How to Cultivate Habits of Success

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Cultivating Success

Obviously I’m no expert here and I still have a lot to learn, but success in my life has been inspired by one thing: habits. It’s something I’ve done since day one. For that reason, I don’t believe in an overnight success. It takes time, perseverance and hell of a lot of patience.

Everyday I chip away and nurture the right habits. Once difficult decisions should instead become automatic behavior that you can leverage to move you forward. I believe success is subjective, and for many, it might not run deeper than the development of skills or talents. But there are many talented and skilled people who could be considered successful, so for me to feel the fulfillment of success, I have to strive to have an impact.

Whether it be an productive morning routine, exercise, sleep, or goal setting, it all begins with habits. Although success means something different to everyone, the strategies remain the same. It’s imperative to create a pattern of consistency with habits that support your goals.

Today I’m sharing habits that have helped me cultivate success in my life, so hopefully they will for you too!

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1.
Time management

“Work smarter, not harder”

Google calendar is literally like my left arm and I’m not too sure where I’d be without it. Being someone who is so easily distracted (I seriously lose hours over the smallest things), it’s almost a necessity that I schedule every hour of my day. It keeps me attentive to the right things and helps prioritize a healthy amount of time between work and home. Not only that, it sets deadlines, and deadlines help to keep focus. The more focused you are on one goal, the higher chance you have of success. If you spread yourself too thin, you might never complete your projects because they will take far too long.

Time blocking tasks also helps to prioritize important tasks and use your time efficiently. Don’t get caught in the mindless productivity trap. Managing time is about being thoughtful in the way something is done and clearing away space for people, play and rest too. So many times I hear people say they don’t have time to workout or read a book – but there is enough time. Everyone has the same 24 hours in the day. What are you doing with your 24 hours?

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2.
Sleep

I’ve always found it interesting how sleep is such a debatable topic when it comes to success. You might’ve heard the term “success and sleep don’t rest together” and others alike, but I have to completely disagree here. Sleep is crucial to success. It is the most important healthy habit to nurture. Why? Well, for one, it creates perspective. When you’re getting enough sleep, you can see the big picture, rather than those who have stayed awake all night and therefore see things with a hazy view.

Sleep plays a role in our physical and mental health. It helps you make the right decisions as well as keeping your body in top shape. If I’m not getting at least 8-10 hours of sleep a night, pretty much everything in my life suffers. My work, my social life and my ability to keep healthy.

It was actually Arianna Huffington (co-founder and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post) that first opened my eyes to the importance of sleep through this TED talk and how it was her secret to success.

Literally sleep your way to the top” – Arianna Huffington

 

3.
Stress management

I’ve read a lot of articles on cultivating your own success and something that is not often talked about is how to manage stress. Hard times are inevitable, whether it be due to work or personal commitments, you are going to encounter some sort of stress. The trick is how you learn to manage it.

I’ll admit, I don’t have the best handle on stress. It’s something I’m still learning to deal with alike many people and I know it’s not easy. Stress can literally make or break a person. Fortunately, there are habits to develop to better manage how you cope with difficult times. These include keeping a positive attitude, working out regularly, social engagement and taking control of your environment.

It’s also a good idea to avoid unhealthy coping mechanisms because they eventually turn into habits, which might be procrastinating, zoning out, bingeing and withdrawing from friends and family.

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4.
Setting goals

Goal setting is important when it comes to deciding what you want to achieve in life. I’ve touched on this subject a few times on the blog because I believe it’s so crucial to motivating yourself, building self-confidence and improving on your achievements. Goals should be measurable, have an end point, be realistic and specific. Whether you have small dreams or lofty expectations, setting goals allows you to plan how you want to move through life.

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5.
Accept failure

“If you aren’t failing, you aren’t trying hard enough.”

It wasn’t up until recently that I saw failure as a good thing. Every successful person has failed. If you’re failing, it means you’re at least trying. It means you’re putting yourself out there. Failing gives you the ability to begin again more intelligently. It’s not an end result it’s just a bump in the road, and if anything, it’s a crucial part to success.

Even if a person has failed a thousand times and succeeded only once, you will still remember them for that their success. The trick is to keep your optimism and not let failing make you feel like a failure. Turning challenges into learnings is the greatest skill any entrepreneur can learn.

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Do you have any habits that you consider important to cultivating success? What are your thoughts on this topic?

  • Joanne

    Wow, beautiful post! Totally agree on the time management thing, though. I’m always trying to be as productive as I can everyday, but it gets hard when your mind kind of tricks you into thinking you just “don’t have time”. We always have time! Thanks for sharing this xx

    Life in Blue Skies | A Lifestyle Blog

  • Such great tips, I couldn’t agree more with the sleep, I find as well that now I have more a regular sleep routine I get so much more done and I enjoy waking up earlier from the routine. Like you I still need to manage my stress, I get stressed so easily it’s quite bad really!
    hhttp://www.pagefromsbeth.blogspot.co.uk

  • This is the post I needed! I never thought about using the Google Calendar, but as someone who likes planning every little thing I have to do, I’m sure I’ll love it. Now I need to work on my sleep schedule, you are right about how important it is to have a good night’s sleep. I don’t even think I make it to eight hours per night, so it’s a good way to start!

    Julia x
    http://www.juliaspeaksbeauty.blogspot.fr

  • Diana Maria

    I’ve just started using Google Calendar and am so happy I did! I definitely need to prioritize my time and learn to manage events as I do get easily distracted. Habit is so important and I couldn’t agree with you more! I’m learning how important it is to cultivate good habits, and am excited to finally change the way I do things. This was a really inspiring post, I admire how positive your blog always is :)

    My Lovelier Days

  • Love this post! I’ll start looking into Google Calendar because I get so distracted.. I have the attention snap of a fish! Lovely post :]
    The Fernweh Wolf / Travel & Lifestyle Blog
    xx

  • oh yes! what a great post. I am with you with google calendar. everytime friends and family plan something, i instantly put it up in my google cal. I find it so easy to live with having a detail agenda for the day. like you, i set everything to the hour. It helps keep me organized and feel more human. haha! my friends even joked that whenever they want to hang out, they’ll send me a google calendar invite.

    http://www.blushingkay.com

  • Zera

    Really, accepting failure is very important! I agree with all the steps you’ve mentioned to develop habits that’ll lead to success in life. However I really struggle with managing time, and my plans never work-out.

    For some reason my plans for the day never happen, I always find that something or the other comes up and my plans have been sabotaged.

  • Recently, I promised my readers a finished post by the end of the week and I failed to get it up on time. Self-motivation is an everlasting struggle. I enjoy blogging but I really need to sit down and deal with scheduling or other things that I dislike.

  • Your site has a gorgeous layout and I love the incorporation of fashion with your lifestyle writing. Beautiful!

  • Wonderful.. Loved the article :)

  • Deborah Davis

    I actually feel the sleep and stress are a combo. I have just been at a weekend learning how to help my clients drop into their parasympathetic system and out of the fight, fright and freeze (autonomic nervous system). When your body is constantly running on its adrenal energy, living in big cities, worry, stressing about life, we do not give our bodies a chance to unwind. Even if you are not uptight about anything, constant stimulation does not let the body have necessary time to unwind and zone out. Coming from a person who really had had bad things in their life happen to them because of this lack of calm, take it from me, unwinding is more important than most things.

  • Sarah Donahue

    This is great advice! It’s awesome to pick up these habits to be more successful. I’d like to point out that meditating is a wonderful habit to start with. Iamesjaadi.com

  • Natalie Redman

    Great advice! All very true.

    http://www.upyourvlog.com

  • Janet Fazio

    Great post! I’m glad you added sleep and stress management. That’s so key to sustaining success.

    http://janetfazio.arbonne.com