Building Habits for Personal Success

By Jana Beals, October 17, 2020 


Last post focused on the importance of creating and building a solid foundation on which you can build personal and professional success.

This post, let’s touch on habits that increase your personal and professional capital. Habits tend to take at least twenty-one days to build, sometimes more, so don’t worry if you miss a day or don’t do so well on something.

Stick with it for at least twenty-one days. You’ll be surprised at how much your self-esteem has risen, and that’s just the start!

Let’s explore!

Cultivate good manners

What?! Ever seen presentations where the speaker addresses the audience as “you guys” and then forgets to thank the audience for their time. Ever seen people chew with their mouths open at a business lunch? Not good! Ever been interrupted while trying to make a point. Rude!

When communicating, there are a few basics: know your audience, listen when others speak, and extend the same courtesy you would expect from others. (And chew with your mouth closed!)

There are plenty of classes and courses available that teach manners and etiquette — invest in yourself, you’re worth it!

Listen more & talk less

How can you listen and hear what someone is saying if you are busy talking? Not possible. The art of communication includes equal parts of listening, which is recognizing that something is being said, and hearing, which is understanding what is being said.

You know someone is speaking, and you understand the words they are saying. It sounds simple, but so many get it wrong. They listen, know something’s being said, but they’re only waiting for their turn to talk. They’re not hearing the other person, and that results in communication error.

Practice listening, hearing, and perhaps restating for clarity what the person has said. It’s like shaking hands, you have to engage.

Be an early riser

Rising early may have a tie to with the old adage of “the early bird gets the worm.” That certainly plays true in both professional and personal life, because once a person is up and ready for the day they have the opportunity to work on things while the world sleeps.

Before the day gets busy is a great time to read, journal, meditate, pray, listen to a podcast, or make calls/emails to another time zone.

It gives you an advantage, and sometimes that’s all it takes to land an account, or to create a good work/life balance. Wake up!

Read (a lot) & journal

Mark Cuban claims to read three hours daily, and Warren Buffett reads up to six hours a day. They, along with scores of other successful leaders read  to gain critical knowledge.

Reading is a great way to increase brain power.

Some people keep a gratitude journal, others use journals to write down ideas, goals and opportunities that would otherwise be forgotten. Journaling is totally personal, but a good habit to develop, as it increases memory, creativity, and a grateful spirit.

Meditate, exercise, be alone

Many successful leaders exercise, meditate, and build alone time into their schedules.

The reason?

Not only do leaders need to be mentally fit and sharp, they need to be in good physical condition.

Exercise helps keep the brain healthy, reduces stress, and helps improve memory, creativity, and productivity. It also promotes a good night’s sleep which allows for waking up more refreshed.

Meditation, praying, and alone time balance out self-care because it is a way to either clear and/or reorganize and reorder thoughts.

It’s a time to block out the tremendous amount of noise and demands; to not drown in recycled thoughts and noise.

Live beneath your means

Suze Orman speaks to this concept in a plain but understandable way: just because you have money in your pocket doesn’t mean you need to spend it. Period.

Do you need it or want it? Is it going to add functionality to your life or is it something to impress others.

Driving a practical car that doesn’t need repairs is more reasonable than spending all of the bank account to purchase a new car.

The money can be saved for a rainy day, and we all know those rainy days come along when you can least afford them.   

Daily breaks & frequent vacations

Make sure that whether you are working from or outside the home, you need to take a break!

Get up, spend time resting or reenergizing your body by meditating, walking, drinking fluids, close your eyes, or listen to relaxing music. Shake it up!

Relaxation, restoration, recover: these words and actions start with “re” which means getting back to a good point.

You work hard, grinding away for months and months every year, but you hit a wall at a certain point. Your body, spirit, soul needs to recover and reset itself.

Get away whether it’s sitting next to the pool at a local hotel for a week, going on a cruise, or backpacking in the mountains.

You’ll come back recharged and ready to conquer the world!

Spend time with inspiring people

Well, we can’t spend time with Mr. Tesla, but chances are there is someone you admire or who inspires you.

Spending time with someone who inspires you can also help change your perspective.

Who knows? You may want to visit a museum since the impressionists inspire you, or you may want to spend your vacation doing yoga in Bali.

Find what inspires you, and spend time with that inspiration regularly.

Well, you’ve been given a lot of information! Please consider how you can make changes to your own daily lives, adding or removing as you are comfortable.

Remember, improving personal and professional habits is the journey that will take you to your version of success.