I believe in the journey but I also believe in getting desired results. When it comes to hitting our goals and accomplishing what we set our heart and mind towards, there’s two things: results and ugly excuses for not achieving results. Humanity and therefore, society, is really good at pointing the finger and making excuses. Most, simply accept that. In the west and let’s just focus in on America—our days are full of over stimulation, jam-packed with activity, most being pulled in a thousand different directions, and primarily depressed. It’s sad, but true!! Side note, but did you know that prescribed anti-depressants have gone up 400% in the last 30 years! According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 1 in 10 Americans over age 12 now takes an antidepressant, the study finds, and yet two-thirds of those with severe symptoms of depression do not take antidepressants at all. This says a lot and things must change!!!.....BUT, this is not the topic of this article and we’ll move on for now.
I’ve worked with some very passionate, talented people who have not been able to achieve the results they should have, and It wasn’t for lack of trying; it was lack of good habits.
Your habits, patterns, and routines determine the direction of your life, so it should come as no surprise that successful people have successful habits. The saying is true, “you sow a thought, you reap and attitude, sow an attitude reap an action, sow an action, reap a habit, sow a habit and reap your character, sow your character and reap your destiny”. There’s much to say about habits and routines that lead to success and fulfillment in life, but let’s start with these three:
Your morning as well as you night routine is key to your effectiveness. I know the cultural and business trend right now is toward flexible schedules, but while you’re in bed sleeping, someone else is out working. The benefit of a disciplined life could not be praised enough. And, the fact is, most CEOs and high achievers aren’t sleeping until noon and rolling into the office midafternoon. They get up early and attack the day. In interview after interview, they say their routine starts with getting up around 4, 5 or 6 a.m. and using the two or three hours before they get into the office to focus and prepare for the day ahead. That may mean exercise, meditation, catching up on current events pertinent to the business or any number of things, but when they do arrive at work, they are more productive and achieve more than most.
The old saying “the early bird gets the worm” came about for a reason. The people who are up and doing are the people who seize the opportunities first, so get up out of bed and put in the extra time and effort it takes to chase success. It’s not going to wait around for you.
There is nothing wrong with having long-range goals and dreams, but what you do today greatly affects whether or not you will achieve your future dreams. You have to intentionally design each and every day in a way that leads to getting things done that will maximize your results. That does not mean being busy every minute of the day just for the sake of being busy. That means knowing what is important and focusing on those things.
Every night, or in those early morning hours you are using to prepare for the day ahead, set your daily goals. Don’t make goals for the entire week. Just for the upcoming day. Ask yourself what you must get done each day that will produce the most results and only work on those things. And make setting those goals a daily habit.
Even if you set the goals, if you aren’t focused—and by that I mean working on what’s important now—you won’t be successful. Successful people always know what is important in the moment, they are relentless in getting it done, and they don’t get distracted by unimportant stuff. They have the ability to stay focusedwhen other people are unfocused, which is no easy feat the higher up you move in an organization, because everyone wants a piece of your attention.
If you want to be successful, you’ve got to develop the discipline not to let anything take your focus off the important things that will get results. Sure, it’s going to take a lot of practice to develop that discipline, but at the end of the day those results are going to totally be worth the hard work.
Truth be told: Winning and success can be quite often boring. It’s doing the same successful thing over and over again. But there is a scoreboard in life and business, and establishing repetitive habits that lead to effective performance is the key to winning results—and results are what matters.