"If you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary." —Jim Rohn
When we think about creating sweeping change in our lives, it often seems like a distant dream. When life gets in the way, it's easy to think it's "too late," or that we won't be able to restart because we are so set in our ways, whether it's our career, finances or exercise plan.
Instead of sticking to the same old routine, realize you can change your life in meaningful ways that will make you happier and more successful, starting today. If you want to, you start reinventing your life in just a month — that it's possible has been scientifically proven, and plenty of entrepreneurs have done it before.
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So, how should you start?
Try integrating these 11 habits into your daily life to spurn massive improvement over time:
Self-improvement begins with a vision. What do you want to become? What will you do to make this happen? What/who are your inspirations? Do you have a specific deadline?
Remember that defining success is subjective and could vary from one person to another. It is also unfair and counterproductive if you measure success by comparison. However, if you want to fully embrace success in life, you have to be able to set your own goals, meet your objectives, fulfill your vision, and simply be contented with the results of all the hard work.
"Lose an hour in the morning, and you will spend all day looking for it." —Richard Whately
Mornings are critical because they dictate your entire day.
Liberate yourself from laziness the moment you wake up by having the willpower to start ahead of the pack. It gives you enough time to focus on the things that must be done.
Uber-wealthy people also make it a habit to maintain fitness routines like Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey who jogs six miles every morning and Apple CEO Tim Cook who wakes up at 5 o'clock in the morning to get exercise. You don't have to copy their routines, but finding the time to take care of yourself in the morning is well worth the investment.
Do not underestimate the power of constant learning because in order to grow, you have to be open to new ideas. If you shut your doors to new things life could offer, you remain the same throughout the years, and it is the total opposite of what you are aiming for — self-improvement.
This is also applicable in moments when we face failures. As failures come, it also brings new learnings that we could turn into ideas, and then later on tactics, to do better next time.
Bonus tip: If you want to gain knowledge, learn new things, widen your understanding, there's clearly one thing you have to do — read! Even wealthy and successful individuals believe in reading as a tool to self-improvement.
One hack to stay motivated during these challenges is to find yourself an accountability partner. Comparable to peer pressure, when we share goals with another person there is a force to push and empower you to do what needs to be done, rather than doing it on your own.
"No person may enjoy outstanding success without good health." — Napoleon Hill
If you want to improve you have to start with the single most basic element — yourself.
With all the noises we encounter in our everyday lives, it is often difficult to find peace. Even in our own heads, there are plenty of things that are running around. Apart from sleep or rest, you can achieve peace through meditation.
Studies have shown that constant practice of meditation can result to various positive effects to a person's well-being. To name a few, it can help to reduce depression and anxiety, increase memory and awareness, may grow your empathy for others and can boost your immune system.
It goes without saying that eating healthy and sleeping well is also important. Make it a point to eat right by planning and preparing balanced meals and ensure you get a healthy amount of sleep.
Do not let negativity consume you. Instead, for a month, feed your mind with nothing but positive thoughts. Since success starts in the mind, you have to focus on the positive ideas that could lead you faster to your goals.
It is a great habit to praise your most useful characteristics to unconsciously build on it and maximize it even more. Besides, you know yourself well so you can actually pinpoint the traits that you think are the best.
Bonus tip: Practice positive self-talk! According to Stanford studies, "timely affirmations have been shown to improve education, health, and relationship outcomes, with benefits that sometimes persist for months and years."
When you maintain a grateful attitude, you value every opportunity that comes your way.
Being a grateful person, you perceive people around you including your competitors instrumental to your growth. Why? Because your perception of the world changes, hence, you become more positive in light of uncertain situations. You treat every aspect of life as a milestone that will lead you to the realization of your goals.
Adopting this bold 'gratitude attitude' humbles and drives you to continue working hard for what you would like to achieve.
"Most people don't get those experiences because they never ask. I never found anybody that didn't want to help me if asked them for help." — Steve Jobs
People find it difficult to ask for any kind of help because they feel that it weakens their image. Apple co-Founder Steve Jobs believes otherwise.
This is even supported by a Harvard Business School Study called "Smart People Ask For (My) Advice: Seeking Advice Boosts Perceptions of Competence" which shows that when a person seeks advice, it bounces back as a positive impression on them.
You will never know what opportunities are awaiting for you if you do not reach out, so do not hesitate to simply ask.
When you have figured out how to naturally reach out for others' help, in the same way, you also have to be willing to help.
Former President Obama once said, "If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope."
Like a two-way street, when you help another person, you also gain something in return, including added knowledge or strengthened ties. Exchanging of thoughts and sharing of experiences is essential for you to grow outside .
According to Forbes, "being entrepreneurial is essentially about thinking and doing something that we have not done before. It is about assessing a situation, designing alternatives, and choosing a new way — or perhaps a combination of ways."
Possessing this kind of characteristic simply means you are always up for the challenge presenting innovative solutions in order to meet your goals. Make it a habit by starting to think outside of the usual. Trust your instincts and be courageous.
"Learn how to handle rejection, work hard, and function outside your comfort zone. Success will be yours." — Gonzo Arzuaga
Being brave is about challenging yourself and taking the right risks.
For instance, you're thinking of opening a business, Forbes suggests you "interview one business owner." Learn from him/her and try it out yourself. Before you know it, you have already taken huge leaps out of your comfort zone.
Elle Kaplan is the Founder and CEO of LexION Capital, a fiduciary wealth management firm in New York City serving high-net-worth individuals. She is also the Chief Investment Officer and Founder of LexION Alpha.
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