At ISN, part of our mission is to help people from all walks of life become the healthiest version of themselves. This mission is not limited to fitness and nutrition—-rather it is all areas of life that impact health, which is pretty much all of life. We often write about developing successful habits as it relates to exercise and diet, but today we are discussing another element of healthy living, which is a healthy career.
Building successful habits for your career can lead to less stress, more freedom, better work-life balance, and an overall improved disposition. While I don’t claim to know everything about success, I’ve been blessed to lead people and organizations over a long career and I have learned a thing or two about habits of highly successful people, so let’s unpack some of those lessons below
Get clear on what you want
To be successful in any area of life, but particularly at work, it is imperative to be crystal clear on your objective. Some of us want to be CEO’s and some of us want to work to live rather than live to work. There is no right or wrong answer here—you get to determine what you want out of life. However, YOU must determine it.
Too many people want others to determine their path and identify the next step to take. Unfortunately, it rarely works that way. Instead, take charge of your own career and write down what you really want and analyze the costs and benefits of achieving it. If you want to be CEO, you will likely have to work longer hours, endure a bit more stress and accept personal responsibility for the actions of others and the payoff for that will likely be more wealth, travel, authority, etc.
On the contrary, if your goal is to make a decent living but not be bound by long hours and less time to do the things you love, you might have to sacrifice some financial upside or career opportunities that others pursue. Either way, if you’ve been honest with yourself about your dreams and desires, you can be more comfortable with the impacts of those decisions, which leads to more peace and joy in your life. Get clear today!
Again, this is not a skill that is exclusive to career but is a necessary discipline to getting anything done in life. Do you ever wonder how so many people get so much done in a day? Well, guess what! They had the same 24 hours in their day as you have in yours. The difference is likely around prioritization. Some key elements to being great at prioritizing are:
- Make Lists— Make a list of all the things that have to be done in the next week. Think of all the things that would make the next week a great week and write them down. I like to use the Best Self Company Weekly Action Pad as a handy tool to prepare my week.
- Rank the list– Make a ranking system for high to low priorities. Go through each item on your list and rank it in terms of priority. Be diligent in this process and make sure that high priority items get done. It will help you feel accomplished and will ensure you are doing the right things each week with your precious time.
- Arrange your day around your priorities—We are all unique and have certain times of the day in which we work best. Focus those hours of the day where you have the most energy and creativity on your highest priority items. Know yourself and use it to your advantage.
Similar to the first point, success in your career will require you to be proactive. There are those rare stories where success “just happens” to people, but that is exceedingly rare. If you study the habits of successful people across time and industry, there is a common trait they share—they assume responsibility for their own success and they proactively do the things that lead to success.
Whether it is putting in the time in the library, on the dance floor, in the weight room or in the lab, success starts with being proactive and doing what is necessary to have success. Sometimes you just have to get started. In fact, we wrote a blog on this some time ago regarding how small decisions make a big impact. Start small and see how success compounds over time.
Building successful habits for your career starts with you. As human beings, we are wildly capable of achieving things beyond our comprehension. At times, we want to believe there is a secret sauce to successful and sustainable careers. However, the truth is that it is often a lifetime of practicing the disciplines listed above. Give us your comments and let us know how you are achieving success in your own careers!