I was flipping through an old notebook of mine yesterday and saw a note scribbled in one of the margins. It’s my handwriting, and my notebook, so I know I wrote it, but I don’t remember where I heard it. The note said:
Success is a habit.
More of what you do is more of what you become.- Joel Brown
I probably wrote it down because I am such a big believer in the power of habits and rituals. I firmly believe that the small, intentional decisions we make play the most significant role in our success. Or in our failures. As we continue in our September Self Improvement Series, this quote got me thinking about some of the things I know to be true when it comes to the habits and rituals we allow in our lives:
Your success boils down to creating good habits that you can execute daily. You don’t need to uproot your entire life or drastically change your lifestyle or routine. You simply need to develop a healthy and productive morning routine and evening routine. If you can start and end your day in a way that makes you feel confident, healthy, and productive, you will see dramatic results in the middle part of your day as well.
If your morning starts stressful and hectic, the rest of your day will probably follow the same way. If you find the mornings are hard for you and that everything seems rushed and frantic, consider setting your alarm for a half an hour earlier. Thirty minutes won’t make much of a difference in how much rest you get, but it could be a game-changer for how you can prepare for your day. Giving yourself this extra 30 minutes to get ready without rushing, workout, journal or meditate, or even respond to a few work emails is a simple habit that can dramatically change the flow of your day.
The way you unwind from your day also plays a big part in how you start the next one. If you are up late or find yourself lost in unproductive screen time until the wee hours of the morning, it will negatively impact the way you sleep and the way you start the following day. Creating a calming evening routine can help you de-stress from the day, connect with family, and help you get a better night’s rest.
These simple changes, done over time, will become habits. These habits will be what sets you apart from the competition. If you are serious about self-improvement, you will take a good hard look at your habits and rituals and analyze them carefully. Are the habits and routines you have in place helping you get to your goals or keeping you from them?
Many of the habits we have are so ingrained in us that we don’t even know we’re doing them. We eat when we’re not hungry, we gossip, we bite our fingernails, we’re consistently late, we can’t stay off of our phones for more than 3 minutes. Once we can identify the habits that are keeping us from being our best selves, we can be intentional about breaking them and making space in our lives for better ones.
My challenge for you this week: Listen to my short YouTube video about the power of habits and rituals. Then take a moment to analyze your life and your habits and pinpoint one bad habit that you want to change or one good habit that you want to start. Finally, tell someone you trust about this change that you want to make and ask them to hold you accountable.
Success is a habit.
More of what you do is more of what you become.