We all want to live happy, healthy, successful lives. But success means different things to each of us, depending on age, where we live, our goals, and our lived experiences. Plus our definition of success can also change over time – what we perceive as success in the beginning of our lives or career will often look vastly different when we’re further along in the journey.
Six Habits to Set Yourself Up for Success
No matter how we define success, there are certain daily habits that will support our ability to achieve our goals.
1. Move through your day with intention.
It’s important to cultivate time for ourselves and live each day with intention. No matter how we fill our days, finding what works will fill our requirements for primary food – that is, everything that isn’t on our dinner plates. Primary food is what feeds our souls and minds and fuels our relationships, and it’s how we treat ourselves and others.
2. Invest in a good breakfast.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day – what we eat first thing in the morning will impact our mental and physical performance for hours to come. Healthy, easy breakfasts can be hard to find, as lots of quick breakfast foods are high in sugar and other processed ingredients.
During sleep, chemicals in our bodies work to digest food from the previous night. By morning, we’re ready to “break the fast” after a stretch of not eating. The glucose we need to power our bodies is often low when we first wake up, and breakfast helps replenish it. By skipping breakfast, we’re not setting ourselves up to have a successful day.
3. Focus on three important tasks for the day – and do those first.
Like starting with a healthy breakfast, getting important or difficult tasks done first can ensure smooth sailing for the rest of the day. We’re often most motivated in the mornings and less likely to be distracted by incoming emails, coworker questions, and new projects and tasks. When we set our most important tasks to be done first, we’re ensuring that we’ll have the time and energy to cross them off our to-do lists.
4. Focus on the journey, not the destination.
While working toward a goal – especially one that’s long-term or requires lots of steps to complete – it may be difficult to organize ourselves when thinking only about the end result rather than everything required to get there. Research from the Stanford Graduate School of Business found that people who focused on subgoals, or smaller, more focused milestones, were more likely to complete their tasks than people who viewed the task as one large project.
Focusing on milestones during the journey can help us remember why we started in the first place. For example, if you’re looking to lose 20 pounds, it can be easy to get discouraged and feel overwhelmed by the challenge. But if you break up the task into smaller goals (e.g., lose one pound each week), it feels much more achievable and can yield greater results in the long term.
5. Enforce healthy boundaries.
In order to achieve any type of success, it’s important to set and enforce boundaries that allow us to stay on track. People, behaviors, and habits that distract us from our goals will always be there; it’s how we manage those distractions that determines your success. Boundaries can be both physical and emotional and are essential for keeping ourselves mentally well as well as focused on and committed to achieving goals.
Enforcing boundaries can be difficult but will prove rewarding – we’ve set these boundaries for a reason. Knowing our limits, valuing our own opinions, understanding our needs and being able to communicate them, and saying no are all examples of setting healthy boundaries.
6. Ask for help when you need it.
It’s almost impossible to live a successful life without asking for help. The people we surround ourselves with (be they friends, family, or coworkers) care about us and only want us to find success, too. These people are invaluable resources – they’ve lived unique lives and had unique experiences – and they may shed a different light on issues you’re facing.
Professionals can help too: No matter the problem, there’s someone out there who can guide us through it. When it comes to health and wellness, Health Coaches and life coaches act as supportive guides who help clients set health goals, such as to lose weight, improve energy, better manage stress, and much more. They can help with finding a new job, act as a spiritual guide, provide relationship advice, and be a sounding board for general life inquiries.
Setting Yourself Up for Success
How each of us defines success depends on our past experiences and personal values. Some people want to travel the world, while others dream of building a life at home. Being successful isn’t necessarily about making money or winning awards but being personally fulfilled and living a life you can be proud of. Striving to be a successful person can act as a powerful motivator and help us to grow as people, partners, students, and friends.