Those most successful around us usually have certain behaviours in common and make choices that set them up for success over sabotage. Could you learn from their approach and achieve your own personal success? Read on for inspiration on how to engineer your life for the most successful you ever.
Habit one: Great sleep = great day
Start your day positively and wake up early. If you have a goal and don’t have the time to achieve it due to work or family commitments, try waking up 1 hour earlier and work and create more time. It’s really that easy. If you can’t find time, you need to make it. Why not try it tonight? Instead of watching TV, go to bed 1 hour earlier and wake up 1 hour earlier. Check out this article for inspiration.
Habit two: Exercise for brain fuel
Many successful professionals have exercise in their daily routine and say it’s a contributing factor in their success. Studies suggest that the parts of the brain that control thinking and memory are larger in people who exercise versus people who don’t. Richard Branson, the Virgin entrepreneur, reckons regular exercise gives him up to four extra hours of productivity every day.
Working hard and exercise go well together. Exercise improves your mood, helps you to sleep better, improves memory and thinking skills, increases productivity and boosts your self-confidence. If you haven't exercised in a while, start small. Opt for 30 minutes of walking three times a week or find ways to incorporate incidental exercise: i.e. Park one kilometre away from work/public transport, climb the stairs instead of the lift or take a five-minute stroll around the block every hour if you work in an office.
Habit three: Slow down the pace with meditation
Does meditation sound just too ‘hippy’ for you? What if you heard that only 15 minutes a day is thought to be enough to keep you calm and able to cope with the stresses in your life? Meditation is also known as a way to reduce the levels in your body of the stress hormone, cortisol. Try meditation and you’ll join the list of success stories who meditate every day and consider it part of their success.
- Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and CEO, News Corp
- Bill Ford, Executive Chairman, Ford Motor Company
- Oprah Winfrey, Chairwoman & CEO, Harpo Productions, Inc.
- Arianna Huffington, President & Editor-in-Chief, Huffington Post Media Group
- Sean Steele - Our very own CEO!
With our brains rarely switching off - we are super busy after all - it will feel really weird at first. To get you started, there are many online guided meditation websites and apps you can use including Stop, Breathe and Think, Smiling Mind and Headspace.
Habit four: Make a list, check it twice
Staying motivated can sometimes feel like a Herculean task, especially when the finish line isn’t clear. Here's where goal lists can help. Many of us underestimate the simple power of writing down our goals, yet according to research, it can help us overcome the mental and physical hurdles preventing us from achieving our goals.
So... Get a pen, some paper, and write down everything you'd like to achieve. Break those big goals into smaller goals and assign actions and timelines to them. You'll likely realise that at some point you can't do it all. But getting it all on to paper (instead of having it swim around your head) will help you process and focus on what needs to be done now and what needs to go on the "later" list.
Habit five: Break in one small habit at a time
Try a new set of habits that will get your day off to a positive start and keep you on track. According to research, it takes 6 weeks of repetitive behaviour to form a habit, so aim to start with one small habit at a time.
It could look something like this:
- I will wake up at 5am
- After I wake up I will drink water
- After I drink water I will meditate for 10 minutes
- After I meditate I will eat a healthy breakfast
- After I eat I will study for 30 minutes
“Either you run the day or the day runs you.” — Jim Rohn
Habit 6: Practise positive visualisation
All top performers know about the importance of visualisation of their success before they actually do in reality. Why not try it? Imagine YOUR future once you have achieved your goals. What does it look and feel like? What will you do once you have achieved success? Make your visualisation as realistic as possible and believe in it. Positive visualisation has worked for others, why not for you?
- Michael Jordan visualised many more successful shots off the basketball court than he actually took in real life
- Muhammad Ali, the boxer, was famous for being vocal about his positive visions of victory long before his fights took place
- Jim Carrey, the successful actor, used positive visualisation during the early, struggling years of his career
Positive visualisation also works as a form of relaxation and can reduce your anxiety levels whilst boosting your confidence and focus. Give it a go. Start with visualising the simple stuff such as waking up earlier each day. That way you can practice and strengthen your visualisation skills before tackling the big stuff.
Remember that new habits, routines and realisations won’t become part of your personal success overnight so be kind to yourself. Chances are you will start off well then break the cycle then go back to trying again. But don’t give up. No one ever became the best version of themselves overnight. Start over again as many times as necessary until you hit your goals and become the most successful possible version of you.
- Career Development
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