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Last Updated on April 19, 2021

8 Ways Highly Successful People Carry out Successful Plans

8 Ways Highly Successful People Carry out Successful Plans

When you look around at people who have landed in a pile of success, it’s hard to imagine how they can possibly keep up with everything happening around them. Running a company or writing a novel can’t be that easy, can it? The truth is that they simply know how to create successful plans, which translates to successful goals.

“People of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.” Leonardo da Vinci

Highly successful people don’t wait and hope for desired results. Success is never accidental for them because they know how to plan for success. They know that it’s the direct result of preparing, planning, and aligning their time with their most important goals.

Here are eight ways that successful people make the most of their time.

1. Saving Decision Making for Important Things

Obama only wears blue or gray suits, Zuckerberg’s uniform is a gray shirt and jeans, and Steve Jobs wore blue jeans and a black turtleneck almost every day. Highly successful people simplify their wardrobe and minimize the amount of decisions they make on trivial matters.

Only a few decisions truly matter when you want to plan to succeed. They’ve internalized that every decision doesn’t have to be optimal or perfect, which frees them to make quick decisions most of the time. They automate and simplify decisions.

They don’t think about whether they will go to the gym, deliberate about what they will eat for breakfast, or think about what time they will work out every day. They use their willpower and flex their decision making muscles on the highest impact decisions they face each day.

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Making good decisions involves having a consistent sense of focus. If you struggle with this, check out Lifehack’s Free Guide: End Distraction and Find Your Focus.

2. Having a Consistent Morning Routine

Successful people create momentum at the start of the day through consistent morning routines. They use successful plans to complete a combination of the following activities in the morning: meditate, read, journal, exercise, prioritize their day, envision a successful day, and eat a nutritious breakfast to fuel their day.

For example, motivational speaker Tony Robbins takes a cold plunge[1] to reset his system and reduce inflammation in the morning. He also does breathing exercises and expresses gratitude during a ten-minute priming exercise. What we focus on expands in our minds. Through his morning routine, he chooses to expand gratitude over fear and anxiety.

A precise formula that produces an effective morning routine doesn’t exist. Highly successful people experiment with different activities until they find the morning routine that fits their lifestyle and sets them up for success and motivation.

3. Having a Consistent Nightly Routine

“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” -Alexander Graham Bell

Successful people don’t wait until the morning to prepare for a successful day; instead, they start the night before.

They unplug from their devices, read, meditate, and plan for the next day. They wake up relaxed and stress-free because they have already designed the blueprint for a productive day.

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Successful people understand that successful plans can only be implemented when they’re coming off a good night’s sleep.

4. Planning Ahead Thoroughly

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” -Abraham Lincoln

One of the major differences between highly successful people and average performers is detailed and strategic planning. Successful people spend more time thinking about their big picture goals and ideas. They zoom out regularly to analyze their lives from a bird’s eye view.

This enables them to make key decisions deliberately, methodically, and strategically. Average performers make those decisions in a reactive mode while they’re in the thick of the forest of their lives. Successful people create thorough, successful plans and reap the rewards down the road.

Their detailed planning provides clarity on what they should be working on at any given time. They produce at high levels because they separate the planning and creation processes.

5. Creating a System for Planning

While Bill Gates was the Chairman at Microsoft, he secluded himself from the distractions of daily life twice a year during Think Week[2].

Visitors were banned during the week. He read many papers (his record was 112) about Microsoft, as well as new ideas in technology during Think Week. The space and time he carved out during the week allowed him to take a step back to review the projects and ideas at Microsoft.

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Greg McKeown, the author of Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, advocates conducting a quarterly personal review to define your most important objectives for the next three months.

What doesn’t get scheduled doesn’t get done, so successful people regularly schedule time to review their priorities, goals, and road maps to achieve them. They schedule time to monitor their progress on key objectives and iterate their plans based on results and lessons learned.

6. Prioritizing

Successful people understand that if they don’t prioritize their projects, they will be swayed and pushed around by the agendas of others. They consistently evaluate their priorities and reorganize the order as circumstances change in order to carry out successful plans.

Since their priorities are crystal clear, they quickly assess whether a request fits into their big picture plans. They cultivate the habit of turning down requests that don’t align with their most valued goals. They learn to say no in a firm and graceful manner to requests that don’t fit their plans.

Effectiveness trumps efficiency for them. They focus on working on the right things over getting more done. They strive to produce at their highest quality for their highest priorities.

7. Focusing on Important Projects

“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.” -Stephen R. Covey

In the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Covey lays out a quadrant with the following categories: urgent and important, not urgent and important, urgent and not important, and not urgent and not important. The quadrant where you spend the majority of your time determines your life’s destiny. Average performers live in the urgent quadrants and are constantly putting out fires[3].

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Eisenhower Matrix: How to Prioritise and Master Productivity | TechTello

    On the other hand, highly successful people focus on activities that are important and not urgent. These activities don’t yield instant results. However, they produce massive, long-term results through successful plans.

    8. Using Willpower Wisely

    Willpower is a limited resource. As we make decisions, run errands, and work on various projects throughout the day, our willpower is depleted. Successful people leverage the full tank of willpower in the morning by working on their most important project first.

    In the morning, the stresses and obstacles that arise throughout the day haven’t cluttered their mind yet. They take advantage of their fresh and clear mind. In addition, they take advantage of the lack of distractions in the early morning, get a head start on the world, and make progress towards their most valued goals, resulting in successful plans.

    Final Thoughts

    Success people don’t have superpowers that help them get things done at a level that’s unreachable by the rest of us. They have simply implemented time management strategies that help them plan their time in the best way possible. They have learned how to create successful plans and follow through each and every day.

    You, too, can do this and achieve your goals. Choose one of the above habits or strategies, and start implementing it in your daily life through personal development. You’ll soon find that your own plans begin to lead you closer and closer to success as you eliminate bad habits and implement great ones.

    More on Creating Successful Plans

    Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

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    Jose Ramos

    Blogger

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    Last Updated on April 27, 2021

    How To Accept Responsibility For Your Life (7 No-Nonsense Tips)

    How To Accept Responsibility For Your Life (7 No-Nonsense Tips)

    Chances are that if you’re reading this, you are human. This means that there is likely a time or two when you have not taken responsibility for something in your life. We’ve all been there. Maybe you broke an item at a place of employment but didn’t fess up to it, or you missed a deadline and blamed the reason why on someone else, or perhaps you decided a responsibility was too great to face.

    Accepting responsibility can be challenging because it doesn’t always feel good. It can require time we think we don’t have. Feelings of shame or inadequacy can surface. Rather than face those feelings, it’s much easier to not accept responsibility.

    This is all understandable. But it may not be serving us and who we want to be in the long run.

    Accepting responsibility has benefits at work, home, and all aspects of life. When we demonstrate to ourselves that we can be responsible, we show our strength of character, our leadership qualities, and even our adulting skills.

    Knowing that doesn’t make accepting responsibility any easier, does it?

    Using the example of pretending that you live in an apartment with multiple roommates where you all have to share the kitchen, we will look at seven tips on how to accept responsibility for your life.

    1. Stop Playing the Victim

    You’ve just cooked a big meal involving several pots, pans, and cooking utensils. You reflect on feeling overwhelmed and stressed by life right now and decide that you just don’t have the time or energy to do your dishes right now. The next time you or your roommates want to use the kitchen, there’s a big mess and a lack of options for pans and cutlery to use.

    Maybe one of your roommates will do it for you? Superman to the rescue? I hate to break it to you, but Superman doesn’t actually exist.

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    Why insist on crushing every childhood fantasy? Because when we wait for someone else to fix our problems, we are playing the victim, and if Superman doesn’t exist (or Spiderman or Wonder Woman, or Black Panther, etc.), then we will be perpetually tied to the proverbial train tracks, waiting for someone else to save us.[1]

    What we can do in this situation is acknowledge and validate our feelings. In the above scenario, you’re focusing on feeling overwhelmed. This feeling isn’t “bad.” But it does affect your motivation to accept responsibility, keeping you in a victim mindset. It isn’t just the dishes that you need to face. You also need to take responsibility for your emotions.

    Acknowledging and validating emotions help you to understand what you’re feeling and why. You can then redirect the energy you’re wasting on being a victim and redirect it toward more productive things in life. Like doing your own dishes.

    There are many different ways we can develop the skill of self-acknowledgment and validation. One of the best is to write about what you’re experiencing. You may be surprised by how you describe the “what” and “why” of your feelings. You may even uncover other times in your life when you felt this way and find that your current thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are based on that past. You might even heal an old experience as you deal with the present circumstance!

    2. End the Blame Game

    “If my roommates were more consistent about doing their dishes, then I would feel like I could do mine.”

    It’s so easy to come up with excuses and reasons why we shouldn’t be held to a higher standard than anyone else. We find interesting ways to blame others for why we can’t do something. This becomes another way to avoid taking responsibility, and we can do so out of a perspective of anger.[2]

    Anger can be energetically compelling, but it’s not always rooted in reality. It can keep us stuck and prevent us from having the life and relationships we really want. Much like being the victim, it’s important to ask yourself how being and staying angry is serving you. Again, it’s important to acknowledge and validate these thoughts and feelings too.

    Perhaps you’re really feeling mad at someone at your workplace who isn’t taking responsibility for their own projects. You end up taking on their work, allowing anger to build up. By the time you get home, you need a place to let that anger out. And so, your anger is directed toward your kitchen and your roommates.

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    This may help you feel better for a little while, but it’s not sustainable. There are so many ways of dealing with anger. It would serve you and others around you well to learn how to manage and work with any anger you have in your life so that you can resume your acceptance of responsibility.

    3. Forgive Yourself and others

    After reading tips number 1 and 2, perhaps you are now adept at practicing acknowledging and validating your feelings. Because of that work, it’s easier to forgive yourself and others.

    For instance, without the feelings of victimhood and blame, you have the energy to see things from a perspective of forgiveness and tolerance.

    From a place of forgiveness, you see that even though your roommates don’t take care of their dishes right away every time, they do so more often than not. Plus, you can see that all of you have challenging things happening in your lives right now, so why should your challenges make it so that you can slack off? You may even remember times when your roommates have helped you out with cleaning the kitchen even though the mess wasn’t theirs.

    As you forgive others, you forgive yourself too and take ownership of your own tasks.

    4. Use Responsibility as a Way to Help Others

    Shirking our responsibilities can actually affect others’ well-being. We can step into a space of considering how our actions, or lack thereof, might be burdening or harming others.

    For example, not doing your dishes and leaving the kitchen dirty means that when another roommate wants to use the kitchen to make a meal, they may have to clean the kitchen first to have access to the pots, pans, and utensils required. They may feel annoyed that you didn’t take responsibility for your mess, which affects your relationship with your roommate. A confrontation may be on the horizon.

    However, if you can put yourself in the frame of mind to consider things from your roommate’s position, you might think twice about leaving the dishes. By taking responsibility and doing your part to keep the kitchen clean, you are taking care of the space and your roommates.

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    A lot of people find it easier and highly beneficial to do things out of a sense of responsibility for others.[3] Thinking about things from another’s perspective can be a motivating factor and can provide us with feelings of purpose.

    5. Look for the Win-Win

    When we choose not to take responsibility, we are choosing a zero-sum game, meaning nobody wins. What if you looked for the win-win opportunity of taking responsibility instead?

    Maybe there have been times when your roommates have saddled you with a messy kitchen. If you now decide to leave your mess, nobody wins. Whereas, cleaning up after yourself now means that you are modeling how you want the space to be treated by everyone. You are also ensuring that your roommates can trust you to take responsibility for your cleaning tasks, and the next person who wants to use the kitchen will be able to do so.

    In this scenario, you will be taking responsibility, cultivating a relationship of trust with your roommates, and making it so that nobody else has to clean up after you. Everyone wins.

    6. Make Taking Responsibility Fun

    Another vantage point from which we could look is the place of joy. Yes, joy.

    It’s easy to paint “cleaning the kitchen” in a negative light when shows are streaming on Netflix and downtime activities calling. But what could happen for you if you made the task of doing the dishes fun?

    How can it be fun? This is where you get to be creative.

    Some ideas could be playing some of your favorite music as you clean, invite a roommate to chat while you clean, or you could play that show you’re binging on Netflix as you scrub. Have Airpods? Call a friend as you clean!

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    Finding a way to make it fun helps you lose track of time and get the job done faster. It could also provide some necessary “play” time. We don’t play enough as adults. Get back to your childhood roots and find ways to incorporate play into your daily routine, and get the dishes done at the same time!

    7. Choose Your Own Adventure

    When we approach responsibility from our highest self, we can be at choice for how we want to accept it. This requires an awareness of what we intend to accomplish or learn in any life experience.

    For instance, when faced with a responsibility, you could consider all the ways of looking at it (from a place of victimhood, blame, forgiveness, service to others, win-win, or fun) and decide which perspective would serve the highest good of all, yourself included.

    When we can approach any life situation from the standpoint of having choices, doesn’t that feel better than feeling forced into a decision or action?

    Conclusion

    Knowing that you can make conscious choices at any time in your life hopefully helps you to feel freer and more energized for any life responsibility you choose to accept. These seven tips on how to accept responsibility will set you up for a good start.

    More Tips on How To Be a Responsible Person

    Featured photo credit: Marcos Paulo Prado via unsplash.com

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