“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”
John C. Maxwell
What separates the world’s most successful people from those who struggle to create the life they want?
Truth is, success isn’t something you’re born with. Instead, it’s an attitude you can nurture. It’s a way of life and a way of being and it emerges when your everyday habits align with what you say you want to do.
So if you’re frustrated that you’re not where you want to be, know you have the power to change that.
If you can imagine different, then you can create different.
All you need to do is nurture the daily success habits that will empower you to close the gap. And to help you get started, here are 10 of the most game-changing success habits.
Adopt these and see how much further you can go.
1. Plan your day
“Either you run the day or the day runs you.”
It’s easy to blame a lack of success on a lack of time. But time is the greatest equalizer. We all get the same 1,440 minutes a day. It’s how you use and allocate your minutes that count.
And without doubt the most powerful way to maximize your daily allocation is to plan your day.
If you don’t, you’ll squander your time and your precious hours will run away from you.
For best results, plan your day in 30-minute chunks. Not only does this allow you to use the Pomodoro Technique, but it also makes your day less daunting to tackle.
Your daily plan should aim to create work-life harmony. Don’t make the mistake of planning your work to-dos alone. Instead, plan it all. If you don’t, you’ll fall short in the areas of your life where you’re not giving enough attention.
Aim to leave zero white space on your planner too.
Every minute is precious. Allocate every single one and you’ll be surprised at how much you’re able to achieve and enjoy on any given day.
2. Practice gratitude
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
We live in a consumer society that’s constantly bombarding us with messages, adverts, and images that trick us into thinking we’re not enough.
As a result, we keep chasing the future where we tell ourselves success lies.
But you can’t live a good life unless you can enjoy today – and gratitude is a simple practice that helps you to that.
Simply bookend your day with appreciation to shine the light on all the things you already have.
Use this habit to recognize that in this very moment you are enough and that you have enough.
Start the day writing down three things you’re grateful for. This can be the big and the small things. Then end the day capturing gratitude for the little things that happened during your day.
It’s a powerful habit that not only makes you feel good in the moment, but it also unlocks a flood of positivity – a mindset that’s essential if you want to build a successful life.
3. Set goals
“If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy and inspires your hopes.”
Goals give your life direction. They create a clear focus – somewhere to head so you’re not always disappearing down tangents and investing time on things that don’t matter.
For best results, set 3-month goals. This timespan is long enough to achieve something significant, but not too long that procrastination breeds.
You’ll find it easier to achieve your quarterly goals if you set mini milestones. Weekly goals will help you get clear on what you need to achieve over the next 7 days. When you’re clear on your intentions, you can plan more productively and efficiently too.
Finally, set daily goals too so you can be sure the needle is always moving in the right direction. Remember, if you win the day (day after day) you’ll eventually win the year.
4. Reflect on what you’ve learned daily
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”
Every day brings a chance for you to get better. That’s because every day you’ll have conversations, experiences, insights, and ideas that will help you grow as an individual.
Every new day brings fresh opportunities for you to learn more about yourself and what you’re capable of. Don’t miss out on these learnings. Often they’re subtle – you have to go looking for them to dig them out.
You can capture those insights when you make daily reflection a habit. Simply take a few minutes to ask yourself what the day has taught you and then write those insights down.
Not only will this practice help you avoid making the same mistake again, it will empower you to grow quicker too. When you get the lesson, there’s a good chance you won’t keep finding yourself in repeating situations.
Instead, you just keep growing into your best self.
5. Keep a notebook
“You can make anything by writing.”
Your best ideas are locked inside of you and you can never be sure when your next eureka moment is going to pop out. So to ensure you’re never caught short, get in the habit of keeping a notebook close to hand.
Keep one on your desk, next to your bed, in your pocket, and in your bag. In short, ensure you’re always in a position to write something down – so you never miss a thing.
Ideas are fleeting. If you don’t capture a good one when it shows up, you risk losing it for good. But that’s not all… Your brain isn’t so good at remembering things so if you frantically try to hold a thought in your head until you get to a notebook, you waste a ton of bandwidth. You also miss out on the chance to pull on and stretch an idea to see where it leads.
Ever noticed that once you start writing and brainstorming, the ideas flow even further.
A good notebook is essential for any high-achiever. It helps you process your thoughts, capture ideas, and plan your next steps. Get into the habit of carrying one everywhere and it will soon become among your most valuable possessions.
“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”
People who want success usually have a lot on their plates. You’re open-minded which means unexpected opportunities come your way. You take on a lot because you have high-expectations for yourself. You’re juggling a lot of balls because you want to succeed in all areas of your life.
If you consistently have too much to do, you’ll put yourself on the road to overwhelm.
If you’re trying to everything at once, you’ll find yourself a few steps away from burnout.
That’s why prioritization is a key success habit.
You have to get good at figuring out what’s essential, what’s important, and what can wait. It’s the old 80/20 rule again – 20% of your output will create 80% of your results.
So continually ask yourself – ARE YOU FOCUSING YOUR ENERGY ON TASKS THAT MOVE THE NEEDLE?
Here’s a simple way to practice prioritization.
Each day, set yourself a maximum of THREE targets. These targets are the three things that once achieved will make your day a win – even if you don’t do anything else.
Your daily targets should align with your goals and your daily schedule should be set up to ensure you hit them.
Make prioritization a non-negotiable and you’ll feel successful even if you don’t get everything done.
“Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.”
Alexander Graham Bell
Success needs focus so you can work on the right things, at the right time, in the right amount of time.
If time is your most valuable resource, then distractions are the biggest focus and time stealers. At every turn, you’ll encounter something that can knock you off course. If you want to win, you have to develop the discipline to focus on one thing.
A simple way to practice this habit is to create focused work time every day when you’ll eliminate ALL distractions. That means:
- Switching off your phone
- Turning off all notifications
- Avoiding the urge to go surf online
- Focusing on ONE task (multitasking makes you LESS not more productive)
- Asking people to not disturb you
In short, create an environment where you can get into your deep work zone. It’s a simple way to work smarter (not harder), and get through the tasks you must complete to achieve your goals.
8. Celebrate your wins (even the small ones)
“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.”
Success isn’t a one-time event. Instead, it’s a journey. Each time you hit a milestone a new door will open that creates opportunities for you to achieve even more.
Remember, you can’t be truly successful if you’re always chasing down the future. You must enjoy today as well. Celebrating your wins is a simple way to do that.
Life is full of ups and downs. Some days will be euphoric, others you’ll want to say in bed, others you’ll feel as though you’re walking the treadmill.
They’re all important and each creates the opportunity to notch up a win.
So write them down – daily.
They’ll provide a motivational boost and a perspective shift when you think you haven’t achieved much. They also create a fuel reserve which you can look back on when the fear and doubts inevitably creeps up on you.
Acknowledge your wins and you’ll also cultivate the positive mindset and self-belief that you CAN do it – because you have all these examples that you can refer back to.
9. Track your habits
“Depending on what they are, our habits will either make us or break us. We become what we repeatedly do.”
It’s one thing to have an intention.
It’s quite another to get into the flow where good practices become habitual and part of your identity. The challenge is getting to the point where it feels more weird to NOT do your habit than it does to practice it.
So how do you get to the point where you take action instinctively so success habits become ingrained behaviors?
The answer is track your habits.
There’s a story about an aspiring comedian who met Jerry Seinfeld. Curious to know the secrets of his success, he asked Jerry how he could become a better comedian.
Jerry told him to write jokes every day – but he didn’t stop there. He also told the comedian to track his daily joke-writing habit with a calendar. Everyday you write a joke you get to put a BIG red X on your calendar. Pretty soon those individual Xs create a chain and eventually that chain becomes so long, it’s more painful to break it than to stick at your commitments.
Get into the habit of tracking your habits in the same way.
Create your chain and before long, the habits that can take you where you want to go will become an instinctive part of your life.
10. Use a SELF Journal
We all lead busy lives. Life in the 21st century is fast-paced, fragmented, and often chaotic. When you’re juggling to-do lists and you’re doing your best to show up for the people who count on you, it can be hard to weave in new habits.
Life has a habit of taking over and getting in the way and if your habits are not scheduled in or planned out, there’s a good chance you’ll forget or get distracted.
Your SELF Journal is the sidekick you need to get on top of your day and in control of your life. It contains the formula for inevitable success so you can think bigger and achieve more while enjoying today.
Your SELF Journal is packed with a series of planning and productivity templates that help you master the success habits that ensure you win. You can use your SELF Journal to:
- Plan your day
- Practice gratitude
- Set your quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily goals
- Take notes
- Celebrate your wins
- Track your habits
Trusted by over 170,000 high-achievers, you’re in great company.
Ready to master 10 proven success habits this month? Then empower yourself with the tool that can inspire success every single day.