These new daily habits include 10 minutes planning out my work-day first thing (I’m achieving MUCH more as a result). I walk a neighbour’s dog in the woods mid-morning and go to the gym Monday/Wednesday/Friday (I feel much fitter, plus the walk refreshes me). I have also specified times when I check email and social media (I have bigger chunks of time to work on bigger projects, because I’m not getting drawn into email/social). And as part of my day-planning I also ask myself, “What do I need (personally) today?” (this helps me take care of my needs before I get grumpy!).
So, I wonder what would help you be more successful on a daily basis?
Because success is more than just setting and achieving goals, it’s a way of life. Success is a way of feeling good about life and yourself, it’s about being and doing what is most important to YOU (and not what anyone else thinks).
And an area that is often overlooked is our habits. To be successful in LIFE we need to manage ourselves – to find a balance between doing what we want and what we need to do, including our health, careers, relationships and finances. This can be easier than we think if we make small changes to our daily routine that get us better organized and align our lives with our values.
And sometimes these small changes can make a surprisingly BIG difference in our lives.
So, what if you were to come up with 5 new success habits – a personal framework around which the rest of the day’s activities fall into place?
5 Steps to Create New Daily Success Habits
1. What Are Your Priorities And Stressors?
First, take a moment to think about your top priorities in life right now. What would your “Top 3 Priorities” be? Next, think about what adds stress to your life. What are your “Top 3 Stressors”? If you like you can write them out.
2. Brainstorm Ideas for Your Daily Success Habits
Next, taking into account your Top 3 Priorities and Stressors, what habits could support you to focus on your priorities and/or minimise stress in your life?
Take a moment to write out 5-10 SPECIFIC DAILY ACTIONS you could take to support you being your best you. Think about your HOME, PERSONAL and WORK-LIFE. They must be SPECIFIC and MEASURABLE so you know exactly what to do. Here are some examples:
- Schedule in 5/10/15 minutes of silence or alone time every day.
- Drink 6 glasses of water a day
- Be at my desk by 8.00am/leave by 6.00pm every workday
- Make all my calls in the first hour of the day
- Be in bed by 10.30pm
- Do at least 30 mins exercise/activity every day
- Take 10 mins mid-afternoon to recap where I’m at
- Eat lunch away from my desk
- Connect daily with partner/spouse (5 mins listening, 5 mins sharing)
3. Pick (up to) 5 Habits You Think Would Really Help You
Now choose (up to) 5 specific habits from your list that you think would make a difference in your life. For example, if one of your top 3 priorities is family – and you think you don’t spend enough quality time with them – a new daily habit could be to spend 10-15 minutes when you get back from work connecting and actively listening to your partner and/or children.
4. Make The Habit Really Specific To Help You Remember & Track Success
Take another look at the habits you’ve chosen. WHAT EXACTLY are you doing, and WHEN? WHO are you doing it with? WHERE are you doing it? And HOW OFTEN? And write out your new, fully described habits on a Post-It. Because the more specific you can make the habit, the easier it is to achieve.
- It’s not “going to bed early”, it’s “being in bed by 10.30pm on a weekday and midnight on the weekend”.
- You’re not “meditating daily”, you’re “doing a breathing meditating alone, with your first cup of tea on the sofa downstairs”.
5. Identify Your Obstacles and Plan Around Them
Now, finally ask yourself, “What could get in the way?” Your obstacles (and solutions) will be unique to you, but here are some examples:
- How will you know you’ve had 6 glasses of water? Perhaps you can keep a large (6 glasses capacity) bottle of water on your desk.
- How can you eat a healthy breakfast? Well, you could throw out any sugary cereals and be sure to have healthy breakfast materials in your cupboards or fridge. If necessary, allow time to prepare it – perhaps the night before.
- It might be hard to meditate in a busy household, but perhaps you can do it in your car before you set off for work, or head home. (Eckhart Tolle said that when he first gets into his car he takes the opportunity to sit in stillness for a few moments).
Tip: If you schedule these habits in at the beginning or end of a phase of your day – that way you will have a natural reminder.
Finally, Get Started!
Now you’re ready. When will you start? Well, there’s no time like the present – so why not tomorrow, or now?
Final Tip: Be kind to yourself. You’re bound to forget some days – especially early on. But eventually it will be just like getting in the car and reaching over your shoulder for the seat-belt – without even thinking.
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