Most think of success as an outcome, a result, a reward, a win – and it tends to come with a feeling of euphoria, achievement and accomplishment:
I did it!
I got it!
I have it!
I made it!
The ‘official’ definition of success is described as being an outcome or an end game – “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose”.
I can relate to this and I’m sure you can too. However, when we see words like ‘aim’ and ‘purpose’ we think of success as having to be worthy of these words – something big!
And there is certainly nothing wrong with thinking of success in this way. These are all moments in time when we feel pretty good about ourselves – on top of the world! We take some time to soak it in, celebrate with others, share on social media, receive accolades and recognition – it’s amazing!
But how long does that feeling last? Perhaps not as long as we imagined it would – even when it’s worthy of being described a ‘big success’.
If we spent as much time ‘feeling’ our success as we spend ‘feeling’ our failures, we could probably soak in it for days! But within 24 hours, most of us are already in planning mode of what to achieve next – and perhaps it’s even bigger and better now – after all we’ve set the bar higher.
If you’re not sure you agree with me, think about the last time you achieved something significant – your university degree, the promotion you landed, the sales target you hit, the big client you signed up. How long did you spend celebrating before you were chasing the next ‘big success’ – and perhaps now you’re feeling a tad more pressure than before.
Have you ever sat down and defined what ‘success’ means – what it really means – to YOU?
Perhaps it is indeed the ultimate outcome I’ve been describing – an end point of achievement.
Not that I want to challenge the ‘official’ definition of success, but I would like to offer an alternative approach or perspective.
Interested? Read on…
How about thinking of success in terms of something you achieve every day of every week, and every minute of every day. What if success was just an ongoing series of achievements that you experience consistently without thinking too much about it – what if you made a ‘habit’ of success?
If you could look at success, and the pursuit of it, as a habit instead of an outcome – what would be different – what becomes possible?
Habits are nothing if not consistent – we don’t even have to put a lot of thought or feeling into them – they just become part of who we are, what we believe, and how we behave.
To create new habits, we start by defining them in terms of new attitudes and behaviours that we want to adopt and practice – on a regular and consistent basis.
How to Create Success Habits:
- Grab a journal or open a spreadsheet (whatever works for you).
- Under the heading ‘success habits’ list about four of five behaviours that you would like to implement in your daily life – let’s start calling them habits right out of the gate.
- Don’t make the habit description too long for now (e.g. exercise – create – connect – read – meditate – write).
- Alongside each habit draw a checkbox for each day of the week (Monday through Sunday) – to keep track of every day you practice this habit (or not).
- Insert a column at the end of the week days for your success habit ‘score’ – enter the total number of check marks at the end of each week for each habit.
- Review the habits weekly to see if the scores are increasing, decreasing, or perhaps not changing at all.
- Reflect regularly on what you are seeing – check in where your habits are gaining or losing ground, and consider why that might be happening.
- Allow the process to change and evolve over time – if a habit isn’t forming, change it and try again – or perhaps it just simply needs rewording.
How to stay the course:
- Be consistent – try not to miss a week. But if you do miss a week, just pick up where you left off and keep going.
- Find an accountability partner to share your success habits with and send them your weekly scores.
When to stop tracking your success habits:
- When it feels like you’re tracking how often you brush your hair, clean your teeth, or do the laundry – in other words, until you do them without thinking!
Getting into the ‘habit of success’ not only gives you a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment on a daily basis, it becomes so much more a part of you. And the results – well they just show up!
“The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” John C. Maxwell
“We become what we repeatedly do.” Sean Covey