Advertising
Advertising

11 Essential Habits for Success

11 Essential Habits for Success


    We all want to succeed. Whether it’s in losing weight, learning the guitar, speed reading, or starting our own business. For those of us who have tried and failed, success seems elusive. Why is it one person succeeds where another person fails? First and foremost, I believe it is in their mindset. But secondly, I believe that successful people have developed certain habits, either naturally or through research, that the rest of us haven’t stumbled upon yet.

    Though I want each of you to succeed in everything you do, I can’t guarantee success. Only you can do that. It starts in your mind, and from there your thoughts take physical form through your actions. Believing in yourself is a necessity! Beyond that, I’ve made a list of some habits to help you set goals and achieve them.

    1. Identify your core values

    What is important to you? Finding your core values may seem a bit off-topic when it comes to success, but creating goals that are in line with your values is key to creating intrinsic motivation. Sit and reflect on what you value most. Pick a handful of things and actually write them down. Remind yourself of your values every day, and reflect on whether you are honoring those values through your work.

    Advertising

    2. Pick a goal (Focus)

    Choose one goal to start. Something large enough that will give you a sense of accomplishment, while aligning well with your core values. Focus is key here. The more focused you are on one goal, the higher chance you have of success. If you spread yourself too thin, you might never complete your projects because they will take far too long. Believe me, multitasking isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

    3. Set a deadline for success

    Set a date for success. Identify when your hope to achieve your goal. Keep it realistic, while not giving yourself too much time. By setting a time limit, you are making the process more real. You also now have something to visualize in the next point.

    4. Build the right mindset

    Believe fully in your ability to achieve your goal. Visualize yourself having completed your goal in the exact time-frame you have chosen, although finishing early is also acceptable. You don’t need to consider the failures that will happen along the way. Success is inevitable. Others may think you will fail, don’t let yourself be one of them! (If you have trouble visualizing success, perhaps a fear of success is limiting you)

    “Whether you think that you can, or that you can’t, you are usually right.” – Henry Ford

    5. Consequences for missing your deadline

    Set up negative consequences for missing the deadline. Necessity is the mother of all invention. If you can manage to keep yourself intrinsically motivated, that’s great. If not, this will help kick you into gear and keep your eye on the prize.

    6. Weekly and Daily Goals (Plan)

    Break down goals by week and by day, setting up a plan to reach your overall objective. Keep the number of tasks per day as low as you can, and focus on completing only your planned tasks for each day. If you find yourself done, pick the next thing from your weekly list. Do the hardest things during your peak energy level, which usually means doing them first!

    7. Prioritize

    Prioritize the tasks you have in front of you. Don’t always do the most urgent thing first. Pick the task that’s the most important. Sometimes these overlap, which is nice. By always accomplishing what’s most important, you are making clear progress toward your goal.

    Also keep in mind that completing the hardest task first is a sure-fire way of increasing your productivity. If you put it off until later in the day, your energy level is bound to drop, and finishing the hard task will seem daunting and maybe even impossible. But, if you start off with the hardest task, when your energy level is high, you will have the focus and energy required to finish it off.

    Advertising

    8. Take risks

    Push yourself. Go out of your comfort zone. This is the best way to learn, and the best way to make progress quickly. If you’re looking for new ideas, being risk averse will not help. This takes a lot of self-awareness. Try and be conscious of when you are holding yourself back out of fear. Push yourself to be courageous, and take that next step.

    9. Perseverance

    Failure is inevitable when you take risks, which is what you’ll be doing if you want to succeed. By its very definition, the desire to succeed at something means you are risking failure. Many people tend to give up far too early. Don’t fall into this trap! Remember your mindset earlier, and visualize your success. Know it will happen. A failure is merely you working out the details, and learning what works and what doesn’t. Use failure. Treat it as a good thing, and march on!

    10. Reflect

    Take time every day to sit quietly and reflect on your values, goals, and progress made so far. Where have you excelled, and where can you do better. Is everything you are doing still lining up with your core values? Always look for ways to improve.

    11. Learn

    Never stop learning. Know what everyone else is doing, and what everyone else has done, and how they did it. Search wide for knowledge that might help you, and any inspiration that may do the same. Never think you have nothing to learn from others.

    Advertising

    ***

    I cannot overstate the value of building the correct mindset and perseverance. I believe these two habits are the fundamental building blocks to enjoying any great success in life.

    (Photo credit: Businessman Climbing Ladder via Shutterstock)

      More by this author

      10 Ways to Live a More Meaningful Life 11 Essential Habits for Success

      Trending in Productivity

      1 Better Alternatives to New Year’s Resolutions to Reduce Your Stress 2 How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money 3 7 Steps For Making a New Year’s Resolution and Keeping It 4 How to Concentrate and Train Your Brain to Focus Better 5 How to Be Creative When You’ve Hit a Creative Block

      Read Next

      Advertising
      Advertising
      Advertising

      Last Updated on January 2, 2019

      Better Alternatives to New Year’s Resolutions to Reduce Your Stress

      Better Alternatives to New Year’s Resolutions to Reduce Your Stress

      The end of the year is the time when everyone tries to give you advice on how to live healthier, look better, and earn more money.

      It’s understandable if you find yourself lost among all the tips and opinions. Sometimes you no longer know what you truly want to achieve next year – and what’s just imposed by society.

      To help you out, we’ve made this article about the things you should remove from your new year’s resolution list – instead of adding to it – to make your daily life more harmonious and peaceful.

      So just make sure you cross these off your New Year’s to-do list – your body, mind and soul will be thankful.

      1. Stop Buying Meaningless Gifts

      We all know the sense of obligation – when we have to buy a gift for an event or celebration that’s already tomorrow, but we still have no idea of what to give.

      Take these tips close to heart for all upcoming holidays, including birthdays, weddings, graduations, etc.:

      Stop focusing on the material objects

      Instead of focusing on what material object to give, think about the emotion you want to evoke[1] in the gift recipient, and then pick a symbolic gift that can support or represent that emotion. For example, you can gift coziness by presenting a “comfort set” with warm socks, tea, candles, etc. Or give motivation by presenting a beautiful planner or notebook.

      Plan gifts in advance

      We know this is easier said than done. But if you try to plan which gifts you’ll need in the upcoming months (try making a list three or four times a year), ideas will more likely come to mind and you’ll avoid that last-minute shopping. Not to mention, you’ll be able to keep an eye on sales to get the best prices.

      Suggest a better way

      If you’re tired of exchanging gifts for birthdays and holidays, initiate a different approach. For example, draw names among family members and agree that each one only buys a present to that one person they got. Alternatively, you can agree not to share gifts among adults, and only give presents to kids of the family. Or, ask friends to donate to charity instead of buying a gift for you.

      Go for common experiences instead of exchanging gifts

      You can agree (with your partner or the extended family) to go on a common trip, dinner or another activity, instead of spending money on gifts.

      Sometimes you’ll have to be the one who initiates breaking the rules that have been accepted in the family for years. But if you suspect that you’re not the only one in the group who’s tired of gift-hunting, you’ll surely find support for your suggestions.

      Advertising

      2. Don’t Exaggerate with Diets and Fitness Resolutions

      It’s no secret that TV shows, article headlines, and ads (not to mention our healthy diet-obsessed friends) make us feel like we need to look better, slimmer and younger than we actually are. But going on yet another diet or starting a fitness plan with the wrong motivation rarely leads to great results.

      If you are like many people, you have probably signed up for an annual gym membership at least once in your life – only to drop it one month later.

      How do you balance a good resolution for a healthier life without pushing yourself into commitments that won’t last?

      Here’s what you can do:

      Set a healthier pattern

      For example, do meat-free Mondays or reduce meat consumption to three days per week (less saturated fat for you and better for the environment). Or choose to eat only healthy food at least three days a week or only on weekdays (e.g. make sure your meals contain vegetables, fruits, whole grains, dairy products, and protein). This way you’ll already have a healthier diet while still being able to treat yourself with a snack on weekends or parties.

      Get a fitness watch

      Fitness watches like Fitbit or MiBand are tiny accessories that will count your steps, calories burnt and will serve as an excellent motivator to move – or to take the stairs instead of the elevator.

      Find a physical activity that you enjoy

      Even if you are not that fond of doing sports, you can definitely find an activity that you’d do with pleasure. Think about what you’d like – from taking up Nordic walking to pilates or even exercising at home.

      Try intermittent fasting

      This is an alternating cycles of fasting and eating. For example, stop eating at 8 pm and restart not sooner than 12 hours later. This approach has been proven to have numerous health benefits, in addition to weight loss.

      Skip cabs or driving to work and opt for cycling or walking instead

      You’ll burn calories, breathe some fresh air, and save money – win-win!

      3. Put a Cap on Your Daily To-Do List

      In today’s busy world, planning your day in a stress-free way is actually an art in itself. It’s natural to want to be a loving parent, a diligent employee, an active member of the local community and probably several other individual roles.

      But playing all these roles requires energy and meticulous planning. How not to lose yourself amidst all the appointments and responsibilities? And – most importantly – how to still find time for relaxing and recharging yourself?

      Advertising

      These daily planning tips will help you have more stress-free days:

      Leave bigger intervals between meetings

      If you schedule too many appointments or chores in a day, you’ll probably end up late at some point, and as a result – more stressed. There are many different reasons why people are late, but poor planning is a major factor too.

      Plan time to relax

      As weird as it may sound, you should try and schedule your resting time. For example, if you only have one free evening this week, and a friend tries to squeeze in a meeting, feel free to say no. Don’t feel obliged to specify the reason for your refusal, just say that you are busy.

      Try to be a little pessimistic

      We’re often packed with plans or running late for errands because we tend to be overly optimistic – about the traffic, the time it takes to do things, etc. Instead, try an opposite tactic — assume you’ll hit traffic or the meeting will take longer.

      Try waking up earlier

      Sometimes even waking up 30 minutes earlier can give you the much-needed head start for several errands of the day. But remember to get enough sleep every night, even if it means going to bed earlier.

      Plan your day the day before

      Chances are your day will be much better organized if you pack a lunch and lay out an outfit before going to bed.

      Designate a time for checking emails and social messages

      If you start checking your messages between appointments, you risk getting lost in a sea of messages that need replies. Designate a time for this activity or do it in case you arrived early to a meeting.

      4. Let Go of Unhealthy and Time-Consuming Habits

      If there’s one thing we should get rid of in the new year, it’s the habits that steal our time, provide instant gratification but don’t offer any value in the long term. Or even worse, leave a negative impact on our health.

      Here are some common (and pointless) habits along with tips on how to get rid of them:

      Binge-watching TV series

      Even if most online television platforms offer you lists of “Best TV Shows to Binge Watch”, being addicted to series is a major time-waster.

      You can manage this addiction in several ways, for example, watch one episode per day (or a few per week) as a reward, only after you’ve finished an assignment or done a house chore. Or try replacing this habit with exercise or reading a book – this will be hard at first but should stick after a few weeks. You can also try to track how much time you spend on TV or movies – seeing how much of your life you are wasting might urge you to do something about it.

      Advertising

      Running on coffee

      Being a coffee addict is kind of a stylish addiction nowadays, but it’s not that innocent as it may initially seem. Besides addiction being a problem in itself, drinking too much coffee (more than 500-600 mg of caffeine a day) may lead to nervousness, insomnia, an upset stomach, a fast heartbeat, and even muscle tremors.[2]

      As a solution, try switching to tea or edible coffee – a more sustainable, healthy, and productivity-enhancing alternative. For example, Coffee Pixels are solid coffee bars that generate a more even energy kick throughout the day without the coffee-induced abstinence and dehydration.

      Procrastination

      Fighting procrastination requires some serious willpower. If it is a problem in your daily life or work, try ”eating the frog” in the morning – get over your biggest or hardest tasks first, then tackle everything else.

      Alternatively, use time tracking software to monitor exactly how much time you waste on unproductive actions, websites or apps. Once you know exactly how much time you’re spending unproductively, try to limit your time on social media, for example to just 20 minutes per day.

      If nothing else works, try bribing yourself — promise yourself to do something fun or pleasant when you finish your assignment.

      Whichever habit you want to give up, consider using some habits building tools to make a contract with yourself and reward yourself for milestones achieved.

      5. Stop over-consuming

      We live in the age of consumerism – huge manufacturers with their promise of a comfortable life on the one hand, and growing environmental threats – that are the direct result of our modern lifestyle – on the other hand. There’s only one solution – try to consume less whenever and wherever you can.

      Before making additional purchases, ask yourself these questions:

      • Do I really need it? Did I need it yesterday?
      • Can’t I buy it used or borrow it from friends?
      • Can I rent it?
      • Can I make it myself?
      • Am I buying the most sustainable version of this product?

      For example, check if the brand you chose is conscious about the environment, for example, are the products they manufacture energy efficient? Do they try to use less packaging?

      Also, if you often find yourself buying too many groceries, promise to buy only the amount that fits in one shopping bag (that you bring along). If you often forget to take your shopping bag with you, get yourself a 2-in-1 wallet with a built-in shopping bag for more eco-friendly shopping.

      6. Learn to Unplug from Your Phone

      Today’s world is crammed with information, and many people struggle to keep focus on what’s truly important. There’s just too much going on in the world – too much to read, to watch, to know, too many conversations to participate in.

      Advertising

      But how to refuse the temptation to check the phone and start using social media in a controlled, not a compulsive way?

      Some tips for managing your phone-dependency:

      Spend only a limited amount of battery per day

      For example, start your day with 50% battery life, and manage your phone usage so that you’ll make it till the evening.

      Block distracting apps and notifications on your phone and computer

      Choose one-hour, two-hour or longer blocking sessions and enjoy the positive impact this will have on your mood and productivity.[3]

      Set your phone on flight mode

      When you start doing an important task that requires full focus, set your phone on flight mode so that nobody can disturb you.

      Leave your phone at home or in the office when you go for lunch

      You’ll see that the feeling of being unreachable for a moment is actually very liberating.

      The Bottom Line

      As a new year begins, we’re all excitedly looking forward to what adventures await ahead of us.

      But this year, promise yourself this:

      Instead of having a never-ending list of tasks and commitments, focus on the truly meaningful ones. And cross-out all the rest without feeling guilty.

      Less is more. Make this year count. We’re all rooting for you.

      Featured photo credit: Brooke Lark via unsplash.com

      Reference

      Read Next