Develop Four New Success Habits a Year
Principle #34 is Develop Four New Success Habits a Year in Jack Canfield’s book “The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be.”
Rereading this chapter this week let me know that I previously interpreted it incorrectly. It is much simpler than what I’ve been doing.
Here are the four things that I’ve been working on this year related to my (incorrect) interpretation.
- Read at least a book a month. I set this as a goal and have soaked up many of John C. Maxwell’s book (among others).
- Learn (or relearn) how to play the guitar. I’m happy to say that I can now play almost as well as Paul McCartney when he was five. (McCartney didn’t get his first guitar until after his 14th birthday.)
- Study for and obtain a new certification. Happily I earned the CyberSec First Responder certification. I also took the beta of the Cybersecurity Analyst+ certification, but don’t know the results yet.
- Learn the basics of investing. I read The Intelligent Investor: The Classic Bestseller on Value Investing. It helped me fill in many holes.
However, none of these were habits.
Success Habits Can Be Simple
“Success is a matter of understanding and religiously
practicing specific, simple habits that always lead to success.”
– Robert J. Ringer, Author of “Million Dollar Habits“
Success habits aren’t complex accomplishments, but instead, they are simple actions taken regularly. By repeating these actions on a regular basis, they add up.
Jack lists several productive habits that are worth developing. This includes:
- Being on time
- Eating healthy food
- Saving 10% of your income
- Exercising four times a week
- Reading for an hour each day
- Getting 8 hours of sleep each day
- Returning phone calls within 24 hours
Here are some habits that I have consciously added this year.
- Respond to queries within 24 hours. Readers often send me emails via my contact page and I do my best to answer them in a timely manner. Some of the queries arechallenging to understand, so my response is often a question seeking clarification, but I still strive to answer within 24 hours.
- Take daily walks. Admittedly, I owe a lot to my dogs for helping me do this consistently.
- Invest or save at least 15% of my income. I did 10% last year, and increased it to 15% this year. This has been possible primarily because of a previous habit I developed of paying off credit cards every month (and only charging what I can pay).
- Post at least three blogs a week. I’m grateful for Jaena Nerona and all the work she has done, which is directly responsible for me being able to develop this habit this year.
- Review one Success Principle week. Several people have joined me with this. I’m grateful for their support and motivation along the way, which has helped me develop this as a habit this year.
A Success Habit Might Be Stopping a Habit
My wife and I enjoy going out to the movies. We rarely see movies in their first release weekend, but usually wait until the theater is less packed. It is an enjoyable time together.
However, I do have a regular habit that persists. No matter how hungry (or not hungry) I am, I always get some popcorn (with extra butter). That may be a habit I work on sometime later, but not just yet:).
You Don’t Have to Wait Until January
Some people think that they can only develop a habit as a New Year’s resolution. Don’t believe it. Your year of new habits can begin today. Really. Today.
One of my favorite quotes is:
“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
“Your thoughts become your words,
“Your words become your actions,
“Your actions become your habits,
“Your habits become your values,
“Your values become your destiny.”
This really amplifies that what you think about is what you become. It also reaffirms that your habits define your destiny. If you’re not happy with where you are, change your thoughts, words, actions, habits, and values. If you do, you’ll change your destiny.
Success Habits Summary
Success habits can be simple things you choose to do regularly. This can be on a daily or weekly basis, but a habit is repeated without giving it much thought. With this in mind, are there some habits you might like to adopt in your life? It’s never too late to develop a new habit.
- Express gratitude daily?
- Exercise at least four times a week?
- Read for at least 30 minutes a day?
- Do a weekly review of your current goals?
- Save or invest at least 10% of your income?
- Earn at least one new certification every year?
- Give at least one sincere complement every day?
About This Post
I’ve been learning from Jack Canfield (of Chicken Soup for the Soul fame) since 2008. I credit much of my success (including authoring or co-authoring more than 40 books) to applying principles in my life that he teaches. I’m currently going through his book “The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be,” covering one principle a week.