Here are 8 habits of the most successful people that led to their triumphs and can become your opportunity to make a few changes in your own life.
1. The Power of 1%. Pat Riley, who was the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers in 1986, encouraged his players to focus on a 1% improvement: a goal that's easy to quantify, easy to focus on, and clearly within reach. While Riley's calculations involved a complex series of numbers tracking his players' capability as far back as their performance in high school, your 1% forward could be as simple as decreasing your mile time by 1%, lifting 1% more, taking 1% more steps a day, or spending 1% more time at the gym. This small shift can have a huge impact on your ultimate success!
2. Get an early start. The successful individuals who are early risers, including Disney CEO Robert Iger, attribute this early start to their day as part of their success. When you roll out of bed early, you have the energy to tackle projects, the time to get in a workout before diving into your work day, and the time you need to get everything, from your briefcase to your gym bag, ready before you head out the door. Marissa Mayer, the CEO of Yahoo!, never starts her day later than 5 a.m.
3. Turn off the television in the morning. This time drain is the quickest way to lose track of your goals for the day and find yourself lounging on the couch instead of fitting in a workout or taking care of other important tasks. British Prime Minister David Cameron doesn't allow television in his home in the morning. He catches up on the morning news later in the day.
4. Have fun with what you're doing. Sir Richard Branson says that if he's no longer having fun with a project, it's time for him to move on. When you enjoy what you're doing, whether it's working toward your fitness goals or completing a project for work, you'll be much more likely to keep doing it. Having a workout competition with friends, choosing a style of working out that you really enjoy, or taking a new class are all great ways to get moving and enjoy it all at the same time.
5. Get plenty of sleep. When you're rolling out of bed early to take on the world, you have to go to bed at a reasonable hour. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg turns off her phone before turning in for the night: leaving it on is an interruption to the sleep she needs to tackle her day. When you get the sleep you need, you're healthier, happier, and better able to take on all those important goals. After all, it's hard to put in the time and energy your dreams need when you only clocked five hours of sleep!
6. Dream big, but start small. Mark Zuckerberg took what his friend saw as a college project and turned it into a social media platform that reaches across the world. On the other hand, he didn't dive into it all at once. He took it one step at a time, starting his project with what he had in his dorm room. Without big dreams, you might never go the distance; but you have to recognize that it's all right to start right where you are and build it from there.
7. Put passion behind what you do. Steve Jobs once told his employees, "People with passion can change the world for the better.” When you find something that matters to you and pursue it passionately, you'll be much more likely to be successful. If you passionately want to make a difference, whether it's in your industry or yourself, you'll be much more likely to put in the time and effort it takes.
8. Know when to say no. Warren Buffett is well-known for this simple piece of advice. You can't do everything. Instead, you should take advantage of the opportunities that are meaningful to you or that can advance your career or your purpose. When you learn to say no, you can make more room for the things in your life that really matter.
Following these simple techniques can take your dreams from goal to reality. Keeping your eyes on your goal, putting your passion behind it, and taking the steps necessary to achieve it will help you to build a more active, healthy lifestyle that increases your odds of success in everything you do. These successful people have paved the way before you. Taking a page out of their books might just be the success boost you need.
Photo Credit: The official Facebook page of Sir Richard Branson