Achieving Success through your Habits
The phrase "overnight success" bugs me.
There are two reasons this bugs me.
Firstly, success is something you define within yourself. It is an individual state of mind. My version of success is probably totally different to most people's, and the reason I believe this to be true is because my version of success has changed dramatically in the last 12 months.
Secondly, "Success" is also always evolving. In our lifetimes we will desire to reach certain milestones and once we reach these, do we just stop? Pack up and go home and never strive for anything ever again? Our work is never truly done.
What I've learnt throughout studying hundred's of people's journeys, including my own, is that our output, or outcomes, are influenced significantly by the habits we adopt day to day.
This sounds quite an obvious observation, but this does tend to be the case with the most profound realisations.
Our habits impact anything from our outlook on life, general attitudes, or motivation for success. You may have heard the phrase "practice makes permanent" before? Well, our habits make up our (sometimes unconscious) consistent baby steps. So, whether we are adopting habits that are helpful or unhelpful to our longer term desires is the question!
Taking a step back and reviewing what habits we have and do is so interesting, and can prove to be valuable. In doing so, you may notice things such as "I always start the day by snoozing the alarm 4 times and need at least 3 coffee's before I will even consider getting out of bed" (yes, I know.... I am working on it!) or "I always ensure I take the time to do at least 20 minutes exercise per day". These are all important habits that structure what is essentially your routine.
Even more helpful, though, is to try and get a perspective (if possible) from the person you live with. It tends to be a lot easier to observe patterns and repetitive behaviours in somebody else, I know that certainly in my work as a Life Coach I pick up on things instantly in others that I may struggle to identify in myself.
For example I could tell you at least 5 things off the cuff that my husband does as part of his daily habits. It probably wouldn't go down well, but I could.
When reflecting, ask yourself these questions to try and identify habits:
What is my "morning routine"?
How do I structure my working day?
Do certain things irritate me regularly?
How often do I check my social media?
Is reading or learning something I often participate in?
Do I take regular breaks?
What do I do in the evenings after I've had my evening meal?
Do I have a consistent bed time?
Do I often "check in" with myself and rate how positive/negative I am feeling?
Do I make time to get fresh air?
These should just prompt you to look at different areas of your routine to identify recurring habits.
I am so committed to learning more about how I can empower myself and my clients to achieve "Success". Whilst I am a big advocate for "Goal Setting" (I created a Free Goal Setting Workbook you can download HERE if this floats your boat) I know that, like our version of success, goals change. They evolve and can be tweaked and rightly so.
But the success that creating helpful habits brings is consistent and it's forever! The habits you have will also support that goal you've been wanting to reach. I appreciate that everybody is different and so I didn't want to write a list of absolutely essential habits that you should all implement TODAY, as this might not work for you.
What I will do is share some common "unhelpful" habits and some common "helpful" habits that we tend to adopt. Getting the right balance is something only you'll be able to identify.
For instance, I am pretty sure regular gin consumption may be seen as an unhelpful habit, but it doesn't work for me to attempt to remove that right now!
Common Unhelpful Habits:
Having late and inconsistent bedtimes due to "uncontrollable Netflix binges"
Blaming & Complaining about other people as your first port of call when a problem arises
Repeating negative phrases in your mind such as "I'm so tired" or "I'm no good at that"
Playing a "passive" rather than an "active" role in how your day pans out. Start planning and choosing!
Accommodating toxic people in your life
Choosing the fastest option rather than the right one
Common Helpful Habits
Having a consistent structure to your day
Where possible, work most in your most productive hours of the day
Visualising your success and taking the time to say "What can I do today to get me 1 step closer?"
Checking in with the positive people in your life - who always makes you feel good?
Making time to cook nourishing food
Have a "can-do" attitude.
Make self-care a priority
Have a look and see which sound most familiar to you! You may also find it helpful to make some gentle suggestions to somebody around you who may be consistently adopting unhelpful habits. Be careful of offering "unsolicited" advice, and of course try to choose the right moment.
Remember, by incorporating helpful habits into your daily life, you stand a much higher chance of achieving success on your own terms. This does require being honest with yourself about what you are spending your time on, which can be the most difficult part for some people! But in our lives the only person we are truly competing against is our past self vs our future self; the pace at which you improve is up to you!