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5 Ways to Change Your Habits and Reach Your Goals

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American philosopher Will Durant once said, “We are what we repeatedly do.” Therefore, being excellent is not a single act, but a habit. Have you ever questioned how you choose to spend those precious 24 hours we receive every day? I bet you have. Most of us flirt with the idea of becoming more productive, satisfied, and successful in our daily activities.

However, most of the time, we fall short. We don’t check off the many things we’ve compiled on our to-do lists, let alone our bucket lists. But why? It turns out, no matter how much you plan and think about your goals, if your habits don’t align, you won’t reach them.

Habits start in the subconscious mind

Neuroscientists agree that habits are primarily formed in our subconscious mind. They’re triggered by the brain’s limbic system, which is the same area that controls our emotions. This means that the way you feel indirectly dictates which activities you decide to carry out at certain moments during the day—without you even realizing it.

Here’s an example: You’re driving home at rush hour. If a car suddenly swerves into your lane without signaling, and you’re in a bad mood, chances are you’re going to get angry and start honking at the driver, even before you realize what you’re doing.

Another example: You come home exhausted from a difficult day at work. You need to compensate for that feeling of exhaustion—and frustration—so you decide to raid the fridge and grab a big piece of chocolate cake to get an instant reward and “feel better.”

See how your emotions could influence your habits?

Let me give you another interesting insight about habits: The primal, reptilian side of the brain, in combination with the limbic system, also trigger the formation of our belief systems. Therefore, habits are the result of our deepest beliefs.

What does that mean?

If you believe, at your very core, that you’re inefficient or unskilled, your unconscious mind will act as if it’s following your mandate. You’ll put off what you “can’t do” and develop procrastination as a habit.

If, on the other hand, you deeply believe you can reach a specific goal—let’s say, you want to lose weight, and you really believe it’s possible—you’ll end up developing habits that will eventually set you on the right path.

Knowing this, what does it take to nudge your brain along and exchange your bad habits for good ones that will help you reach your goals?

“Your habits will determine your future.” – Jack Canfield

1. Develop a strong faith in your capability to reach your goals.

If your faith is strong enough, your belief that you can “make it happen” will send signals to your limbic system about what needs to happen next. It’s like our inner voice whispers and does its magic through the open channel of faith.

2. Become aware of your behaviors and actions.

If you really want to know yourself, you need to look at yourself with your eyes wide open. Observe—without judgment—what behaviors and emotions are driving your actions. It sounds simple, but it can be quite challenging in the beginning.

We’ve all heard the saying, “It’s easier to fool people before you can convince them that they’ve been fooled.” I think this equally applies to what we do to ourselves when we develop bad habits. We prefer to deny them or find excuses about why we can’t change them.

But if you pay attention and become consciously aware of your habits, you access your inner power—your perceptions and belief system—and from there, you can change anything you desire.

3. Start micro.

In his book The Little Book of Talent, sports adviser and author Daniel Coyle emphasizes the importance of taking, and repeating, small steps to reach the highest levels of excellence. If you start micro and keep at it, you’ll likely end up mastering the activity.

That’s the secret of many elite athletes. They repeat their endurance trainings daily for several hours and make slow but incremental changes until they master their art.

4. Repetition is king.

Repetition creates long-lasting habits. If you want to change a habit that’s not serving you, then you need to consciously repeat the desired activity until it becomes part of your unconscious repertoire.

Remember: It takes conscious effort to detect patterns of thought, behavior, and action, but once you notice and change the targeted trait, you can use repetition and incremental steps to completely change your habits.

5. Fall in love with your self-identity.

Many people don’t recognize themselves anymore. In a world where we’ve overloaded with information, it’s challenging to keep our attention on the things that are truly relevant to us.

Habits that help you reach your goals should get priority over everything else. If you struggle to understand your priorities, you might be the victim of racing thoughts, which suppress your capability to think in a clear and orderly way.

So, what’s the remedy? Slow down. Make a conscious decision to do less. Commit to more meaningful activities. Look for those things that add real value and meaning to your life, and then build a set of habits that support those activities.

What might this look like? Well, do you love nature? Does it inspire you to do great work? Then make a conscious habit of spending at least 30 minutes of your day in direct contact with nature: a walk in the park, a quick swim in the lake, or some gardening.

Life is for living, not for imprisonment. Don’t let your habits imprison your self-identity. Instead, use your habits as a gateway to find yourself and what makes your life meaningful and worth living.

Success Advice

5 Secret Codes to Making The New Year a Winning Year

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We just had a new year come to pass. And you are probably looking ahead wondering how to make this a winning year. And I am here to unlock with you the 5 evergreen secrets that I have learned that helped me to win year after year. (more…)

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Here’s Why People Get Mad When You Achieve Success

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There’s no denying that success comes in different “shapes and sizes”. You could be successful financially, romantically, or health-wise. And if you’ve always found yourself to be advantaged in some way, then you must already know that some people feel a little envy towards you, (and may want to take what you have), but you can understand where they are coming from. However, what is perplexing is when the people you’ve always known suddenly become jealous when you begin to win or shine more. And when you think about it, the logical conclusion would be “they should be happy for me now that I’ve achieved success”, but this is not the case at all times and that’s the harsh reality of life. (more…)

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5 Hacks to Beat Fear and Become More Successful and Abundant

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Fear and success don’t usually go together. When we look at who we believe to be successful, they look so confident and sometimes less like ourselves. When we begin this comparison, we tend to go inward and feel self-doubt. This is often when the fear sets in. We do this in so many areas of our lives on an everyday basis. (more…)

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How Sports Can Greatly Improve Productivity in a Business

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We have all known for a long time how valuable sport is for all spheres of our life. By leading an active lifestyle, you can improve your appearance and health, normalize your emotional state, and reduce stress. Among other things, sport can significantly influence your productivity at work and in business. 

How Sport Helps Well-Known CEOs to Succeed In Business

There are many examples of outstanding businessmen who do sports without any excuses and even with great pleasure. Exercising seems to support their passion for life and innovation, energize them, and move on. Let’s look at the prominent business representatives and their sports hobbies.

Tim Cook, Apple CEO, prefers working out in the gym every day for an hour at 5 a.m. The head of Apple used to go in for rock climbing and still goes hiking. Cycling also remains one of his most important sports. In addition to playing sports, Cook goes to baseball and rugby matches. Also, he makes sure that he makes at least 8,000 steps per day. Tim believes that doing sports helps to avoid stress.

Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook, goes in for sports at least three times a week. Most often he runs, sometimes even with his dog. Zuckerberg always likes to try new sports: surfing, foiling, fencing, rowing, or spear throwing. An interesting fact: in 2016, he challenged himself to run 365 miles during the year. He completed that goal in the middle of the summer. The Facebook founder believes that exercising allows him to stay more energetic. While energy is needed to complete any task at work, sports have become an integral part of his life. Mark claims that he frequently catches insights and new ideas during sports activities.

Nick Woodman, GoPro founder, with his love of surfing, was inspired to create one of the most famous companies in the world today. At first, he used the already existing tools to film his surfing sessions, which led to the idea of creating a professional camera for active sports. Besides surfing, he is known for his love for snowboarding and race car driving. He is confident that people deserve to do exactly what they love in their lives. This story, like no other, demonstrates the close connection between sports and business.

Larry Ellison, Oracle founder, is passionate about sailing. He often participates in risky sailing regattas. People say that Ellison was striving to get rich just in order to get himself a fashionable and expensive yacht. Now, he even owns his sailing team Oracle Team USA. In addition, he is famous for his love for planes and golf. Needless to say, Larry has assets in various sports clubs. Ellison asserts that ​​sports and competition keep people on their toes and give them the motivation to take new initiatives.

Do Sports and Business Have Something in Common? 

Evidently, sports and business have many things in common:

  • A unique sense of teamwork. Both in work and sports, you need to work in conjunction with all participants in the process. Sport, like nothing else, develops this ability to the maximum. If you want to win, play, taking into account the opinion of everyone in the team.
  • Ability to go all the way. In no sport can you reach the finish line by stopping halfway. It seems that exactly the same thing happens at work.
  • Skill to make every effort. Whatever you do, there is always someone who does it better. In such conditions, there are no options but to do your best to achieve the goal.
  • Competitiveness. What, if not sport, develops the value of the competitive spirit? The ability to accept a challenge from someone who is better than you is a skill that drives you so much in business.
  • Self-discipline. All athletes comply with the daily regimen, follow several specific rules every day to stay in good shape. Do the world’s top businessmen not follow the same principles?
  • Endurance. It so happens that you can lose 10 times in a row. And only the strongest and most prepared person will go to fight for the eleventh time. Such resilience is a must in both business and sports if you want to achieve something.

Tips on How to Sports Can Help You Succeed in Business

Let’s take lessons from these successful people and bring sports to our lives. There are a few life hacks that will make your  way to success smoother:

  • Try out different activities to figure out which one suits you the most. Sometimes you choose this very sport that, instead of bringing pleasure, demotivates you. There are a huge number of different workouts, from an elementary run on your own to squash in pair or team volleyball. Don’t give up if you didn’t find your passion on the first try.
  • Start small. If you are not planning to become the best athlete in the world, do not overload yourself at the very beginning. There are tons of workouts that last 7 minutes, for example. If you have demotivating fatigue after exercising, just slow down. Start small, and step by step it will become easier and more enjoyable for you.
  • Find like-minded people who motivate and challenge you. When a competitive spirit emerges, playing sports becomes even more exciting. You can go in for group sports and find friends. Or just chat in apps with those who are going towards the same goal. If you have a friend who also lacks the motivation to start, it’s a nice idea to start together!
  • Introduce sports into your daily routine. For example, you can create a ritual to do a short yoga workout between waking up and boiling the kettle.
  • Create a plan for the week ahead. Once you’ve made a plan for your workouts for a specific time, it is psychologically much easier to tune in to training. But don’t berate yourself too much if you missed a workout, catch up tomorrow.
  • Praise yourself. When you succeed, don’t underestimate it. Great efforts should be rewarded not only with a pumped-up body and a clear mind but also with self-love.

Now, no one can have the slightest doubt that sport helps you stay physically active and healthy, improve your emotional state, and excel in business. Start today and be successful forever!

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