How to Be Successful in Life – 15 Habits to Adopt Today
Whether you believe it or not, at this very moment, you have the potential and ability to accomplish extraordinary things in your lifetime.
Often, all we need to be successful in life and act on that potential is to simply know how to get started, remain consistent, and pursue success throughout our entire lifetime.
By adopting certain essential habits, you will learn how to be successful in life — whether it’s your personal or professional life — and become unstoppable in achieving your goals.
How to Define Success
Everyone has a different idea of what achieving success looks like or should be for them. So defining success must really be done on a personal, case-by-case level.
For example, for you, does success mean financial success? Emotional success? Physical success? Success with your family?
If you’re looking for how to be successful in life, you must take some time to first define success in your life and what it looks like for you, personally. This may be different from what your parents, colleagues, family, or friends define as success. Where your heart is will also be where your motivation and satisfaction come from.
At the end of the day, we chase success because we want to feel a certain way: happy and accomplished.
Find out what will make you feel happy and accomplished to figure out where you need to be successful in your life.
Then adopt these habits to help make achieving them easier and faster. No matter how you go about achieving success, I promise you all of these habits apply to all of your goals.
15 Habits to Adopt to Be Successful
By working on bringing these habits into your life, you’re sure to learn how to achieve the same level of greatness in your own life in the same way other successful people have found achievement.
Create a Consistent Positive Mindset
Every action begins with a thought.
When your thoughts are positive, your will naturally feel more motivated to take action on your goals that propel you to progress and success.
The power of positive thinking can transform your life.
Even medical studies show that being optimistic and actively trying to reduce negative thoughts can have a positive effect on your health. Positive thinkers are 13% less likely than negative thinkers to have a heart attack, even among people who have a family history of heart problems.
Being positive lowers your stress level, helps protect you from discouragement, and gives you better coping skills when times get difficult.
To help strengthen your optimistic outlook, try smiling more often, adding humor to your life, practicing positive self-talk, and listing the good aspects of a bad situation. Surround yourself with positive people, images, music, books, podcasts, and environments at home and work.
Often, the only real limits on what you can do, have or be are self-imposed.
Once you make a clear, unequivocal decision to change your life by casting off all your mental limitations and throwing your whole heart into the accomplishment of some great goal, true success is so much easier and more likely to be achieved.
Create SMART Goals
Having a successful life includes having personal goals.
Often, however, we set goals and make some initial progress, but don’t achieve them.
That might be because of how we set goals.
The best and most achievable goals are SMART goals. SMART goals are achievable because they are realistic, well thought out, and include a timeline.
Create SMART goals by making them:
- Specific: Create a clear, concise statement that defines exactly what you want to achieve.
- Measurable: Assign a number to your goal or another way to measure it, such as “generate 250 business leads” instead of “get more leads.”
- Achievable: Make sure your goal is challenging but possible to achieve so you can be successful and remain encouraged.
- Relevant: Align your goal with what will make you feel happy and accomplished in life.
- Time-bound: Determine when you will achieve your goal and set small milestones to achieve along the way.
Eat a Frog
Your “frog” is the most challenging and often least appealing task you need to achieve in a day.
When you eat that frog and overcome obstacles early on, the rest of your day, week, and life can open up to greater possibilities. It helps prevent procrastination, which gives you more time to achieve the goals you really want to work on.
Develop a habit of tackling the biggest, most important task first. Ask yourself, “If I accomplished only one thing today, what would make the biggest difference to my overall success?”
Apply that same principle to the goals you have defined for yourself. Which are the most important for lasting happiness and fulfillment? Focus on those first.
Prioritize Your Physical Health
It is easy to get caught up in the never-ending wheel of tasks we need to accomplish each day and checking off items from our to-do list.
But, if you want to find success, it is important to make your physical health a priority. Being physically fit and healthy makes you feel better about yourself so you can think more positively. It also literally makes you feel energized physically and capable of accomplishing more things.
Some of the most successful people have attributed being health conscious as one of the keys to being successful in life. Highly successful people prioritize both their physical and mental health.
Make sure you eat healthy foods and minimize unhealthy foods and drinks. Develop an exercise routine that includes physical activity each day. Get plenty of rest to rejuvenate your mind and body, which will help you be more productive when it is time to work.
Believe In Yourself and Your Abilities
If believing in yourself doesn’t come naturally, make a list of all of the positive attributes you have.
Are you organized? A good listener? Do you make excellent pumpkin pies, do you hold productive team meetings or do you make people feel good about themselves? Are you great at generating ideas, or does your strength lie in taking those ideas and making a plan of action?
One of the best ways you can be successful is to learn how to believe in yourself and boost your self-confidence. Greater self-confidence motivates you and gives you the courage to take action on your goals.
When you feel discouraged, focus on what you have accomplished and the time, talents, abilities, and strengths you have that will help you accomplish more.
When you believe in your abilities to achieve your goals, you have the power to persevere until you succeed.
We can easily get overwhelmed by the craziness of life and stress over things that need to be done.
In order to have a successful life, you need to be happy. And one of the best methods for happiness is fun.
Purposefully find a ray of fun in every day. See the humor in a stressful situation and laugh about it to diffuse tension. Studies show that even simply putting a smile on your face lowers your blood pressure and heart rate when things are stressful.
Get out and play, devote time to a hobby you love, watch a funny video and develop a good sense of humor.
Talk to Others
Having someone to bounce ideas off of, talk to and hear feedback from about how you’re portraying yourself to others can be extremely helpful when building yourself to be successful.
Look to those you trust and respect for feedback, like close friends and family members. Although everyone will have an opinion on how you are conducting your life, the opinions that matter are from those who have your best interest at heart.
It may be difficult at first to receive constructive criticism. But do not let it deflate you but uplift you instead. The opportunity to change for the better is a gift that makes a lasting impact on your current and future happiness.
To find success in life, you must continually grow. Talking to others you trust about how you make improvements can make a substantial difference in your progress.
Take a Break
Burnout can happen fast if you keep chasing your goals without taking a rest.
Taking periodic breaks will have a positive impact on your progress toward your goals.
To find success in life, it’s actually beneficial to spend time away from your goals to reset and recharge. Your goals will still be there even after a day or even a week off for your mental health.
Be careful not to wait until you are at the end of your rope before taking a break. An essential part of recharging is the small breaks you take throughout your day and week to keep your life balanced.
If a particular task or situation is causing frustration, step away from it for a few minutes. Get your mind off of it by doing or thinking about something completely different. Coming back to it with renewed eyes and perspective will help you accomplish it faster and with greater effectiveness.
Always Be Learning
Try learning one new thing every day — whether in your personal or professional life.
We grow as we learn, so in order to succeed, prioritize learning as much as you can on a daily basis.
When you dedicate your time to becoming a lifelong learner, you’re sure to find success in life. A lifelong learner takes initiative to continue learning and improve personal development.
When you are always learning, you improve your quality of life and are exposed to more opportunities that can lead to fulfillment and satisfaction.
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
Every person and every goal is different. Even if someone else is doing what you want to be doing, you both are in different life circumstances.
So making a direct comparison isn’t fair to you or your future success. And when you’re trying to stay positive about your life and your choices, comparing your different life circumstances to someone else’s doesn’t exactly help you feel motivated.
Focus on you — your situation, circumstances, and goals — to see success.
Celebrate the accomplishments of others, but stay focused on the next step in your SMART goals plan.
You will feel fulfilled as you keep the focus on your own unique personal progression.
Complacency won’t get you anywhere.
Those that are successful are so because they pushed the limits of their comfort zone to discover new parts of them that led to success.
The greatest satisfaction you will create is when you can look back at the journey it took you to accomplish a hard thing.
When you are in a difficult moment, remember your “why.”
Why do you want to accomplish your goal, what benefits will it bring, how will it change your life or the lives of those you care about?
If you want different results than the ones you are experiencing now, you will need to push yourself to do things differently. The positive results will be worth the effort.
How many times have you started something but not finished it, resulting in failure?
If you want to be successful, you need to learn how to stay consistent and keep showing up for yourself every day — even on hard days.
One of the best ways to stay consistent is to outline your plan for tomorrow the night before. When you have a clear list of to-dos and a plan for what time of the day you will accomplish them, it is much easier to stay on track.
Remember that showing up for yourself also sometimes means taking a needed break. Or you may need to talk to someone. It may also simply mean waking up at the same time even though your bed is so warm and you don’t want to get up
Consistency is key to success.
No matter how consistent you may be, though, life may have other plans.
To be successful in whatever you do in life, always think about what could happen if things go off the rails. How would you react and what is your action plan?
This way, when that time eventually comes, you’ll have the right mindset and feel calm, cool, and collected, ready to take the challenge head-on and succeed.
Stop Looking for Shortcuts
Those who look for shortcuts aren’t interested in the learning, lessons, and nuances successful people gain when they set out to be successful in life.
If you want to achieve success, you have to do it the old-fashioned way, which takes time, patience, and consistency.
The keys to success in life are our ability to get the very best out of ourselves under almost all conditions and circumstances. It is your ability to adapt and change your life.
Change Your Definition of Success
So you’ve accomplished one thing you thought would make you successful? What next?
Success, happiness, and fulfillment are all feelings that can change over time. So after you find success in one way, seek it out in another.
By overcoming adversity and achieving one great goal in any area, you create a pattern, a template for personal success in your subconscious mind. You will be automatically directed and driven toward repeating that success in other things you attempt.
In other words, you learn to succeed by succeeding. The more you achieve, the more you can achieve. Success builds your confidence, your self-discipline, and the belief that you will be successful next time and achieve ultimate personal success.
Try to leverage your momentum from an achievement in your personal success to reach a goal in your career or at school or vice versa. Eventually, you will create a synergistic effect and find that success comes easier on all fronts.
Analyze the next aspect of your life you’d like to find success in and get started chasing that goal!
You Can Achieve Success
By applying these 15 principles, you have the tools you need to be successful in any goal you set out to achieve. To jumpstart your journey on how to be successful and achieve your goals, use my Personal Development Plan. This free template will help you pinpoint the opportunities you have for success, develop a habit of thinking ahead and evaluating your goals, and provide a daily roadmap to efficiently accomplish your goals.
About Brian Tracy — Brian is recognized as the top sales training and personal success authority in the world today. He has authored more than 60 books and has produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on sales, management, business success and personal development, including worldwide bestseller The Psychology of Achievement. Brian's goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin and Youtube.