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6 Steps On How To Build Success Habits In 2017

6 Steps On How To Build Success Habits In 2017

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

Your habit is one of the most important keys that will define your success. If you adopted empowering habits, you will move your life closer towards your goals and your dreams. If you adopted lousy habits like watching excessive TV or being lazy in general, you will waste your life and get nothing done. 2017 is just around the corner. If you reflect back on 2016, what have you accomplished? Did you achieve your goals?

If 2016 has been a fruitful year for you, great, let’s continue to move on and create even more success in 2017. If 2016 was not a good year for you, it is time to learn from the mistakes you made and look forward to 2017. It is time to reboot and focus on the future.

It all starts with your habits. You can make 2017 your best year by adopting empowering habits that will move you toward your goals. If you can make it a habit to consistently take action each day, you can produce outstanding results in 2017.

So how can you do that? Let’s get started and build the habits towards success you want into your life right now to ensure a 2017 full of accomplishments and abundance.

1. Identify The Empowering Habit You Want To Adopt

First, you must identify the habits you want to adopt. Trying to develop 10 new and different habits at the same time will just make all your effort go to waste. Focus on just one habit that you want to develop. You can always add more habits in the months that follow, preferably after you’ve mastered one habit.

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For now, identify one habit that you want to build and write it down. For example, the habits you want to nurture in 2017 can include: waking up at 5 am each morning, working out in the gym every day, reading a book 30 minutes a day, or writing a 1,000-word article each day. From the five, you might decide to choose waking up at 5 am as your first habit. Whatever it is, make sure it is something you can commit to performing every day.

2. Incorporate The Habit With A Schedule

Once you have identified your habits, create a schedule for it. This step is extremely important because whether you succeed in adopting your habit or not depends on your commitment to spending time towards your goal. It is your schedule that will force you to develop the new habit.

If the habit you want to build in 2017 is to read for 30 minutes each day, what time would you like to read each day? Likewise, if you want to make it a habit to workout in the gym each day, what time do you want that to happen and for how long?

For instance, you can choose to hit the gym at 6 am each morning and workout for an hour. This will be the time you set aside for this goal and you will dedicate yourself to working out every day whether you feel like it or not. You just do it.

Success is not going to be easy and it is going to take hard work before you can achieve the things you want in life.

Are you willing to pay the price?

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3. Creating A Trigger Through Habit Stacking

Once you have identified your habit and created your schedule, use the habit-stacking method to create the trigger. Habit-stacking is simple to do. You just need to insert your new habit before/after an old habit. Your old habit will then act as the trigger for you to perform the new habit.

For example, if your new habit is to read for 30 minutes every night before you sleep, here’s what you can do:

  • “After I brush my teeth, I will read a book for 30 minutes.”
  • “Before I change to my pajamas, I will read for 30 minutes.”
  • “Before I switch off my room’s light, I will read for 30 minutes.”
  • “After I turn off my computer and TV, I will read for 30 minutes.”

Each day, I go through my morning ritual without fail. After I get up and wash myself up, I will get to the kitchen, drink a cup of water. After that, I will do some quick stretching and jump around. After that, I will sit down and write down my goals and affirmations. And after that, I will pick up a book and read for 30 minutes.

I have been doing this every day without fail. My day started with drinking a cup of water. Drinking the water is the trigger before I do some stretching. And the stretching is the trigger before I write my goals. The event happens one after another like a chain reaction. This is how you build habits.

4. What Is Your Reward?

At first, people do something because there is a reward for them and through that cycle, a habit usually develops. What is the reward that you get after working out in the gym? How would you reward yourself after you have invested your time with reading for 30 minutes each day? If you want to develop a habit, you must include the reward as well.

For example, after you have written a 1,000-word article, get yourself a snack, or allow yourself to take a five minute rest or give yourself permission to check Facebook. My reward for writing articles is getting myself a cup of coffee because I love coffee. Create something so that your mind will look forward to it after completing your habit.

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Rewards can be very powerful in getting people to get in the habit of taking action. Hence, for your everyday habit, create smaller rewards for yourself. Maybe after a while, several smaller rewards can be substituted for a larger reward like a night out for drinks with friends or a monthly trip to the movies or spa.

5. Implementing The “Jerry Seinfeld” Technique

What is the first thing you do if you want to lose weight? You weigh yourself. Measurement is important because, without it, you can never tell if you are making progress, moving forward or moving backward. And here’s a very easy technique you can use to measure your newly-adopted habit. You use the Jerry Seinfeld technique.

Get yourself a calendar and every day after you have successfully performed the new habit, draw a big red “X” on the date on the calendar. Your mission is to continue drawing the big red “X” without breaking the chain. Every time you have done the 30 minutes of reading, put a big “X” on your calendar, implying that you have done the work. Every day after you have written 1,000 words article, draw an “X” on your calendar.

The longer the “X” chain, the better. Whenever you look at your calendar, you know you are making progress, you know you are creating results, and it is satisfying. This is how the Seinfeld technique works.

It is a very easy and simple technique to measure your performance, and it is also a very powerful method to make sure you do the work.

6. Creating Success Through Good Habit Development

So where do you go from here? Well, go for more. Try to limit your focus on building one good habit a month and nothing more. The more you are trying to do, the less you will accomplish. And more is not always merrier. It is better to have one completed project than to have ten half-baked projects at hand.

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If you follow this method, you will have developed 12 habits in a year. Can you imagine how these 12 success habits will impact your life?

Successful people become the master in what they do because they improve on the fundamentals. They focus and they practice doing the mastering the fundamentals each day. Average people, on the other hand, fail to see the importance of fundamentals. They keep looking for the next great idea or the new fad.

This is why people who practice daily goal-setting have a higher chance of reaching their goals. Goal-setting is not something that you do once and then forget about it, it is something you should do every day.

If you want to be successful, this is where you should start. You start with mastering the fundamentals and that means, building the success habits.

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Shawn Lim

Blogger, Entrepreneur, and Motivation Expert

No Motivation? 7 Great Ways to Overcome Loss of Motivation 6 Secrets Behind Great People’s Invincible Confidence how to live a happy and successful life How To Live A Happy And Successful Life: 7 Simple Tips To Enlightenment personal productivity The 3 Most Controversial Tips On Personal Productivity 6 Steps On How To Build Success Habits In 2017

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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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