January 3, 2017

17 Habits of Successful People to Kickoff 2017

Yael Morowati

Many things are out of our control, but personal habits are not one of them.  In fact, studies indicate that habits determine 95% of a person’s behavior which in turn can either contribute to or hinder personal success.  Making small tweaks to your daily routine will result in huge payoffs.  Since you’ve probably already jotted down a few resolutions for 2017, we wanted to give you an extra push in the right direction.  After all, this is the perfect time to create healthy habits.

1. Exercise daily
Seventy-six percent of self-made millionaires set aside at least 30 minutes for jogging, biking, or walking every day.  It turns out that exercise is the number one habit successful people have in common.  Working out regularly makes you think more clearly, leading to better overall health and happiness.  It also allows you to combat stress as well.  If you’re afraid your won’t stick to this habit, then set your alarm 15 minutes early and sneak in a quick jog or a 5 minute workout.  Morning workouts not only give you a boost of energy, they’ll also ensure that your senses are up and running. You’ll feel ready to tackle any problem that comes your way.

2. Sleep
Sleep is critical to your everyday wellbeing and success, as it affects memory function and both creative and cognitive thinking. An overwhelming 89% of self-made millionaires sleep seven or eight hours every night.  Albert Einstein reportedly slept 10 hours of sleep every night. Getting the proper amount of sleep is also critical to your weight control. When your biorhythms are off, it wreaks havoc on your entire system. Getting proper sleep sets you up for success in everything else you want to achieve.

3. Journal
The art of writing is a key factor in attracting success. This activity, which can take less than 20 minutes each day, can help you get faster results.  Journaling about thoughts and emotions helps us deal with stressful events. It also empowers us take our ideas and turn them into reality.   To get started, you can write about your dreams, ideas, success stories, and weekly and annual goals.  If you’re unclear about an issue, write it out. Research shows that writing about an issue versus talking about it brings higher levels of self-esteem and happiness.  Also, writing our personal and professional problems, helps you manifest the  right solutions.

4. Read
The world’s most successful people are avid readers.  A whopping 88% of the most successful people say they devote thirty minutes or more each day to education or self-improvement through reading.  Most do not read for entertainment.  Rather, they pick up biographies, history, and self-help books. Warren Buffett reportedly spends about 80% of his day reading. In 2015, Mark Zuckerberg pledged to read a book every two weeks. Elon Musk has said that he learned how to build rockets by reading books. If you’re a little intimidated by books, then read what you are interested in and start with a few pages a day.  Science shows that reading for pleasure can also boost your career.

5. Practice gratitude
Happiness is about wanting the things that you already have. Successful people become more open to optimism and inspiration and improve their outlook in life by counting their blessings.  As you build a better future, stay thankful for the life you’ve created. Express gratitude daily, through situations and with friends, family and colleagues. Slowing down to make note of what you’re thankful for can also relieve anxiety and stress. The act of gratefulness also draws more positivity your way, helping you to create an ongoing cycle of success.  Everyday, write down at least one thing that you’re thankful for.

6. Say no
Say no to things that do not matter and do not add value.  In truth, every time you say yes to something, you’re really saying no to something else.  And that something else might be the more important thing.  Successful people also know how to say no to themselves.  They know that their personal priorities are worth more than other people’s priorities. Upon waking up, significantly successful professionals don’t immediately check their email. In fact, they make it a point to claim the early hours of the day as their “me” time.

7. Meditate
Meditation has a number of mental and physical health benefits, from improving memory to increasing compassion to boosting the immune system.  Spend a few minutes to meditate. You can even do during your lunch break.  Remember, 90% of illnesses are stress-related, so enjoy a few moments with yourself and focus on your breathing.

8. Get out of the office
Successful people aren’t in the office all the time.  They use their time differently and have found somewhere else they can be really creative and productive. The most innovative employees split their time between remote and in-office work. According to research, 80% is the ideal proportion of the work week to spend in an office.  A lot of people desire the digital nomad lifestyle.  More and more companies are beginning to understand the benefits of virtual teams and as a result the amount of people telecommuting has dramatically increased.  Companies are realizing that having an efficient remote team provides loads of benefits.  According to Microsoft, the biggest benefits of working from home are: increased work-life balance, saving gas, avoiding traffic, and increased productivity. The majority of people value the reduced costs and increased ability to enjoy a work-life balance that comes from working remotely. 

9. Listen
If you’re looking to increase your chances of becoming successful, then listen more and talk less. Be attentive in every meeting. Hear everyone out, no matter how useless you think their ideas are.  listening is the most important skill in business and in life.  People care more about themselves than they care about you.  Letting people talk is key to winning them over in life, in business, and in all human relationships.

10. Build positive relationships
You are only as successful as those with whom you frequently associate.  If you don’t have highly-motivated people in your personal network yet, then start volunteering.  This is a great way to meet other positive, motivated individuals.  Also, join groups for people who share your same career or personal interests.  Be choosy about who you spend your time with. Successful people limit their exposure to toxic and negative people.  Virtually all of your happiness in life will come from your ability to get along well with other people.

11. Develop multiple incomes
Self-made millionaires do not rely on one source of income.  Rather, they develop multiple streams.  In fact, 65% have at least three streams of income that they created prior to making their first million dollars.  Having a side-business, income generating investments, or real estate are a few common additional sources of income. Diversifying your sources of income allows you to face economic challenges.

12. Get up an hour early
Hold off hitting that snooze button.  Getting up an hour earlier is going to take time to adjust to, but once you make it a habit, you will never look back. Research has shown, not only are early risers more optimistic and conscientious, they also anticipate problems and minimize them more efficiently.  Highly successful people wake up at 5:30 am, 4:30 am and even 4:00 am. Not only will they have more control in their early hours, they’ll also have more opportunities to do things that matter to them.   Start with waking up 15 minutes earlier than your usual time. Then, gradually adjust.

13. Eat breakfast
Your first meal of the day kick-starts your metabolism and replenishes blood-sugar levels so you can focus and be productive throughout the day. When blood-sugar levels are low, it’s much harder to focus and you’re more likely to feel tired, irritable, and impatient. Starting your day off on the right foot is all about balancing high-fiber carbohydrates with lean protein. While all carbohydrates raise your blood-sugar levels, high-fiber carbs like fruits and whole-grain products do so at a steadier pace than sugar and low-fiber carbs like processed grain. Oatmeal is the ideal carb in the morning because the fiber will fill you up and keep blood sugars steady, since the fiber takes longer to breakdown and digest.

14. Toss it
Learn to let go of the things that clutter your life. It’s one thing to try to clear your mind, but sometimes you have to physically toss something to feel lighter. Get rid of old magazines, books, unused appliances, junk mail, apps on your phone, old receipts or papers.

15. Plan and strategize
If you don’t take a few minutes of your time to map out the direction of your day, how will you know if you’re headed towards the right direction? Take at least 10 minutes of your day to visualize your life goals, review your tasks for the day and allot schedules for breaks. This will help your day be more manageable and less stressful. Also, refer to your journal for pointers.

16. Set goals
If you’re looking to increase your chances of success, then set goals and dedicate yourself to working from clear, written goals every day.  All highly successful people are intensely goal oriented. They know exactly what they want, they have it written down, they have written plans to accomplish it, and they both review and work on their plans every single day without fail

17. Maintain self-discipline
Your ability to discipline, master, and to control yourself is one of the most important qualities that you can develop as a person.  The habit of self-discipline goes hand in hand with success in every area of life. You are where you are and what you are today because of your habits. When you develop the same good habits possessed by other successful people, you will enjoy their success as well.

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