All week we’ve been looking at little steps and actions that over time can dramatically improve our lives. We’ve looked at our health, our financial fitness, and our households. Today, we’re talking about those little steps we can take that add up to success in our careers and business. It’s really not a big mystery and none of these actions are out of any average person’s reach. I’m so grateful to the many researchers who have studied highly successful people because they discovered many similarities. These discoveries are very encouraging IF we’re willing to take just a little action and take it consistently. Of course, most people don’t take these actions or don’t take them consistently. Could be that we don’t know what they are or we don’t know how important they are to our success.
So let’s take a look at some of the things that highly successful people do. We’re not going to rank them. Let’s find some that we can incorporate into our own lives.
Unwind with Light Exercise Before Bed.
We talked yesterday about a daily walk and making it a transition in your day — a way to unwind. Well it appears this daily walk may have another benefit. Actually any light exercise before bed, even just stretching is beneficial for sleep and is one of the little activities successful people do. Well that one sounds pretty pleasant and easy enough for just about anyone.
Wake up Early.
Since we got a good night’s sleep we can adopt another habit of successful people. Wake up early. I read a lot about the 5:30 am risers but some people wake even earlier. Successful people manage their mornings. They give themselves time to start the day by taking care of themselves with exercise and routines that prepare them for all the day will bring. This is certainly not out of our reach. We might not be morning people. If we believe it’s important, we can become morning people a little at a time. Wake up 15 minutes early tomorrow and keep setting the alarm a little earlier till there is enough extra time in the morning for a success routine.
Dream and See Yourself Living the Dream.
Apparently successful people are dreamers. A lot of people dream but successful people SEE themselves living their dream. They dream big and imagine big possibilities but they don’t stop there. They flesh out the dreams and see themselves living them. They imagine themselves doing the things necessary to achieve them and they see themselves enjoying the fruits of their labor. That doesn’t seem too difficult but it takes practice to really see ourselves living the lives we imagine.
Spend time with Successful People.
Successful people hang out with other successful people. They form relationships. They bounce ideas off of each other, learn from each other, and celebrate each other. They mentor each other. You may have heard the saying… “If you want to know what your life will be like in 5 years, look at your friends.” or this one… “You become like the 5 people you spend the most time with.” I don’t think we need to or want to give up our friends but we should be able to find a mentor or better yet a bunch of them. We can find ways to spend time with them, learn from them and see first-hand how they make their lives work. Even if we don’t know many really successful people, we can find a group to join or events to attend. We can make a plan today to attend one of them in the next 7 days.
Successful people are willing to be uncomfortable! They are willing try and fail and get messy. They learn from their mistakes and either clean up the mess or make it in to something valuable. They are willing to take a risk. They are willing to spend time, apparently the more the better, outside of their comfort zones. They are willing to push themselves into areas that are new or foreign to them. I once heard someone say, “We live inside this big circle called the comfort zone but all the magic happens in the tiny little circle just outside the comfort zone.”
Successful people read daily. They are constantly learning and working on improving themselves. They read books on any number of things and not just non-fiction. They read for enjoyment and for a well-rounded life. Last year I did a whole week on the benefits of reading and interviewed Dr. Teri Lawton a neuro scientist who helps people read better. You can go back and listen to that interview if you want hear how she does it.
Write Down Your Goals and Track Your Progress.
Successful people have goals, specific goals. They write them down and they track their progress. There are many different methods for goal setting and goal tracking but I haven’t read of a successful person who is not doing it. We need to know our destination so we can map our way to it. I recently discovered John Lee Dumas’s Freedom Journal and have really enjoyed it and really found very useful. I was actually surprised how much it helped me map out my plan to set and reach a specific goal. I’ll include a link to it in my show notes.
Successful people are just planning though. They take action. Yes, Successful people are always reading and growing and learning but they don’t stay stuck in the study. They take action. They don’t sit around perfecting every aspect of the plan. They make a plan consider some risks they can foresee then they act. There are no guarantees their plan will work but they move forward and start the ball rolling. I had to say there is a most important difference in successful people and people who never quite seem to reach their potential but this may be it. Countless people dream elaborate dreams and make detailed plans but never take the first step. Action does not have to be big it just has to be active. Put one foot in front of the other and start toward the goal. Make a call. Write a paragraph. Send an email. Take action.
Do the Hardest or Most Important Tasks First.
Do the hard stuff or most important stuff first. If we’re used to getting the easy stuff out of the way first, we might want to flip our to-do list upside down. Most successful people get the hard stuff out of the way first while they have the best energy. The hardest thing might be writing that first email or making those uncomfortable phone calls. Successful people get those things done first.
Reflect Every Day.
Successful people also take time to just relax and think. This is not planning time. It’s just reflecting time. We may already be doing this. Don’t stop. It’s important. I discuss my day with God. He already knows all about my day anyway and He loves me unconditionally – no matter my success or my failure.
None of these actions are beyond any of us to do. If they work for others they can work for us. Try them and let me know how they work for you. You can reach me at rockinlife.co or on Facebook or Twitter. Thank you for spending time with me today. If you found value in today’s show, please share it with a friend. Have a great weekend. We’ll talk again.