Habits are something we all believe we know everything about, yet few of us actually know how to use success habits to create a new version of ourselves. When deciding what new habit to pursue, it’s easy to look at all the things we shouldn’t do as a place to begin. We want to stop smoking or stress eating. We want to learn how to say ‘no’ or to quit spending so much time on social media.
Have you ever considered the flipside of all that by building a habit that’s positive? What if the habit you formed was one of growth and personal development? Then it would be a success habit and those are the ones that are life-changing and help us to change from the inside out.
Having a growth mindset positively impacts your life in multiple ways, so it’s one of the great healthy success habits to build into your life. What are the benefits of developing a growth mindset?
1. You keep learning. Learning is important as you not only discover new ways to do things, but by making a practice of constantly learning, you develop new ways of thinking, and new ideas. Learning connects you with more of the world and helps you see things with a deeper significance than you ever thought possible. But more than that, people who stop learning very quickly stagnate. Studies have shown that the practice of learning new things when you are older helps ward off problems related to dementia. In short, learning is good for your brain!
2. You learn perseverance. As we learn new things, we adapt and change how we think. That gives us the ability to see other solutions to problems that would have frustrated us in the past. By challenging yourself to grow, you learn how to push through obstacles and find new paths.
3. You learn how to embrace challenges. Growth can be challenging. But by pushing yourself to grow, that means you’re also pushing yourself to look at challenges differently. An obstacle now becomes an opportunity to learn something new and to do things in a way you haven’t before.
4. You learn how to embrace failure. When you’re interested in growing as an individual, you start to see failure and the lack of success differently. Everything becomes a potential lesson in a way that you didn’t think would work.
5. You become more open to criticism. By being willing to grow, you start to see that the input of other people has significance. You see their words not so much as something negative, but something you can use to develop as a person and learn something about yourself. You might not always like the lesson, but that is part of growing too.
By embracing personal growth, you find the best version of yourself. You are able to become more than you ever thought possible, and then you turn that around by finding out that you can become more still. You’ll find that the furthest edges of yourself are far beyond what you thought you ever could be.
Building Success Habits Slowly is the Foundation for Success
When I lived in New York City decades ago, I found myself getting into some bad habits. I took the subway to school each day and got off at the station that was closest to my school instead of getting off at a spot that would require me to walk a few blocks. I also got into the habit of joining some of my fellow law students for Chinese food (our school was walking distance to Chinatown and I couldn’t resist) almost every day. I had a checkup and my doctor was not very happy with my numbers. I needed to change my ways. She said I needed to get more exercise and to eat better.
I did some research on diets and found that adding more fiber to my diet was a great way to be more full and hence eat less. I started eating oatmeal frequently for breakfast and increased my intake of fruits and vegetables. While I didn’t give up sweets altogether, I did scale back on them significantly. But I didn’t do any of this all at once. I incorporated these changes over several weeks and was optimistic in believing these success habits would make a huge and significant difference in my life experience..
As for my exercise, I decided to start walking. Even here, I started out slowly. For about a week or two, I decided to get off at the train station that was a couple blocks away from my school (both to and from). As I got used to the pace, I started taking the train station two stops away from school. Since this took longer to walk, I had to increase my pace a bit in order to make sure I wasn’t late for school.
I continued this process of choosing subway stops further away from the law school until I was walking about three miles per day. I was also power walking because of the distance. Because I built this up slowly, it became a natural part of my routine and I found myself eager to walk.
In my next checkup, the doctor was amazed at my results and told me to keep doing what I was doing. My results weren’t just an improvement; she told me the results of my checkup were fantastic.
The point here is not necessarily to go to school in New York City (unless you want to). It’s that I was able to build up good habits by doing so in a slow and steady manner. Had I tried to walk three miles in that first week, I do not believe I would have been successful. By making small changes over the course of several months, it became a part of my life and something that I enjoyed doing. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was using storytelling as a way to define and limit myself, instead of adding success habits to my story so I could always achieve my goals.
Of course, during the times when there was bad weather, I did scale back my walking on those days. But it just made me more willing to get back to it the next day. I wasn’t used to living in a place with inclement weather, so these success habits were even more meaningful to me once I had mastered them.
I’m writer, marketer, and entrepreneur Connie Ragen Green, building up my success habits to be able to live the life I want and deserve, all while creating a lifestyle by design that few people ever go after and achieve. Let’s connect, shall we?