There are no shortcuts to success. But there are best practices.

April 4, 2017

You will never wake up one morning and suddenly be successful. Success is a lifestyle. It is not a one-time event that will happen to you on a single day; it is a series of events that sculpt the course of your life. An all-in, consistent approach founded on winning habits. Rituals that you perform regularly on good days and bad days alike.

From Oprah Winfrey’s practice of sitting still for 20 minutes to Robert Iger’s insistence on waking up at 4:30 a.m. every day, a lot of the winning habits of success aren’t peculiar or strange; they are regular and prosaic. The important thing is that habits sustain a level of structure and enthusiasm in your life, so you can always deliver at an optimum level.

If you’re aiming to achieve any kind of success that’s meaningful to you, you’ll need to develop winning habits that will prime you for greatness. Here are five.

1. Mend your mindset.

Get your head straight. Understand that to achieve success, you need to have a positive outlook on life. Every moment is an opportunity for you to learn and become better. Even if you fall down, get back up and do it again until you get it right.

Mistakes allow negativity to seep into your thoughts, which can lead you to doubt yourself and paralyse you from moving forward. The truth is that the journey to success is perilous, and it’s up to you to overcome the challenges along the way.

To help you keep a positive, growth mindset, surround yourself with the right people who will serve as your support group. You can lean on them and ask for advice when you’re shaken. And you can return the favour by sharing lessons from your own experience. These kinds of relationships, developed over time, are reminders that you need like-minded people in your life.

2. Determine your life goals.

Think of your goal as your life’s purposeWhat are you truly passionate about? Why are you here? How can you make the world a better place? Finding out your reason for living will reveal clues on how you can use your skills.

Aim for a goal that provides direction in your life and allows you to savor your journey. Realize that life is a collection of events and memories that all help shape your attitude, and your goal is a byproduct of the kind of life you lead. With all of that in mind, you’ll be able to live a fuller life.

3. Drop the distractions.

Because you now have determined a clear purpose, you need to get rid anything hindering you from living it. You must design a life that supports your goal and commit to the habits that will get you there.

In a study conducted by the Harvard Business Review, limiting your choices in life and making fewer decisions can help you develop the self-discipline necessary to build winning habits. Therefore, by taking out the negatives and filling your life with positive energy, you can eliminate distractions and focus on the habits that matter to you most.

4. Keep it super simple.

Your commitment to performing winning habits is crucial to your success. You need to prepare ahead of time and visualize yourself making the habits before you do.

Take best-selling author Ramit Sethi, for example. Sethi determined that the long walk from his bed to the closet was preventing him from going to the gym on a consistent basis. So he started placing all his gym gear beside the bed to be within reach upon waking up. Since then, he’s been able to turn his gym visits into gym habits.

By figuring out what’s keeping you from performing your habits consistently, you’ll be able to take action and find ways to make them easier for you to do. It’s all about finding solutions instead of making excuses.

5. Reward yourself.

Creating winning habits can feel like a thankless undertaking, because the actual reward is in the doing itself. But you should take every opportunity you can to give yourself more than just a pat on the back.

Small things, such as taking a minute to breathe deeply, getting some sunshine or spending quality time with your loved ones, serve as reinforcement for a job well done. You’ve committed to building strong habits; these tiny rewards will become positive cues that will be associated with your winning lifestyle.

Habits aren’t simply mundane tasks, but imperative factors to achieving long-term success. And committing yourself to your rituals is the first step to actualizing the life you’re desperately dreaming of.

As Brian Tracy wisely put it, “Successful people do what they have to do, whether they feel like it or not.”

There are no shortcuts in life. Anything worth achieving is a struggle, and it’s up to you whether you want to show up and commit. You have the power to shape your own life, and these winning habits are the backbone for achieving your goals.


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