If you want to improve your life right now, you have to develop good habits. And these habits need to be positive, accumulative, and directive.
Change rarely comes without extensive effort over time, but in the long run, any time spent toward developing good habits will pay off because this behavior ultimately makes you happier.
Here are 16 habits to work on. Prioritize and focus on a few at a time with the idea that you’re serious about improving your life.
1. Share What You Know
Success emerges from what you know and how you share it. Let go of worrying about what you don’t know or are unsure of, and make a habit of confidently speaking what you do know.
2. Embrace Positive Thoughts
It’s one of the few things you can absolutely control: your thoughts. Discipline yourself to notice when you’re slipping into negativity and steer yourself back to the positive.
3. Cultivate a Beginner’s Mind
The expert’s mind may have certainty, but the beginner’s mind is filled with possibility.
Success comes to those who allow themselves to be open to new things—always learning, always listening, and always growing.
4. Engage in Immediate Action
Think about that project you’ve been putting off, that business you keep thinking about, that venture you’re afraid to begin. Think about what you need to do and then do it without hesitation. Action leads to success.
5. Stay the Course
If you want to be successful, you can’t let short-term failure bring you down—no matter how many times it happens. When you fall, get right back up and keep trying.
6. Don’t Ask Permission
Success comes to you when you take your life in your own hands and make it happen. The only permission you need to be happy and successful is your own.
7. Celebrate Your Obstacles
Success is about learning from failures and moving forward. Learn to celebrate failure as a teacher.
8. Be Open to Epiphanies
Learn to trust your insights about the past and your intuition about the future. Staying open is the easy part—the trick is learning to let go of the need to make things more complicated than they are.
9. Refuse to Let Others Define You
Don’t allow anyone else to tell you who you are and what you want. If you live by someone else’s definition, you’ll never be able to live by your own opinions. Success comes to those who know who they are and what they want
10. Be Kind to Yourself
Many of us tend to be hard on ourselves, but if you want to improve your life and succeed, you have to learn to cut yourself some slack. When you make a mistake, treat yourself with the kindness you’d show to your best friend.
11. Keep Your Promises
People with good intentions make promises, but people with good character always keep them. Your promises should be as binding as a contract.
12. Look for Admirable Contemporaries
In every situation, look for people you can admire. Let them know that you appreciate what they do, and share in their enthusiasm. Successful people surround themselves with people they resonate with.
13. Battle Your Demons
Find the warrior within you and hold off the things that are keeping you back. Stand your ground and fight for control of your life.
14. Give Yourself Credit
Focus on the things you do right and give yourself credit where it’s due. Cultivate the habit of respecting yourself to help you remember you deserve the best.
15. Stand in Your Power
If you want to succeed, refuse to allow others to make decisions for you or tell you what you really want. Be strong in yourself. Live in your power.
16. Be Appreciative
It’s easy to get so caught up in everyday activities that you forget to express your gratitude. To be acknowledged and thanked can make someone’s day or even change a life. And success follows those who know how to show appreciation.
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Photo of person relaxed at home courtesy of Tom Merton/Getty Images.