“I will find new habits, new thoughts, new rules. I will become something else.” ― Veronica Roth, Divergent
Have you ever wondered about the personal habits of successful people? Did the likes of Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein, Stephen King and Steve Jobs do anything special to accomplish so much? If there’s ONE thing these gentlemen shared, it’s that all of them had odd or strange habits.
For instance, Sigmund Freud was addicted to nicotine and cocaine. Albert Einstein had a weird practice of bringing his violin with him on bird-watching treks. Steve Jobs on the other hand, had the tendency to eat only one or two types of food for weeks at a time.
While we common folk cannot imagine living on apples or oranges alone, we still want to be successful and fulfill our dreams. That’s why we often look up to these people for inspiration. Could they be doing something that helps them win at everything? If so, can we easily integrate these habits into our lives?
The good news is, yes! Some personal habits can steer us in the right direction and aid us in fulfilling our dreams.
With a lot of discipline and a bit of grit, let these 10 personal habits shape you up for more success.
1. WRITE DOWN your goals.
Incredibly successful people don’t just have dreams – they have goals. The minute you become highly specific about what you want, and put a deadline on it, it ceases to be a dream and turns into a target. But why write it down? In a study by psychology professor Dr. Gail Matthews, individuals who wrote down their goals were 42 percent more likely to achieve them. Simple and incredibly effective.
2. WAKE UP at the same time everyday.
Very few successful people sleep in late. Entrepreneur and Circa co-founder Matt Galligan for example, has a habit of waking up at 6:30 AM – everyday. Regardless if it’s the weekend or he was up all night partying, his body will wake him up at the same time. Thus, a) he doesn’t need an alarm clock, and b) he has more time in the morning to finish what he needs to do.
So if you want to feel less groggy AND accomplish a lot during the day, try creating a routine around your sleeping habits.
3. Keep your to-do list LIMITED.
As a powerful American business magnate, you’ll be surprised how Warren Buffett keeps his calendar practically clear. Why is that? This investment guru believes in the power of focus and elimination. If you have too many things on your to-do list, it’s no wonder you’re constantly stressed and achieve so little! His advice: concentrate on your top five goals.
4. STOP procrastinating and do what you say you will.
Have you been putting off updating that LinkedIn profile? Sometimes, we procrastinate so much that we’re not even aware that opportunities are passing us by. Integrity begins at home – especially in little things. Be a man (and woman) of your word. Come home on time when you say you will. Play with your kids when you promised them to. It’s one of the best habits you could form for yourself.
5. ALLOW time for play and fun.
Play is as important for adults as is it for children. Whether you’re into puzzles, drawings, or amusement park rides, never forget to have a bit of fun. According to experts, play is crucial to sharpen social skills and strengthen relationships. Looking to spice up your marriage? Searching for a fun way to keep your mind active? Need a little laugh to get you through a rough day? Why not play!
6. READ for at least 15 minutes everyday.
Name someone successful and odds are, one of their recommended habits is reading. From Oprah Winfrey to Mark Zuckerberg: they all devote a certain chunk of everyday to this fulfilling pastime. But why so? Reading is the simplest and most affordable method to gain knowledge. From learning how to cook a great steak, loving yourself, to investing in the stock market, there’s a book for every need.
7. Keep your BODY HEALTHY.
There are numerous ways to keep your body healthy, but surprisingly, plenty of people don’t prioritize it. They sleep in late and avoid leafy greens. They shun stairs and opt for processed foods. While a cheat every now and then is fine (especially during parties!), having an unhealthy lifestyle will eventually catch up on you. Learn to take care of your body today. Visit a nutritionist or a fitness expert for professional advice.
8. Master saying NO.
Do you find yourself accepting more responsibility at work for no pay? Are you constantly juggling various tasks in a single day? Do you find it hard to decline requests from friends or acquaintances, even if they’re sometimes unreasonable?
Remember: you can’t be everything all at once. If you say ‘yes’ to most things, you’re not giving yourself room to breathe. Learn to say NO once in a while. Soon, you’ll discover how things have a habit of falling into place anyway.
9. Keep CHALLENGING yourself.
Challenging yourself is not only exciting, it opens up doors you never even knew existed. Remember: if you’ve only done what you always did, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten! So make a habit of facing your fear (no matter how small). Shy around new people? Talk to at least one stranger each day. Don’t know how to cook? Teach yourself a new recipe every weekend.
If you want to look up some inspiration, read up on 30 Challenges For 30 Days today.
10. Stay THANKFUL.
Sounds pretty simple – but not a lot of people can see the good when days are bad. If you think you’re overly cynical or pessimistic, being grateful should be on your list of habits to develop. Having an attitude of gratitude helps you focus on the better side of things. This makes you feel good in general, and allows you to be more forgiving of shortcomings in your life.
“First you make your habits, then your habits make you!” ― Lucas Remmerswaal
Habits are powerful. Imagine if Ernest Hemingway never woke up early to write his novels. Or what if Dr. Yoshiro Nakamatsu never tried to drown himself multiple times. It sounds extreme, but people will find ways to motivate themselves and fulfill their dreams.
Whatever method you choose, start it today. Write down your goals. Talk to strangers. Read a classic novel. Create your own habits and watch how it propels you to success.