Habits of the super successful that you can adopt in 2016

Saturday January 2 2016

This year, focus on changes that will make a

This year, focus on changes that will make a lasting difference. Leave out those ones that are bound to fail or those that you can’t stick to. ILLUSTRATION| IGAH 

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Most people make a few resolutions at this time of year — like deciding to lose weight, exercise more, drink less or eat more healthily. And so the bars and fast food outlets will soon be a bit emptier and

gyms will do more business — but only for a little while! Because changes like that aren’t really motivating. And so most people don’t stick at them for long. They don’t suddenly make you into a high achiever either.

So what sort of changes would make a lasting difference? Perhaps some of the habits of the super successful — like deciding to get up earlier.

The majority of CEOs get up well before 6am: between 4am and 5am is typical. Many start their day by working out, because exercise first thing in the morning leaves you feeling energised for the rest of the day.

Super successful people generally also spend a little time each day meditating or self-reflecting, to clear their minds and sharpen their intuition. Many of them also do that early in the morning.

Super successful people work really hard. In fact, a relentless work ethic is the common factor shared by all high achievers.


They maintain a tight schedule, and stick to it. Every waking minute is used well, including the time they spend relaxing or with their families.

They make “to-do” lists — but keep them really short— so that their focus is on each day’s specific key tasks. Usually it’s no more than two or three high priority items in any one day.

They say no a lot. In fact, they say no to almost everything that isn’t one of their priority tasks. Or which might get in the way of their key goals. Think of how Steve Jobs cancelled loads of projects so that Apple management was focused on the iPhone.

They avoid distractions. Disconnecting from email, social media and phones whenever they need to focus on a key task. They cut right back on meetings. Eliminating as many as possible, and keeping the rest short and to the point. They often take themselves right away from the office to do their most creative thinking.

They have a tendency to “think backwards.” First clearly visualising and defining their ultimate goal, and then working back from that to specify all of the individual steps they’ll need to take to get there.

Super successful people repeat themselves a lot. Like anytime something works out well, they find a way to do it again. But after the first time they start to focus on finding ways to cut corners. So that the job gets done faster, easier, and cheaper. But without cutting the quality of the result, or diminishing the customer experience.

They are also great at spotting anything that’s not working in their lives — and cutting it out. Fast.

That all sound interesting? Actually it really is! Start making changes like these, and 2016 could be a great year for you!