Do our habits help to shape our success?
During a recent mentoring session with a struggling entrepreneur, she asked me how I’ve managed to be successful with so much going on in my life?
I don’t consider myself successful, mainly because I still work as hard now as I did 20 years ago, and possibly take my ‘success’ for granted. We all have different measures of our own success, and I tend to push my goalposts further with each goal I reach. Just to make life challenging!
After much analysis, I feel that ‘my success’ (or perhaps I prefer to consider it as reaching my goals) is very much down to 5 habits.
1. Goal setting:
It sounds easy and obvious, but setting yourself goals at the start of the year (instead of ‘resolutions’ that you break after New Years Day) can encourage you progress towards success. Make sure you are clear about what success looks like for you. It must be your own success, not something that someone else wants of you. When you have analysed and reflected on your success, write down your key goals that will help you to aim for success.
Put your notes away for a couple of days, then go back to it. Check that you are still happy that those goals will help you achieve success, and write down all the steps needed to reach those goals. Developing a habit of goal setting, revising and checking progress is instrumental in your journey towards success.
Remember: if you know what you want, and how to get it, you can achieve it.
2. Confidence and risk taking:
Many people find excuses to hold back on their dreams and ambitions through a sheer lack of confidence of their own abilities. Confidence can be developed by taking risks, stepping out of your comfort zone and feeling the satisfaction when you cope with the consequences.
Get into the habit of enjoying the terror of stepping out of your comfort zone, the adrenalin buzz will lift your confidence. If you do this often enough, then your level of confidence will climb and you will need to challenge yourself more.
Remember: Mistakes are okay as long as you reflect and learn from them.
3. Time management
Every second of your life counts! Get up early, be productive and make life matter. Plan your day around being productive by aiming towards your goals. Schedule everything using a calendar or diary, and only allow small snippets of unproductive time to rest yourself. Watching 4 hours of television to avoid working on a task is not productive, but completing a task and rewarding yourself by just watching your favourite programme can rest your mind and prepare you for the next task in hand.
If there’s a task that needs doing but you’re dreading it, do that first and get it out of the way. Plan a reward for getting it done and stick with it to completion. You will feel so much better when it’s done. Developing good time management habits will increase your progress towards your goals.
Remember: Success takes time, so don’t waste it.
4. Being persistent:
Success doesn’t come easy. It is important to be persistent in pushing towards your goals. Mistakes, disasters, and accidents may happen throughout your journey but if you have chosen the right measures of success then you must persist to reach your goals.
Some goals may need to be adapted or changed, and you must be flexible to achieve your goals, but always remember what you want to achieve and why, to help you stay persistent and focused on your journey to success.
Remember: Keep going, reward yourself when you achieve small steps on your journey.
5. Reflect on your own behaviour:
Although I’m not so sure I would call myself successful, I have achieved many goals that I am proud of, and set myself new goals to aim for my definitions of success by developing these 5 habits. I’ve learned from those around me, as well as writers such as Stephen Covey and Kenneth Blanchard, but I’ve also learned a lot from my own mistakes and learning to reflect on what I’ve learned from them.
Learning to reflect on your experiences (both good and bad) is one of the most powerful habits you can develop. It helps you to learn from your own mistakes and from others.
Remember: Be honest with yourself when you reflect on your own behaviour.
Now that you’ve read a little bit about my journey to success, it must be time for you to start on your journey. Good luck and let me know how it goes.