If you observed people who have successful careers, you will see a pattern of practices and routines that help them do what they do best. These patterns are habits they’ve mastered to push them toward their goals. Each successful person has his own sets of habits. But, every one of them shares an underlying character – an unrivalled determination to maintain their good habits at all times.
If you look closely at how successful people spend their day, their lifestyle choices will give you a glimpse of how they’re able to optimize whatever task they have at hand. With their hectic schedules, it isn’t surprising they have routines – in and out of work – to help them smartly manage their lives and endeavors.
Positive Changes Stem from Good Habits
If you’ve ever tackled a new project or played a new sport, you’ll know how satisfying it is to reach a goal or a personal record. Apart from creating or learning something new, you have changed yourself for the better. And that is empowering.
Underneath the positive changes are good habits. The repetitive actions, like going to practice every week, enable you to develop and integrate the change in your lifestyle. Good habits help you grow both in your personal and professional life.
Goals in Relation to Good Habits
Studies show that you’re more prone to attain worthwhile goals if you practice good habits. People are not just stimulated by their goals. In reality, once you’ve figured out a goal, you’re more motivated every day by the habits you’ve designed to reach your objective, rather than the goal itself.
Inspiration also comes from reflecting on the progress you’ve made thus far. People who constantly evaluate how they do things, and who adjust their habits for the better, become more successful and productive in all aspects of their life.
Developing Good Habits
Adopt these steps to build up good habits in your everyday life and to fire up the positive changes in your career.
Figure out what it is you want to achieve
Write down your goals. It’s imperative you’re clear about them as they’ll help you become committed to developing good habits to succeed. Then, choose a goal you want to prioritize. Look at the habits you’ll need to include in your routine to reach that goal. Think about what you must do each day to turn your dream into a reality.
Example: If you’re about to relocate to Spain for a career promotion, a priority goal is to learn the Spanish language. Create a habit of allotting an hour every day to learn the language.
Integrate good habits into your lifestyle
Look for ways to incorporate your new habit into your day-to-day routine. Give it the value it deserves. Include it to your schedule so you can give it your full attention.
Example: If you have more energy in the morning, make sure to schedule your Spanish lessons before noon. This way, you’re more alert and focused on doing the work.
Reflect on your progress
As you grow into your new habit, evaluate how it’s helping you (or not). If you’re unable to follow it, think about the reason why. Is the goal unrealistic? Too ambitious? If that’s the case, set up a more workable, short-term goal to motivate yourself again.
Or, if the new habit fails to deliver the positive change you expect, think about what seems to be the problem. You may have to adjust your habit for it to deliver the real change you need.
Example: If after weeks of learning Spanish you’re still unable to speak the language, then take a step back and see what’s gone wrong. You can change your “curriculum” to a slower pace so you can refocus your attention. Maybe start with just learning how to speak Spanish. After a while, you can concentrate on writing and reading.
A research in 2012 revealed that, on average, it can take 66 days to create a new habit. This is why having self-discipline is crucial. A good way of bolstering your self-discipline is to make a visual representation of your goal and your progress. It can be a collage or a board of what you want to achieve and how far you’ve come to attain your goal. The visual will remind you why developing the habit is important. It’s something that will motivate you on days when your enthusiasm is nowhere to be found.
Example: On days when you have to choose between sleeping in and getting up to study Spanish phrases, look at your visual board. Imagine how you’d feel if you’re in a glorious Spanish restaurant and can’t order the meal you want because your Spanish is bad.
Ask for help
It’s not easy to stick to a new habit on your own. Temptations are everywhere. The solution: ask for help. You can look for people who can give assistance so you can hit your target. You can also share your goal with your loved ones or colleagues. The “help” doesn’t necessarily have to be directly associated with your goal. It can just be moral support, like a loved one asking you about your progress.
Example: If learning Spanish on your own becomes challenging, look for a class online or a tutor that can help you achieve your goal.