What does it take to be successful? Running two successful businesses for over 11 years has taught me a lot of lessons about what it takes to succeed. Here are my top eight essential success habits.
This has been in the news a lot lately, no longer is it a badge of honour to give up sleep. Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post, shares how sleep is the key to success in this Ted Talk. Aim to get to bed by 11 pm and wake up at 6 am for a minimum of 7 hours of sleep. It’s also super important to turn off your devices at least 30 minutes before bed. When we are lacking good sleep, not only are we tired, but it’s more difficult to be creative and productive, which are both key factors in success.
Your first thoughts in the morning set the tone for your day. Start your day with gratitude and a vision of your perfect day, before you even get out of bed. Give thanks for another day to be alive and to provide value to those around you. And to help you with number 1, write down 3 things you are grateful for every night before you go to sleep. This helps your subconscious mind to focus on what’s good in your life, rather than what’s wrong.
Successful people keep moving. They make sure that they are not stuck sitting in front of a laptop all day long. Getting the blood flowing helps you generate more ideas and keeps you alert. A few simple things you can do: Stand when you’re talking on the phone, go for a walk & talk meeting (outside if possible), drink lots of water (more frequent bathroom breaks) or hand-write Thank-You cards and walk to the mailbox to post them. Yoga is an amazing form of movement that has benefits on a mental and spiritual level as well. I do a simple ten minute yoga routine every morning to stay limber and focused for the day ahead.
In order to overcome all of the negative self-talk we have been programmed with, affirmations are essential for everyone. Successful people make saying daily affirmations a twice a day habit. Louise Hay has endless affirmations in her many Hay House Books and on her website. Write or type out a list of affirmations that resonate with you, the more personal they are, the more effective they will be. I shared my favorite gratitude affirmations in this blog post. The Tiny Devotions Intention Deck would also be a perfect way to inspire your daily affirmation practice!
This is just as important as sleep. Making time to take care of yourself first is critical. In order for us to be successful business owners, parents, employees and human beings, we must take care of ourselves first. No exceptions. It is impossible to serve others if you are not in an optimal state of well-being. Self-care includes taking care of your body, your mind and your spirit. Suggestions include massage, energy work (reiki), day at the spa, attending church or other spiritual services, regular exercise, meditation and yoga, stretching, reading or other hobbies. Make sure you do at least one of these daily.
It’s really easy not to meditate. It takes time and effort to do so on a regular basis. However, more and more very successful people are choosing to find time to be still and quiet every day. Making a commitment to meditate daily can truly change your life and help you to deal more easily with unexpected challenges and difficulties that will come your way. Over the past several weeks, I have made a commitment to meditate for ten minutes a day (right before my ten minutes of yoga) each morning – including weekends. I enjoy guided meditation and have been using the Insight Timer app, which has thousands of free guided meditations and a timer if you’d prefer to meditate in silence. I’m also working on a different kind of meditation, using the Tiny Devotions Mala beads. This is a new practice for me, and I’ll share my results in a future post.
- Eat Whole Foods
What you put into your body is your fuel for the day. Does what you eat give you more or less energy? Are you dehydrating yourself with coffee, tea or alcohol? Do you feel good after a meal? Do you take time to eat regularly? Successful people know that creating healthy eating habits leads to more success, because when you’re properly fueled throughout your day, you are more productive. And there’s nothing better than starting your day with a fresh green juice!
- Have Faith
This has become the cornerstone for my personal success and the success of many of my team members. Personally, I have faith in God, and this is where I have grounded my faith. Your faith journey doesn’t have to look like mine, as long as you can find something greater than yourself to fuel your faith. This is a non-negotiable. Looking back, I can see how much easier it has been to succeed now that God is an integral part of my life. However you choose to name your source of faith is not important – what important is to find your faith, build it, solidify it and watch how quickly your success grows.
Which one of these are you ignoring right now? Which ones needs your attention? Choose one to start with and as you create a new habit, then add another one. The recipe for failure is trying to implement all of these at once! Not sure where to start? My suggestion is to always begin with Gratitude.
Julie Boyer’s mission in life is to inspire people to build their lives on a foundation of gratitude through her brand, Wake Up With Gratitude™. Julie’s first book, 30 Days of Gratitude, The Gratitude Program That Will Change Your Life, became an Amazon bestseller when it was released in May 2013. She is also the founder of the 30 Day Whole Body Detox Program, a healthy, whole food detox that nourishes your body at the cellular level. Julie also loves to mentor and develop leaders through her mentorship program as well. A former triathlete, Julie has completed 3 full Ironman Distance triathlons. Julie lives in Ontario, Canada with her 6 year old daughter and husband Dan. She can be reached on her blog, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.