Success. It’s something we all view differently, and yet we all want it.
The good news? Success is totally attainable if you start practicing the habits of successful people.
Let’s dive in and look at the four things that successful people do differently and how to start incorporating these habits into your own life.
Let’s Define Success
Success means so many different things to different people, but the general idea is that success is the accomplishment of an aim or purpose, or the attainment of popularity or profit.
Honestly, success is different for everyone.
While some deem success as rolling in money, another may find success in a potty trained toddler and two nights in a row of actual sleep.
Regardless of your take on success, one thing is true… the people that find their version of success have a few things in common.
What Do Successful People Do Differently?
Simply put, successful people have four habits that they make a priority.
These four habits hold true regardless of your measure of success, and are entirely doable for any of us.
Your position in life will determine the extent that you take these habits, but if you’re looking to reach your version of success, it’s vital you start making these habits a priority.
They are Goal-Oriented
This requires thought and effort about what you want to accomplish today, this week, this year… whatever your timeframe is.
Successful people have thought about what they want, they have a goal in mind, and they have a plan to make it there.
They are proactive each and every day, and take steps to get closer to their goals. When they lose focus or miss a few days, they get back on track as quickly as possible.
They live by the 80/20 Rule, which is that 20% of your activities will account for 80% of your results.
Simply put, if you have a to-do list with 10 tasks, only 2 of those tasks will make the biggest impact on your day. The other 8 tasks combined will only make a small impact on your day.
This time management technique helps you super-focus your goals and skyrocket your productivity and chances of attaining those goals.
They use SMART goals paired with a plan.
Successful people never haphazardly go about goal setting and pursuit. Without SMART goals, you have nothing substantial to work toward.
They set up their SMART goals to work in a positive direction. For example, “I want to make my body stronger by working out 3 days a week,” versus “I want to stop watching so much TV.” By phrasing their goals in this way, they focus on what they want to bring more of into their lives instead of focusing on what they want to move out of their lives.
What are SMART goals?
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Attainable
R – Relevant
S – Specific: Goals need to be specific – you need to know exactly what you are working toward.
“Be a better person,” “live a more exciting life,” or “do more good” are NOT specific goals. “I want to earn $10K a month from blogging” is a specific goal.
M – Measurable: Once you have a specific goal in mind, break down the process to achieve that goal into measurable steps, such as “Work out 3 days a week and eat vegetables twice a day.”
A – Attainable: Consider whether your goal is attainable for you. This doesn’t mean you should only shoot for the things you know you can accomplish. It means shooting for something out of reach, but not absolutely impossible.
R – Relevant: Is your goal truly relevant to you and the life you want to create for yourself? Or is it simply a pipe-dream or mid-life crisis? Evaluate your goal to ensure that you’re really working toward something you honestly want for yourself and your family.
T – Timely: Set a deadline or a specific time frame for yourself. This will keep you on track and motivated, as well as keeping you from feeling like you’re drifting with no end in sight.
They prioritize, plan, and execute.
Once successful people have their goals defined, they prioritize the steps needed to achieve those goals every day.
They create a plan to reach their goals.
But most importantly, they follow through.
They take action.
They execute their plan.
One simple way to prioritize what needs to be done is by utilizing a brain dump.
A brain dump helps you clear your mind, focus on your priorities, and formulate a game plan.
Successful people understand that building relationships is vital whether they are a stay at home mom or in the job field.
You simply cannot become successful without a tribe of people helping you up as you reach out to help them in return.
Building friendships and business relationships lead to so many opportunities, and building your family relationships lead to a happier life.
How to be more people oriented:
Be more empathetic – Instead of glossing over and giving a canned response, try understanding what the other person is experiencing.
Put others’ needs above your own – While yes, you need to look out for you, it’s usually a good thing to care for others above yourself every once in a while.
Give sincere compliments – Find ways to affirm others in an authentic and sincere way.
Make time to connect with others – Not only will it be good for them, it will be good for you.
Make others look good – Instead of focusing on making yourself look better so that you can impress someone, find a way to lift them up by making them look good.
Forgive – Don’t harbor ill feelings if you can help it. Either confront the problem or let it go.
Build others up – As you find your success, bring others with you.
Take a genuine interest in others – People can tell when you aren’t genuinely interested in what they have to say. Take time to truly get to know others.
Listen to understand, not to respond – When you listen to respond, you miss an opportunity to connect with someone by showing a willingness to really listen to what they have to say. Understand them first, respond later.
They are Willing to Sacrifice
Everything good worth working toward requires sacrifice.
Successful people weigh their goals against the sacrifices necessary to achieve their goals.
Regardless of your version of success, it will demand you sacrifice something.
Want to start a side hustle? Are you willing to give up naptimes and evenings to put in the work it takes to make your side hustle profitable? Maybe you have your eyes set on a promotion at work, but it requires sacrificing your weekends with your family. Or maybe it’s more along the lines of taking control of your health and losing some weight.. and you have to sacrifice your cookies and Coke.
The reverse is also true.
When you decide that you will not sacrifice your family time for that promotion, you’ve weighed the cost of sacrifice, and have deemed your family worth the sacrifice of the promotion.
Successful people weigh the cost to determine what is most likely to move them closer to their goal or success, even if that means being inconvenienced or uncomfortable for a time.
They understand the benefits of giving up instant pleasure now for something better later.
Curious about what kinds of things they sacrifice? Here’s just a short list:
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you have to give up everything all the time.
I’m just saying that everything comes with a price.
They Take Care of Themselves
Successful people understand that you can’t pour from an empty cup.
They have learned (quite possibly the hard way) that you MUST take care of yourself, regardless of your goals or the problems life throws at you.
Even with big goals, dreams, and a willingness to sacrifice whatever is necessary, they know that they have to take care of themselves.
No one can run full speed at all times.
Successful people know the value of rest, diet, exercise, emotional health, spending time with family and friends, and integrity.
Benefits of making self-care a priority
Taking care of yourself can actually improve your work performance. Whether you’re a CEO or a stay-at-home-mama, taking time to take care of you will only bring good things to the table in terms of your performance.
By managing your energy, you can focus better when necessary. Think of it this way, if you hustle all the time, your energy will be depleted, which in turn gives you diminishing returns on your focus, which inevitably negatively impacts your productivity.
Refill your energy, improve your focus, increase your productivity.
Self-care also increases creativity, confidence, and endurance. Win, win, win.