When you study the lives of highly successful people, they all have similar routines in place that help them stay successful. Keep in mind that most successful people don’t measure their success by the amount of money in the bank.  No, most of the top successful people view their success through the lens of living a full, well-rounded life. Following are 7 proven success habits you can start doing today to start living the most successful life you can.

1. Get Enough Sleep   success habits include getting enough sleep

Lack of sleep can be a critical factor in how we function throughout the day or the week. Not getting enough sleep can lead to “brain fog”, weight gain (or lack of ability to lose weight when trying), sugar cravings and an over-reliance on caffeine. For as much as we all have slightly different needs, the average adult needs between 7-8 hours of sleep. You should feel rested and ready for the day when you wake. If you feel sluggish or still sleepy, you probably need to adjust your routine. Even getting too much sleep can have the same affect as not enough. You’ve probably known people who can sleep and sleep and sleep. Unless they have an underlying medical condition, we can assume their circadian rhythm is off and their body doesn’t recognize when they’ve had enough sleep. Your circadian rhythm is your body’s internal clock which regulates how much sleep you need.

What can you do?

You can do several things to keep your sleep balanced. Going to bed at the same time, all the time is recommended by the National Sleep Foundation. This keeps your circadian clock regulated. Of course, there will be nights when that can’t happen. When you don’t get enough sleep one night, don’t “make up for it” by sleeping in the next day as it just throws your clock off more and it can become difficult to reset it. A regular exercise routine is recommended to ensure a good night’s sleep. The stimulation of your cardiovascular system helps regulate your body and gives it the proper signals that you need rest at the end of the day. If you have difficulty falling asleep, limiting your exposure to blue light waves can help fix that. A Harvard study demonstrated that exposure to blue light prior to sleep suppressed our secretion of melatonin, which is a hormone that influences our circadian rhythms. They recommend staying off the electronic devices for 2-3 hours prior to going to bed. However, if you can’t put it down before bedtime, turn it down. There are apps like Twilight (for Android) or f.lux (for Windows, Mac, Llinux, iPhone or iPad) which allow you to turn down the blue light so that your screen matches the time of day. They’re really helpful for those of us who struggle with putting the electronics to bed before us.

2. Cultivate Friendships

Very successful people are usually well supported people. Success is about living a full life. Without friendships, money usually isn’t very fun. Having deep connections with others takes “people skills” and emotional availability, which are also great qualities for success in business. Having someone to call when you need a break, someone to run some ideas past and someone to tell us when we are really making a bad decision when we need it are priceless.

What can you do?

Call a friend once a week. Make a lunch or coffee date with someone once a month. When you’ve got a free moment, call a friend to ask how their life is going. They will appreciate the outreach from you and you will feel supported on your path to success.

3. Make a “To-Do” List Every Night  success habits include making a list for the next day

A struggle for many successful people is shutting off their mind at the end of the night. One little hack that can make all the difference in the world is to make yourself a list of all the items swimming around in your head at night. It can be considered your “to-do” list for the next day.

What can you do?

Send yourself an email of your list. It’s a great way to keep on track. There are even apps like Evernote to record and track your lists. Doing this can really help 1. Put your mind at ease that you won’t forget something and 2. Allow you to stay organized and focused.

4. Exercise Regularly success habits include exercising regularly

I’ve not heard a story of a successful person that didn’t exercise. This does not mean that every successful person is in top physical condition, but that they understand that exercise will help keep their mind and body in sync. This mind-body connection will help them with tasks during the day like staying focused or falling asleep easily at night.

What can you do?

If you don’t have an exercise routine, just start with a 20- minute walk in the morning or the evening. Evening walks are great for mindfully reflecting on your day and letting go of stress. Morning walks can be great for motivation and planning. If you have physical limitations, check with your doctor for recommended exercises for your physical ability.

5. Write Down Goals

A study at Dominican University of California found that when people wrote down their goals, they were 42% more likely to accomplish them. We live in a world of broken resolutions and people “dreaming big”. Research would say that the dream doesn’t exactly matter unless you’ve got it defined.

What can you do?

Write down your goals. Make them clear and defined. For instance, “I want to get educated” is not a clearly defined goal. Instead, you would write, “I will apply to go to law school (nursing school, trade school, etc) by the end of this year”.

6. Give Back

Most successful people carve out time in their life for altruistic or charitable efforts. This does not mean you have to give all your money away. In fact, there are many options that only cost you your time and knowledge.

What can you do?

Volunteer. There are organizations in every community who need: helping hands (beach or street clean ups), mentors, tutors or speakers. Network within your community to see how you can start giving a bit of yourself to others.

7. Love What You Do   success habits include living  what you do

If you’re in a job right now that you don’t love, this may seem like an unattainable blanket statement, but it is not meant as one. Of course, if you can gear your life towards a career you love, it will be all that much easier to hold on to the feeling, but there are things you can do.

What can you do?

If you are in a job you don’t love right now, find something you can love about the experience. Maybe you have some great co-workers, or maybe your health benefits allow you to not worry so much about your family. There is usually something about a job situation that a person can really love. While you’re reaping the benefits of a mindset about your job, you can take some time to figure out how to tap into doing what you love to do. Maybe your job becomes a way of funding a new venture, or a side project, or a continued good stream of income for you to support your family. There are many ways to look at the same situation.

Wrapping it All Up

If you ask 10 different successful people what success means to them, they might have 10 different answers. It’s only when we look at their behaviors – what they do on any given day, that we can see the similar patterns in successful peoples’ lives. I would invite you to explore how you can implement these habits now on your path to success.

We can help YOU at Coaching Through Chaos in San Diego!

If this article resonated with you, but you find yourself lacking in the motivation to get started, or you can’t focus to stay on target of your goals, give us a call today (619) 881-0051. We can even give you a free 15-minute phone consultation. Check out CoachingThroughChaos.com to see all that we have to offer!


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This post was written by Dr. Colleen Mullen, Psy.D.,LMFT. Originally posted on EverydayPowerBlog.com