Advertising

8 Successful Habits that Lead to a Winning Mindset

8 Successful Habits that Lead to a Winning Mindset
Advertising

What makes a person successful?

What sorts of successful habits do they cultivate?

While there are a myriad of self-help strategies out there, focusing on mindset is one of the most important.

Advertising

Mindset determines your attitude when walking into any situation. Many “lucky” people only have a positive mindset to guide them. A negative mindset, alternatively, can cause a host of problems for people.

These are 8 successful habits that you can use to think yourself successful.

1. Affirmations

Think some positive thoughts about yourself. Eg. “I’m going to achieve my goal”. “I am a powerful, confident person”.

Advertising

The most effective time to do affirmations is first thing in the morning. That way, the benefits carry on throughout your day. Need some more examples? Here are 100 positive affirmations that cover all areas of life.

2. Negative visualization

Born out of the ancient Greek philosophy of stoicism, negative visualization involves picturing yourself losing what you have. While that doesn’t sound positive, it’s a useful exercise. For example, imagine your car vanished out of the driveway and you weren’t able to replace it. Really imagine how that would affect your life. Next time you jump in your car, you’ll be grateful to have it. How is this a successful habit? You’ll begin to treat where you are in life as a gift. Your problems will be of small consequence because you’ll be so grateful for all the things going right.

3. Choosing love

According to Harvard researchers, “Happiness is love. Full stop.” Choosing to have loving relationships in our lives is a big key to success and happiness. When it comes to love, you’re much more likely to get after you give. Spend some time on building loving relationships with friends, family, and even your pets.

Advertising

4. Gratitude

This habit is all about seeing the positive things in life. Being in a constant state of gratitude is what helps people carry on even in the toughest of times. Developing this mindset is as simple as keeping a gratitude journal. Simply write down three positive encounters that you had a part in creating, everyday. Your brain will begin to recognize positive situations unfolding and you can take full advantage of them. Gratitude also insulates you from the negativity in the world. If you only notice the bad things happening in life, it’s going to cause you stress.

5. Solution-oriented

Framing is the concept of viewing things from different perspectives. Most of us get stuck in a problem framework, where we see the problem and don’t search for solutions. A successful habit is to shift into using a solutions-based perspective. When a problem arises, don’t complain, dwell, or try to place blame. Simply start thinking of solutions to the problem and work at getting things back on track. Not only will this make you valuable in the eyes of others, it’s going to make you feel capable and confident.

6. Thinking flexibly

There’s a reason stubbornness is not considered a virtue. Inflexible people don’t lead effective lives. The more flexible you are, the more you will succeed. Consider this quote from Thomas Edison:

Advertising

“I have not failed 700 times. I have not failed once. I have
succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have
eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will
work.”

Thomas Edison had a flexible way of thinking about failure. You can use the same concept to any roadblock you might encounter. Are problems insurmountable obstacles or merely challenges for you to overcome?

7. Curiosity

Being intensely curious is a massive part of success. Look at the most successful people today and this is a common trait you will find across all of them. Cultivating a curiosity mindset requires that you ask lots of questions, learn new skills wherever you can, and search for the silver lining in failure. You walk into new challenges, just to see if there’s some value to extract. You need curiosity to spot the opportunities that others won’t see and ultimately, to lead a fulfilling life.

Advertising

8. Optimistic

We can’t be positive all the time but taking on an optimistic mindset is still worthwhile. Life rewards people who delay gratification and grind away at tasks. Without an optimistic mindset, you’re bound to give up early and often. You need to believe that the journey is worthwhile. It takes more than just thinking positive to adopt an optimistic mindset. It involves avoiding excessive negativity (like what can often be found on the evening news) and surrounding yourself with other optimists.

The reality is that we get one shot at life. A great mindset is the essential ingredient to a successful life. These successful habits will teach you to maintain an optimal mindset, regardless of the situation you find yourself in.

More by this author

Sharing Your Goal Will Reduce Your Chance of Reaching It 8 Successful Habits that Lead to a Winning Mindset 9 Scientific Ways To Fall Asleep Much Faster

Trending in Productivity

1 5 Values of an Effective Leader 2 How to Motivate People Around You and Inspire Them 3 The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work) 4 30 Practical Ideas to Create Your Best Morning Routine 5 Is People Management the Right Career Path for You?

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

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)
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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!

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

More on Building Habits

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Advertising

Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

Read Next