Habits build the foundation of our success, teaching us how everyday actions can help improve our lives and increase our chances of accomplishing our goals. Through good habits we are able to realize our dreams and reach new heights of success. Good habits are what help us to lose weight, receive a promotion and write a book.
But unfortunately, not all habits are created equal. Bad habits can restrict your goals and impede your success. With the wrong habits, you can take one step forward but three steps backwards.
Read on to learn how you can develop the right habits that help you lead a happy, content and successful life.
Habit #1: Exercise daily
What’s one thing that so many successful people have in common? They take time out of their days to sweat. And no, I don’t mean going to sauna, although that wouldn’t hurt. Rather, I mean partaking in daily exercise.
If you want to be as successful as possible, you need to ensure that the tools at your disposal are of the highest quality. And in this case, the tool I am referring to is your body.
A healthy, fit body can take you through a stressful, busy day with little to no hassle. Sure, you may feel a little tired at the end of the day, but other than that you will come out of the scuffle no worse for wear.
However, if you abuse your body by eating unhealthily (more on that soon) and neglecting regular exercise, your so-called ‘tool’ won’t be at its sharpest. You’ll feel lethargic, sluggish and unwell. You’ll get sick more frequently and feel exhausted by the end of the week. You’ll look crap and feel worse.
But if you make an effort to exercise regularly and integrate daily physical activity into your schedule, your body will reward you. Physical activity strengthens every part of your body, from your lungs to your heart and up to your brain. You’ll feel better, your mood will improve and you’ll look fantastic.
What’s not to love?
Oh, and did we mention you’ll also live longer? With more time, you can achieve so much more success!
Habit #2: Eat healthily
As we touched on earlier, if you’re looking to increase your chances of success, you need to ensure you have the right tools at your disposal. And just like you wouldn’t put straight unleaded petrol into a supercar, you need to start thinking of feeding your body the right fuel.
Your body runs better on clean, natural and raw foods. It loves fresh fruit and vegetables, lean meats and fish, nuts, seeds and grains. All of this stuff makes your body sing. So feed it the right things, each day, and be rewarded with good health, energy and success.
Habit #3: Listen more than you speak
How are you meant to learn new things, discover new concepts and be inspired by new ideas if you spend all of your time speaking? This next habit is all about toning down the amount of time you spend speaking and ramping up your active listening time.
You should view every interaction as a new opportunity to be inspired. As a chance to learn something new. And with new inspiration and new wisdom your chance of success increases. It also makes you more likable because people know that when they talk to you, you actually listen. In today’s world, that is a pretty sought after quality.
Habit #4: Reserve judgment
It can be very easy to judge a book by its cover and assume the best, and the worst, of people and situations. But successful people understand that there are always two sides to every story and nothing is ever simply black and white.
So next time you are confronted with the urge to judge something straight off the bat, resist the temptation. Wait a while, gather your logic and your instinct and then make an informed decision. Your success will thank you for it!
Habit #5: Always be kind to those who can do nothing for you
When you’re climbing the success ladder, sometimes you can forget about the people that you came across along the way. Whether they were someone who helped you, indirectly or otherwise, or they were just someone you met on your journey, it’s important to realize that they are all equally as important.
By being kind and gracious to everyone you meet you gather good karma. And even if you don’t believe in good karma or good juju, you can acknowledge that being nice to others usually reaps its own rewards.
You begin to develop a good reputation and a good sense of character. You feel great about yourself and can feel content in the knowledge that you help improve other’s lives, even when there’s nothing in it for you.
Habit #6: Have a plan
This habit might seem a little simple, but it’s actually very important to master. When you start on your adventure to success, it’s likely that you will have a target or a goal in mind. Perhaps you want to be the CEO of your own company or you want to star in a Hollywood movie. There is always something you are working towards and is usually something pretty darn big.
But if you simply focus on that goal, it will be like trying to jump eight metres in the air with no assistance. Instead, have an overarching goal that you want to work towards and then milestone goals that will help you get there. Focus on building your skills and expertise so that the eight metre jump drops down to seven, then six, five, four, three, two and finally one. Take everything down to manageable gulps and highlight them all as your goals.
Before long, you’ll be creating a plan to acquire a new company or star in a top grossing Hollywood film. Always have a plan!
Habit #7: Go to bed early and rise at dawn
Okay, so this one may seem a little unachievable right now, especially if you are a rampant socialite. But the truth is if you want to acquire success, you need to create an environment that success flourishes in.
The best environment that many successful people have found is one that is calm, controlled and energized. By going to bed early not only do you get a good night’s sleep, but you will decrease your stress levels and improve your clarity and body’s capacity. By rising early, you can ensure you fit exercise in and make a plan for how you will attack the day. The early bird get the worm, so make sure you’re in line to get fed.
Habit #8: Meditate
Have you ever been in a situation where you are waiting to hear back from someone about an important decision or important news and it’s all you can think about? You could be out with friends and checking your phone every two minutes, or at work and constantly refreshing your email. You’re not paying attention to those around you and your thoughts are frantically swirling with ‘what ifs’ and other possibilities.
This is, for some people, how their brain works every day. Some Buddhist monks call this the ‘crazy monkey’ mind. Flitting from one topic to the next and then spiraling back again, our minds can sometimes seem uncontrollable.
But if you’re looking to master success, you need to take control of your thoughts and your mind.
Regular meditation has been scientifically proven to improve your mood, your cognitive abilities and your stress levels. It also settles and re-energizes your body. And all of these benefits will help you focus on your target: success.
Habit #9: Be positive
Your thoughts are quite literally your world. What you think influences how you feel, how you act and in turn how your future unfolds. So it makes sense that if you’re looking for positive outcomes, you’ll want to be thinking positively.
And while meditation can help you take control of your mind, you will need to make a concerted decision to attack and neutralize any negative thoughts even when you’re not meditating. Throughout the day, when you start to feel a niggle of negativity, stomp it out. Focus on the positive.
You don’t have to be outrageously optimistic, “Oh yay! I lost my job! Waaaay more time to watch New Girl reruns now!” but you do have to at least try to turn a negative into a positive. Something like, “Okay, so I lost my job, but I haven’t really felt challenged in a long time and it will be good to try something new.” is well worth the effort.
Habit #10: Foster gratefulness
And last but not least, you should foster gratefulness wherever possible. After all, what good is success if you don’t appreciate it? Learning to appreciate the good things in your life, even if they’re small, will help you to work towards even greater things.
If you struggle with gratefulness, why not start a gratitude journal? Begin with just one thing a day that makes you feel grateful and then work your way up to five or ten.
You’ll be surprised at how much better you feel when you are thankful for the success you have already acquired.