"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit." - Aristotle
1. Develop a Positive Mental Attitude
Developing a positive mental attitude and thought process is the foundation that will help you to achieve other habits. Positive thinking goes a long way in helping an individual live a successful life by first developing the right habits that will set the pace.
I learnt this after going through a personal situation (read my story here) that transformed my life, just because I chose to start thinking positively despite a depressing situation. I realized that I could either decide to create a great life out of that situation or remain stagnant by wallowing in self-pity, negativity and blames.
By creating a positive thought process, you're allowing yourself to let go of negativity and move faster towards your goals, despite negative circumstances. Start by identifying any negative pattern or self-talk, then recognize that you have a responsibility to change it. It's a gradual process, but by committing to focus your mind on positive things, you'll eventually get used to having a positive mental attitude.
2. Set a Goal and Focus
It's important to take things one step at a time, especially when you're trying to cultivate a certain habit. Set a goal towards a habit you would like to cultivate or general goals. For some it could be to wake up earlier, workout or build a savings culture for a better financial future. Write it down and post your goals in a place where you can easily see them. This will serve as a reminder for you and help you stay motivated even when laziness tries to creep in.
Focus is very important because it helps you to get more done more effectively. Create the habit of setting goals, deadlines and focus on finishing them by setting milestones for each goal. Always set priorities by identifying the highly essential things and putting away tasks that don't help you get to your desired goals.
3. Create Sources of Motivation or Inspiration
I believe that when people find inspiration towards their goals, they are more likely to achieve them. It's important to identify the things that inspire and motivate you, not just literally but those that push you towards taking massive action towards your goals.
Motivation is like taking a shower, so it needs to be done consistently. Create a vision board that inspires you, invest your mind with the right resources that help you stay motivated, and surround yourself with people that inspire you. By creating sources of motivation and inspiration, you'll subconsciously be attracted to positive things in life and eventually, a more successful life.
4. Start Simple and Trust the Process
"Incremental change is better than ambitious failure" ~ Tony Schwartz
When I set a goal of doing light workouts three times a week, I knew I could make it work and grow from there. Understand your current state and set realistic goals that you can actually accomplish.
Trust the process and timing of your life by focusing on the lessons you have to learn during that period. Don't try to be activity conscious, rather focus on the meaningful results that each goal and your current process can bring.
It generally takes about 21 days for us to get used to new habits, so enjoy and trust the process. Don't give up easily.
5. Get Accountability
I've spoken about accountability several times and one thing I know for sure is that we cannot achieve greatness alone. Talk to someone you trust about your goals and make them understand how you need them to be part of your process.
Personally, by getting someone to be part of my process, it gives me an extra source of motivation to get things done. An accountability partner is someone you trust enough to help, support and encourage you towards your goals. Don't just choose anyone, but make sure they are interested in your progress and success.
6. Track Your Progress (Routines, Structures and Systems)
One factor that makes alot of entrepreneurs and individuals slack in their work is the inability to track their progress. By this, I specifically mean setting structures, systems or routines that help you automate your goals and create effective results.
For example, if using an online platform like Mailchimp.com or another email service provider will help you send out emails faster, then do it. That will make you send out just one email to multiple people at the same time.
Figure out the structures and systems that will help you perform faster. Create inspiring morning and night routines that will keep you on track and help you achieve your daily goals. As you make progress, these systems will help you monitor your goals and identify loopholes easily.
7. Gratitude and Kindness
Living a consistent life of gratitude helps you appreciate life better. Sometimes things don't work out the way we would love them to, but when we create an attitude of gratitude, we are allowing more goodness into our lives.
In addition, kindness helps you to appreciate yourself and others more. By showing kindness, you become patient with other people and also help them achieve their goals too. Gratitude and kindness together, help us to live positive habits because we aren't controlled by circumstances in life. Gratitude makes you count your blessings, while kindness literally unlocks the door to more opportunities.
8. Say NO to Laziness and Procrastination
Laziness, unnecessary sleep and procrastination will never help you to live a successful life. In fact, they only make you remain stagnant and you keep setting goals that you're not committed to. In order to create a successful life that you're proud of, you need to manage your time wisely.
Set out morning routines, write must-do lists and stop procrastinating on your work. For me, I personally segment my work into four major quadrants - A, B, C, D which help me prioritize my goals for the day and also attach a time based deadline to them. I work in environments that allow me to work, for example- I do my best to sit on a table and chair and in upright positions, so that I don't sleep off.
When you stay committed to your goals and set deadlines, you'll have no reason to procrastinate. Understand that procrastination is a spirit that controls the human mind into thinking that they'll always have time. But the problem is that, we think we have time.