The Essential Goal-Setting Habits of Successful People
September is an awesome time to start fresh, reflect on your progress through the year and spit-shine those goals that gathered some dust over the summer. Whether you’re gearing up to get fit, jumping into a new semester, or starting a business, steal a page from the successful people handbook (that we assume exists somewhere) and implement these habits.
1. Get The Right Things Done We all have an ever growing to-do list looming over our heads, but successful people treat theirs differently. Rather than stressing over the tasks that have been on the list longest, they view the to-do list as an organic checklist, where the most urgent and important tasks float to the top. If the tasks at the bottom never seem to rise to the top, then they probably weren’t so important after all.
2. Put Your Body First Exercise first thing in the morning. There are hundreds of studies that show exercising early in the morning can help you stay focused and motivated throughout the day (here’s one). The majority of successful people wake up and workout daily, no matter what their day looks like. Hungover, early flight, kids home sick-nothing stops successful people from putting their mind and body first. In fact, dedicating your morning to a non-negotiable workout can help you tackle all the unpredictable stuff that happens as the day progresses. If mornings are simply not going to work for you, create a fitness routine that works for your schedule.
3. Fuel Up On Key Nutrients Set your body up for success by fueling it with proper foods. Stick with whole, fresh foods that are full of fiber, protein, and essential vitamins and minerals. If you’re jumping into a new fitness routine or even a new work schedule, time your meals according to your new needs and nutrition requirements. Our Rowdy Rousers have some great ideas for this.
4. Connect Old Habits To New Ones A large part of our day is completed through habit behaviors, and some habits are actually linked. Take some time to think about the habits that are already at work in your life (the morning commute, changing into workout clothes … something simple). Then try to attach a new habit to an existing one. For example, maybe you listen to an audiobook during your morning commute instead of music, or you recite affirmations as you get changed for your workout for more motivation.
5. Increase Desired Behaviors Kicking bad habits is extremely difficult. Whether it’s checking your phone 50 times a day or having a bowl of ice cream when you catch up on your shows, these habits form out of comfort, and stepping away from comfortable things is, well uncomfortable. Instead of trying to break bad habits, focus on increasing good or “desired” habits. Look for a good habit that aligns with your goals, like drinking tea before bed. Repeat this behavior and eventually it will become a habit.
6. Deliberate Practice Successful people dedicate 2-3 hours of deliberate practice to a certain discipline each and every day. Deliberate practice requires conscious effort, and conscious effort requires deep focus without distraction. Make time each and every day to practice your discipline, and with a little patience and determination, you will reach your impossible goals.
7. Tune Out Distractions The world is one big distraction, and successful people know how to cut through the noise and stay laser-eyed on their goals. Before you can ignore the distractions you need to identify them. Start with social media, email subscriptions and other digital distractions. Dedicate a period of 30-60 minutes each day to completely unplug. This time frame could be your workout, a walk, or a household task that frees up your mind to wander. Thankfully, smartphones are equipped with "Do Not Disturb" features, so you can program these unplug times directly into your device.
8. Feed Your Brain Highly successful people invest time in their mind. Just as you are mindful with the food you choose to eat, successful people are also mindful of the information they choose to take in. From books to podcasts to the people they surround themselves with, successful people only take in what feeds their goals. Personal growth is a daily practice, choose to absorb inspirational, motivating content sources that deepen your knowledge and sharpen your edge.
9. Do The Boring Stuff Like a Champion There’s a reason why the military are so adamant about making their bed perfectly. When you do the mundane everyday stuff exceptionally well, then everything else you do in your life becomes more pristine too. Whether it’s washing the dishes, sending a thank you email, or even folding your shirts--pay attention to what makes a mundane task exceptional, then do it.
10. Put Yourself First Stick to a weekly schedule that puts your goals first. It’s frighteningly easy to react to what others may need from you (a coworker’s email, the phone call from your kid’s coach, the list never ends). This can cause you to lose control of your schedule easily. Create buffers in your day and keep part of your day sacred so you can find clarity on what is important to you, what you’re grateful for, and what would be a success for that day.