I wanted to talk to you today about success habits, as forming positive habits is a key component of being able to make positive and lasting change – in your career, business and beyond. Often clients come to me with bad habits that they’re well aware of. They know what’s not working and often what needs to change, but actually making those changes feel achievable and sustainable is a lot harder than it sounds.
Having worked with many successful people as a coach, I have first-hand experience of the vital habits that successful people practice. I’m going to talk you through these AND crucially, tell you the secrets of how to make these habits stick.
This isn’t going to work for everyone, but one common practice a lot of high achievers have is the habit of getting up early so that they can start their day with a morning ritual. Rising early might give them time to exercise or think or read, but most of all it gives them an additional chunk of uninterrupted time that they use to set themselves up for the day, in whatever way works for them.
Curiosity isn’t exactly a habit, but learning is and should be. Successful people keep striving for more information and knowledge and that means learning from others, reading – lots, attending workshops and investing in their learning journey because they know it can only add to their repertoire, skills and progress.
Saying no is a habit I want my clients to get into. Too many times I see people try to please everyone. Successful people know how and when to say no. They understand their time and energy has worth and that no is an acceptable response.
Goals are an essential part of success, otherwise, how do you know you’ve achieved it? Setting regular goals is a habit every successful person has, from small daily goals to the bigger picture.
Routine often helps us to thrive and to feel in control. It also frees us up by allocating us segments of time to dedicate to particular activities, whether that’s networking, strategizing, marketing, social media or product development. Putting a firm structure in place is how successful people achieve their goals. What that structure looks like is up to you. It could be a paper plan for the week or making sure you have childcare to allow you to find time to work on your business, whatever works for you!
Successful people also sleep. Crazy isn’t it? Contrary to popular belief they’re not always on their phones and emails. They actually prioritise sleep because without it they know they are less capable. So, adopting healthy sleep habits is a fundamental must.
If you can make it a habit to practice gratitude and give regular thanks and appreciation, you will not only feel more positive but will create positivity around you and in your interactions which goes a long way to help you feel and think successfully.
Whether you spend me time in the bath, watching movies or hanging out with friends, successful people know that all work and no play never ends well. It’s important to give yourself space and time out. I always think meditation and exercise are two of the most effective and healthy habits that boost wellbeing AND promote success.
So now we’ve spoken about success habits, how about making them stick?
Habits take effort and energy and we’re programmed to want to do things the simplest way. Make it easier to follow through on your habits by rearranging small elements of your life or work set up. For example, if you want to work out in the mornings, put your gym kit right next to your bed the night before so that there’s no thinking energy or effort required to organise yourself when you wake up. Similarly if you want to watch less tv and read more in the evenings then put the remote in another room and put your books of choice on the coffee table.
Accountability is key when habit-forming. Writing down all the things you’ve achieved or haven’t achieved gives you a regular reality check so you can keep your goals in front of mind. Write a to-do list, write a done it list, write a list of all the things you perpetually put off – and interrogate it!
Successful people aren’t successful alone. Normally they have a good support network around them – the right people encouraging and believing in them along the way. It turns out you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with so make sure you choose them well.
Success is sometimes easier to achieve when there’s an audience. The chances are you’ve had friends publicly take on the Couch to 5k Challenge and sharing that goal with their friends is actually a really important part of helping to form that new healthy habit. The same is applicable in business, if you give yourself a goal and pre-commit to it publicly, you are more likely to see it through. Time to get more connected to your LinkedIn!
This tip is one of my favourites. It involves analysing your behaviour, whether you are or aren’t staying on track with nailing your new success habits. If you take an analytical approach to your wins and failures, instead of beating yourself up about not sticking to your new habit religiously, you can take the information to analyse so you can better understand your behaviour. Are you struggling to create leads because you lack confidence in your presentation skills? Or eating badly in the evenings because you’ve been ‘too good’ with your health kick during the day? Find out where your weaknesses are and address them. Data is power – use it to keep striving towards ingraining those new habits.
Of course, with success habits, you can’t expect everything to click into place overnight. Habit-forming takes time and commitment, encouragement and determination, but I already believe you can do it! Why not bookmark this blog to remind yourself next time you’re trying to nail a new habit?
Shereen Hoban is an executive, business personal transformation coach. She supports entrepreneurs and professionals in demanding roles to deliver high performance and grow into their leadership potential without sacrificing health and wellbeing. Find out more about her coaching services and programmes here: www.shereenhobancoaching.com