Setting Yourself Up For Success

We all desire to be successful.

I think it’s in our DNA as a species.

We are the only species on the planet that can plan and think about our thinking. My dog doesn’t wake up in the morning with a list of to dos in her head. They don’t have a list of 5 and 10 year accomplishments they are working toward.

There are people who dream big of what their lives could be. I like to believe that I am in that group. But allowing it to go further than just a dream is where most people fall short.

How do you guarantee your success?

How do you take a dream in your mind and push it into reality?

You have to set yourself up for success.

There are great success stories in our human history and even anomalies in business like the corporate dynamos who single-handedly exploded with amazing success. Mark Zuckerburg, Jeff Bazos., etc. Even with that list at their core, these are creatures of habit and repetition.

Success does not come automatically because you think of it all the time. All though that does help. I write my goals and watch my personally created mind-movie every day to remind myself of what my dreams are.

Repetition of the mind is great, but repetition of action and moving your body to create something is far better.

This blog article itself is a result of thinking and doing. Scheduling things out or they will not get done. Putting daily writing on my calendar from 8am to 9am was the only way to get this accomplished.

I’ve wanted to be a writer and a blogger for many years. But it wasn’t until I wrote it into my daily work that writing for my blog became a reality.

Setting yourself up for success is the easiest thing in your day you can do. Yes, its repetition and systems that get things done. Not will power or desire. Those are great, but they don’t last. You only have so much will power in the day. We are all gun ho in the mornings to get on the right track, but so many of us falter in the evenings. Why?

Will power is limited. In some of us will power is very limited.

Setting yourself up for success required cues during the day that create an automatic flow from one task into another task we are trying to learn.

These are simple examples, but exactly how success cues happen. Our mind does not like to change. It loves status quo, things being just like they have always been. Now, our minds can be shaped into new habits and schedules and after the new way of doing things is established that becomes the new comfort zone in the mind and it is much easier to do.

I have a mild fear about forgetting to turn off the stove after I am cooking. I’ve only done it a couple of times in my life so it’s not like I do it often. But I do worry whether or not I did until I check the stove again. I set myself up a way to remember to turn off the stove. I turn on the light in the hood above the stove. That light is fairly bright and is not really needed to cook. But I got in to the habit of turning that light on to remind me that the stove is on. When I finish cooking the last thing I do before leaving the stove is to turn the light off. But I have so engrained that little action into my cooking routine that if I step away from the stove and the light is still on my first reaction now is to check the burner knob. It works! I’ve created a small easy way to keep myself successful in turning off the stove. The biggest reward it I don’t worry about it when I leave the kitchen and go back and check the stove. I know if the light is off the stove burners are off. Simple, but effective.

I forget to take my prescription meds every now and then. That creates a panic around mid-day when I try to remember if I took them or not. So I had to create a new habit around remembering to take my meds.

When I get out of the shower in the morning my next 2 steps are brush my hair and put on deoderant. Then I take my meds, but my pill bottle is in the bathroom closet so that’s where the breakdown was. We have guests over often so I didn’t want to store them on the counter. The new habit I formed is to turn on the cold water in the sink immediatley when I get out of the shower and before I brush my hair. Did I take my meds? Easy… check the faucet. Is the cold water still running ready to get a cup of water to take my meds? If it’s running I haven’t. If it’s off I have.

Turning the light on above the stove and turning on the cold water are triggers. To form a habit you need a trigger.

Post-it notes on my computer screen are triggers. Events written in my calendar are triggers. Putting my sweats out on the bathroom counter is a trigger to go to the gym.

You can set yourself up for success with any habit with the right trigger. What is the right trigger? Something that gets your attention. Something that is out of place. If I think of an important task that needs to get done, but I’m in the middle of a critical project and can’t stop. I will slap a post-it note on my computer screen. Blank. It’s odd enough to stop me when I’m done with the project to ask myself why is that there? Oh, Yes! I have an important task to do.

What triggers do you need to setup in your day to set yourself up to succeed? Have you done anything strange our out of the ordinary to help you remember to do something. Tell us below in the comments.

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