How Bad Habits Become Good Habits
You may be familiar with the idea that you cannot get rid of bad habits – you need to replace them with good habits instead. The reasoning behind this is that your mind thinks that you are taking something important away when you stop a bad habit; but when you simply start a good habit that pushes the bad habit out of the way, then you feel like you are giving yourself something.
So, what is the actual process in which bad habits become good ones? This is an important thing to understand, because it can help you get rid of all of your bad habits eventually. This article will go through the process step-by-step, using example bad and good habits.
Example Bad Habit: Skipping Breakfast
Example Good Habit: Having a Healthy Breakfast
So, you want to replace the habit of skipping breakfast with having a good, healthy breakfast instead. There are numerous reasons to do this, and studies have proven that people who eat breakfast are healthier, get more accomplished and are happier. Let’s go through the process of replacing the bad with the good one step at a time.
1. Sit down and create a list of breakfast foods that you like. Then go out and buy them and keep them stocked in your kitchen.
2. Stop eating food at 5:00PM each day. That way when morning comes you are hungry enough to eat something.
3. Write down the benefits that come with eating breakfast and then post them somewhere that you will be able to see them when you get up in the morning.
4. Make a habit out of going to the kitchen and looking at the food that is there. You don’t have to eat anything at first. Just be aware that some good foods are stocked in your kitchen.
5. Start small. Cut an orange into segments and eat one segment per day.
6. Increase this until your body actually starts looking forward to having that orange every day.
7. Don’t skip any days once you start eating. You may revert back to your old habit of not eating breakfast.
8. Create a breakfast trigger. For example, as soon as you finish your first cup of coffee, then make something for breakfast.
9. Increase the amount of food until you are having a full, healthy breakfast.
10. Write down any benefits you notice from eating breakfast.
How Distractions Prevent You from Success
You probably get distracted by something a thousand times a day. Most people get distracted every few minutes and have to return to the task that they were working on. People with ADHD can get distracted for an hour or more without even realizing that they were off task.
But these kinds of distractions are not the ones that are keeping you from success. There are other distractions in your life and you are probably going to have to get rid of them to achieve your goals. In this article, we are going to discuss four distractions that are preventing you from achieving the success you want.
The first distraction that we will be discussing is online socializing. If you are like most people, you waste an incredible amount of time on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and various other social networks that do nothing for you except tell you what your friends had for lunch.
Social media can be important to your success. If you are using social platforms to build a group of people that could buy something from you later, then it is fair to spend some time on social media. Otherwise, limit yourself.
Friends and Family
Your friends and family may be distracting you from success. It is perfectly fine to spend time with friends and family, but if you are constantly committed to helping them out, going places with them or putting off your work for other people, then you need to pull back and realize that your success is just as important as your relationships.
In Corporate America, power lunches are definitely one of the ways that work relationships are built and deals are brokered. But if your power lunches and other functions are not contributing to your personal success, then you need to stop worrying about them and focus on what is really important.
The Siren Song of Possessions
Finally, you want to avoid the siren song of things. This is the urge to spend money on the things that you think you need in order to be successful. Maybe you think that if you had a faster computer you could get more done. In most cases, that simply isn’t true. You don’t need to spend money on things to become successful and you may need to make some short-term sacrifices in order to achieve your goals.
How to Become Brilliant & Make it Work Towards Your Success
No matter who you are and what you want out of life, your brain is a critical component. You are going to be using your brain in a variety of ways if you want to achieve success and just like athletes spend years building up their muscles before they go out and use them in competition, you can build up your brain and become more brilliant to help you be successful faster. Here are some great tips on how to do that.
1. Stop watching television. Studies have shown that TV actually does reduce your brain power. It isn’t working your mind and eventually it will atrophy.
2. Don’t abuse alcohol or drugs. Another thing that has been scienced a lot over the past few decades is the effect of drugs and alcohol on the brain. Here’s a spoiler: it damages it.
3. Read. Reading is something that most successful people have in common. Read lots of self-help books and anything else that holds your interest.
4. Actively seek out things that challenge your brain. For example, doing crossword puzzles or playing brain games online will give the old cranium a great workout.
5. Play board games. Believe it or not, playing board games can do a great deal to work your brain. The more complicated the board game the better, and there are a lot of them out there to choose from these days. Talk to a comic book nerd or visit your local gaming shop.
6. Eat healthy. Have you heard the term “brain food”? It isn’t just a funny name. Some foods really do have an effect on your mind and improve your brain cells.
7. Exercise. Exercising can release endorphins and increases the blood flow to your brain (and other organs) and can go a long way towards becoming more brilliant.
8. Be curious about stuff. If you see something that you don’t understand, take the time to look it up and figure it out. Be curious about the world, about how things work and learn as much as possible.
9. Go back to school. Take some classes at your local community center or even the college in your town. You might be surprised how much you enjoy them as an adult.
10. Learn a new language. Learning a new language requires a lot of brain power and it can train your brain for all kinds of other learning.
How to Measure Your Success
One of the questions that people often have when they start becoming serious about striving for success if how they can measure if they are successful enough or if they are doing enough to achieve their goals.
This question comes because of the propensity that people have to compare themselves to others. But you never seem to measure up when you do that, particularly with those who have already achieved success. So, what do you measure against?
Each person is different and each success story is different. It is impossible to compare your journey to anyone else’s, so you have to do something else entirely. You have to compare yourself to yourself.
The best way to accomplish this is by comparing your current self to your past self. The thing that many people do is live as their past selves instead of forgetting about that person and living in the present.
Your past self may have made mistakes, but your current self, going forward from this moment on, has not made any mistakes. You have a fresh, clean slate, and luckily, you have the benefit of all of the experience of your past self to rely upon.
But even more important than living in the moment is tracking your progress. No matter what goal you are pursuing, or what end you are looking for, tracking your progress will allow you to see how different you are today from where you have been.
If you are trying to lose weight, tracking each pound lost will give you motivation to continue even through the hardest times. If you feel like giving up because the income stream that you have been working on isn’t nearly as large as you thought it would be, checking out where you were a year ago can put the present in perspective.
The bottom line is that when you want to measure your success, don’t measure it against other people. Other people may have had different opportunities, different skills and different circumstances that affected their progress.
Instead, compare yourself to your past self. If you have improved, then you are on the right track. If you have improved more than you ever thought possible when you started, then you can call that a huge success. If you are better off now and are well on your way to reaching your goals, then you are successful.
How Your Strengths Can Lead You to Success
Imagine this scenario: A baker needs to give his wife the perfect gift. So, he goes out shopping for something to give her. He browses through jewelry at the jewelry store, but he doesn’t know how to tell what she would like.
He looks at some lingerie, but he doesn’t know anything about it. In the end, he buys her a book, even though he isn’t sure what she likes to read. All of this time, instead of trying to buy her gifts that he knows nothing about, he could have baked the perfect cake or other pastry.
Now, this isn’t a perfect analogy. Most bakers’ wives probably eat so much cake that they would hate it as a gift. But the point is that many people try to be successful without using a single one of their strengths.
Writers try to make a fortune by building websites. Website designers try to make a fortune by writing novels. People don’t use their strengths nearly as often as they should to achieve success.
Here are some things that you can do to make sure that you are using your strengths to help you achieve your goals and become successful.
1. Know what your strengths actually are. Sit down and make a list of things that you are good at. Identify the ones that you are best at and put them at the top of the list.
2. Determine how you can apply each strength to being successful. If you are looking for some way to become financially independent, then evaluate your strengths in relation to that. If you have already chosen a route to success, then determine how your strengths might be able to help you go further.
3. Write down your goals if you haven’t already. Then look at each goal and adjust it so that you are using your strengths to their full potential to help you achieve those goals.
4. Break your goals down further into short-term goals like monthly or weekly ones and do the same thing with your strengths.
5. Finally, break your goals down into daily habits and decide how those same strengths can help you stick by your habits, replacing the bad ones with good ones.
6. Continue these self-evaluations regularly and make sure that you are using your strength instead of things that you aren’t good at to achieve success.
Prioritize More if you Want to be Successful
When you want to be successful, you have to prioritize. This often means that some things get overlooked and unfortunately, sometimes they are things that you don’t want to overlook. But you have to make sacrifices if you want to achieve your goals and that means deciding what is most important, and working on it first and foremost.
The reason for this is simple: we want too many things. Human beings are famous for wanting too much. It’s like our motto, especially here in America. More, more, more. This is true in the food that we eat, it is true of the things that we buy and it is true of the money that we make.
Of course, it is also true of the things that drive us and the goals that we have, and that’s not a bad thing.
The problem is, when you have too many things that you want to accomplish, you aren’t going to have time for them all, and unless you prioritize, you are probably going to end up doing the things that are the most fun rather than the things that are the most important.
Let’s look at an example of this. Meet Richard. Richard is trying to make a list of the things that he wants to accomplish over the next five years. Here is what he has written down.
• Learn 5 new languages (1 per year) – Spanish, German, American Sign Language, French and Italian
• Learn how to play musical instruments like a pro – first guitar and then piano
• Learn how to do my own taxes and keep track of business taxes
• Start my own business – some kind of retail store that is unique and fills a need
• Volunteer more – do some church work, homeless shelters, give to charity
• Become more organized so that I never miss appointments and always know where stuff is
• Lose 50 pounds and get in shape like I was when I was in my 30’s
We’ll stop here because you probably get the idea. Richard wants to do so many things, but accomplishing them will take up far too much time. For example, learning a new language in a year will take about 30-45 minutes each and every day. If you added up all of his stuff just from this partial list, half the day would be gone.
That’s why prioritizing is vital. If you cannot choose what is most important and work on it first and most often, you are going to accomplish very little.
The Life Cycle of a Major Achievement
One of the common problems that people have when they are first starting on the road to success is seeing how a major achievement will actually work. It is difficult to see more than the very beginning and the end result – the success.
We are going to take an example here, and go through the entire life cycle of an achievement so that you can see how it is actually done and it should motivate you by making the end result much more realistic.
EXAMPLE: Increase annual income by $12,000
So, your goal is to increase your income by $12,000 a year. Let’s suppose that you give yourself three years to do it. So, here’s what the timeline might look like if you start from scratch.
January, Year 1: You spend the month researching ways that you can make money online. You check out each lead carefully until you find one that you have the time, money and skills for.
By the end of the month you have chosen one – in this example case, you have chosen to start a niche review site online about the latest electronics and use Amazon’s affiliate program to make money.
March, Year 1: You have developed a website and added all kinds of Amazon products to it, and you have outsourced a couple of hundred reviews. Your traffic is starting to trickle in.
December, Year 1: You have spent the past few months creating backlinks and going after non-competitive keywords and have come up with a pretty steady stream of traffic. You are making around $1000 a year so far, which comes to about $85 a month.
May, Year 2: Your income is going up. All of the content you have ordered has started bringing in huge traffic for long-tail keywords. But your income has only increased to $150 a month. You aren’t sure why.
November, Year 2: After several weeks of research, you realize that your site’s buying links were difficult to find. You changed them and increased your conversion rate by 500%. You’re now making a little over $4000 a year.
December, Year 3: You have been continually adding content and getting backlinks to your site. Now, you have grown to be one of the most well-respected TV review sites on the web. You have been able to make almost $14,000 this year.
Why Motivation Doesn’t Matter
You may think that motivation is the key to success. Many people do, and that’s why so many people fail at their goals. Motivation is a fickle friend. It’s sort of like the classic literary muse.
Sometimes it is there, guiding you along, and sometimes it is as elusive as a breath of fresh air in a fire. Basically, if you wait until you are motivated, you are never going to achieve your goals.
So, what is a person to do then? How do you reach your goals if you aren’t motivated to do so? There is only one way that you can make it through the times when you don’t feel motivated and that is by committing to something and sticking to it.
It is very easy to complete tasks and work on your success when you feel motivated. When you are motivated, every task seems easy and every goal seems achievable. But when you are not motivated, every task seems like total drudgery and your goals seem like they will never be realized.
When those times come – when you cannot conjure up enough motivation to get you through the tasks that you have set for yourself, that’s when you need to sit down and remember the commitments that you have made to yourself.
There are a couple of steps before that which will help you when the time comes to use commitment to proceed. First, you have to teach yourself that commitment is important, even if it is to yourself.
Most people have a habit of breaking commitments to themselves and so it is not a big deal when they do it again. You need to convince yourself that making a promise to yourself is just as important as a promise you make to someone else.
You also need to have the commitments laid out and on paper in advance. You aren’t going to be able to use the commitment to force yourself to complete your tasks if you don’t know what they are. Make sure that your commitments are written down somewhere.
The bottom line is that you recognize that you are going to have times when motivation isn’t enough, and when that happens, you are going to want to have a plan of action and pre-recorded commitments so that you can push through when you don’t feel like working and get the things that you need done accomplished.
Why You Should Replace Television with Books if you want to be Successful
Did you know that one of the things that some of the most successful people in the world share in common is that they read books – mostly books on how to improve themselves in a variety of ways.
If you want to follow in the footsteps of people like Warren Buffet, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, then you are going to want to read books just like they did.
That means shutting off the black screen in your living room, removing the Netflix shortcut from your desktop and getting rid of the TV or movie apps on your phone or tablet. Then download a Kindle or an e-reader.
There are good reasons to get rid of television and replace it with reading material. Of course, you may not want to get rid of television completely, although many people who do say that they are much happier afterward and everything they thought they would miss seems of little importance.
Television doesn’t do much in the way of education. Most of the programs on television are fictional stories, and many are so predictable and formulaic that they do not tax your brain cells at all.
Even when television isn’t fiction it is often the same news stories that repeat over and over, or sensationalized real events that bear little resemblance to fact. Let’s not even get started on reality TV. The point is, there is very little on television that is going to teach you something that will allow you to better yourself.
In addition, science has shown that TV really does “rot” your brain – or at least your brain power weakens over time from television watching.
Books on the other hand, have a number of advantages. For one thing, you are reading and not watching. This simple difference means that you are using your brain in other ways. You are reading, figuring out the definition of words and forming pictures in your imagination.
Plus, there are so many books out there that actually help you improve yourself – hence the entire section of books called “Self-help” or “Self-improvement.” There are books on reaching goals, achieving financial independence, starting a business and learning everything from a new language to a musical instrument.
The bottom line is that books are better if you want to be successful. You don’t have to give up TV entirely if you don’t want to, but you should definitely read more if you want to achieve success.