Are you intentional about cultivating good habits in your life? Did you know that there is a direct correlation between your habits and your achievements? In the book, Change Your Habits, Change Your Life, Tom Corley gives us a map to follow if we want to get on the road to success.
He interviewed over 200 self-made millionaires to get detailed information about their daily habits. When he compiled this data, 20 keystone habits emerged, habits that would be beneficial for any of us to incorporate into our lives.
Keystone habits are primary practices. When one of these habits is cultivated, it has a snowball effect, causing us to develop more and more good habits and in return experience more fulfilling, successful lives.
Let’s take a look at the keystone habits that helped these successful entrepreneurs make their dreams a reality.
1. Read Every Day
Spend at least 20 minutes daily reading for inspiration, self-improvement, or education. Biographies are popular because they often cover all three of these categories.
2. Exercise 30 Minutes Each Day
You can run, jog, walk, bike, get on a treadmill, a stair-master, lift weights or take a class. How you exercise doesn’t matter. The important thing is to find the time to move every day.
3. Build Relationships
Surround yourself with success-minded people and minimize your contact with toxic people. You are only as successful as those with whom you frequently associate.
4. Pursue Goals
Identify your goals and dreams. Make sure you are not following the dreams of your parents, spouse or anyone else in your life. Discover what you are passionate about and don’t be afraid to pursue it.
5. Dream Set
Have a clear understanding of your dreams so that you can set goals to achieve them. Our dreams serve a purpose in our lives. They give us direction. Goals, on the other hand, are the actionable steps we take to achieve the life we desire.
6. Use Time Wisely
Time is precious. Invest your time wisely in activities that will produce happiness, financial security, improve the lives of others and foster growth in your life.
7. Get Quality Sleep
Sleep is critical to success. Successful people are intentional about getting seven to eight hours of sleep each night. It is important to get four to five 90-minute sleep cycles every night. A sleep cycle consists of a period of light sleep followed by deep sleep and then a dream state which is known as REM sleep. When we wake up at the end of a sleep cycle, we feel rested and ready to tackle the day.
8. Wake Up Early
Get up at least three hours before your work day begins. Rising early will give you a sense of control over how your day starts which will have an effect on the rest of your day. As Benjamin Franklin said, “The early morning has gold in its mouth.”
9. Cultivate Multiply Steams of Income
Diversifying your sources of income will lead to greater financial security. Three seems to be the magic number. Having multiple streams of income will protect you during an economic downturn.
10. Be Intentional
Procrastination is not your friend. Be intentional, engaged and passionate about your work whether you work for yourself or someone else. Here are five ways to help you overcome procrastination:
- Create to-do lists
- Accomplish five important tasks each day
- Set artificial deadlines to motivate yourself
- Find an accountability partner
- Develop a sense of urgency with a “Do it now!” mentality
11. Find a Success Mentor
Parents and teachers make the best mentors. People who are mentored by parents and teachers are fortunate. If you were not mentored by a parent or teacher, you could find a career mentor. Career mentors can help us advance professionally and often give advice about life too. Authors make great mentors as well. Read biographies to learn from the lives of others. Personal development books are a great source of information. They give us ideas for making improvements in our lives every day. Last, of all, you can learn from your mistakes. The lessons you learn here usually stay with you for life.
12. Be Positive
A positive mental outlook is evident in high achievers. Awareness is the key to developing a positive attitude. An overwhelmingly large percentage of self-made millionaires believe they will succeed and find they are responsible for their success.
13. Write the Story of Your Life
Jot down the dream you have for your life. As you write it down, pretend you are writing the story of your future. In doing so, you will turn on your Reticular Activating System, the area of your brain that lets information into the conscious mind, and this will enable you to find ways to make your dream come true.
14. Find Your Passion
Passion changes what you believe about yourself. A person with passion has energy, focus, persistence, patience, a strong work ethic and a desire to learn. Your passion will make miracles happen.
Do at least one thing every day to move forward. Persistence creates good luck. Pivot when necessary and keep moving forward even in the face of adversity.
16. Herd Mindset
We are hard-wired to blend in with others. To stand out from the crowd you have to separate yourself from the masses. You must create your own following. Find ways to add value to the lives of others, be your unique self, and move away from the herd mindset.
Manners are a must in a civilized society. Below are a few of the things that successful people do on a daily basis:
- Write thank-you cards
- Never criticize, condemn or complain
- Gather information about contacts
- Make hello, happy birthday and life event calls
- Use dining etiquette
- Dress appropriately
- Make introductions correctly
- Say please and thank you
- Be interested in others when they are talking
- Put the cell phone away
- Stay positive
- Use appropriate language (no profanity)
18. Mentor Others
Mentoring others makes you a master of what you do. Teaching is the best way to learn.
19. Seek out Cheerleaders
Look for feedback and constructive criticism! Surround yourself with people who believe in what you are doing and want to help you to be your best.
20. Believe in Yourself
What you think about yourself creates the reality of your life. Believe in your ability to create the life of your dreams! As Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t… you’re right.”
In closing, once you have spent some time on this list, think about unique ways you can contribute to championing your goals. In what ways have these habits contributed to changing your life for the better? I would love to hear your thoughts and success stories!