From an early age, my parents, coaches, and teachers instilled in me the importance of having good habits. They taught me that good habits lead to success both on and off the court. And they were right.
Good habits are essential to success in any area of life, whether it’s athletics, academics, or business. That’s because habits shape our lives more than we realize. Our daily routines – what we eat, how we sleep, how we work and play – they’re all shaped by our habits.
Developing good habits is simple but not always easy. It takes time, effort, and consistency. But the rewards are worth it. When we have good habits, we feel better about ourselves, we’re more productive, and we’re more likely to achieve our goals.
I’ve seen this play out time and again in my own life and in the lives of the people around me.
Life Habits I’ve Taken with Me
As you can imagine, I’ve curated quite a few habits over the years. Some have stuck with me and become an integral part of who I am, while others that haven’t served me have fallen to the wayside.
I always wake up early. That comes from my sports days. I used to wake up early to get an advantage in training. And I continue the habit because I’ve found that, even now, I’m most impactful in the morning.
I set SMART goals. You may not think of setting goals as a habit, but establishing clear goals is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. When you know what you want to achieve, you’re more likely to put in the hard work required to make it happen.
I practice continual learning. In order to continually grow, you have to continually learn. This isn’t limited to school and career, but includes learning about new people, places, and things. By exposing yourself to new perspectives and experiences, you open yourself up to new possibilities.
These are just a few of the habits that I’ve carried with me throughout my life. And I know for a fact that they’ve played a role in my success.
I’m a big believer in the power of habit. I think it’s one of the most overlooked keys to success. People often focus on talent or fortune, and they definitely do play a part, but I believe it’s really our habits that determine whether we reach our full potential.
Three Tips to Creating Habits that Work For You
I’ve been fortunate enough throughout my life to learn from amazing people who have helped me understand how to develop good habits. It’s important to find what works for you, but here are three tips that have worked for me:
Discern what’s important to you.
The first step is to take a look at your values and figure out what’s important to you. When you know what you want, it’s much easier to develop the habits that will help you get there.
What are my long-term goals?
What kind of person do I want to be?
What steps do I need to take to get there?
Once you have a good understanding of what you want, you can begin to develop a plan to get there.
Create a plan and be specific.
The more specific you are with your goals, the easier it is to develop a plan that will help you achieve them. When you know exactly what you want, it’s much easier to create a roadmap to get there. Be sure to include milestones and deadlines so you can track your progress and adjust your plan as needed.
Set yourself up for success.
You’re more likely to stick to a new habit if you make it easy on yourself. So choose habits that are realistic and achievable given your current lifestyle. And try to pair new habits with existing ones whenever possible. For example, if you already go to the gym three times a week, adding a new habit like meditation or stretching could be relatively easy. But if you’re starting from scratch, it might be more realistic to start with something smaller, like taking a brisk walk around the block once a day.
The key is to be patient. It takes time to develop new habits, so don’t get discouraged if you slip up once in a while. Just keep at it and eventually, it will become second nature.
It’s just as important to discern what doesn’t work for you. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to developing good habits. What works for me might not work for you. For example, getting up early won’t serve everyone equally. Some people, like myself, are morning people and thrive on an early start, while others find it difficult to function without getting a certain amount of sleep. You have to try things out and find what works for you and stick with it.
Habits are the key to success. They help us reach our full potential by propelling us toward our goals. There’s no magic formula, but if you start by discerning what’s important to you, setting realistic goals, and taking intentional action, you’ll be well on your way to creating the habits that will lead you to success – however you define it.