By Lisa Osiako
Ever wondered what successful people do to build their success? Are there certain traits or habits they possess that make them successful? What sets them apart from the rest?
Media personality Caroline Mutoko remains an inspiration to many in regards to achieving personal greatness and success by coming out of one’s comfort zone. Throughout her journey, she has been driven by three key things: Focus, purpose and being deliberate and intentional in what she does. Her desire was to be the best and never settle for less, and this she did. During her tenure on radio, she would wake up by 4am to prepare for her morning radio show that started at 6am.
Former US president Barrack Obama became a sensation with his positive attitude in running for the US presidency. His slogan, “Yes We Can,” continues to be used to motivate others worldwide. In addition, he was a self-proclaimed night owl, and still managed to wake up at the break of dawn to get an early start to his day and go through his morning routine, which also included regular exercise.
Though continents apart, what do these two successful individuals have in common? – Habit. How you start off your day often determines how the rest of your day goes.
Here are practical habits that successful people have incorporated, and that you too can:
1. Wake up early
Caroline Mutoko wakes up at 4am every day, to prepare for her day.
Successful people are accustomed to waking up early; a habit many of them share. According to research, those who wake up early tend to be more optimistic and conscientious, they also anticipate problems and minimize them more efficiently. You can take care of your morning routine and charge yourself with the amount of physical and mental energy needed to accomplish all your tasks for the day.
2. Have a to-do list
Having a to-do list enables you to know what you need to do for a day and work towards achieving that without being derailed. This also enables you to be organized. In doing so, time wasters are avoided, with primary focus being on what needs to be done.
From the time Centum Investment CEO James Mworia wakes up at 4.30am, he starts his day with having a to-do list of what needs to be done in the course of the day. Even on weekends, he does this.
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3. Prepare your day before-hand
Something Keroche Breweries founder Tabitha Karanja does is to always have a quick 5-minute rundown of the coming day.
All you need for this is a planner. Plan your day in advance, ideally the evening before, and know what you need to do. In the morning, when you first get to the office or start work at home, check with your planner and give yourself a quick refresher of your to-do list.
Being proactive and planning in advance puts you in control of your schedule and your day. None of your days should ever start with being unclear on what needs to be accomplished.
Amina Abdi Rabar, a well know media personality in the country recently launched a book club. It is a group of individuals who meet to discuss a common book they have all read. Her goal is to make it a platform of learning.
It’s important to note that successful people read. While they also read for pleasure, most use their reading habit as a means to gain knowledge or insight. Read as much as you possibly can. Nothing will help you as much as reading.
5. Tackle your day’s toughest job early
When you wake up early and plan for your day, you will be able to tackle your hardest task first- when your mental energy is at its highest.
Once you do this, you realize that all the other tasks you have planned for the day will be accomplished in an easier and more relaxed way.
This, however, may not always be possible as you may have to go through your schedule and do what needs to be done in terms of urgency. If this is not the case, then start with the hardest. It is always easier this way.
I have come to realize that in order to be successful, you need to be productive, and in being productive, your body has to be alert. Exercise has thus become something I have incorporated in my schedule, to give myself a good start in my day.
I take two buses to work every morning. In moving from one bus stage to another, I decided to give myself a bit of exercise, by taking a bus that will drop me further than the second bus stage I have to go to. This has enabled me to walk for about 10 minutes. Walking is something you can incorporate into your day, to give yourself a head start.
Exercise and productivity are tightly linked. Physical activity gives you more energy, mental clarity, better quality of sleep and it keeps you healthy.
It’s interesting to note that relaxing – by meditating or simply avoiding distractions – is another of the most-often mentioned habits of successful people.
As you will be on the move for the most part of the day, taking a 5-minute break to start your day off with some meditation is key. Take this time to just breathe.
Successful people know the value of exchanging ideas with others through networking. They also know the value of collaboration and teamwork – all of which are likely when you network.
Networking helps you build up that intangible goodwill in the community; it’s a lot easier to do business with people you’re friendly with than strangers. Networking will also help you keep abreast of industry developments and opportunities.
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9. Positive attitude
According to many successful people, having a positive attitude is not just a result of being successful – it’s one of the root causes of success.
Obama’s slogan “Yes We Can,” is eventually one of the things that made him one of the most powerful men in the country.
Use words of affirmation to motivate yourself, and stay more focused than ever.
95% of everything you do forms your habit. It is the little things that you consistently do, that will propel you to success. You too can incorporate these habits and make your life successful. It all starts with you.