"Progress equals happiness." - Tony Robbins.
If there is one thing that nearly guarantees success in life, it is this: progress. No matter whether it is in your business, your marriage, health, or your finances, if you just make a little bit of progress towards your goals every day, you feel like you´re on fire. Your energy and passion increase, your happiness skyrockets, and you wake up every day like you are on a mission. You feel the energy and excitement that comes from chasing your vision of a better future and can´t wait to wake up again when you go to bed each night because you are so eager to create something new. If you haven´t felt like this lately, it is time to supercharge your days with these 8 awesome habits to become better every single day!
1. WAKE UP EARLY TO WORK ON YOURSELF.
As Henry Beecher said, “the first hour of the morning is the rudder of the day.” I believe this to be absolutely true. How you start each day is likely how you end it. If you roll over five more minutes after your alarm goes off, watch TV while having an unhealthy breakfast, and then need to hurry to get to work on time, those are all habits that ruin your day before it even starts. They take away your energy, enthusiasm, and self-discipline, leading to nothing more than mediocrity.
But what if, instead, you started out your day succeeding? You wake up early, go for a morning run or walk, feel the gratitude for being alive, and read a book on your chosen profession while having a nutritious breakfast. While everyone else is still sleeping or at least half asleep, you are up, rocking the day and becoming a better you. Think of the countless hours most people spend commuting to and from work each week. Instead of listening to the radio, why not increase your skills by listening to audiotapes? Simply by doing this, you can become an authority in your field in just a few years. Do you think that kind of morning routine would change the way you think and act throughout the day and therefore your results in all areas of your life? You bet!
2. REWRITE YOUR GOALS EVERY DAY
There are few things as powerful in getting you focused on and enthusiastic about your vision for your life as rewriting your goals every day. Way too many people go through life, without any idea on why they are actually doing what they are doing. They are like the ship without a rudder, drifting aimlessly through life. And even if they have set goals at some point in their lives, it is all too easy to forget about them, isn´t it? Do you even remember this years New Year´s resolutions or all the goals you set in your life at any other point? If not, how on earth do you want to achieve them?
Rewriting your goals every day is powerful because it zeroes you in on what you want out of life and how to get there. Greatness in anything requires an utterly obsessive focus on what it is you want and what you need to do every single day to make your dreams come true. A million dollar dream doesn´t happen overnight, and it will surely not happen without the necessary focus and determination to do whatever it takes to be successful.
Rewrite your most important goals every day, and when you do so, recommit to paying the price for their attainment. Anything you want comes at a cost of energy, pain, effort, and time. Commit to paying this price every day, and you will find yourself seeking out new challenges and following through rather than giving up.
3. PLAN EVERY DAY IN ADVANCE.
After rewriting your goals and committing to their accomplishment, the next step is to plan your day in advance before you get caught up in your work. If you want to accomplish greatly, it is absolutely essential that you focus on your non-negotiables - those tasks that would create the most value and that can only be done by you. In nearly any job, there are only a few such key activities that create the most results. Your job is to find them and then pursue them rigorously until they are finished. Only in this way can you ensure that you get the most value out of your time. Once your high-priority tasks are finished, you can go on to less important tasks. Things that determine your success and failure must never be at the mercy of things that barely make a difference.
4. FOCUS ON ONE THING AT A TIME
In his great book Deep Work, Cal Newport makes the case that any time we interrupt out workflow by doing unrelated things, we lose enormous amounts of time. Not only does it take time to pick up another task and then come back to the first one, but we also lose focus and take a while to get into a productive state. By doing this, we jeopardize both the quality and of our work and the time it takes to get it done. To avoid this, start the task you deemed most important in step 3 every morning and focus on it until you are finished.
5. WHAT GETS MEASURED GETS DONE
The easiest way to make sure you are on the right track is to measure your progress. How many miles are you running? How many calls are you making, and how many products are you selling? How many hours do you spend working on yourself? Only when you see in black and white what you are actually doing or not doing are you able to track your progress and become better.
If your goal was to run 20 miles this week or to make 40 sales calls but the numbers don´t add up, you know there is something wrong. Now you have two choices: Admit to yourself that you are not doing what it takes to succeed and recommit or throw in the towel and quit. The choice should be obvious.
In either case, tracking your progress raises your awareness. You can´t lie to yourself anymore, saying you did enough when actually you didn´t. It´s all their in black and white, for everyone to see. A great way to hold yourself accountable is to have other people check your progress. Whether that is your boss or your wife, find someone to hold you accountable and call you out if you are not doing what you said you would do.
6. THE TWO MAGICAL QUESTIONS
After each sales call, presentation, or any other significant performance, ask yourself these two questions: What did I do right? And what can I do better next time? Doing this allows you to be your own coach. Find out what you are great at and what you need to improve. After a while, patterns should become obvious. For example, do you always lose your sales on a specific step? By something you say? Find your weaknesses and then systematically eliminate them. Always look for ways to improve and become better. Doing this alone could completely change the direction of your career.
7. WHICH ONE SKILL, IF DEVELOPED, WOULD CHANGE YOUR LIFE/CAREER THE MOST?
No matter how great you are at what you do, there is always something you need to work on. If you can´t find anything, you should probably check again! The problem with our weaknesses is that we often like to avoid them. It´s like the student that has some bad grades in math and then decides that it´s not for him or her - and stops trying altogether. The problem with that is, ignorance doesn´t excuse failure. After all, just because you don´t like math doesn´t mean that it won´t show up as an F on your report.
The same goes for anything. Just because you are in terrible shape doesn´t mean you can forget about your health completely. In fact, it should be even more reason to double down and change your diet and workout routine! But sadly, that´s not what most people do. Instead of addressing their weaknesses, they tend to ignore them until it´s too late.
The good thing is, by addressing your weaknesses systematically, you can set yourself apart from the masses and constantly upgrade your skills. Ask yourself, which one skill, if developed, would change my life/career the most? Which one skill am I missing that is preventing me from further success right now? Asking these questions and then working on solutions may be hard work sometimes, but will surely pay off in an increased ability and therefore higher income in the long run!
8. COUNT YOUR WINS AND LOSSES
Every night before going to bed, I review my day. Where have I succeeded, where have I failed? What could I have done better? And how can I apply that tomorrow? What is the biggest lesson I have learned today?
Looking back and counting my wins and losses every day has become one of the most important rituals I have. It helps me learn more about myself and enables me to improve every day. I can only recommend reviewing every day to work on your skills and learn from your mistakes. Doing this, together with the techniques outlined before, can drastically change the course of your career and speed up your climb on the ladder of success!