Plan

Now plan on how to implement the Successful Habits formula you have developed in the second step.

Adoption of a successful habit

Adopting the new habit may take a day, a few days or even more than a year. This is why the focus is important. When you focus on the task, you get your results quickly.

Start with some of the easiest habits mentioned above. Practice it for a few months until it blends into your routine. Give some time to yourself for adopting the habit. Also how intense you are in achieving it would determine how fast you can adopt the new habit into your lifestyle. 

Identify your bad habits with clarity

First, tweed out the habits that form a roadblock to your success. Bad habits may affect today, tomorrow or years later. Analyze minutely which habits are your torchbearers for your success and which are not.

Identify them without prejudice in a completely honest way and initiate the process of removing them from your life.

What habits you should develop to be successful

The next step would be to discover some good habits that can replace the unproductive habits that you weeded out. At this stage, you are developing a prototype, Successful Habits formula.

Pick some of the above-mentioned habits and also the ones that work for your profession/studies or whatever you want to do with your life.

Now that you know about the Successful Habit formula that great men practice, let us learn how to use it for our own good. It can be implemented in four steps and each step has to be followed judiciously.

Identify your bad habits with clarity

What habits you should develop to be successful

Plan

Adoption of a successful habit

Keep motivating themselves

Successful people have the habit of motivating themselves at regular intervals. They either use the X method on the calendar or read motivating books to keep them on their toes at all times.

Self-discipline

Self-discipline is a highly valued habit. The ability to control self has led men to reach great heights in life. Prince Siddhartha became Gautama Buddha, and M.K. Gandhi became the Mahatma.

Work even when they are not inspired enough

The show should always go on. Top leaders who have touched the pinnacles of success are constant workers and take only a minimum amount of rest, come summers or rains.

This habit keeps them in sync with the latest developments, technologies, and generations, which in turn helps them to take advantage of their knowledge to get more success.

Practice, persist

The successful keep practicing their art every day. Some writers do not relax till they write a minimum number of pages per day. Sportsmen practice at least one hour in the morning or evening, even if they are in form. Singers need their early morning practice to keep their voices in form.

The businessman keeps evolving himself as per the conditions keeping up-to-date on the market trends 

Focus on strength over weakness

International personalities like Bill Clinton, Tiger Woods and Don Bradman concentrated on their strengths to reach great heights of success in their lives.

While successful people work with their strengths, they delegate the areas of weakness to others, so that a balance is achieved.

If a person is good at singing and weak at drawing, which art would he develop to be successful? Naturally singing would be the art he or she would choose.

This is the reason why to focus on strengths instead of weaknesses is practiced by successful people

Avoid distractions

Front-runners of the world use their time wisely. They avoid distractive acts and concentrate on things that can be productive to the job on hand.

Use anxiety to focus

Top leaders use their anxious thoughts as motivation to move further. Stress levels are alienated through meditation or yoga practices. Arnold Schwarzenegger took to transcendental meditation to keep his anxiety and pain under check and to improve focus on his acting career.

Reading

They read a lot. Some of the best examples are President Obama, Bill Gates, and J.K. Rowling. Reading improves knowledge as well as helps them relax after their hectic schedules.

Bill Gates reads at least one book every week. The CEO of Berkshire Hathway attributes his success to reading which amounts to 80% of his waking time.

Store the read information for future use

The top cream of successful individuals stores whatever the useful information they gather inappropriate storage devices so that they can retrieve it when required.

Wake up early

Some strict practitioners of this habit are Sir Richard Barson, Marissa Mayer, Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama, Bill McNabb, Chairman of Vanguard Group and many others.

What do they do early in the morning?


Some plan their work for the day early in the morning. Some read newspapers and journals to be up-to-date on the latest information. Some exercise or give instructions to their juniors as to the activities of the day

Keeping healthy habits

Eating right and exercising are a part of many leaders’ daily routine. Healthy food at the right time and in the right proportions is what keeps them energetic and effective at all times.

Some go for long walks or jogs. Others indulge in the gym or perform light exercises to keep every limb and joint of their body active. They also relax well at night and begin fresh and bright the next morning. Jeff Bezos is one example of an industry-topper who practices this good habit.

Industrialists, Politicians, Sportsmen, Artists, Writers, and others at the top of their chosen career consider some of the following as their Successful Habits formula on their path to goal achievement.

Wake up early

Keeping healthy habits

Use anxiety to focus

Reading

Store the read information for future use

Focus on strength over weakness

Avoid distractions

Work even when they are not inspired enough

Practice, persist

Keep motivating themselves

Self-discipline

The important thing to note however is the time for developing a successful habit is, today! The more you delay, the more unproductive you become. So, start today by adopting the Successful Habits formula and reach the pinnacle of success. 

Some habits become addictive.  It is very difficult to change those bad habits.  For example, an alcoholic cannot get rid of his habit easily.

 

In such extreme cases, it is wise to seek professional help. Reach out to a doctor or therapist at the earliest. Help rendered by these professionals can be in the form of motivation or medication. 


Some experts feel at least two months are needed to change a habit. 


It may be a long time. But it is today that you should start to make your tomorrow better by changing all the bad habits you have into good and success-creating new habits. 

VISUALIZE THE AFTERMATH OF CHANGING YOUR HABIT

Visualize in your mind how the situation would be once you get rid of the bad habit. 


  • If your bane is fast food, imagine how your health will improve once you stop eating it.
  • Think of the advantages you will enjoy once you start exercising.

Visualization helps in motivating you further to give up your bad habit.



NO-NO TO NEGATIVE THINKING

Keep yourself in a positive change of mind when you are trying to change a habit.


Example:  If you want to stop your snacking habit, try telling your brain you can do it.  Do not get discouraged if you are not able to change your habits immediately.  Give yourself time and some patience and the reward will be yours to see.



FAMILY/FRIENDS SUPPORT

Set up a roadblock to a bad habit with due help of friends/family. 



Your well-wishers can surely help you, whichever way you feel comfortable.  They can either stop you when you are induced to perform the habit routine or give gentle reminders to give it up totally.

Stay alert from relapse

Sometimes scenarios occur when you will be tempted to get back to your bad habit.  Beware of such occasions and be extra careful to not fall back on your bad ways.


Other things you can do to break the bad habit are:

  1. Take a vacation. Be away from your familiar localities for focusing on your new routines.  Go on a vacation to another city or locality and concentrate on new things 
  2. Yoga and meditation are some methods that can help you break bad habits
  3. Train your brain on other things that can replace your habit. While a habit is performed automatically, if you train your brain and focus on it then you can change your bad habits  
  4.  Change in routine
  • Take a new bus route
  • Start a new exercise regime
  • Go for walks 

WHILE IT IS FELT THAT THE CUE AND REWARD ARE IRREPLACEABLE, ONE CAN CHANGE THE ROUTINE.  Change in routine will replace your habit with a better one.


Here is an example…


SCENARIO

Cue – meeting friends

Routine – smoking

Reward – socializing

REPLACE IT WITH

Cue – meeting friends

Routine – enjoying soft drinks or a light healthy snack

Reward – socializing

AVOID TEMPTATIONS/TRIGGERS

Another method would be avoiding temptations or triggers of the habit at all times possible. 


Stop visiting the place that reminds you of the bad habit


A) If your habit is eating junk food then put all the junk in a place that is difficult to access

B) If cell phone notifications are your bane than shut out your phone until you really need it



Give yourself incentives/punishment to avoid that temptation


A) If you are an alcoholic, take some medicine that causes some unpleasant symptoms whenever you drink alcohol

B) If you succeed in seeing notifications on your phone for one hour treat yourself to a sweet treat 

Habits cannot be changed overnight.  This is because habits are imprinted in our neural paths and occur randomly even without our voluntary consent at times.  Great efforts and planning are required to undo a bad habit and develop a good habit in its place. 


This is the final step, here is how you can do it…


MAKE A REALISTIC GOAL

Choose which habit you want to change

    • Select a new and realistic goal you want to achieve to do away with your bad habit
    • Give it an appropriatetime
    • Begin in a small way and improve 

CHOOSE A REPLACEMENT HABIT

If the habit is not severe or addictive, then try breathing exercises when it is triggered 

  • Replace your bad habit with a better one.  For example – the time you use for social media can be used in reading an e-newspaper or a book
  • Take clues from the HABIT LOOP expounded by Charles Duhigg

There are three components in a Habit loop 

  • Cue – the trigger that starts the Habit loop
  • Routine – the action you take when the cue appears
  • Reward – the feel-good factor that is achieved after the routine mentioned above.

Identify

Identify the habit(s) and admit that you need to change. Stop justifying your habit or making excuses for continuing it. 


  • If you are a chain smoker, admit it first.  Then understand why you have to push it out of your system.
  • If you are not punctual, learn how to be so. 


WRITE DOWN SOMETHING ABOUT THE BAD HABIT

It is always good to write down a note about your bad habits.  This will not only help you plan on how to get rid of it, but it will serve as a reminder not to fall back on your old ways.


The following points should be mentioned in the bad habit note…


How often do you indulge in the habit? Let us take the smoking habit – write down how often you smoke in a day.


When it occurs – at certain places, times, etc. Write when and where you smoke.


Understand the pattern of your bad habit; Write down what induces you to smoke


The reason for the habit; Write down what comfort do you achieve in smoking? Is it break from boredom, or excuse to make new friends or an additive to gain inspiration??? 

Habits are such a regular occurrence that we cannot separate them from our entity.


They are similar to eating and sleeping which occurs every day.  Getting up early/getting up late, smoking or whistling, snacking at odd times or eating healthy are some examples of habits that people have.


While some habits are good, some are considered bad.  They are bad because they either retard growth/progress or have adverse effects on our health or affect our relationships.

  • Not reading 

Reading is one of the best ways to understand our surroundings.  Periodicals, newspapers, and books provide the latest happenings around.  Some of these give us tips to stand tall/be successful in life. At least 30 minutes of a day is to be allotted for this activity. 


People who do not have the reading habit may not be up-to-date on the happenings around them.  Due to this, they may not see new opportunities that could have helped them grow in stature. 


  • Punctuality issues

Getting delayed on one or two occasions is ok.  But, constantly missing deadlines affects your credibility. You may be considered disorganized and incompetent to people working with you.


  • Being reactive

One may be used to taking life as it comes and reacting accordingly.  Myopic visions will cause problems in the long run. Just reacting to situations or being in a firefighting mode will get you nowhere.


Instead be proactive, creative new opportunities for you to grow. 

Self-doubt and putting yourself down 


Insecurity is one bad habit that can break you.  Just make a list of all your skills and talents whenever you feel low and feel good about them.


Also, treat yourself with respect.  If you don’t trust yourself how can you achieve the targets you set to do in the beginning?


Negative thinking 


Some of your thoughts can be negative.  They are the main reasons for depression and exhaustion. 


Encourage only positive thoughts that show your way forward.


Perfection intention


Nobody is perfect! 


Waiting to get a perfect job done at all times only delays your work.  Instead of redoing a job to achieve perfection, advance to the next level as soon as you attain the basic benchmark or standards prescribed for it.

Seeking validation


Seeking reassurance for each and every action is another bad habit that will cause more damage than good.  People-pleasing wastes your time and energy.  This same energy could have been put to some other productive use.


You may have noticed that many successful people shy away when they are recognized.   The main reason behind it is that they feel their sense of purpose is more central to them than other people’s recognition of their success.


Certainly, there are times when you need to seek approval officially… but doing so for every mundane thing will only waste your time and bring down your confidence. 

Not thinking long term


This is a very bad habit practiced by many.  Short term decisions give immediate results – victory or otherwise.  But it is just a small morale boost and has no long term implications. 


Life is long; if you do not want to get stuck in the same loop, you should start planning long term.   


Of course to achieve that long term goal you can divide it into small parts and allocate short deadlines for achieving that small part of the long term goal. 


For example, if you want to become a Doctor (long term goal) break the goal into short term goals as follows:


Step 1: Prepare well for your higher secondary exams and aim to score high marks in science subjects

Step 2: Write a Medical entrance test

Step 3: Once you obtain results of the above test, start applying for colleges offering a Bachelor’s degree in Medicine

Step 4: Complete your Bachelor’s and apply for a Residency or Master’s Program.

Step 5: After clearing all the above exams and getting your certificates, you can start practicing.