Matt at eJabs has tagged me for yet another blog meme about habits that contribute to your success. This meme was originally started by Aaron of Today Is That Day and has proved to be pretty popular. The question is simple: what things do you do on a regular (daily) basis that help to make you successful?
This is actually a tough one for me right now. My daily routine is in a bit of a mess and I’m not feeling too successful at the moment. However, there are a number of habits that have helped me greatly in smoothing out some of the rough patches. While these might not be things you can necessarily pencil into a schedule every day, they are definitely habits of thinking that can help you to be successful.
1. Do the most important thing first. I recently posted about putting first things first and I think this is a really important habit. Since many of us complain of not having enough hours in the day, getting the most important things done first thing helps us to accomplish something of value each and every day.
2. Keep your goals in mind. Every day should be a day that you do something that moves you even a little bit closer to achieving your goals. Every long term and even short term goal can be broken down into smaller pieces. Make a list of these and make sure to do something every day that contributes to one of these goals.
3. Do things that make you happy. This one is often overlooked in the big picture of dealing with everyday life. We get caught up in working, taking care of families, writing blog posts, doing chores, etc, and forget to do something that is purely and selfishly about me. I use the word selfish, but I don’t mean it in a negative sense at all. Each of us will be happier when we do things for ourselves. We need to set aside time to just be ourselves rather than a father, worker, significant other, or any of the countless other roles we may take in life. Spend a little time reading books, tying flies, building birdhouses, learning golf or a new language, anything that makes you happy.
4. Slow down. At the risk of mentioning the fast pace of life yet again in this post, I think it’s necessary to slow down every once in a while and take stock of where we are. If you don’t know where you are in terms of making progress toward your goals, it makes it that much harder to get there. Also, it’s important to sometimes put things off until another day or time. I’m not talking about procrastination here; I’m talking about focusing on what’s most important right here and right now and doing only that. If that happens to be writing a blog post, then great. If it happens to be playing with your small child, then that is sometimes the most important thing in the world for you, too.
5. Listen. Yes, I mean really listen. We are deluged with information in one form or another in today’s world. Radio, television, and the internet are only a few of the information sources on top of the ones everyone’s been dealing since the beginning of humankind, namely family, friends, neighbors, and the coworkers we interact with on a daily basis. This amounts to a flood of input for our poor minds. In the midst of all of this, it’s easy to ignore some of the most important inputs, like a friend’s need for a sympathetic ear or a child’s need for recognition. Just taking a moment to put your self aside and open up your ears and mind to someone else can do wonders for both your relationship and your understanding of the world.
I hope you find these tips to be helpful in some way. Realizing the importance of these things and the process of beginning to incorporate them into my daily life has changed my life for the better and continues to do so. I’m going to tag the following people: