THE INC. LIFE

9 Powerful Habits That Will Set You Up for Success in 2017

Make it a great year.What are some uncommon habits that contribute to success?

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BY Quora - 10 Jan 2017

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What are some uncommon habits that contribute to success? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answer by Dean Yeong, Entrepreneur, writer, and designer, on Quora:

  • Make your bed. This is about building a small healthy morning routine. It takes less than 5 minutes and it makes people feel better when the room is well organized. People who never make their bed tend to procrastinate more.
  • Forget about setting goals. I want to make $50,000 this year, I want to lose 30 lbs in the next six months, I want to close ten business deals this month ... these goals are common, but what most of us never notice is they are the predictions of outcome. In fact, most of us are too caught up with the outcome (goal). Forget about goals; instead, build the habits and system, then focus on the process and progress.
  • Do nothing but breathe. Some people call this meditation. Some call this breathing exercise. The point is to do nothing, think about nothing, focus all your attention on your breaths. I will guarantee you your mind will wonder within 2 minutes. We are wired to be reactive, but this simple habit trains you to stay calm, be less reactive, and become the master of your focus and attention.
  • The 5-minute rule. Feel tempted to break your good habits? Wait for 5 minutes. Temptations are usually an urge, before you give into it, wait for 5 minutes. You will talk yourself out of it most of the time.
  • Say "I don't" instead of "I can't". Use empowering vocabularies. If there is something you shouldn't do in order to succeed, use "I don't". This makes it feels like you choose and decide not to do it, and this helps in building your identity. Using "I can't" feels like an obligation and restriction, it tricks your mind to want it more.
  • Cold shower. Cold is one of the best trainers of mental toughness. The warm shower is an illusion; it makes you feel good at first, but tired and sleepy after that. Besides, I tend to spend more unnecessary time when I'm taking a warm shower. A cold shower does the opposite, it wakes you up, shakes your muscles, and sharpens your mind.
  • Sleep more. Don't be the guy who wears the honorable lack-of-sleep badge with pride. In many cases, sacrificing your sleep for work doesn't mean you're hardworking, it shows you're poor in time management. Besides, it hurts your productivity in a long run.
  • Slack. Most of us know about sleep cycle. However, our energy goes through the wake cycle too. There are hours when we're full of energy for work, and there are times we feel less productive and energetic. Manage your energy, sprint (do focused work) when your energy is high, slack when it's low for recovery.
  • Lower the threshold. Finally, this is a cheat. Redefine your definition of success. You don't need to be a billionaire to be successful. Practice self-awareness and know your position.

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I write on DeanYeong.com, where I share articles and guides about behavioral psychology and performance improvement.

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