Most people tend to live their lives on autopilot, performing routine after routine and never taking the time to step back and reflect on whether said routines are optimized for success. It is worth doing, because even successful people tend to follow routines and have daily habits, the difference between them and non-successful people is that their habits are geared more towards improving their chances for success.
So if you want to be successful, it’s not enough to simply curtail bad habits. You have to adopt the habits of wealthy, successful people. To get you started, here are a few that you could easily follow and practice right now:
1. Actively Setting Good Daily Habits
Successful people tend to be inherently aware of the effects bad habits have in their lives, and so they deign to monitor their own routines and see if there are bad habits that need to be replaced by good ones. For example, habitual smoking, which is not only a health issue but also a drain on your finances (the cost of those packs of cigarettes can easily add up over time.) and so try to replace it with more productive habits.
Retaining many bad habits, even simple seemingly harmless ones like skipping meals, can all contribute to preventing you from becoming wealthy or getting a boost in your career. So it is a good thing to do an audit of your habits and try to slough off the bad. One good method of doing this is by taking out a sheet of paper and listing down your bad habits and good habits in separate column, then using that as a checklist of sorts. You will be amazed at how much easier it is to get rid of bad habits when you are organized and actively involved in their removal.
2. Creating Goals Regularly
One key trait of successful people is that they are extremely goal-driven. Regardless of the success rate, they tend to go from one goal to the next. They live their lives as a series of goalposts. So if you want to be successful as well, you have to adopt the habit of goal creation.
Goals are not exclusive to successful people, but a key difference is that they are not singularly focused on a single goal. They have both short term and long term goals – from what they plan to achieve within the day, to what they seek to accomplish in a week, and even to how they see themselves in 5 years’ time.
Another important trait is that they come up with plans to achieve them. It is not enough to simply say, “I will be a thousand dollars richer in 8 months.” You have to come up with a plan on how you will accomplish that goal, and you have to implement that plan.
3. Daily Self-Improvement
Have you ever noticed that successful people tend to be well-read and are considered as experts in their profession? That’s because one of their habits is constant self-improvement. And so they read a lot, and continue to study in their chosen profession. They rarely waste their time on activities that do not help improve them in one way or another. Successful people are habitually engaging in activities that will stretch and challenge both their knowledge and skill, and this results in the people always coming out on top.
If you don’t know where to start, you can do it by first choosing which field you want to be successful in. Then start throwing yourself into learning more about the field and gathering experience. You can start with books, tutorials, and even online research but then you can move on into enrolling in classes, seeking certifications, and even taking on tough projects in the field.
4. Taking Care of One’s Health
Most people have this mistaken impression that successful individuals are constantly abusing their bodies and sacrificing well-being for wealth, which is patently untrue. If you take a look at some of the wealthiest individuals in the world, you will see that they take steps to take care of their body. They go to the gym or fit exercise into their schedule, they eat proper meals and take their vitamins.
The reasoning behind this habit is simple – your ability to work and think will be severely compromised if you have poor physical health, and it goes without saying that people with health issues tend to spend money on medication, money that could have contributed to one’s wealth. Granted that there are PWD geniuses who have still managed to earn fame and fortune, but most of the time they were born with disabilities. Imagine what else they could have accomplished with a full bill of health? They didn’t have a choice but you do.
5. Take The Time to Build a Relationship
There is a glorified view of wealthy people as social recluses or elitist sociopaths, but things couldn’t be farther from the truth. Successful people usually got to where they are because they have excellent people skills, and they are people-focused. They make the time to engage other people, build relationships, and strengthen bonds with existing friends and acquaintances.
There are numerous ways of practicing this habit. Reach out to your contacts and try to catch up, see if there are ways you can help them without asking for anything in return. Take the time to greet people that you regularly pass by, and make an effort to remember people’s names. People like to hear the sound of their own names, so imagine how good you’ll make random people feel if you are the first passersby who greets them by their name?
6. Moderation is Key
It’s easy to get caught up in the hype of approaching things at breakneck speeds and doing everything excessively. Some people have managed to achieve a modicum of success through excesses and obsession. But a more holistic and effective approach is to do everything in moderation.
The key is balance. In everything, the proper way is to achieve balance – work, life, eating, sleep, entertainment, relationships – you need to make the effort to ensure that you are not doing too much or not doing too little. Taking a balanced approach is also conducive to a simpler, stress free life and a more enjoyable time while you are striving towards success.
7. Strive to Get Things Done
Procrastination is one of the recipes for failure. It does not matter how good, skilled, or knowledgeable you are. If you always put off tomorrow what you are able to do today, people who have the initiative to accept challenges as they come will grab the opportunities that could have taken you to success.
Successful people are go-getters, who never waste time when it comes to finishing tasks and doing things. They may get the temptation to procrastinate, but they soldier on through willpower and commit to doing things now.
Care must be taken not to equate this habit with rushing. There is a difference between doing things now and doing things as fast as possible just to get it done now. It does not matter if things will take a long time to finish, the point is that you don’t waste time and commit to finishing it.
8. Keeping a Positive Outlook on Life
Just try to think of the most successful person you know. Do they look miserable and always looking at the negative side of things? No. Chances are the most successful person you know is jovial, positive, and full of energy. They may seem busy and always have bigger fish to fry, but they are never ever gloomy and pessimistic. These types of people are successful because they don’t get bogged down by problems. To them, problems are not hindrances but challenges just waiting to be hurdled. They treat problems as opportunities in disguise.
If you want to be successful, you have to make an effort to always see the positive in things, situations, and people. It may take time, simply because the world is so full of negatives these days, but work at it and you will see that the effort will pay you back in full.
9. Save Money
It’s an unfortunate tendency for people who come across extra money to immediately spend it on things that they want. There is nothing inherently bad about enjoying the fruits of your labor, but if you want to be successful, you need to temper your impulses a bit and learn how to save money.
Studies have shown that successful individuals tend to have a habit of putting away 10 to 20 percent of their gross earnings in a savings, investment, or retirement plan. In your current financial state, you might not be able to devote that much for your savings, but make an effort and start small if you have to.
10. Living Within Means
Contrary to popular belief, the really successful, wealthy people don’t really splurge their money on things outside of their means. Sure, most of them have big houses and expensive cars or gadgets that we can’t afford. But those things are still within their means, they never overspend. You need to adopt this behavior.
This does not mean you have to live in abject poverty. You can still buy that gadget you want, or enjoy good food, or even buy a new car or house. The point is that you should avoid spending if it is already outside of your budget. Resist the temptation of using your credit cards or taking out a loan for things that you do not really need in order to survive. Or choose more affordable products if the premium ones will stretch your budget. Avoid spending on luxury items if you are already living from paycheck to paycheck.
11. Limiting TV Watching
Did you know that many successful people only watch one hour or less of TV per day? Watching TV is an unproductive activity that takes far too much time, which could have been used for more productive activities. Additionally, there are health risks associated with binge watching.
A good alternative to this is to just read books, particularly books that can increase your know-how. But fiction books meant for entertainment are also better than TV, because it hones your imagination and creativity, two things that play a great deal with success in one’s career.
12. Spending Time with Other Successful People
The adage “birds of a same feather, flock together” apply here. It is really true that the qualities and behavior of people you surround yourself with will rub off on you, so what better way to adopt more habits of successful people than to surround yourself with them? Having other successful people for friends also means you get to widen your network of peers towards those who are more prone to throwing opportunities your way, and you are much less likely to be surrounded by toxic, negative people.
13. Finding a Mentor
While there’s a certain amount of pride to be built from doing things on your own, you will find that many of the most successful individuals in the business world have had a mentor, and attribute their success to that mentor. Simply having someone who can guide you and steer you towards success is crucial to speeding up your journey, and of course, there’s the fact that it’s less lonely at the top if you have a mentor to keep you company along the way.
14. Not Giving In to Fear
If there is one thing that is success’ biggest enemy, it’s fear. Many opportunities are lost and many rewarding risks are not taken simply because a person was afraid. It’s not that successful people don’t have fears – everyone has the capacity to be afraid. The difference is that successful people don’t let their fears define or limit them. They acknowledge their fears, make an effort to understand if the fears are valid, and then they find ways to overcome them. Find someone successful and see someone who has not let fear rule his or her life. It helps to adopt this habit of never backing down from the unknown, if you really want to tread the path towards success.