We have far more habits than we realize. It’s been said that successful people merely have successful habits. Success takes time, and habits repeat themselves over time. Your individual habits each serve to move you closer to success or make success more challenging.
There are only 24 hours in a day, so it’s not possible to have an unlimited number of habits. Choosing the most effective habits is a big responsibility!
Right now, let’s cut to the chase and give you a tool to change your habits. If you don’t want to read further or you are just impatient with reading a bunch more advice, click here to get the worksheet to lead you to develop at least 15 new habits over the next 12 months
Add these habits to your life and increase your success:
- Make a to-do list each night.
Start the day with a bang by having carefully chosen your activities and priorities for the following day. You’ll sleep better by having one less thing on your mind. You’ll get more done by not spending your morning trying to plan your day.
One extra strategy is to put only 3 things on the to-do list and put 3 times in your calendar the next day with an alarm to get them done. Scheduling the time means that you are controlling your time rather than time controlling you.
- Ruthlessly prioritize your activities.
No matter what your goal might be, there is one action that is more important than the rest. Determine that action and make it your focus until it is complete. After making your to-do list, chisel it down to the most important activity and start your day there.
* While others are focused on doing what’s easiest, you’ll be working on what’s most effective. The difference is considerable.
- Get 7-8 hours of sleep.
Many claim to do just fine on 4-6 hours of sleep, but recent studies have shown that no one is as effective with 6 hours of sleep as they are with 7. If you’re getting less than 7 hours each night, you’re under-performing.
- Meditate or pray each day.
Getting in touch with your spirituality is important to your creativity and the overall balance in your life. Fifteen minutes a day provides a nice break and the opportunity to regroup.
- Review your goals at least once per day.
Continue to remind yourself of your objectives. Your brain is wonderful at finding solutions, so keep reminding it of the primary challenge in your life. Reviewing your goals creates and maintains a target.
- Review your day each night.
Imagine how much easier life would be if you avoided making the same mistakes. Reviewing your day and acknowledging your successes and failures is an effective way to avoid making the same errors over and over. Start with the morning and work sequentially through your day.
* Ask yourself, “What could I have done better?” Establish a more effective alternative for the next time.
* Also be sure to review your successes. Labeling them as such will increase the likelihood of them happening again.
- Exercise daily.
Exercise not only strengthens your health, but it also improves your alertness and self-esteem. The vast majority of successful people report exercising each day, rain or shine. It doesn’t matter when you exercise, but most high-achievers make time in the morning. Even if it is 5-10 minutes, do something physical.
- Practice mindfulness.
Mindfulness is all the rage today, but the idea has been around for at least 2500 years. Mindfulness is detached awareness of your surroundings and thoughts. It’s keeping your mind on the task at hand. Avoid worrying about the future or regretting the past. Your day will be more productive and enjoyable.
Take control of your habits. Your habits are behaviors that are repeated over and over without requiring willpower. You likely brush your teeth every night without any mental turmoil. The same ease can be accomplished with other tasks, like exercise.
Start small and with only a single habit. Build and expand as each activity becomes ingrained. Here is a worksheet you can complete to get you started. The focus is identifying one small habit in 5 different areas of your life and a guide to changing the habit that is not serving you to one that will serve you. Importantly, a new habit is formed when it is grooved (yes the brain actually can form new folds, grooves and nerve path and connections) into your brain and this worksheet will help you make your new habit permanent by growing you new brain grooves.
Consider your current habits. Are they bringing you closer to success or making success less likely?