improve the organization. During these slow periods, use the extra time to organize your work and take a course.

6. They Never Say, “That’s Not In My Job Description”

Unsuccessful people avoid work by citing their job description over and over again. In contrast, successful people push the boundaries at work to acquire new skills and abilities. After all, successful people are interested in growing their skills. Being inflexible at work means you are less likely to be promoted and receive interesting work assignments.

7. They Refuse To Become A Workaholic

Successful people know that work matters in making the world a better place and earning income. However, they also understand that it is only one part of a full life. That’s why it is important to pursue hobbies, spend quality time with your family, and work through your Bucket List.

Get Ideas To Start Your Bucket List – The Ultimate Bucket List: 60 Things You Should Do Before You Die.

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8. They Don’t Set Vague Goals

Successful people work to translate their dreams into concrete action. A properly written goal is easy to measure and has a deadline. Instead of vaguely thinking about earning more money, a better income goal might look like, “I will earn $100,000 in 2015.” You can apply the same approach to learning goals – instead of “learn Spanish,” you could set a goal to complete 2 Spanish courses this year.

If you are unsure about how to achieve your goals, consider taking a goal achievement course. I recommend Michael Hyatt’s course called 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever. I have used the course to conceive, set, and achieve multiple goals in 2015.

9. They Don’t Ignore Their Health

Successful people value and work on their health for multiple reasons. For example, they use exercise as a stress management technique. In addition, successful people invest time in seeking out regular appointments with dentists and their doctor. It is far cheaper and faster to spend a little bit of time on keeping up health, rather than waiting for a crisis to appear.

Resource11 Post-Workout Mistakes That Are Ruining Your Fitness Goals.

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10. They Don’t Coast On Their Knowledge

Knowledge is a valuable resource that needs to be renewed over time. That’s why successful people do not coast on the knowledge they learned years ago. Instead, they invest time and money to buy new books, attend conferences, and reflect on their experience. It is absolutely vital to seek out new knowledge, especially if you are a professional and want to grow your contribution over time.

Tip20 Places to Educate Yourself Online for Free.

Featured photo credit: Happiness/pixolga via pixabay.com

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Bruce Harpham

Bruce Harpham is a Project Management Professional and Founder and CEO of Project Management Hacks.

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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

Habits are hard to kill, and rightly so. They are a part and parcel of your personality traits and mold your character.

However, habits are not always something over-the-top and quirky enough to get noticed. Think of subtle habits like tapping fingers when you are nervous and humming songs while you drive. These are nothing but ingrained habits that you may not realize easily.

Just take a few minutes and think of something specific that you do all the time. You will notice how it has become a habit for you without any explicit realization. Everything you do on a daily basis starting with your morning routine, lunch preferences to exercise routines are all habits.

Habits mostly form from life experiences and certain observed behaviors, not all of them are healthy. Habitual smoking can be dangerous to your health. Similarly, a habit could also make you lose out on enjoying something to its best – like how some people just cannot stop swaying their bodies when delivering a speech.

Thus, there could be a few habits that you would want to change about yourself. But changing habits is not as easy as it seems.

In this article, you will learn why it isn’t easy to build new habits, and how to change habits.

What Makes It Hard To Change A Habit?

To want to change a particular habit means to change something very fundamental about your behavior.[1] Hence, it’s necessary to understand how habits actually form and why they are so difficult to actually get out of.

The Biology

Habits form in a place what we call the subconscious mind in our brain.[2]

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Our brains have two modes of operation. The first one is an automatic pilot kind of system that is fast and works on reflexes often. It is what we call the subconscious part. This is the part that is associated with everything that comes naturally to you.

The second mode is the conscious mode where every action and decision is well thought out and follows a controlled way of thinking.

A fine example to distinguish both would be to consider yourself learning to drive or play an instrument. For the first time you try learning, you think before every movement you make. But once you have got the hang of it, you might drive without applying much thought into it.

Both systems work together in our brains at all times. When a habit is formed, it moves from the conscious part to the subconscious making it difficult to control.

So, the key idea in deconstructing a habit is to go from the subconscious to the conscious.

Another thing you have to understand about habits is that they can be conscious or hidden.

Conscious habits are those that require active input from your side. For instance, if you stop setting your alarm in the morning, you will stop waking up at the same time.

Hidden habits, on the other hand, are habits that we do without realizing. These make up the majority of our habits and we wouldn’t even know them until someone pointed them out. So the first difficulty in breaking these habits is to actually identify them. As they are internalized, they need a lot of attention to detail for self-identification. That’s not all.

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Habits can be physical, social, and mental, energy-based and even be particular to productivity. Understanding them is necessary to know why they are difficult to break and what can be done about them.

The Psychology

Habits get engraved into our memories depending on the way we think, feel and act over a particular period of time. The procedural part of memory deals with habit formation and studies have observed that various types of conditioning of behavior could affect your habit formations.

Classical conditioning or pavlovian conditioning is when you start associating a memory with reality.[3] A dog that associates ringing bell to food will start salivating. The same external stimuli such as the sound of church bells can make a person want to pray.

Operant conditioning is when experience and the feelings associated with it form a habit.[4] By encouraging or discouraging an act, individuals could either make it a habit or stop doing it.

Observational learning is another way habits could take form. A child may start walking the same way their parent does.

What Can You Do To Change a Habit?

Sure, habits are hard to control but it is not impossible. With a few tips and hard-driven dedication, you can surely get over your nasty habits.

Here are some ways that make use of psychological findings to help you:

1. Identify Your Habits

As mentioned earlier, habits can be quite subtle and hidden from your view. You have to bring your subconscious habits to an aware state of mind. You could do it by self-observation or by asking your friends or family to point out the habit for your sake.

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2. Find out the Impact of Your Habit

Every habit produces an effect – either physical or mental. Find out what exactly it is doing to you. Does it help you relieve stress or does it give you some pain relief?

It could be anything simple. Sometimes biting your nails could be calming your nerves. Understanding the effect of a habit is necessary to control it.

3. Apply Logic

You don’t need to be force-fed with wisdom and advice to know what an unhealthy habit could do to you.

Late-night binge-watching just before an important presentation is not going to help you. Take a moment and apply your own wisdom and logic to control your seemingly nastily habits.

4. Choose an Alternative

As I said, every habit induces some feeling. So, it could be quite difficult to get over it unless you find something else that can replace it. It can be a simple non-harming new habit that you can cultivate to get over a bad habit.

Say you have the habit of banging your head hard when you are angry. That’s going to be bad for you. Instead, the next time you are angry, just take a deep breath and count to 10. Or maybe start imagining yourself on a luxury yacht. Just think of something that will work for you.

5. Remove Triggers

Get rid of items and situations that can trigger your bad habit.

Stay away from smoke breaks if you are trying to quit it. Remove all those candy bars from the fridge if you want to control your sweet cravings.

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6. Visualize Change

Our brains can be trained to forget a habit if we start visualizing the change. Serious visualization is retained and helps as a motivator in breaking the habit loop.

For instance, to replace your habit of waking up late, visualize yourself waking up early and enjoying the early morning jog every day. By continuing this, you would naturally feel better to wake up early and do your new hobby.

7. Avoid Negative Talks and Thinking

Just as how our brain is trained to accept a change in habit, continuous negative talk and thinking could hamper your efforts put into breaking a habit.

Believe you can get out of it and assert yourself the same.

Final Thoughts

Changing habits isn’t easy, so do not expect an overnight change!

Habits took a long time to form. It could take a while to completely break out of it. You will have to accept that sometimes you may falter in your efforts. Don’t let negativity seep in when it seems hard. Keep going at it slowly and steadily.

More About Changing Habits

Featured photo credit: Mel via unsplash.com

Reference

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