Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Things Successful People Do

So... New year... If you didn't set resolutions, it's probably because you already have goals in the works, right?

And you really want to achieve your goals so you can feel like this guy. Like you're standing at the top of a mountain, cheering because you made it.

But really, those goals are hard! And they're making you feel more like this guy. Like they're so tough, you're barely hanging on.

I recently came across an article that told about the nine things successful people do, and it was so fabulous, I wanted to share! (You can find the full article here.) I was surprised at how many great things it suggested that will help you meet all those New Year's Resolutions / Non-New Years GOALS you made. :)

If you want to read the article in the words of the professional, definitely click on the link. It's worth it. If you are looking for the short summary from a less-than professional, read on.

1. Get specific. We all know this, right? "Write ___ words a day / week" is a billion times better than just "write more," right?

2. Seize the moment to act on your goals. This one basically means to figure out WHEN you are going to accomplish your goals. The article says that when you plan the when, it helps your brain to "detect and seize the opportunity when it arises, increasing your chances of success by roughly 300%." Three hundred percent! Pretty darn impressive if you ask me.

3. Know exactly how far you have left to go. "If you don't know how well you are doing, you can't adjust your behavior or your strategies accordingly." 'Nuff said.

4. Be a realistic optimist. Think positive, but don't assume it's going to be easy! Goals take time, planning, effort, and persistence. Plan, lest ye likely fail.

5. Focus on getting better, rather than being good. I'm going to quote directly from the article here, because it's so good. "Believing you have the ability to reach your goals is important, but so is believing you can get the ability. Many of us believe that our intelligence, our personality, and our physical aptitudes are fixed — that no matter what we do, we won't improve. As a result, we focus on goals that are all about proving ourselves, rather than developing and acquiring new skills."

It says if you accept that you can change and make better choices, then you can reach your fullest potential. And you can enjoy the journey of getting there better! I really love this one. And I totally agree with it. We can GET those abilities we need! All it takes is... you know... a lot of work.
6. Have grit. This one makes me giggle, because people just don't use the word grit anymore. Basically, grit is the willingness to persist. Even when things get really, really hard. Which, come on! This is definitely a profession where you need a lot of grit!

"The good news is, if you aren't particularly gritty now, there is something you can do about it. People who lack grit more often than not believe that they just don't have the innate abilities successful people have. If that describes your own thinking .... well, there's no way to put this nicely: you are wrong."

So there you go. We can ALL get more grit. We can have a grit-a-thon.

7. Build your willpower muscle. This is another one I LOVE. You exercise your muscles, they get stronger. You exercise your willpower muscle, it gets stronger. Stronger willpower muscle = better chance at reaching goals.

So how do you make it stronger? Whenever there's something in your goal you'd rather not do... do it anyway! Even if it's just for a teeny little while. It'll make that muscle stronger. It will be hard when you first start, of course, but every little thing that you do to make that willpower muscle stronger will pay off. It'll make it all that much easier. Then you can take on the next part of your goal, and with the increased strength in your willpower muscle, it'll be easier.

8. Don't tempt fate. The article said that many people are overly-confident in their ability to resist temptation. So don't go there! Don't make it harder than it already is! Plus, if you can help it, don't take on two really challenging tasks at one time. Get strong in one first, then take on the second.

9. Focus on what you will do, not what you won't do. Basically, if you have a bad habit you're trying to get rid of, focus on what you're replacing it with, instead of the bad habit itself. In other words, thinking, "How should this scene play out that I'm writing?" works a ton better than "I'm not going to click on twitter. I'm not going to click on twitter. I'm not going to click on twitter."

So there you go. Nine things successful people do that I totally needed to hear.


Tonja said...

I think it's important to leave some wiggle room too, some open ended goals.

WilyBCool said...

There is great power is being flexible and learning how to take changes or happening and working with them to still achieve goals or even to re-evaluate and adjust goals. The old saying "if life gives you lemons...." Being to rigid about goals can be self defeating. Sometime you just have to role with the punches. GREAT MESSAGE! Thank you. ;D

Kristine said...

I like this. It's important to "do it right" to make it really work best!

Kelley said...

I definitely feel like that guy hanging off the cliff sometimes :) haha

Patti said...

Such a great list, I especially loved number five. That's what my goal this year is, just to be better than I am now.

Angela Cothran said...

I love number 8. I always overestimate my ability to perform. I need to be more realistic. I'm a classic overachiever (well not actually achieving--just trying to, and then beating myself up when I don't :)

Faith E. Hough said...

Those are awesome, really. I don't make New Year's resolutions so much as re-resolutions (hmm, wait, maybe that's where that word came from!) because I like to constantly reassess my goals throughout the year. This advice will definitely help...I'm glad to see I at least have many of the traits (yay, grit!) if not the success yet. :)

Angela Brown said...

Nubmer 4 is especially important for me. It's great to have lofty goals or small step-by-step goals, but it's good to be realistic about the journey to accomplishing those goals. Being positive about it helps a lot, too.

Katie Dodge said...

Love #5. Actually I love all of them. Thanks for sharing! :)

Madeleine Maddocks said...

Fabulous Peggy I am going to print these 9 tips off to recite them to myself!
Happy New Year

Chantele Sedgwick said...

Thanks for sharing, Peggy. You are awesome. :)

JeffO said...

Very nice list, and very commons sense, too, when you think about it. Unfortunately, I got a dead end when I tried to follow the link to the original article.

Sara Bulla said...

Loved this! And I needed it to! Thank you so much! Awesome article, thanks for sharing!

Leigh Covington said...

This is awesome Peggy! I never realized how important it was to set your goals the RIGHT way, but there really is a RIGHT way! Thanks for this!

Anonymous said...

That last one is very important that I keep in mind. Thanks for that list.

Jenny S. Morris said...

As always you are so encouraging and know exactly what I need. I just got notes on the end of my book and I must use this list to set my goals now.


prerna pickett said...

these are awesome, thanks for sharing!

Jay Noel said...

Excellent list. Although I feel like I'm pretty good at being successful, I do feel like I can improve my execution of #1. Oh, and #2 also. #3 and 4 for sure. And I need to get better at doing numbers 5-9.

Romance Reader said...

Loved your list!

Happy New Year!

Carrie Butler said...

I might have to print this bad boy off as a reminder. Thanks, Pegasus! :)

Elana Johnson said...

I love #5. Like, love it! That's my main focus for 2012. I just want to get better, write better, characterize better, etc.

Donna K. Weaver said...

This is awesome stuff, Peggy. I'm so stealing some of this.

Many of us don't set goals, we set dreams. "Someday I'll do ____." If a goal isn't achievable, it's a dream. Well, somedays ain't happenin'. TODAY is happenin'.

Tara Tyler said...

i especially like that last one! i am going to try responding to blogs while doing my treadmill, optimization!

Imogen said...

I am so going to copy this list and keep it where I can see it. Who ever made this list was a genius!

Kelly Polark said...

I do have goals for the new year. Great tips. I am an optimist, but I definitely need to manage my time better!

Iain said...

The only grit I've seen was coming out the back of a grit spreading lorry (gravel and salt mix spreading truck for the icy roads) lol

David P. King said...

I totally needed to hear all of that, too. Man. I have a lot of reevaluation left to reevaluate. Here's to my X words a day. Now I just need to figure out what X is. Darn math. :)

Laura Pauling said...

These are great! Thanks for sharing. I love the grit. Gotta have grit!

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

These are fantastic tips! Thanks so much for sharing! And I'm totally ready for that grit-athon! :)

Peggy Eddleman said...

Tonja-- I need that for sure!

WilyBCool-- Definitely! Who says we know exactly what we need, and what has to happen at the time we make our goals? I think that being flexible has a lot to do with being successful.

Kristine-- I agree! Doing it right makes a huge difference.

Kelley-- Ha! Yes! I have one goal in particular that makes me feel extra like that. :)

Patti-- One I loved, too. Especially since it means that you can change and make better choices! It's all about the journey, not just the final end result.

Angela C-- Haha! I always overestimate my abilities, too! Somehow I always seem to think that when I have four hours, I can get a list of things done that will clearly take nine. Yet every time, I still believe I can.

Faith-- Reassessing = good. And yay on already having grit! That's such an awesome thing to have. :D

Angela B-- Oh my gosh yes. Being realistic and positive are two things I'm not even sure you can succeed without.

Katie-- I love #5, too. And you're welcome!

Madeline-- I think I'm going to need to keep coming back to it, too!

Chantele-- Aww! You're welcome. :D

JeffO-- It's amazing how it's all common sense, yet I manage to forget about a few of them with every goal. ;) And thanks for telling me about the link! I was in a rush and forgot to check it before I went to work. It's fixed now.

Sara-- Yay! I'm glad it was helpful. You're welcome!

Leigh-- Yep, I guess there is a "right way." Or at least a "much better chance for success" way. I love your new profile pic! (And the new hair. So cute!)

Joshua-- I agree. It's a thing that can definitely make things either a lot harder or a lot easier.

Jenny-- Awww! Thanks! And best of luck on your goals for your book!

Prerna--Thank you! And you're welcome!

Jay-- Hahaha! You kill me.

Romance Reader-- Thanks! Happy New Year to you, too!

Carrie-- This bad boy would think that's pretty cool.

Elana-- That's a great idea for a yearly focus!

Donna-- Haha! I love that you said we "set" dreams. We totally do! I love the TODAY is happenin'. :D

Tara-- Wow! Nice optimization! I'm impressed!

Imogen-- I know, right? It totally made me reevaluate my goals and think and plan differently.

Kelly-- I'm an optimist, too. And I am optimistic that I can manage my time better, too. :)

Iain-- Ha! I totally thought of you and your lorry when I was typing that one! And then I read the quoted part with your definition of grit, and it made me laugh again.

David-- Hehehe! "A lot of reevaluation left to reevaluate" made me laugh. Yet I'm in the exact same place. Maybe that's why it made me laugh so much!

Laura-- Yep! Gotta have it! And you're welcome. :)

Susanna-- I loved them! And you're welcome. I'm ready for the grit-a-thon, too. :D

Cynthia Chapman Willis said...

These are fabulous! Thanks for sharing. And, I'm all for a grit-a-thon! : )