We look at them with envy. We want what they have: that charisma, that business success, that certain something that makes them stand out from a crowd. They are highly successful people, and they are envied. What do they have that you don’t? Turns out, they have dedication and an unflagging sense of persistence. That’s not all. They have a laser beam focus on the end game and the best path to get there. They don’t let distractions get in the way, they broaden their minds every single day, they put their health first and they have a PLAN. Not just for tomorrow but for a decade, two, three from now.
Creating highly successful habits in your own personal and professional life doesn’t take an MBA. It doesn’t even take a lot of cash. Here are some habits of successful people and how they view life just a little bit differently from the rest of us.
Talk to Yourself
Even at the top of your game, even when you’re bringing in the numbers that make everyone else jealous, there’s another level that goes beyond honing skills to be even technically better. It involves perfecting your internal dialogue. Research suggests that talking to yourself like you would to someone else in your same situation can help you better handle stressful experiences, says Business Insider.
Make a Plan
Many people wait till the morning when they get behind their desk to make a plan for the upcoming eight hours. Successful people are one step ahead — they do it the night before. Getting off track is easy when you don’t have a plan. It’s even easier when you wait till the last minute to make that plan. Without looking ahead as early as the night before, you won’t really know what you want to accomplish and how to get there. By the time you make a plan in the morning, already an hour has gone by and you’ve wasted critical energy that could be better spent on productivity. Give yourself clear goals the night before your day and you’ll be able to wake up and hit the ground running, advises Success.
Eliminate the Negatives
The secret to planning, then, is to begin with the negatives and systematically eliminate them from your path to success, advises Early to Rise. First, identify the obstacles in your path. It can be something as simple as hitting snooze five times in the morning or as complex as not hitting your sales goals for the quarter. Isolate the obstacle, then develop two solutions for each, as having both a Plan A and a Plan B virtually guarantees you will stay focused.
Read Books for Inspiration
Successful people are like sponges — always craving new information, new view points, new strategies for enlightenment. Reading is essential to that process. Consuming knowledge voraciously is one of the big things that sets the good apart from the great. Whether you set a goal of 20 minutes, an hour, or three hours to devote to reading new things, the point is to form a daily habit that expands your knowledge base.
Successful people are also effective communicators, but this doesn’t necessarily mean it comes naturally to them. They have to consciously work at it. But they employ key skills of master communicators, such as communicating with specificity, immediacy, and promptness backed by attention to detail, respectful rebuttals, and appropriate tone and body language. Whether you take a class or listen to a podcast on effective communication, it’s important to fully realize the potential of your words and how best to get your message across.
Learn How to Say No
People who say yes to every request in an attempt to please everyone end up expending a lot of energy that could be better focused on more important goals. Don’t be afraid to say no to things that don’t add value to your professional or personal life. You are not all things to all people. You are YOU and you have your own goals to achieve. Psychotherapist Amy Morin says: “Every time you say yes to something, you’re really saying no to something else that you could be doing with your time.”
On the flip side, successful people also know how to say no to themselves. You may have a list of 20 things you want to accomplish but can only in reality tackle five. Learn to pare down your desires to get at the ones that will truly bring value to your life.
Success means nothing if you’re unhealthy. Smart people use their spare time to exercise — not just to get healthy but to use it as an opportunity to reset and plan, putting that renewed energy into what they need to accomplish that day.
Successful people are made. They may seem like they have it all together, like they’re a natural. Yes, a lot of it has to do with natural tendencies to want to gravitate towards success. But most of what it takes to be successful is perseverance, an unwillingness to take second best, and always having eyes on the prize.