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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.

More by this author

Shawn Lim

Blogger and Internet Entrepreneur

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Last Updated on October 17, 2018

7 Natural (And Highly Effective) Ways to Improve Memory

7 Natural (And Highly Effective) Ways to Improve Memory

How is your memory? Is your cognitive function as strong as you’d like it to be?

If not, then you’re definitely going to be interested in the memory improvement tips I’ll be sharing with you in this article.

Despite what you might think – or have been told – improving your ability to recall information is certainly possible. You just need to know the right ways to do it. (Don’t worry, as you won’t need to make any significant lifestyle changes.)

So how to improve memory? Let’s dive straight into the first of seven easy ways to improve your memory significantly.

1. Meditate

We live in a world of non-stop, 24/7 information. It’s like a waterfall that’s endlessly pouring news, data, facts and figures into our conscious minds.

Unfortunately, our brains are not designed to absorb this tremendous amount of information. It’s no wonder then, that most people struggle to remember information and recall things.

Even if you believe you have a good memory and are comfortable with multi-tasking, you’ll also be aware that there’s only so much information your brain can process at one time. And research suggests that the more information and distractions, the harder it is for you to transfer information to your long-term memory.[1]

Fortunately, meditation can help you out.

Even if you just meditate for 10 minutes per day, you’ll boost your ability to focus, which in turn, will make it easier for you to remember important facts.

If you need help in shifting into a meditative state, I recommend trying an app like Headspace – which can assist you to achieve this in a convenient and structured way.

And don’t forget, meditation doesn’t just have to be closing your eyes and sitting in a lotus position. Some people prefer to simply take a short walk in nature. This clears and calms their mind, and still provides the all-important boost to their focus.

2. Get plenty of sleep

If you’re sleep deprived or have not been sleeping well, then I’m guessing you’re not remembering well either. This is because sleep and memory are intimately connected.

If you have a busy life and regularly find yourself not getting enough sleep, then this will negatively impact your cognitive abilities – including your memory.

How much sleep should you be getting?

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Well, according to the National Sleep Foundation, you need a minimum of seven to nine hours of sleep per night. If you get this amount of sleep regularly, then within just a few days, you’ll see a tangible improvement to your ability to remember and recall things.

Now, I’ll be honest with you, maintaining a proper sleep cycle is not always easy (especially when the latest Netflix series has just been released!). But if you care about improving your short-term and long-term ability to remember things, then it’s critical that you try to get at least the recommended amount of sleep every night.

Are there ways to hack the sleep cycle?

Yes, there are.

Try these three things:

  • Have a fixed bedtime (preferably before 10pm)
  • Don’t eat too late
  • Make sure your bedroom is as dark as possible

Sleeping is a precious activity. It regenerates your body, clears your mind, and helps with the storing and retrieval of information.

However, don’t sleep just yet, as I want to tell you about another great way to increase memory…

3. Challenge your brain

When was the last time you challenged your brain?

I don’t mean challenged in the sense of overeating or undersleeping. I’m referring to stretching your mental capabilities through things like crossword puzzles, Sudoku and memory games.

To expand your memory bank, and to make your recall razor-sharp, you need to continually challenge your brain.

Feedback from Lifehack readers such as yourself, has suggested that brain training apps are a super-effective way of doing this. Used regularly, these apps can enhance your focus, attention span, problem-thinking ability and memory.

There are hundreds of these apps available (most of them for free), but I recommend starting out with one of the big three:

  • Peak (Android/iOS, free, 10 million+ downloads)
  • Lumosity (Android/iOS, free, 10 million+ downloads)
  • Elevate (Android/iOS, free, 5 million+ downloads)

If you normally spend a chunk of your week playing computer games, then instead of shooting and killing your enemies, why not let some of them live – while you put your attention into boosting your brain power!

Challenging your brain will strengthen your neural pathways and enhance your mental abilities. But don’t just take my word for it, try one of the apps above and see the positive benefits for yourself.

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4. Take more breaks

When I think back to my days as a budding entrepreneur, I distinctively remember working all the hours under the sun – and many under the moon too!

At that time, I believed that breaks were for the weak, and to become wealthy and successful, I needed to shed blood, sweat and tears.

However, I was wrong.

Taking regular breaks is the best way to keep yourself productive, creative and alive to opportunities. It’s also the best way to learn new information.

Let me explain.

Typically, when studying lots of new information, most people will spend hours reading it – in an attempt to learn and remember the content as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, they’ve overlooked something.

Namely, extended study sessions are rarely a good thing, as your ability to retain information naturally declines after a certain period of time.

It’s similar to physical exercise. You wouldn’t attempt to train vigorously for four hours in a row. Instead, you’d take regular breaks to give your lungs, heart and muscles adequate time to recover. Failing to do this will result in muscle cramps and overexertion.

It’s the same with your brain. If you overload it with information, you’ll suffer from mental fatigue.

What’s the answer?

Make sure you take regular breaks when learning new information. I recommend at least a 10-minute break every hour. (You may also want to take a look at the Pomodoro Method.)

If you don’t want to be as regimented as that, then take breaks as soon as you find yourself losing the ability to focus on the new material. Your brain will thank you – and your learning aptitude will move up a level.

5. Learn a new skill

I love this quote, as it’s 100% true – but frequently overlooked:

“Learning never exhausts the mind.” – Leonardo da Vinci

From my experience of helping to develop the careers of dozens of Lifehack employees, I can definitively say that participating in meaningful and purposeful activities stimulates the mind. It also reduces stress and enhances health and well-being.

Let me give you an example of this:

Imagine you work for a global financial institution in one of their call centers. You take over 100 calls a day – many of them complaints. When you started the job a few months back, you were excited to be in full-time employment and working for a household name.

Unfortunately, your initial enthusiasm quickly turned into frustration.

The endless complaint calls began to take their toll on you. And the supervisors irritated you too, as they were far too interested in micro-managing you – rather than letting you work in your own way.

Now, in the story above, the ending could be that you put up with a job you didn’t like, and led a dull and frustrated working life for years and years. However, an alternative ending is this: you channeled your dissatisfaction in to learning a new skill (computer coding). It took you a year or two to get up to speed, but it allowed you to successfully upgrade your career – and the ongoing learning made the call centre job much more bearable.

Clearly, learning new skills gives you impetus, focus and something to aim for. Your brain loves to learn, and you should tap into this by always seeking our new information. And when learning becomes a habit, you’ll find your ability to remember and recall things effortlessly, becomes a habit too.

6. Start working out

If you’re not already working out regularly, then here’s another reason to do so:

Exercising for 20-30 minutes three times a week will improve your long-term memory.

Regular exercise increases blood flow in your body and supplies the brain with extra oxygen and nutrients. And a well-nourished brain is a well-functioning brain!

“But I just don’t have the time?,” I hear you say.

Not a problem.

A research has shown that a daily burst of 60 seconds of high-intensity exercise, offered many of the benefits of the longer exercise routines.[2] So, if you’re short on time – now you know what to do.

Interested in getting started?

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Here are five different ways that will help you work out:

  • Join a gym
  • Join a sports team
  • Buy a bike
  • Take up hiking
  • Dance to your favorite music

7. Eat healthier foods

I’m sure you’ve heard the expression: “You are what you eat.”

This applies to your brain too.

The food that you eat helps determine your brain’s capacity to store and recall information. A poor diet (think junk food + soda!) harms not just your physical health, but your mental health too.

Fortunately, there are several foods that are especially good for your brain and your memory. These include: blueberries, celery and dark chocolate. But anything high in antioxidants will have a positive effect on your brain and memory.

Conversely, highly-processed foods and those loaded with sugar will have a negative impact on your memory. This is due to them providing insufficient nutrients for your brain – leading you to easily suffer from mental fatigue.

Want to be mentally healthy? Then eat and drink an abundance of these for brain health:

  • Turmeric – helps new brain cells grown
  • Broccoli – protects the brain against damage
  • Nuts – improves memory
  • Green tea – enhances brain performance, memory and focus[3]
  • Fish oilfish oil supplements can increase your brain power

Here’re more brain food options that improve memory!

Final thoughts

I sincerely hope these seven memory boosting ways that I’ve covered in this article will be of help to you.

You don’t need to implement them all. I suggest just trying the ones that appeal to you.

But, if you’re serious about dramatically improving your memory, then make a start right now on adopting one or more of the ways I’ve suggested. I’m confident you won’t regret it.

Featured photo credit: Eric Ward via unsplash.com

Reference

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