Habits are the foundation for success.
Habits are the foundation for building your life and are often the invisible architecture that either supports or undermines your success. For example, if one of your goals is to lose weight but you have a habit of eating fast food every day, it’s going to be hard to achieve that goal.
If you’re trying to stick to a diet plan but have a habit of sleeping in and skipping breakfast, guess what? You might not eat anything until lunchtime rolls around. It’s difficult to practice self-control in those situations because you’ve created a bad habit and now have very little willpower left over at the end of the day.
If this sounds familiar, don’t worry! It can be overwhelming when we start thinking about all our bad habits at once. Instead, focus on changing just one thing at first (like eating out less). Once that becomes automatic behavior then start working toward another change (like getting up earlier so there’s more time before work starts).
The great thing about small changes like these is how much easier they make achieving larger goals down the road – whether those goals relate directly back to health/fitness or not!
Habits allow us to do things automatically.
As you can see, habits help us in numerous ways. They make life simpler, more efficient, and easier to manage. As a result, we’re able to focus more of our mental energy on the things that really matter in our lives. This is why it’s so important to create good habits and stick with them over time. they are the invisible architecture of our lives and they can literally shape who we become.
Taking advantage of the power of habits can help ensure our success.
Everyone has habits, both good and bad. The beauty of habits is that you can take advantage of the power of habit to your benefit and help ensure your success—or the converse, let a bad habit drag you down into failure.
I know that sounds extreme, but I don’t want to sugarcoat it: these things are powerful.
Habits are based on need and are reinforced by rewards
Although it might feel like your habits are arbitrary and don’t serve any purpose (or perhaps you even desire to break a few of them), there’s no denying that they’re rooted in something deeper. Psychology Today breaks down the science behind this phenomenon: “A habit is a behavior that is performed automatically, and every habit starts with a psychological pattern called a ‘habit loop.”
The loop consists of three parts: the cue, the routine, and the reward.
- The cue tells your brain to go into automatic mode; it’s a trigger that tells your brain to go into autopilot.
- The routine is what you do automatically, such as eat or check email; it’s the behavior itself.
- The reward is what satisfies you on a basic level—food tastes good, and checking email feels productive.
Habits are based on need. They are reinforced by rewards that promote survival and health. Letting people take turns talking rather than interrupting is rewarded by teamwork and friendship. Being friendly instead of rude is rewarded with social acceptance and love. Even if we have our negative habits—like procrastinating or indulging in addictions—we can always replace them with positive ones given time, dedication, and self-awareness!
You can redirect the energy from bad habits toward healthier ones.
The neurological basis of why habits are hard to change is that the brain is hardwired to resist change. This might seem counterproductive, but there’s a good reason for it: your brain needs to conserve energy. It takes time and energy to change habits, so your brain will only do it if it thinks you need to.
Changing habits can be compared to a flywheel—it takes a lot of effort to push one into motion, but once it’s spinning, keeping it spinning takes less effort. So, if you can redirect the energy you use in bad habits toward healthier ones, that may be easier than completely changing your behavior.
Top Habits to follow for success
Have a positive attitude.
A positive attitude is a key to achieving your goals and maximizing your happiness, in school and in life. When you have a good attitude, your peers and superiors will notice—and so will you! Positive thinking is all about finding the silver lining in even the most amorphous of clouds.
Sure, your car may be broken down on the side of the road, but you probably won’t be late for work now that traffic isn’t getting in your way. You might not know as much about chemistry as your classmates who are finishing their homework at 7:30 AM sharp every day, but maybe those people are leaking brain fluid from overuse of their brains or something. You could be a rotating chair on this season’s The Voice, but what if someone puts you up against Gwen Stefani or Blake Shelton? (You would eat them alive.)
Believe in your abilities.
As we’ve learned, success comes from hard work and determination. But as we also now know, it also comes from having the right mindset.
In order to achieve your goals, you must believe in your own abilities. You must believe that you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it. You must believe that with enough effort, there is no goal too lofty for you to accomplish.
When you truly believe in yourself and your abilities, anything is possible. There’s no limit to what you can accomplish when you’re confident in yourself and your unique talents!
Before starting any endeavor, it’s important to visualize success! Visualize what success would look like and what it would feel like.
- What would you need to do in order to achieve success?
- How would other people around you react if you succeeded?
- How would you react if you succeeded?
These are all good questions to ask yourself before beginning anything important. I know from personal experience that visualizing success can be helpful.
Giving thanks is one of the most important things you can do. Giving thanks will help you become a more positive, energetic and happier person. There are many ways to give thanks, including:
- Giving thanks in writing – This can be done by keeping a gratitude journal or simply writing down three things you are grateful for each day. Gratitude journals have been proven to make people happier! Some individuals use apps like Day One or Citymapper to keep track of their progress.
- Give thanks with words – Try saying thank you more often throughout your day. This can be very easy to do when clients pay for your services, but remember that family and friends need our appreciation as well. If someone does anything nice for you, express your gratitude verbally rather than just moving on with your day.
- Give thanks by doing something nice for someone else – Take some time out of your day to find ways to help others. As an example, if a family member has just had surgery, it may be as simple as making dinner or taking care of the kids while they rest on the couch watching Friends reruns on Netflix. Sometimes small acts of kindness go a long way towards making people feel appreciative and fortunate in this crazy world we live in today! You might just find yourself feeling better about life too!
Be an optimist.
Being an optimist means being able to see the opportunity in any situation, to find ways to turn a negative into a positive—and this is something you can train yourself to do. It doesn’t matter where you start, as long as you are moving in the right direction.
Not only will this make life more enjoyable, it will help you reach your goals. Pessimists tend to be unhappy and unproductive because they’re always focused on what’s not going right—what’s wrong with their lives, what they’re lacking, and how they’ve been wronged. By contrast, optimists focus on what is going right and what they could be doing differently next time; when one route doesn’t work out for them, they simply try a different one until it does.
Optimists don’t always get everything right the first time—but because failure doesn’t deter or discourage them from continuing their efforts to succeed, that almost never matters anyway. Optimists are also more resilient than pessimists because instead of wallowing in self-pity when things go wrong for them, they take responsibility for their actions and find ways to make better decisions next time around.
Be supportive to others.
Not only is it one of the most important things you can do for your success, supporting other people will help keep your focus on what matters most in life. Relationships with colleagues and friends are a good reason to make an effort to be supportive, but another great reason comes from something more personal—you’ll become a better person!
Being supportive doesn’t just mean being nice and giving compliments, though those definitely help. Instead, being supportive means noticing when someone is struggling and helping them in any way you can. This might not seem like it’s related to getting ahead in life, but it shows that you care about others and that you’re willing to work together towards a common goal.
Be active and exercise.
It’s no secret that exercise is good for you. When you’re feeling down, getting moving—even a little bit—can boost your mood and help clear your head. It will also help keep you in shape, which can make you feel better about yourself, even on days when it seems like nothing else is going right.
Exercise releases endorphins that improve your mood and reduce stress. It may also help you sleep better at night, so don’t be afraid to start with something simple and build from there!
Physical activity has been proven to be beneficial for both mental health as well as physical health. Studies have shown that regular exercise:
Strive for quality and excellence.
Striving for excellence means doing the best you can in any given situation. Whether it’s practicing your guitar, cleaning up your room, or preparing for a meeting with your boss, striving for excellence means that you’re always going to give it 100 percent of your effort.
It also means not being afraid to fail because when you practice excellence in anything, failure is a sign that you are moving forward. If you didn’t fail along the way then there is no growth and no improvement.
Achieving mastery in anything requires repeating things over and over again until they become second nature. This kind of repetition is what ultimately leads to excellence. You could compare it to playing scales on an instrument or dribbling a basketball hundreds of times per day until the movements become automatic.
Quality is important in all aspects of life because it is what people remember and associate with others and products. The quality of someone’s work speaks volumes about their character and shows how much effort they put into everything they do.
Excellence should be your goal in everything you do whether it be at work or at home, interacting with friends or family members, or simply enjoying time alone engaging in activities that appeal to you such as sports or creative pursuits.
Be more productive with your time management.
- Use a calendar. If you’re not using your phone’s built-in calendar to manage your life, you should be! It’s so easy to just enter an appointment and it’ll automatically remind you when it’s time for that thing.
- Use a to-do list. When you have a lot of little things to do throughout the day, keeping them all organized in your head just isn’t going to work—and the result is that some of those tasks will get forgotten or put off until later, which makes them take even longer to finish and just adds stress!
- Stop multitasking—it doesn’t work anyway. Multitasking is bad for everyone because we aren’t wired naturally with task switching capability; instead we need focus time on one thing before moving onto another task.
Develop a success mindset
As you begin to develop a success mindset, remember all the people who have helped you. Be grateful for your support network — and pay it forward by supporting others.
Making a habit of being thankful will go a long way toward making your path to success more enjoyable, as well as helping you achieve your goals.