Life is messy and never quite like we imagined it would be. Our perfect plans often get interrupted and our good intentions fail us. But sometimes, the difference between success and failure is quite simply attributed to going out there and making it happen.
Seems a little too simple. Even a bit ambiguous. I mean, what does that actually mean?
In her recent article, “Nine Things Successful People Do Differently“, Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson, explored the reasons some seem to consistently succeed while others seem to continually fail. Relying on the multitudes of research done to disprove the common belief that we are simply “born predisposed to certain talents and lacking in others”, Dr Halvorson explains how successful people reach their goals — not simply because of who they are, but more often because of what they do.
Which means that you and I can be successful, too. It removes the excuse of “I’m just naturally like this and there’s nothing I can do about it”.
“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.
…People whose goals are about getting better, rather than being good, take difficulty in stride, and appreciate the journey as much as the destination.”
After reading the list, I appreciated that each one of her nine tips have played an integral part in my own successes and failures. I recommend reading the list for yourself but will summarize her last two points for you:
8. Don’t tempt fate.
“Successful people know not to make reaching a goal harder than it already is.”
In other words, don’t say you’re going to start eating better and then walk into a donut shop. Duh.
9. Focus on what you will do, not what you won’t do.
“…plan how you will replace bad habits with good ones, rather than focusing only on the bad habits themselves.”
“Trying to avoid a thought makes it even more active in your mind…by trying not to engage in a bad habit, our habits get strengthened rather than broken.”
Instead of thinking about all the foods you shouldn’t eat or beating yourself up for all the exercise you’re not doing, start thinking about all the great, fresh foods you get to eat and reflect on the feel-good memories of past exercise experiences!
Switch your focus from the negative aspects to the positive and you’ll soon count yourself as part of the “successful” ones.