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20 Common Habits Successful People Consciously Reject

20 Common Habits Successful People Consciously Reject

Successful people lead their lives on purpose with uplifting truths, empowering habits, and strong principles. Their life of success is a direct result of their conscious choices and healthy habits.

Here are 20 habits people unintentionally pick up, that successful people make it a point to consciously avoid.

1. They Don’t Define Success With Money.

Most successful people define their success with happiness, inner peace, and positive contributions – more than money. Being financially secure certainly can help open opportunities, relieve stress, and offer some piece of mind. But successful people realize that all the money in the world cannot make you happy if you are unable to feel happiness from within.

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    2. They Don’t Start Their Day Without a Purpose or a Plan.

    Not only do successful people have crystal clear short and long-term goals, they also know exactly what they must accomplish each day to feel fulfilled as well as bring them closer to their goals. They also take full advantage of the “Golden Hour” which is the first hour after you wake up in the morning. What you do mentally, physically, and spiritually during this first hour, sets the tone for the entire day.

    3. They Don’t Set Perfection as a Goal.

    Successful people practice progress over perfection. The danger in focusing on perfection is, you become so consumed in finding imperfections to fix, you will have little or nothing to show for in the end except unfinished, imperfect work. By understanding it’s not about achieving one perfect goal, but the skills you develop from reaching several goals, you allow yourself to make constant improvements while living a life of accomplishments you can learn from and be proud of.

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      4. They Don’t Surround Themselves With Negative People.

      There is energy in everything, and that includes human beings. As such, it’s fairly easy to absorb negative energy when you are around toxic people who are always complaining, procrastinating, and making excuses. Instead, successful people surround themselves with other positive and proactive people who inspire them to achieve great things and live full out.

      5. They Don’t Focus on the Negatives.

      Successful people don’t entertain self-defeating negative thoughts. When faced with difficulties, they’re quick to identify the benefits from the experience and remind themselves they’ve successfully overcome many hurdles before, so they can certainly overcome it again. Successful people don’t focus on what “could” go wrong, but on what they must do to succeed, as well as the lessons they will gain from the experience to help improve their lives.

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        6. They Don’t Dwell on Failures.

        Successful people accept that failure is an essential part of growth. They look at these bumps as opportunities to learn, grow, and become even better for an even bigger win ahead! They know that no matter how many times you’re knocked down, as long as you get right back up and use your new strength and knowledge to improve, you haven’t really failed.

        7. They Don’t Dwell in Problems

        When you focus on the problems you’re facing, your behavior agrees with the resulting stress, hindering your progress while bringing on even more problems. However, focusing on actions to better your current situation produce clarity and positive thoughts, opening you to the possibilities of new solutions. Successful people don’t dwell on problems. They quickly process any negative feelings and move on, because they know they’re most effective when they focus on solutions.

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        8. They Don’t Concern Themselves With How Others Judge Them.

        Successful people do not base their worth on how others think of them because they’ve set their own values, goals, and principles without having to depend on anyone to validate them. Everyone sees through eyes of personal life experience and individual interpretation. As such, successful people understand that when someone makes a judgement about you or your life, it doesn’t make it a reality unless you agree with it.

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          9. They Don’t Make Excuses.

          Successful people are proactive – they get things done. While they realize outside forces may interrupt their flow, successful people take full responsibility for the attitude they choose in situations over which they have no control. They look forward to the pleasure and benefits of accomplishing their daily tasks and life goals and they do whatever it takes to avoid the pain of falling through and giving up success.

          10. They Don’t Get Jealous Over Other People’s Victories.

          Successful people believe that there is enough supply of “wins” for everyone. They know that the more successful and happy people there are on our planet, the stronger, more positive energy our world will be filled with. If another person succeeds at something they have not yet been able to achieve, successful people show gratitude for their win because it can now serve as added motivation for them to reach that goal as well!

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            11. They Don’t Take Their Loved Ones for Granted.

            Successful people agree that work is important, but never as important as experiencing life with the people you love most. Success starts from within, so make time to give your undivided attention to those who mean most to you – including yourself!

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            12. They Don’t Underestimate the Power of Fun.

            What’s the point of all the hustle if you’re always left feeling exhausted and frustrated? Successful people know how to relax and have fun. They know the importance of taking breaks to recharge their batteries by enjoying all that they have in their life right now.

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              13. They Don’t Neglect Their Health.

              With good health comes the freedom and energy to fully enjoy one’s life. Successful people are aware that unless they’re mentally, physically, and emotionally healthy, they cannot perform at their very best when serving those who count on them.

              14. They Don’t Set Blurry Goals

              Successful people set clear, specific, and measurable goals. Knowing exactly what you want to achieve keeps you motivated until you get there, and crafting a clear plan of action helps declutter your thoughts and relieve some stress as you move towards the results you want. Having clear goals and actions also allows you to measure how far you’ve come and how much more you have to go, so you’re not left wondering when you’re supposed to begin seeing some results.

              15. They Don’t Make Flimsy Decisions

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                Successful people decide what they want, then burn the boat. Once they make a decision, they set their minds to do whatever it takes to make it happen. This habit also helps build confidence in a person by proving to themselves that they’re dependable and have the ability and drive to make things happen just as they said they would.

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                16. They Don’t Allow Themselves To Be Victimized

                When affected by someone else’s poor choices, successful people quickly process any negative thoughts and feelings, then choose to free themselves from the damaging energy by forgiving and letting go. They place a high importance to their right to happiness and inner peace, and understand they have complete control of their thoughts and actions, and ultimately responsible for their own happiness and victories.

                17. They Don’t Live in the Past

                Successful people realize the past has already happened and that moment no longer exist. If you keep dwelling in what was, you will be unable to fully be present for what is, thus negatively affecting what’s to come. If you suffered in the past, try to recognize that you are here today, and you are OK. Your past does not define you or limit what is possible for you to achieve from this moment on. Practice your freedom and power to proactively design a better future that you so deserve.

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                  18. They Don’t Resist Change

                  Plans, strategies or tactics might change, but instead of getting upset and frustrated, successful people quickly shift paths because they know there is more than one way to reach their goal.

                  19. They Don’t Stop Learning

                  Successful people have mentors or coaches to inspire and motivate them when challenged, and keep them accountable to their decisions and goals. They are always learning and keep themselves open to making improvements in themselves and their lives.

                  20. They Don’t End The Day Without Giving Thanks.

                  Successful people are grateful for both the big and small blessings in their lives. Reflecting on the positive things from each day before going to bed can boost your mood, motivate you to keep going, and help you unwind.

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                    Have you ever unknowingly picked up a habit that did nothing but drain you of time, energy, and happiness? Are there more you’d add to the list? Share in the comments below!

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                    Carmen Sakurai

                    Mental Declutter, Stress Management & Burnout Prevention Coach. Feeling Stuck? Overwhelmed & No Energy? Let's Talk!

                    35 Books on Productivity and Organizational Skills for an Effective Life 40 Flexible Ways for Stay At Home Moms and Dads to Earn Real Money 20 Common Habits Successful People Consciously Reject 24 Signs You’re An Introvert- Not Shy 10 Compassionate Ways to Support Loved Ones Suffering from Depression

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                    Last Updated on March 21, 2019

                    11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits

                    11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits

                    Most gurus talk about habits in a way that doesn’t help you:

                    You need to push yourself more. You can’t be lazy. You need to wake up at 5 am. You need more motivation. You can never fail…blah blah “insert more gibberish here.”

                    But let me share with you the unconventional truths I found out:

                    To build and change habits, you don’t need motivation or wake up at 5 am. Heck, you can fail multiple times, be lazy, have no motivation and still pull it off with ease.

                    It’s quite simple and easy to do, especially with the following list I’m going to show to you. But remember, Jim Rohn used to say,

                    “What is simple and easy to do is also simple and easy not to do.”

                    The important things to remember when changing your habits are both simple and easy, just don’t think that they don’t make any difference because they do.

                    In fact, they are the only things that make a difference.

                    Let’s see what those small things are, shall we?

                    1. Start Small

                    The biggest mistake I see people doing with habits is by going big. You don’t go big…ever. You start small with your habits.

                    Want to grow a book reading habit? Don’t start reading a book a day. Start with 10 pages a day.

                    Want to become a writer? Don’t start writing 10,000 words a day. Start with 300 words.

                    Want to lose weight? Don’t stop eating ice cream. Eat one less ball of it.

                    Whatever it is, you need to start small. Starting big always leads to failure. It has to, because it’s not sustainable.

                    Start small. How small? The amount needs to be in your comfort zone. So if you think that reading 20 pages of a book is a bit too much, start with 10 or 5.

                    It needs to appear easy and be easy to do.

                    Do less today to do more in a year.

                    2. Stay Small

                    There is a notion of Kaizen which means continuous improvement. They use this notion in habits where they tell you to start with reading 1 page of a book a day and then gradually increase the amount you do over time.

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                    But the problem with this approach is the end line — where the “improvement” stops.

                    If I go from reading 1 page of a book a day and gradually reach 75 and 100, when do I stop? When I reach 1 book a day? That is just absurd.

                    When you start a habit, stay at it in the intensity you have decided. Don’t push yourself for more.

                    I started reading 20 pages of a book a day. It’s been more than 2 years now and I’ve read 101 books in that period. There is no way I will increase the number in the future.

                    Why?

                    Because reading 40 to 50 books a year is enough.

                    The same thing applies to every other habit out there.

                    Pick a (small) number and stay at it.

                    3. Bad Days Are 100 Percent Occurrence

                    No matter how great you are, you will have bad days where you won’t do your habit. Period.

                    There is no way of going around this. So it’s better to prepare yourself for when that happens instead of thinking that it won’t ever happen.

                    What I do when I miss a day of my habit(s) is that I try to bounce back the next day while trying to do habits for both of those days.

                    Example for that is if I read 20 pages of a book a day and I miss a day, the next day I will have to read 40 pages of a book. If I miss writing 500 words, the next day I need to write 1000.

                    This is a really important point we will discuss later on rewards and punishments.

                    This is how I prepare for the bad days when I skip my habit(s) and it’s a model you should take as well.

                    4. Those Who Track It, Hack It

                    When you track an activity, you can objectively tell what you did in the past days, weeks, months, and years. If you don’t track, you will for sure forget everything you did.

                    There are many different ways you can track your activities today, from Habitica to a simple Excel sheet that I use, to even a Whatsapp Tracker.

                    Peter Drucker said,

                    “What you track is what you do.”

                    So track it to do it — it really helps.

                    But tracking is accompanied by one more easy activity — measuring.

                    5. Measure Once, Do Twice

                    Peter Drucker also said,

                    “What you measure is what you improve.”

                    So alongside my tracker, I have numbers with which I measure doses of daily activities:

                    For reading, it’s 20 pages.
                    For writing, it’s 500 words.
                    For the gym, it’s 1 (I went) or 0 (didn’t go).
                    For budgeting, it’s writing down the incomes and expenses.

                    Tracking and measuring go hand in hand, they take less than 20 seconds a day but they create so much momentum that it’s unbelievable.

                    6. All Days Make a Difference

                    Will one day in the gym make you fit? It won’t.

                    Will two? They won’t.

                    Will three? They won’t.

                    Which means that a single gym session won’t make you fit. But after 100 gym sessions, you will look and feel fit.

                    What happened? Which one made you fit?

                    The answer to this (Sorites paradox)[1] is that no single gym session made you fit, they all did.

                    No single day makes a difference, but when combined, they all do. So trust the process and keep on going (small).

                    7. They Are Never Fully Automated

                    Gurus tell you that habits become automatic. And yes, some of them do, like showering a certain way of brushing your teeth.

                    But some habits don’t become automatic, they become a lifestyle.

                    What I mean by that is that you won’t automatically “wake up” in the gym and wonder how you got there.

                    It will just become a part of your lifestyle.

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                    The difference is that you do the first one automatically, without conscious thought, while the other is a part of how you live your life.

                    It’s not automatic, but it’s a decision you don’t ponder on or think about — you simply do it.

                    It will become easy at a certain point, but they will never become fully automated.

                    8. What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

                    Marshall Goldsmith has a great book with the same title to it. The phrase means that sometimes, you will need to ditch certain habits to make room for other ones which will bring you to the next step.

                    Don’t be afraid to evolve your habits when you sense that they don’t bring you where you want to go.

                    When I started reading, it was about reading business and tactic books. But two years into it, I switched to philosophy books which don’t teach me anything “applicable,” but instead teach me how to think.

                    The most important ability of the 21st century is the ability to learn, unlearn, and relearn. The strongest tree is the willow tree – not because it has the strongest root or biggest trunk, but because it is flexible enough to endure and sustain anything.

                    Be like a willow, adapting to the new ways of doing things.

                    9. Set a Goal and Then Forget It

                    The most successful of us know what they want to achieve, but they don’t focus on it.

                    Sounds paradoxical? You’re right, it does. But here is the logic behind it.

                    You need to have a goal of doing something – “I want to become a healthy individual” – and then, you need to reverse engineer how to get there with your habits- “I will go to the gym four times a week.”

                    But once you have your goal, you need to “forget” about it and only focus on the process. Because you are working on the process of becoming healthy and it’s always in the making. You will only be as healthy as you take care of your body.

                    So you have a goal which isn’t static but keeps on moving.

                    If you went to the gym 150 times year and you hit your goal, what would you do then? You would stop going to the gym.

                    This is why goal-oriented people experience yo-yo effect[2] and why process-oriented people don’t.

                    The difference between process-oriented and goal-oriented people is that the first focus on daily actions while others only focus on the reward at the finish line.

                    Set a goal but then forget about it and reap massive awards.

                    10. Punish Yourself

                    Last two sections are pure Pavlovian – you need to punish bad behavior and reward good behavior. You are the only person who decides what is good and what is bad for you, but when you do, you need to rigorously follow that.

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                    I’ve told you in point #3 about bad days and how after one occurs, I do double the work on the next day. That is one of my forms of punishments.

                    It’s the need to tell your brain that certain behaviors are unacceptable and that they lead to bad outcomes. That’s what punishments are for.

                    You want to tell your brain that there are real consequences to missing your daily habits.[3]

                    No favorite food to eat or favorite show to watch or going to the cinema for a new Marvel movie- none, zero, zilch.

                    The brain will remember these bad feelings and will try to avoid the behaviors that led to them as much as possible.

                    But don’t forget the other side of the same coin.

                    11. Reward Yourself

                    When you follow and execute on your plan, reward yourself. It’s how the brain knows that you did something good.

                    Whenever I finish one of my habits for the day, I open my tracker (who am I kidding, I always keep it open on my desktop) and fill it with a number. As soon as I finish reading 20 pages of a book a day (or a bit more), I open the tracker and write the number down.

                    The cell becomes green and gives me an instant boost of endorphin – a great success for the day. Then, it becomes all about not breaking the chain and having as many green fields as possible.

                    After 100 days, I crunch some numbers and see how I did.

                    If I have less than 10 cheat days, I reward myself with a great meal in a restaurant. You can create your own rewards and they can be daily, weekly, monthly or any arbitrary time table that you create.

                    Primoz Bozic, a productivity coach, has gold, silver, and bronze medals as his reward system.[4]

                    If you’re having problems creating a system which works for you, contact me via email and we can discuss specifics.

                    In the End, It Matters

                    What you do matters not only to you but to the people around you.

                    When you increase the quality of your life, you indirectly increase the quality of life of people around you. And sometimes, that is all the “motivation” we need to start.

                    And that’s the best quote for the end of this article:

                    “Motivation gets you started, but habits keep you going.”

                    Keep going.

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                    More Resources to Help You Build Habits

                    Featured photo credit: Anete Lūsiņa via unsplash.com

                    Reference

                    [1] Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Sorites paradox
                    [2] Muscle Zone: What causes yo-yo effect and how to avoid it?
                    [3] Growth Habits: 5 Missteps That Cause You To Quit Building A Habit
                    [4] Primoz Bozic: The Lean Review: How to Plan Your 2019 in 20 Minutes

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