Bad habits can get in the way of your success. For instance, if you procrastinate on your work, you will always scramble to get it done by the deadline. Smoking can cause health problems and make it tougher to get your work completed. Eating the wrong foods can sap your energy levels and can also lead to eventual health problems.
Because we only have a set number of hours in a day, bad habits can block our ability to have good habits. This means you need to break the bad habits before you can take on good ones, in many cases.
Don’t try to quit all your bad habits at once. Be selective and choose the easiest ones first. Give it some time to convince yourself the habit is completely broken before moving on to the next. Don’t dwell on the fact that you got into that habit. As long as you take steps to break it, just move on. You’ll be better off.
Choose good habits over bad. This can be easier said than done, but, if you put some effort into it, you can make it happen.
Don’t beat yourself up if you revert to your old ways on occasion. You have likely been doing those habits for years so they will creep up on you from time to time. It’s natural and you should pick up where you left off.
Some habits, like smoking, may need a bit of extra help to break. You should discuss options with your doctor if it is health-related. Seek out alternative solutions such as therapy or hypnosis if you have tried to stop and cannot.
Concentrate on the positive aspects of your life. This will help you realize that bad habits are getting in the way. If you want to run a marathon, but you smoke, this may give you the motivation that you need to stop. Once you begin training for the marathon, you will see that smoking is going to prevent you from meeting that goal.
It is always easier to break habits when you have specific goals and those habits keep you from accomplishing them. When you reach those goals, you can feel good that you gave up the bad habits and accomplished the goals at the same time.
Making Affirmations Part of Your Success Routine
Some people pass off affirmations as nonsense. These people believe that saying positive statements about yourself will not affect your success. Often, these same people are stuck in a rut and wonder why they cannot get ahead in life. Affirmations work because they change the foundation of how you think.
You do have to believe in affirmations for them to work, however. If you are skeptical, and you just start repeating positive statements because somebody else told you it works, this may not get you far. However, just the act of saying them can alter your brain patterns to take on more positive thinking.
It does take practice and consistency. Don’t expect to say a few positive statements for one day, and then expect to be transformed a few weeks later. The brain doesn’t work that way. Besides, we have had a lifetime of negativity permeate our conscience that it’s going to take more than a few sessions to break through.
Being skeptical will make it difficult to consistently use affirmations. This is especially true since they won’t start working until you have been practicing them for a while. In our society of expectations for instant gratification, it’s simply easier to give up.
Start your affirmations with simple statements. You could try, “I deserve to live a good life.” Or, you could make it even simpler by stating, “I am successful.” Sometimes, projecting what you want and acting as if it’s already happening can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you say you are successful, you will become successful by continually repeating this affirmation.
If nothing else, ask yourself what can you lose. If it works, you have something you desire, i.e., a better life, etc. If it doesn’t, then you can continue living your life as you always had. But, do give it a try, and don’t give up too soon.
People find setting up a schedule for their affirmations works well for them. You will have to experiment to see if that works for you. There is no right or wrong answer. Sometimes, the hardest part is getting started. Pick two affirmations and use them for thirty days.
Evaluate whether you feel different after consistently using these. If you still feel as though you haven’t changed, pick different affirmations for the next thirty days. Keep doing this until you feel positive changes are happening with your thoughts.
Steps to Break Through Your Fears
Our fears can be a big inhibitor to our success. We can have a fear of failure, which causes us to never take risks. While not all risks are good, we have to take some to get ahead. There is also a fear of success, which can be even more debilitating because it tends to be subtle. When we get to the point where we are getting close to succeeding, we pull back out of fear of what lies ahead.
Sometimes, traumatic experiences can put up walls that keep us from succeeding. This is a difficult situation and can take a long time to overcome. Some people never get through it. Often, it’s because they don’t seek out some form of help. For some, simply talking to loved ones may work. For others, the trauma is so deep that they need professional help.
Most people fear the unknown. They have problems stepping outside their comfort zones because doing so exposes a part of them they may not be ready for. If you are offered a promotion at work, you may feel you are not ready. If this fear gets too strong, it can affect your ability to perform well in the new job.
One way to break through your fears is to create a routine that includes the activities you fear. Remember when you first learned how to ride a bike? It may have taken you several tries. The concept is similar here. Set up a schedule for the activities you fear and give them a try. Allow yourself to fail as long as you permit yourself to try it again the next day.
Talk to others who have gone through what you fear. Make it a routine to talk to different people. Ask them how they got through the fear. Most people will be glad to offer advice on how you can do the same.
By setting up routines with the activities you fear, you start to break down the barriers within your mind. It is a process, and you will likely fail. When you get on a bike now, it’s second nature to ride it. This wasn’t always the case.
You simply kept going with determination and what was difficult became easy over time. It’s the same with any fear. Keep working on it every day until it becomes second nature. After you master it, you will look back and wonder why you thought it was so difficult.
Success Routines Begin with Belief
Before you set up any routines for success, you need to accept what you are doing and believe in yourself. For instance, if you are stuck in a dead-end job, and believe you should be doing something else, setting up routines for success won’t help much. You need to evaluate whether you want to continue down that path or seek alternatives.
Many people believe they have no choice and continue with their current situations. They feel their prospects are limited. Perhaps they didn’t go to college, or if they did, the degree they hold is no longer valid, etc. In most cases, however, the limiting beliefs are the only thing that is holding them back.
This is especially the case with the internet. It’s never been easier to start a business online. Or, you can start a business helping offline and traditional businesses. You can train yourself in just about any subject. Creating a website can show potential customers you are serious about taking on this new business. This can be the answer to not having experience.
Actively maintaining a website or blog can show potential employers your dedication to your new career. So, even if you don’t want to start a new business, you can find a job in your new career by being proactive. Your blog becomes your proof of work. It also helps show yourself that you can do it, which strengthens your belief.
Once you have defined a new path, it will be much easier to come up with success routines to make it work. But, don’t do this alone. Read about others who have done what you are trying to accomplish. You can also find training modules online that can give you the right ways to get started. Many governments have divisions dedicated to helping citizens find work or create new businesses. There may even be funding available for you to tap into.
When you map out your routines to succeed, make sure you measure your progress. That is the biggest mistake people make. If you don’t, you cannot determine whether those routines are right for what you are trying to accomplish. If those routines aren’t working, you can see that early on and take appropriate actions to fix them.
It’s an iterative process, but eventually, you should find the right set of routines for your new path. It may be a bit scary in the beginning. But, it definitely will be exciting.
Time for a To-Do List Overhaul
To-do lists are great. They help increase our productivity by mapping out the tasks that we want to accomplish on any given day. It puts the tasks right in front of us to help balance a busy schedule. But, they often fall short in several areas. That is what will be addressed here.
The first deficiency of a to-do list is it doesn’t address whether you are working on the right tasks, to begin with. People can be busy and get nowhere in life. This situation is worse than being lazy because you believe in your mind that you are working hard. But, you are not working smart. Anyone is capable of writing whatever tasks they feel like doing. This doesn’t mean those tasks are the right ones to get done.
What you need to do is develop your task list from your longer-term goals. This way you can align those goals with what needs to get done for the bigger picture, so to speak. Break down your longer-term goals into monthly milestones. Then, use this to come up with weekly and then daily tasks. This will ensure that you are on track to get the right tasks completed.
The next deficiency surrounding to-do lists is they are often discarded when the day is complete. In other words, there is no measurement of success. Instead, save your lists and take the time to review what you got done. By monitoring your success you can tweak the process to become even more productive.
You can even use this as the basis for showing your manager your progress. Of course, this can backfire if you are not getting enough done on your list. It’s probably a good idea to tweak your list before presenting it to your manager.
Another deficiency with to-do lists is that they allow others around you to see them. Many people print out their to-do lists to have them as an easy reference. When they step away from their desks, it gives your colleagues access to the list.
Your list needs to coincide with that of your team. If not, your colleagues are going to report this to your manager. Because of this, you may want to work with your manager to define your to-do list. This way he or she is aware of what you are working on and can come to your defense should any conflicts arise.
Using Diversity to Achieve Success
Many companies have programs to help employees deal with diversity. People come from different backgrounds, and it can be difficult for some employees to recognize these differences. Training helps in this area. But, you can use diversity in your routine to put yourself in other people’s shoes.
People tend to stick together with others who have the same backgrounds. In big cities, you hear of neighborhoods composed of all types of ethnic groups. It’s easy to see why people flock together. They share common traits.
When you make an effort to diversify and see the world the way others do, it allows you to grow. You see perspectives you would never have had if you kept a closed mind. It also can open doors that were not available. You see things in a different light, and you can present them based on that new perspective. The people that share that perspective, will become fans of yours.
You can take simple steps, such as reading material that you would otherwise not read. For instance, if you read material that caters to one side of the political spectrum, try reading something from the other side.
Visit websites of groups that you would classify as controversial. Read through several of the posts or articles. Try to see the point-of-view of the writers. What made them present the material with that point of view? Is it something that you can incorporate into your perspective?
You don’t have to agree with what you read or hear. You just want to gather different ideas and draw your conclusions. But, it takes some practice to remove your stance from the material.
Debate teams often require their participants to take an opposing side of an argument. That’s why people who have been on debate teams are often more equipped to handle diversity.
It’s never too late to start using diversity as a way to open up your world. Not only will you gain new insights, but you’ll pick up a few new friends along the way. You will show others that you are making an effort to consider where they come from.
This could cause them to be more open to your way of thinking. It’s a great way for people to find some common ground, which always exists. Just start making it a part of your daily or weekly routine. You will be amazed at the difference this will make.
Add Organization to Your Routine
The organization is an important aspect of any successful routine. The easier you can find what you are looking for, the more productive you will be. This isn’t just a good sense of work. It can help you in your home life as well.
There are 24 hours in every day we live. We need to include sleep within those 24 hours. Some people get eight hours, but most are lucky if they get six. Still, six hours means you have only 18 left to use. If you spend more than one hour looking for important items, in one month, you will have used up 30 hours, give or take.
Some days you won’t need to look for items. But, other days, it may take you more than an hour to find them. Use one hour as a rough average.
Imagine if you didn’t have to spend that hour looking for your stuff. What if it only took five to ten minutes? You will increase your productivity substantially. This will only happen if you have good organizational skills. You need to be able to quickly find what you are looking for.
If you have a messy desk at work, this also gives a bad impression when others come asking for something from you. If you scramble around looking for items, they will get the impression that you are not organized. This could affect getting promotions or other opportunities lost.
You should not confine your organizational activities to physical items. If your virtual space is cluttered, this is just as unproductive. We spend much more time on computing devices so it’s probably more important to get those in order. Cloud technology can help you become organized. You do have to make an effort to set up an organization system, however.
If you find it difficult to get organized, take a class or hire someone to help you. There are plenty of professional organizers that can help put your life in order. Your company may even be willing to pay for it. Try to find people you know who can recommend good organizers. Make sure the person you choose is aware of your organizational goals.
Getting organized is a habit that you will need to practice. But, it will get easier the more you do it. Once you have a system in place, you will wonder how you ever did without it.
Are New Habits Formed in 21 Days?
You have read or will read that it takes 21 days to form any new habit. The thinking is that your mind will take over when you repeat something for 21 days. It becomes second nature, according to people who adhere to this belief. But, is this true? Are there people who have tried something for 21 days and then reverted to what they were doing before?
There is no doubt that if you repeat something every day for 21 days, changes will occur to you.
However, there are plenty of people who went to the gym every day for an extended period and then gave up over time. They may have moved locations or jobs where it is no longer convenient to go to the gym. Or, they may have an increase in their workloads that prevents them from going. The gym membership may have raised prices to the point where it became unaffordable.
It seems as though good habits are the easiest to break. Going to the gym is considered a good habit. Smoking is not. People have tremendous difficulty giving up smoking but seem to have little trouble stopping going to the gym.
You don’t have to abandon the idea of 21 days to form a new habit. It works better for some people and not as much for others. It takes trying it out to see if it is right for you. If the 21-day rule doesn’t work for you, it is still possible to form new habits.
It’s more important to focus on what you want to accomplish rather than stick to some arbitrary rule. When you are clear on what you want, you will take the necessary steps to get it. This will motivate you to form that new habit much quicker than just repeating something for 21 days.
Another reason why the 21 days may not work for some is they discover what they did for 21 days is not right for them. You may have always wanted to try something in your life, but found you didn’t have a knack for it or just weren’t into it.
For instance, suppose you had always wanted to climb a mountain, and you made it a habit to get a trained for 21 days. After a few weeks of doing it, you realize it’s not right for you. It’s up to you if you want to continue for the 21 days. But, that could drag it out if you don’t like what you’re doing.
Don’t Forget to Add Exercise to Your Routine
We live busy lives. It seems we are busier than we ever were before. Companies are requiring workers to do more with fewer people. When we get home from work, we may have to take the kids to their after-school events. The weekends are all booked up as well. How can there be any time to exercise?
If you don’t include exercise as part of your routine, you won’t operate at maximum efficiency. It’s easy to put it off, especially when something else comes up in its place. You have great intentions of doing at least a few days of exercise per week. But, more tasks are piled onto your plate.
Why shouldn’t you include exercise on that task list? You should, but you don’t need to schedule intense workouts that last three hours per day. You can take small steps to increase your activity during your workday or while at home. For instance, if you are sitting while reading this article, stand up now and do ten squats. This article will still be here when you are finished.
How did you do with the squats? It is hard to imagine that they took you more than ten minutes to do. If you are at work, you may feel subconscious about doing them at your desk. You still can add small activities to your routine. For instance, if you commute by train, get off one stop before your normal stop and walk to work, if this is possible. After you get used to that, try two stops away from your office, etc.
You can also take the stairs instead of the escalators and elevators. In major cities, this is becoming difficult to do because of security constraints. They keep the doors to the staircases locked, with only emergency access to them.
If this is the case, then make it a habit to walk for one-half hour during your lunch. When it becomes part of your routine, you won’t even think about it after a while. Your coworkers will come to expect this and will start to encourage you. They may join in when they see you are successful with it.
Most people want to exercise because they know it helps them. Many companies are starting to incorporate gym memberships as part of their benefits. But, as you have seen, you don’t need a gym membership to keep in good shape.
Find Your Best Time of Day
You hear people refer to being morning people. Others will shun the mornings in favor of sleep. They are night owls, as they will tell you. People have different internal clocks. Finding your optimal time can lead you to be more productive.
When you know your optimal times, capitalize on them. Save the most challenging tasks for when you perform your best. Set up your routine so that you do most of the work during this time.
Companies are starting to take note that people have optimal times and can be different from one another. Good managers will use this to their advantage. Bad managers will ignore it and pass it off as nonsense. Even if you are stuck with a bad manager, you can still take advantage of some of your time. Try to schedule those optimal times around what your boss is telling you to do.
Sometimes, you can choose the wrong times to do certain activities. For instance, you may work out in the evening, a few hours before going to bed. It’s a good idea to get exercise into your routine. However, for many people, exercise gives a burst of energy that lasts for several hours.
Therefore, it could be difficult to go to sleep shortly after your exercise. While exercising regularly helps us sleep better, this is not the case when you try to sleep within a few hours after your workout.
Try to optimize your diet within these cycles as well. There is a reason why experts suggest eating breakfast as close to when we get up as possible. It powers us through the morning and reduces the slump that many feel after a few hours. Choose the right foods. Don’t bog yourself down with high-fat or high-sugar diets. These may give you an initial boost but will sap your energy level quicker than healthier foods.
Sometimes, it can be a good idea to shake things up a bit. For instance, if you have sworn off mornings, try to perform some of your activities in the morning. Set up a routine to do this for a couple of weeks. When you go outside your cycle, it can give you different perspectives.
This can get the creative juices flowing. It doesn’t mean you have to stick with this routine. It just means you are going a little outside your comfort zone. Then again, you may find you were a morning person all along and may even enjoy the switch.