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21 habits to boost your success in 2012

Jeffrey Benjamin

“Habits are the key to success. Successful people form the habit of doing the things others don’t like to do.”

-Earl Nightingale

You are the sum of your thoughts and actions. You can make a difference in your life. Here is a list of 21 habits for success to employ in 2012.

1. Focus on action. Remember that great ideas without action are useless. Lots of people have ideas; few take action. It is not what you know, but what you do that counts. Take into account the wisdom of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory.”

2. Accept frustration. Frustration is usually experienced right before you achieve success. Think about it. Tying your shoes used to be tough and frustrating, but that never stopped you.

3. Do your best. No, not try your best. There is a difference. Trying doesn’t get things done. Do your best, and the universe will take care of the rest.

4. Maintain your integrity. Your success will be short-lived if you jeopardize your integrity. The first president of the United States of America George Washington proclaimed, “Few men have the virtue to withstand the highest bidder.”

5. Take charge of your happiness. Never let anyone but yourself be responsible for your happiness. Thomas Jefferson penned it right in the Declaration of Independence, “…that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Ultimately, happiness is a state of mind that only can be gifted by you.

6. Lead yourself. Leadership is not about barking orders, holding a fancy title, or telling people what to do. True leadership is about leading yourself, not others. And, once you are able to leader yourself, you are more apt to lead others. If you can’t effectively lead yourself, don’t expect others to follow you.

7. Earn respect. Yes, you have to earn it! Demand respect and you will never command respect. One of the best ways to get respect is to give it, without being fake or kowtowing. Another super way to garner respect is to do what you say you are going to do.

8. Guard your time. No one gets any more hours in a day. We all get 24 hours. How you decide to use your time determines your life. Give your attention to the most important priorities. If you have not decided what your time priorities are, you should expect wasting time on unimportant matters.

9. Make lots of mistakes. Just not the same mistake over and over again. If you don’t allow for error, how do you expect to succeed? Your greatest mistake can lead to your ultimate achievement. More mistakes lead to more success. Failure is the way to every success.

10. Take accountability. You never get fit if you expect someone else to exercise for you. No one can do this for you. You must be responsible for the results in your life. You renounce your success when you blame others for your failures. When in doubt, take responsibility. To be incredible, be accountable.

11. Define yourself. If you let others define you, you might not discover who you really are. Who are you? What do you stand for? Make the time to define your goals, your values, and your beliefs. Who you define your self as triumphs.

12. Focus on your strengths. Focusing on your weaknesses can dissipate your energy, while emphasizing your strengths lifts you higher. What are you great at? Devote the majority of time on what your strength is. Sure, you want to turn your weakness into strengths too, but not at the expense of exploiting your strengths.

13. Get physical. Olivia Newton Johns lyrics comes to mind, “Lets get into physical, let me hear your body talk …” Get in fitness motion. No need to run a marathon or become a power-lifter. Even 20 minutes a day of walking, hiking, yoga, or whatever, is enough to get the blood and oxygen moving. It makes you feel good and it’s a great way to bust some stress.

14. Stop talking. Let your actions do the talking for you. Additionally, you’ll learn a lot more about yourself and others. Enough said.

15. Have a sense of humor. Life can be challenging and stressful at times. A sense of humor can help you get through it. Elbert Hubbard was right when he said, “Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive.”

16. Uplift others. You will never reach a higher ground if you are busy pushing others down. People prefer being around people that make them feel good about themselves.

17. Strengthen your team. Your goal is not big enough if you can achieve it all by yourself. Well running teams make life easier and more fun. A family that is a team is happier and more fulfilled. The same is true with company teams.

18. Accept yourself. Mark Twain sums it up, “Everything in life changes as soon as you trust yourself. A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.”

19. Tell people what you want. Humans don’t have the capacity to read minds. People won’t know what you want or don’t want, if you don’t tell them. Great relationships are created on an understanding of what each person wants, or doesn’t want.

20. Expand your network. People who have small networks limit their opportunities. Get out and meet others to build relationships that can help you.

21. Make fear your friend. Fear either controls you or sets you free. Which do you prefer? Dumb question, huh? Marcus Aurelius had a great perspective, “It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.”

Life is a do-it-yourself project. Put at least one of these habits for success into practice to get a result in your personal and business life.

Best of success to you!

Jeffrey Benjamin, the founder of Breakthrough Training, is the co-author of “Real Life Habits for Success” and contributing author in the book “The Sleeping Giant: The Awakening of the Self Employed Entrepreneur.” He hosts Breakthrough Radio every Sunday at 9:30am on 99.1 FM Talk. Contact him through http://www.breakthroughtraining.com.