Success does not just happen. We need to work hard to attain it, with focus and persistence, when others may give up. Some habits support this; others can stand in the way.
Below are nine habits I believe can help some attain the success they desire in 2015. These are life-long habits to take on that may require a change in attitudes and priorities. They may be challenging, but will definitely be worthwhile.
1. Work hard, organise and prioritise
Hard work will get the results with the formula: ‘your input will equal your output.’ There are no short cuts.
Write a daily ‘To Do’ list that you mark off as you complete each task. As additional responsibilities come up, include them on your list.
Prioritise your tasks according to time deadlines and importance. Ask yourself: ‘What is the best use of my time now?’ This will focus your actions on being strategic, rather than haphazard, and bring you closer to achieving your goal.
2. Don’t procrastinate
When we put things off, the task list grows as additional responsibilities require attention. The best approach is to simply get on with it in order to free yourself for new situations and tasks that come up. This will avoid a bottleneck, and its consequent pressure on your ability to cope.
3. Overcome obstacles with a flexible approach
The path to success often includes difficulties and unexpected obstacles. But rather than getting caught up on the difficult, take a solutions-based approach to overcome or minimise problems. It will encourage creative thinking, a lateral approach, and positive behaviour.
As the situation changes, a flexible approach enables us to modify the original plan with thinking and behaviour that can better accommodate new circumstances.
4. Maintain stress and manage conflict
While working and moving to work difficult deadlines, we face stress and conflict that we need to manage. Place stress and conflict in perspective, view the issues objectively and recognise our responsibility in managing these challenges. We do not complain, blame others, or make excuses. Rather, we view conflict as a challenge to address, learn from and ‘move on’ with added learning to apply to a new situation.
5. Apply a positive approach
Our approach to completing the task can assist us to do the best we can, or bring out frustration and a negative attitude.
A positive approach to work, people and life will help focus on the good aspects of any situation. It will motivate us, help to establish good relationships, a positive work environment, and values that support our job, learning, and an innovative approach.
6. Respect relationships at work and home
We drop our ego, and are sensitive to the rights and needs of others. Successful relationships are based on understanding and how we communicate. Often, the same message can be said in a tactful and positive way that shows empathy and kindness.
7. Be resilient
With difficult times, many people struggle and give up. Rather than walk away, look at the challenge to accomplish. Zig Ziggler’s approach:
‘When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal, you do not change your decision to get there.’
Keep going and persevere, even when you want to give up. These are the stepping stones to success.
8. Encourage healthy life habits
Engage in healthy behaviours for living a healthy lifestyle. Healthy habits include: eating healthy food, exercising, having sufficient sleep, and modifying consumption of alcohol and cigarettes.
Create a work/life balance with time for work, family and friends. It will avoid workholism and the resulting burnout. In its place will be time for our personal selves to enjoy with family and friends, hobbies, exercise, or time to ‘be.’
9. Personal commitment
Commit to being the best person you can, work on shortcomings, and develop skills.
Take time to review your work with a constructive eye. Appreciate your outcomes, the effort, and your learning, but also areas that can be improved. Look at the reasons, and take action. This is part of a professional repertoire, to keep learning and growing to attain wisdom and higher level behaviour. Lifelong learning supports professional development through undertaking training courses, mentoring, coaching and informal learning to propel us to greater heights in our personal and professional life.
Refine your attributes both personally and professionally. Keep learning and growing. Adopt a healthy lifestyle to bring out the best in you.
My life motto: ‘Enjoy the process.’ ‘Make positive choices in your life.’
This article originally appeared at Women’s Agenda.