‘People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.’ ~Thich Nhat Hanh
The end of procrastination is the art of letting go.
I’ve been a lifelong procrastinator, at least until recent years. I would put things off until deadline, because I knew I could come through. I came through on tests after cramming last minute, I turned articles in at the deadline after waiting until the last hour, I got things done.Advertising
Until I didn’t. It turns out procrastinating caused me to miss deadlines, over and over. It stressed me out. My work was less-than-desirable when I did it last minute. Slowly, I started to realize that procrastination wasn’t doing me any favors. In fact, it was causing me a lot of grief.
But I couldn’t quit. I tried a lot of things. I tried time boxing and goal setting and accountability and the Pomodoro Technique and Getting Things Done. All are great methods, but they only last so long. Nothing really worked over the long term.
That’s because I wasn’t getting to the root problem.Advertising
I hadn’t figured out the skill that would save me from the procrastination.
Until I learned about letting go.
Letting go first came to me when I was quitting smoking. I had to let go of the “need” to smoke, the use of my crutch of cigarettes to deal with stress and problems.
Then I learned I needed to let go of other false needs that were causing me problems: sugar, junk food, meat, shopping, beer, possessions. I’m not saying I can never do these things again once I let go of these needs, but I let go of the idea that they’re really necessary. I let go of an unhealthy attachment to them.Advertising
Then I learned that distractions and the false need to check my email and news and other things online … were causing me problems. They were causing my procrastination.
So I learned to let go of those too.
Here’s the process I used to let go of the distractions and false needs that cause procrastination:Advertising
- I paid attention to the pain they cause me, later, instead of only the temporary comfort/pleasure they gave me right away.
- I thought about the person I want to be, the life I want to live. I set my intentions to do the good work I think I should do.
- I watched my urges to check things, to go to the comfort of distractions. I saw that I wanted to escape discomfort of something hard, and go to the comfort of something familiar and easy.
- I realized I didn’t need that comfort. I could be in discomfort and nothing bad would happen. In fact, the best things happen when I’m in discomfort.
And then I smile, and breathe, and let go.
And one step at a time, become the person I want to be.
‘You can only lose what you cling to.’ ~Buddha
Last Updated on November 9, 2020
10 Good Habits to Have in Life to Be More Successful
Habits are behaviors and patterns that you showcase by default. Many good habits to have will enable you to carry out crucial activities like taking a shower, brushing your teeth, and getting ready for work.
Interestingly, you follow this routine every day without thinking twice. Your unconscious daily habits create room for your brain to perform more advanced activities like problem-solving and choosing what book to read.
Everyone has habits, and several of those habits are activated every day. I would classify them into three groups:
- Habits that you hardly notice as they have become a major part of your life, such as brushing teeth or getting dressed.
- Good habits to have to be more successful, like eating healthy, exercising, and reading books.
- Habits that are harmful, like procrastinating, smoking, or overeating.
Good habits are fundamental to becoming successful in life. Yet, as significant as habits are, some lack the knowledge of their capabilities.
While much of the emphasis falls on bad habits to break, it’s just as important to focus on good habits to have and cultivate in your daily routine.
Here, we’ll talk about 10 good habits to have to be more successful in life.
1. Begin Your Day with Meditation
I recommend mindful meditation early in the morning. This practice helps you to place yourself in the present moment. Consequently, it enables you to be mindful of challenging situations during the day.
Different stressors may trigger as you go through the day; meditation helps you to remain calm before taking on the challenges.
Personally, it helps me to devise strategies and think about ideas. Meditation is a good habit to have if you want to be connected to what’s significant in your life.
2. Be Grateful for What You Have
It’s not uncommon to waste time thinking of what’s not enough. You become immersed in those daunting challenges. However, challenges justify the presence of hope. The only strategy you have to stop focusing on your problems is to focus on what you have.
Gratitude is a time-tested pathway to success, health, and happiness. It redirects your focus to what you have from what you lack. Try writing a list of things you’re grateful for each day in a gratitude journal, or make it a habit to say one thing you’re grateful for when you sit down to dinner with your family.
Can you pause and smile before you continue reading this?
Now, here is what just happened based on research conducted by the Association for Psychological Science; you set a pace for living a happier life when you smile. A genuine smile, or what’s called a Duchenne smile, is a good habit to have if you want to find spiritual, emotional, and mental peace of mind.
Smiling induces the release of molecules that function towards fighting stress. The physiological state of your body determines the state of your mind. When you slouch or frown, your mind takes cues relating to unhappiness and depression. However, once you adjust yourself by putting on a smile, you begin to feel a new level of excitement and vibrancy.
4. Start Your Day With a Healthy Breakfast
Starting your day with a healthy breakfast is a good habit to have and forms a crucial part of your life. Nevertheless, about 31 million Americans skip their breakfast each day.
If you are fed up hearing that breakfast is a crucial component of your day, you are only fighting the truth. If you want to become more successful, you need to “break your fast” with healthy foods every morning.
This habit is not difficult to form if you usually rush out the door every single morning. You can wake up earlier to fix yourself a meal so you don’t break down during the day.
Get inspired by these 20 Healthy Breakfast Choices That Will Save You Time.
5. Exercise Daily
One of the good habits to have is to exercise your body and muscles on a daily basis. You don’t have to run a marathon or lift tons of weights. You only need to engage in activities that oxygenate your blood and inject endorphins in your body, trying to squeeze in at least 15 minutes every day.
Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, classified exercise as a good habit to maximize his already jam-packed schedule. He said:
“I wake up by 5, meditate for 30 minutes, seven-minute workout times three, make coffee, and check-in.”
He said on Product Hunt that he follows this routine every day as it gives him a steady-state that empowers him to be more productive.
6. Manage Your Time
Another good habit is the act of managing your time effectively. This goes a long way toward impacting your achievement.
Time management is what separates the successful from the rest of the world as we all possess the same amount of time. How you leverage time determines your potential to succeed in life.
So how do you manage your time effectively?
Here’s Jack Dorsey’s recommendation in one of the Techonomy events:
“I accomplish effective time management by theming my days and practicing self-discipline. These themes help me handle distractions and interactions. If a request or task does not align with the theme for that day, I don’t do it. This sets a cadence for everyone in the company to deliver and evaluate their progress”.
And this is Dorsey’s weekly theme layout:
- Monday – Management
- Tuesday – Product
- Wednesday – Marketing and growth
- Thursdays – Developers and partnerships
- Fridays – Culture and recruiting
- Saturdays – Taking off
- Sundays – Reflection, feedback, strategy, and preparing for Monday
No wonder he was able to run two companies when others were struggling with one job.
Check out more time management tips here: 7 Effective Time Management Tips To Maximize Your Productivity
7. Set Daily Goals With Intentions
Everyone has goals, whether they relate to business or personal life. The truth is, we’re all tending towards a particular direction. Nevertheless, while long-term goals can offer you direction, it’s your daily goals that help you develop short-term goals that are essential for your success.
Long-term goals may not give you the motivation you need to keep on, but when you implement your short-term milestones daily, you become fired up, and you can overcome the challenges that come with taking on bigger tasks.
Here’s the main truth: Successful people don’t set goals without establishing their intentions. According to Jennifer Cohen of Forbes,
“What helps you to achieve your desired expectation is ensuring intentions accompany your daily goals.”
8. Seek Inspiration
It is usually difficult to be inspired for a considerable length of time. Sometimes, you become discouraged and feel like giving up on your goals when things are not working out as intended.
A practical approach to stay on top of the situation is to inspire yourself each day. When you wake up in the morning (after meditation), watch some motivational videos, and let the story of great leaders inspire you.
Establish what Anthony Robbins called the “hour of power.” Determine how many minutes you spend, but make it count. Inspiration is the fuel for achievement because when you can conceive it in your mind, you can accomplish it.
Michal Solowow, an investor and the founder of Mitex, puts it this way:
“The problems I encounter in everyday life motivate me to find solutions. This is a self-propelling mechanism. Becoming a billionaire was never a motivating factor.”
9. Save Steadily, Invest With All Prudence
I can’t exhaust the good habits to have without talking about saving and investing. Most times, you overlook the significance of saving for the future when you are living in your present moment. According to CNBC, a $1000 emergency will propel several Americans into debt.
However, it is not enough to save, and you must invest your funds and be wise with them. If you pay attention to this now, you will set yourself up for a life of success in the future. Ensure you save at least six months in your emergency account so you can be prepared for any future emergency.
If you’re looking for a simple way to save money, check out the following video:
10. Budget and Track Your Spending
Benjamin Franklin warned of taking the precaution of little expenses. He said:
“A small leak sinks a great ship.”
It is easy to discard little expenses, but the truth is they always add up. This happens when you fail to budget.
Budgeting is a good habit to have, and it can impact your financial life significantly. The money you spend on extravagant lifestyles can be saved and invested in your future instead.
The Bottom Line
Endeavor to start developing good habits to have to become more successful as you journey through life. The quicker you cultivate them, the faster you will achieve your goals.
More About Cultivating Good Habits
- 16 Everyday Habits of Highly Productive People
- 13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away
- 11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits
Featured photo credit: Andrijana Bozic via unsplash.com
|||^||APS: The Psychological Study of Smile|
|||^||NPD: 31 Million U.S. Consumers Skip Breakfast Each Day, Reports NPD|
|||^||Product Hunt: Jack Dorsey’s Comment|
|||^||The Balance: 11 Time Management Tips That Work|
|||^||Forbes: The Jack Dorsey Productivity Secret That Enables Him To Run Two Companies At Once|
|||^||Forbes: The Most Successful People Don’t Set Goals — They Do This Instead|
|||^||CNBC: Author who studies self-made billionaires: 9 things that motivate the ultra-rich to succeed|
|||^||CNBC: A $1,000 emergency would push many Americans into debt|