Internationally renowned as Australia’s leading Motivational Speaker & Exercise Scientist, Craig Harper is straight to the point with no time to waste sharing his advice in getting out there and making a change from a mediocre life to an amazing one in all areas. Also included in this post is Craig Harper’s Top 50 Habits Of Successful People and a video workshop with Craig Harper on Renovating Your Life.
Craig Harper – Australian Success & Life Coach
BONUS VIDEO: Craig Harper On Renovating Your Life
Craig Harpers Top 50 Habits of Successful People….
1. They look for and find opportunities where others see nothing.
2. They find a lesson while others only see a problem.
3. They are solution focused.
4. They consciously and methodically create their own success, while others hope success will find them.
5. They are fearful like everyone else, but they are not controlled or limited by fear.
6. They ask the right questions – the ones which put them in a productive, creative, positive mindset and emotional state.
7. They rarely complain (waste of energy). All complaining does is put the complainer in a negative and unproductive state.
8. They don’t blame (what’s the point?). They take complete responsibility for their actions and outcomes (or lack thereof).
9. While they are not necessarily more talented than the majority, they always find a way to maximise their potential. They get more out of themselves. They use what they have more effectively.
10. They are busy, productive and proactive. While most are laying on the couch, planning, over-thinking, sitting on their hands and generally going around in circles, they are out there getting the job done.
11. They align themselves with like-minded people. They understand the importance of being part of a team. They create win-win relationships.
12. They are ambitious; they want amazing – and why shouldn’t they? They consciously choose to live their best life rather than spending it on auto-pilot.
13. They have clarity and certainty about what they want (and don’t want) for their life. They actually visualise and plan their best reality while others are merely spectators of life.
14. They innovate rather than imitate.
15. They don’t procrastinate and they don’t spend their life waiting for the ‘right time’.
16. They are life-long learners. They constantly work at educating themselves, either formally (academically), informally (watching, listening, asking, reading, student of life) or experientially (doing, trying)… or all three.
17. They are glass half full people – while still being practical and down-to-earth. They have an ability to find the good.
18. They consistently do what they need to do, irrespective of how they are feeling on a given day. They don’t spend their life stopping and starting.
19. They take calculated risks – financial, emotional, professional, psychological.
20. They deal with problems and challenges quickly and effectively, they don’t put their head in the sand. They face their challenges and use them to improve themselves.
21. They don’t believe in, or wait for fate, destiny, chance or luck to determine or shape their future. They believe in, and are committed to actively and consciously creating their own best life.
22. While many people are reactive, they are proactive. They take action before they have to.
23. They are more effective than most at managing their emotions. They feel like we all do but they are not slaves to their emotions.
24. They are good communicators and they consciously work at it.
25. They have a plan for their life and they work methodically at turning that plan into a reality. Their life is not a clumsy series of unplanned events and outcomes.
26. Their desire to be exceptional means that they typically do things that most won’t. They become exceptional by choice. We’re all faced with life-shaping decisions almost daily. Successful people make the decisions that most won’t and don’t.
27. While many people are pleasure junkies and avoid pain and discomfort at all costs, successful people understand the value and benefits of working through the tough stuff that most would avoid.
28. They have identified their core values (what is important to them) and they do their best to live a life which is reflective of those values.
29. They have balance. While they may be financially successful, they know that the terms money and success are not interchangeable. They understand that people who are successful on a financial level only, are not successful at all. Unfortunately we live in a society which teaches that money equals success. Like many other things, money is a tool. It’s certainly not a bad thing but ultimately, it’s just another resource. Unfortunately, too many people worship it.
30. They understand the importance of discipline and self-control. They are strong. They are happy to take the road less travelled.
31. They are secure. They do not derive their sense of worth of self from what they own, who they know, where they live or what they look like.
32. They are generous and kind. They take pleasure in helping others achieve.
33. They are humble and they are happy to admit mistakes and to apologise. They are confident in their ability, but not arrogant. They are happy to learn from others. They are happy to make others look good rather than seek their own personal glory.
34. They are adaptable and embrace change, while the majority are creatures of comfort and habit. They are comfortable with, and embrace, the new and the unfamiliar.
35. They keep themselves in shape physically, not to be mistaken with training for the Olympics or being obsessed with their body. They understand the importance of being physically well. They are not all about looks, they are more concerned with function and health. Their body is not who they are, it’s where they live.
36. They have a big engine. They work hard and are not lazy.
37. They are resilient. When most would throw in the towel, they’re just warming up.
38. They are open to, and more likely to act upon, feedback.
39. They don’t hang out with toxic people.
40. They don’t invest time or emotional energy into things which they have no control of.
41. They are happy to swim against the tide, to do what most won’t. They are not people pleasers and they don’t need constant approval.
42. They are more comfortable with their own company than most.
43. They set higher standards for themselves (a choice we can all make), which in turn produces greater commitment, more momentum, a better work ethic and of course, better results.
44. They don’t rationalise failure. While many are talking about their age, their sore back, their lack of time, their poor genetics, their ‘bad luck’, their nasty boss and their lack of opportunities (all good reasons to fail), they are finding a way to succeed despite all their challenges.
45. They have an off switch. They know how to relax, enjoy what they have in their life and to have fun.
46. Their career is not their identity, it’s their job. It’s not who they are, it’s what they do.
47. They are more interested in effective than they are in easy. While the majority look for the quickest, easiest way (the shortcut), they look for the course of action which will produce the best results over the long term.
48. They finish what they start. While so many spend their life starting things that they never finish, successful people get the job done – even when the excitement and the novelty have worn off. Even when it ain’t fun.
49. They are multi-dimensional, amazing, wonderful complex creatures (as we all are). They realise that not only are they physical and psychological beings, but emotional and spiritual creatures as well. They consciously work at being healthy and productive on all levels.
50. They practice what they preach. They don’t talk about the theory, they live the reality.
How to Stay Motivated to Achieve Your Goals
Time is the raw material of our lives. How we choose to spend it, shapes our life accordingly. So having the motivation to spend it on achieving goals is crucial to creating a life we want.
What is Motivation?
The Oxford dictionary defines motivation as the desire or willingness to do something – our drive to take action.
Scientifically, motivation has its roots in the dopamine pathways of our brains. When we do something that feels good, that’s dopamine kicking in. Our actions are driven by the desire for that reward (the good feeling).
Author Steven Pressfield describes motivation more practically. He says we hit a point where the pain of not doing something becomes greater than the pain of doing it. He sees motivation as crossing the threshold where it’s easier to take action than it is to be idle. Like choosing to feel awkward while making sales calls over feeling disappointed about a diminishing bank account.
However you choose to think about it, we all want to harness motivation to achieve our goals.
How to Get Motivated
James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, says that most people misunderstand motivation. They think that motivation is what gets us to take action. In reality, motivation is often the result of action, not the cause of it. Once we start a task, it’s easier to continue making progress. Like Isaac Newton’s first law: objects in motion stay in motion.
This means most of the resistance when working on your goals comes right before we start. Since motivation naturally occurs after we start, we need to focus on making starting easier.
4 Ways to Make Starting Easier
1. Schedule it
One reason people can’t get started on things is that they haven’t planned when to do it.
When things aren’t scheduled it’s easier for them to fall by the wayside. You’ll end up hoping motivation falls in your lap or hoping that you’ll muster enough willpower to get it done.
An article in the Guardian said, “If you waste resources trying to decide when or where to work, you’ll impede your capacity to do the work.”
2. Measure something
It’s easy to feel uninspired when you don’t know if you’re making progress or what you’re even working towards. That’s why you need to make your success measurable in some way. Starting is easy when you know exactly how much closer your current actions will bring you to achieving your goal.
3. Extrinsic motivation
This type of motivation is from external factors. It can be either positive or negative. Positive motivation consists of incentives like money, prizes, and grades. Negative motivation consists of deterrents like being fired, having a fight, or being fined. Extrinsic motivation doesn’t work effectively long-term, but it can work well in the short term to get you started on something.
4. Make it public
Keep yourself accountable by telling friends and family your goals, or even sharing them on social media. This makes it easier to start something because you’re pressured to not let others down.
How to Stay Motivated Long Term
When we say we want to feel motivated to do something, we don’t want to be pushed or guilted into doing a task. We want to be so attracted and drawn to the idea that we can’t resist not taking action. That’s why it’s important to build a foundation that will set you up for consistency.
These are 5 techniques that will help you do just that:
1. Stay in your goldilocks zone
The goldilocks zone is when a task is the perfect level of difficulty—not too hard and not too easy. In this zone, we reach peak motivation and focus.
For example, let’s say you’re playing a serious tennis match against a 4-year-old. On this level of difficulty, you’ll quickly become bored and not want to play. Now let’s say you’re playing a serious tennis match against Serena Williams. On this level of difficulty, you’ll quickly become demotivated because the match is too challenging.
The Goldilocks zone is in the middle of that spectrum. You want to face someone with equal skill as you. That way you have a chance to win, but you have to focus and try for it. Adjusting your workload and goals over time to stay within your Goldilocks zone keeps you engaged and motivated long-term.
2. Pursue intrinsically motivated goals
Being intrinsically motivated to achieve a goal is when you want to achieve it for what it is. There are no external factors like a reward or the risk of being fired. The drive behind your actions is coming from within.
For most intrinsic goals we pursue them because they will enrich our lives or bring us closer to fulfillment. That makes these goals extremely sustainable long-term because they directly affect our quality of life and the things we care about.
3. Use “chunking”
Chunking is the technique of breaking down a goal into smaller short-term targets. By doing this you achieve multiple successes in your pursuit of the main goal. This triggers the brain’s reward system and drives you to keep going.
Traditionally, you may set a goal that you expect to achieve in one year. That’s a long time to commit without seeing any results along the way. By chunking your goals into monthly or quarterly targets, you get the consistent positive reinforcement you need to stay motivated long-term.
For example, instead of trying to lose 50 pounds in one year, try to lose 4 pounds every month for 12 months.
4. Be flexible
We’re all victims of circumstance. Things happen along our journey that we can either adjust to or quit because of. That’s why it’s important to have leeway and flexibility when you’re pursuing a goal. If you expect everything to go perfectly, the inevitable failure can make you disengaged and desireless. When you plan for things to go wrong, you make sure you can keep up for the long haul.
5. Pursue your goals in a sustainable fashion
Don’t lose hope when you’re not an overnight success. Overnight successes are the 1%—for the most part, they don’t exist. What we see as an “overnight success” is actually countless hours of work behind the scenes finally hitting a tipping point. Pursuing goals is a story of patience, persistence, and unseen effort.
Don’t compare yourself to others. Comparison is a recipe for a drop in self-confidence and satisfaction. It also cultivates a mindset where you think you haven’t done enough. As a result, you may raise your expectations and put more pressure on yourself.
This is pointless because things worth achieving take time. So we obviously won’t compare to the things around us when starting.
Mastering motivation is a superpower. With that ability at your fingertips, you can accomplish your goals and shape a life you want to live in.
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