We've all heard of the power of a proper morning routine when it comes to being more successful, but what else might you be able to do? Well, quite a few successful people have some extremely weird habits they indulge in everyday, or at least whenever they're feeling stuck.
But, before we get to that, let's talk about why it's important to form a few rituals and habits on the road to success. "In order to be successful, it is important to set specific goals and to break those larger goals down into smaller, more manageable chunks," psychology practitioner Amy Cooper Hakim, PhD tells Bustle. "For instance, if you want to advance in your career, determine what you need to do to make that happen. Then, commit to doing something every day to advance you toward that goal." Setting some time aside each day to read, or update your resume, or write five pages of your book will eventually bring you all the way to your goal.
But when it comes to shaking up your routine, getting yourself out of a rut, or becoming more creative, that's when the "weirder" habits come into play. Read on for a few great examples, as well as why they'll help you become a success in whatever it is you'd like to do.
1. Pretend It's "Opposite Day"
If you're stuck in a rut, it can help to pretend it's "opposite day" by switching up your schedule. You might want to eat dessert for breakfast, take a shower in the morning instead of at night, or take a different route to work. As psychologist Robin Hornstein, PhD says, "Even writing with the non-dominant hand creates enough dissonance to crank the brain into high gear." It sounds so simple, but it really can make a big difference.
2. Always Be Prepared With A Giant Backpack
While you don't want to hurt your shoulder with an overly heavy bag, you do want to make sure you have all your important things on hand to ensure a successful day. "Successful people learn to be consistently prepared to keep pushing through the day no matter where it may lead them," licensed marriage and family therapist Weena Cullins, LCMFT tells Bustle. "By packing snacks, reading or work materials, workout gear, and even business attire for that pop-up meeting ... successful people manage to waste less time and take advantage of opportunities that others aren’t prepared for."
3. Have Conversations With Yourself
It may feel odd at first, but there are several benefits to walking around muttering to yourself. "Talking to yourself is a wonderful way to practice mental discipline," says Madeleine Culbertson, a life coach and yoga instructor, in an email to Bustle. Not only can it help you calm down and sort through issues, but it can help your brain to process thoughts more clearly. So go ahead and chat away.
4. Take A Cold Shower
To wake yourself up before a busy day, consider hopping into a cold shower. (Or a cooler one, if that thought just made you wince.) "Taking a cold shower in the morning, or plunging into a cold bathtub, helps to wake the mind and body up and get your energy up to speed," Culbertson says. Afterward, you'll certainly be refreshed enough to take on whatever comes your way.
5. Give Yourself A Pep Talk In The Mirror
If you're going to talk to yourself, consider taking it to the next level and looking in the mirror. "Successful people ... give themselves a pep talk while looking in the mirror," says Hakim. This may feel even stranger, but looking into your eyes and saying some positive affirmations can have a pretty big impact on your life. "When you say something often enough, you begin to believe it," she adds. So start reciting a few goals, and watch as they start to stick.
6. Have Breakfast With A Stranger
OK, so I'm not saying you should sit down at someone else's table in a restaurant. But you should start making an effort to get outside your comfort zone. This is what professional certified coach Julia Ng did, and she saw some pretty big results. "I would have breakfast with a stranger every day," she says. "It helped me to be successful in a people-centered industry by increasing my range of relational ability." Sounds scary, but it just might be worth it.
7. Make Up Creative Stories Before Work
If you want an equally quirky suggestion, try taking some time each morning to dream up stories involving your household objects. "I would ... pick out three items in my room ... and make up a story that linked these items," Ng says. "A great creative exercise to help me with my business." And also one that's kinda fun.
8. Pay Way Too Much Attention To Your Coffee
People always talk about the benefits of "being more mindful," but it can be difficult to imagine what that might feel like. So here's an example revolving around your morning coffee. "As you hold [your] beverage, use your senses to take in as much as you can about it, such as its temperature, flavor, smell, texture, etc," says registered drama therapist, Krista Verrastro, MA, RDT, in an email to Bustle. "This helps you focus on the present moment, which reduces anxiety and sadness." Doing so can keep you in the moment, and more prepared for your day.
9. Change Your Posture
It's hard to be successful when you're walking around with bad posture, so make a point of standing up straight. "When you change your body language to reflect that of a confident, strong and powerful being, your mind starts to reflect that same confidence," says Culbertson. Put those shoulder back, stand up straight, and see what a difference it can make.
10. Create A De-Stressing Ritual To End The Day
Successful people get sh*t done, but they also know when to call it quits and relax. The best way to do this? With an end-of-the-day ritual. "For example, you might come up with a statement to say as you take off your work badge/ID or lanyard with work keys on it, such as saying to yourself, 'What happens at work stays at work,'" says Verrastro. "Another example is if you shower after work, you can envision all of your work stress being washed down the drain."
11. Fall Asleep To An Interesting Podcast
To increase your chances of success (and to be the smartest person ever) start listening to podcasts while you sleep. "Clients who do this report that by reading (or listening to) information on a particular topic for just 15 minutes each day, they can gain expertise in that subject area over time," Cullins says. "This can ultimately give them a competitive edge over others who relegate their studies to awake hours."
Of course, being successful takes a lot of work and even more effort. But there are some weird little habits you can add to your routine that can up your chances of reaching your goals.
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