It’s easy to live life on autopilot. Do you ever feel like you’re going through the motions during the workweek, just trying to make it to Friday? Then, when Friday comes around, you can hardly remember what happened that week—it’s all one big blur.
The typical schedule of get up, go to work, come home, watch TV, go to bed, and do it over again the next day is not going to get you where you want to be. You do not want to look back in 20 years and realize that you did not do anything that you were passionate about.
To avoid living on autopilot and to reach your utmost potential, you must be intentional with your time every day. You must steer your own path with daily habits that groom you for success – not just in your career, but in all areas of your life.
Here are five simple actions you can practice daily to set yourself up for success.
Habit Number 1 – Learn
Learn something new every day! It does not matter if its small – just carve out at least 5-10 minutes daily to learn more about yourself, a new language perhaps or the industry you work in.
Know what everyone else is doing, and what everyone else has done, and how they did it. Search wide for knowledge that might help you, and any inspiration that may do the same. Never think you have nothing to learn from others.
Read news articles, books, blogs. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as what you’re reading helps you learn more about who you are and what you want to do.
Listen to podcasts, radio and other people who know more than you do.
Watch TED talks, documentaries and speeches given by people who inspire you or are influential in your field.
Just think—you could spend 10 minutes scrolling through Instagram aimlessly, or you could spend that 10 minutes reading an article that you’re gaining knowledge from. You’ll be surprised by how much you can learn by making a small, intentional effort every day.
Habit Number 2 – Rise Early and Do!
Get out of bed early BUT also get a good night’s rest. Rising early will provide you with a sense of confidence to plan things ahead so that you can easily accomplish your daily tasks as well as your personal projects.
Habit Number 3 – Connect
Look for ways to connect with people who are doing what you want to do, or who are already excelling in an area where you want to improve. I’m not talking about networking or making superficial connections just so you can reap the benefits. I’m talking about people who are positive and motivated.
Whether it’s reaching out to an old friend via email, grabbing coffee with someone you want to learn from, asking a trusted coworker for feedback on a project, or even asking your spouse or family and friends for honest feedback on ideas and content development —real relationships are crucial, no matter what industry you’re in.
Habit Number 4: Serve.
The way to become successful is not to manipulate your way to the top, but to have an attitude of humility and put others before yourself. Trust me—people will remember that in the future.
Ask yourself: How can I serve the people around me today? Not just your boss and your coworkers, but also your friends, your family, the disgruntled employees at the grocery store—you name it.
This might look like picking up someone’s lunch order, offering to do something outside of your regular job responsibilities, genuinely listening to someone who needs to vent, or putting your phone away when you get home so you can have a conversation with your family. The list of possibilities really is endless.
Habit Number 5: Reflect
Take time every day to sit quietly and reflect on your values, goals, and progress made so far. Where have you excelled, and where can you do better. Is everything you are doing still lining up with your core values? Always look for ways to improve. Celebrate your victories no matter how small they may seem.
Journaling can be a fun, no-pressure way to reflect on your day and get all your thoughts and ideas down on paper. Many studies have found that journaling boosts your mental health by helping you cope with anxiety, stress, and depression.
Journaling not for you? Keep track of goals you accomplished and intend to accomplish, work on your to do lists and tick off the progress made. And don’t forget about the art of gratitude: Jotting down at least three things you’re grateful for each day can really help you stay motivated and keep everything in perspective.
Some of the best habits may only involve conscious effort. Others may take a little more skill and practice but ultimately results in the most desired outcome of all – success.