It isn’t motivation that creates success, but the right theory and the right actions fused into habits. The most successful people in the world tend to have passion for what they do (more often fueled by a high social and moral purpose), but passion that isn’t accompanied by correct theory, and action is rendered ineffective or useless.
It is your habits long term, more than anything, that will lead to your eventual success or failure.
If your days are dominated by habits that help you on your journey to success, you’ll one day likely find yourself exactly where you want to be, doing what you dream of doing, as healthy as you want to be, earning what you aspire to be earning and hanging out with those you wish to spend your time with.
If your habits are those of a successful, happy, productive, persistent person, there’s less and less chance you won’t be successful. Successful people unashamedly highlight how they imitate the habits of other successful people. Make your success unavoidable by adjusting your habits that may be holding you back. Here are some that successful people have in common.
- Don’t define success with a dollar amount, but in relation to your happiness.
The habit of defining success with a dollar amount will lead you to constantly chasing a higher price point. It’s a chase that will never end, and a view of success that will never be attained. Get in the habit of seeing your success and your happiness in the same light.
- Read before you write or work.
Reading a good book will get the creative juices flowing, the brain learning, and your knowledge base growing. Try reading for 30 minutes to start your day followed by your daily exercise. You’ll enjoy being more inspired daily.
- Wake up at the same time every day.
Having a good sleep routine (7 -8 hours) will help you have more energy and focus to achieve more during the day.
- Always finish your to do list.
Get in the habit of never leaving anything that you wanted to finish at the beginning of the day, incomplete at the end. If you simply do that one critical thing you set out to do, it will be hard for success to elude you.
- Keep your to do list small and scaled.
Have only 1 or 2 things that are critically important to finish each day, and make sure you finish them first. The rest of your tasks should be tended to only after your most important ones have been completed.
- Keep two journals; one for your planning, scheduling, and work.
The other for your big ideas, thoughts, and goals. If it’s worth remembering it’s worth writing, reviewing and contemplating often. Writing stuff down makes it real and tangible. A to do list, a goal, or a dream, that isn’t written down isn’t yet real.
- Define and measure your goals.
Goal needs to be measured. If you measure, you can manage your level of success. This allows you to adjust your blueprint for exactly what does work, and what doesn’t.
- Try stick to 45-minute work sessions.
Few people actually work as much as they say they work. Their time is usually made up of lots of little distractions and constant interruptions. Phone calls, emails, web time, impromptu visitors. Record your distractions (off task time per day) and strategies to contain it. Time your work sessions by setting a “stay alert Break” every 45 minutes. Focus for 45-minutes uninterrupted, take an active break away from your desk, make that pressing phone call while walking outside or respond to that urgent email, then get back into that highly focused productive state. Just another habit!
- Take active breaks.
A work break should enhance your working experience. It can’t – at all costs – take away from it. So do something active that will get your blood pumping and your mind working as effectively as it was when you first started working in the morning.
- Wake up early and exercise.
The list of successful people who wake up before the rest of the world is far too long to list. This isn’t a coincidence. Get up before 6 am, 7 days a week and get a head start on your day and your dreams. Vigorous exercise for one hour before work improves your productivity and accuracy 34 percent.
- Put your family first.
Success doesn’t exist long without support that most often comes from family – even if that “family” is simply loved ones and friends. You need to be working for a greater purpose than your own monitory gain if you’re going to accomplish truly fulfilling success.
- Be different to your competition, add more value.
Find out what’s really wanted and valued (by your boss and customers) and deliver on that better than everyone else. Different is not always better, but better is always different. Don’t fall for the work harder and longer trap. Some of the hardest working people are unsuccessful. As George Washington Carver put it, "When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world."
- Use a board.
Use a big white board or vision board to keep your goals visible and close.
- Share your dream.
Get in the habit of talking to others who have a similar dream, even if the similarity is the enormity of your goals, and the audaciousness of your plans. Napoleon Hill coined this relationship “a mastermind”, and it’s one of the most important factors in your eventual success.
- Surround yourself with successful people.
That is, don’t have “fools as friends” – people who will tear you away from your work, and destroy your courage to go after your dream. If you have friends that do this, stop hanging out with them. Are they worth you living a mediocre life when greatness can be in your future?
- Keep a healthy body.
Without a healthy body it becomes ever more difficult to maintain a healthy mind.
- Spend your money only on things that will propel your dreams.
Cars, “things”, are only good for boosting your image in an effort to impress people who you really don’t want to impress. Spend money, instead, on your own development, education and your business to fuel your growth.
- Make a sacrifice.
Get in the habit of sacrificing things that you may like in your life, for things that will help you become a success. The road to greatness isn’t one of excess spending and easy living. Hustle. Focus. Sacrifice. Succeed.
- Review your journals every month.
A journal can bring you clarity when you write in it, but it’s far more powerful when you get in the habit of reviewing it.
- Write down 3 things you’re Grateful for every day.
Gratitude breads a successful mindset. What you’ll find is that success is often in your midst if you look at it from the right perspective. And study after study has shown that happy people tend to achieve far greater things than pessimistic, unhappy individuals. This habit, combined with focused work, is as simple a recipe for success as you can create. It’s also an effective one.