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What Do Successful People Do Differently to Guarantee them Long-term Success?

What Do Successful People Do Differently to Guarantee them Long-term Success?

Have you ever wondered what it is that makes some people successful and others not?

What do they do differently to guarantee them long-term success?

I’ve studied a whole host of successful people and I’ve discovered a few things that they have in common. And today I’m going to share with you one key secret to long-term success.

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Out of all the habits that successful people share, this is definitely one of the most crucial ingredients for success ,yet it’s something that most of us are not implementing.

Here’s the news flash:

Successful people understand that things take time

In a world where we are taught to love instant gratification, most people just don’t take the time to plan. The rapid pace of technology has only fueled unrealistic desires of overnight internet success stories, and this is where a lot of us go wrong.

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It can be easy to look at successful businesses and feel like they got lucky overnight, but I can assure you this is not the case. Let’s take Starbucks as an example: they had only 5 stores for the first 13 years that they were in business, and it was only after this 13-year period that they suddenly extended to a massive 16,000 stores. From the outside, it may have looked like they “made it overnight”, but they had put in 13 long years of hard work to enable them to eventually reach success.

The truth is that there are no overnight success stories; there is only long-term planning and a lot of hard work! If you want success, you have to commit to it, and this involves planning for the next few years, not just the next few weeks.

To put this theory into perspective, I’ve come into contact with some entrepreneurs who set 100-year plans. That’s right; while most of us can barely put together a plan for the week ahead, they are busy planning the next century!

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Get started with your long-term planning

If you have a new business idea or a project you have always wanted to put into action, it might be time to stop what you’re doing and put aside some time to plan for the future.

Here are a few pointers to help you on your way:

1. If you ever dream of “making it overnight”, put a stop to this thinking. It’s unrealistic and will only jeopardize your attempts at true success.

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2. Make peace with the fact that it takes time to become a success – if it was really that easy, everyone would be successful!

3. Put together a long-term plan. Be realistic about your goals and what it really takes to succeed.

4. When the going gets tough, know that every single other success story went through what you’re going through. You are not alone.

5. It’s not all doom and gloom –  know that if you persist and keep going then your hard work will pay off. Just stay focused, commit to the long run and never give up!

More by this author

Zoe B

A strategist, coach and blogger who shows people how to stop what isn't working for them in life and to start to plan the life they really want.

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

 

Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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