Five Things I Do to be Successful

suc·cess  (noun)  \sək-ˈses\  :  the correct or desired result of an attempt

Chances are, you’d like to be successful. You’re working hard to achieve the desired result of whatever you’re attempting to do. If you’re anything like me, you might feel overwhelmed at times with the amount of information available to you on how to be successful. Productivity tips and tools, habits to form, books to read, etc. While much of that advice is valid and beneficial, I’ve discovered that it’s highly important to find the few things that work best for you and focus in on them. Here are the 5 things I’ve found that move the needle the most for me:

1. Believe in growth – This mindset is crucial to success. The more I believe in my ability to change and grow, the more I will change and grow. If I approach every problem with confidence in my ability to rise to the challenge, I’m going to increase my chance of success. Simple as that.

2. Do the hard stuff –Laziness and lack of discipline aren’t necessarily the same thing, but they produce the same result. Discipline means consistently tackling things that I don’t want to do.  For example, I’ve always hated running. Hated it. I’ve recently decided that running is something I need to conquer, so I’ve been working at it. I’m training for a 10K in the fall and it is really, really hard. But choosing to get up and do that hard thing each morning preps me to choose to do the hard things all day. And doing hard stuff is key to success.

3. Be thankful – Success-driven people often overlook the need for mental, emotional, and spiritual health. I’ve found that practicing gratitude has a profound impact on my health and well-being. Thankfulness takes me outside of myself and makes me more present in the world. A mindset of gratefulness keeps me from missing the little things in life that are worth noticing. Thankfulness promotes humility and peacefulness. It gives me perspective and combats selfishness. It may seem counterintuitive, but I’ve found that being habitually grateful is one of the most essential things to reaching success in my life.

4. Make time for rest – This one is hard for me, but it is so important. I often find myself trying to rest while still half thinking about my to-do list or quickly glancing at my email and then feeling guilty about it. For me, finding rest is about giving myself permission to rest. Sometimes, rest looks like reading or writing. Sometimes it looks like taking a walk down the Beltline with my husband. Other times it looks like allowing myself to catch up on the “someday” items on my to-do list. The key to rest is allowing myself to do whatever feels most restorative in the moment and not feeling bad about it.

5. Be resilient – Failure happens. I screw things up and get embarrassed. I make goals and don’t accomplish them. Sometimes, I work hard and do all the “right” things but still don’t succeed. That is life. The sooner I can come to terms with the fact that I won’t be successful 100% of the time, the sooner I can pick back up a try again. I hate wasting time wishing that things were different or feeling like life is unfair. I’d much rather spend time my time fighting for a better outcome next time.