Why Tim Cook and other successful leaders wake up around 4:00 AM. How to set the stage for success.
Success psychology. Have you ever set a difficult goal such as exercising more frequently, losing weight, improving your time management, achieving a better work-life balance? Maybe you have a tendency to procrastinate? Procrastination is the greatest obstacle to achievement and one of the most common human failings. In any case, if you are like most people, you probably failed to accomplish your goal. Don’t feel ashamed or bad about it. According to a recent online survey of 1,100 people by Statista, only nine percent manage to follow through on their resolutions.
However, there is a way around this that is accessible to everyone. I am going to share with you a simple success psychology mind trick that will help you be more productive and, most importantly, remain motivated in the long-term. Research results show that having, and consistently practicing, a motivating routine before starting any difficult task increases your chances of success.
If you are like me, I am not a morning person but instead I am an afternoon and evening person. I am sure you know this famous adage “The early bird catches the worm”…and so? Do I have to get up at 4:00 AM to succeed in life whereas my body tells me: “4:00 AM – please rest a bit more as your natural rhythm does not function optimally at 4:00 AM.”
So, here we go…step number one of success psychology: listen to Yourself! What a revelation!! What is your body telling you? Society tries and imprisons us in stereotypes. But we are all different and success is about knowing us. Don’t get me wrong: I am not saying you should listen to a lazy body telling you that it wants to spend the whole day at the beach while you have a lot of work awaiting you. What I am saying is that the first thing you need to be aware of is when – during the course of the day – you are at your best in order to take maximum advantage of your natural rhythm.
In the first sentences of my article, I mentioned that having, and consistently practicing, a motivating routine before starting any difficult task increases your chances of success. Adopting a motivating pre-workout routine and continue it for weeks trains your brain to constant, long-lasting and difficult efforts. Keep in mind the following and let’s be honest about it: comfort and growth hardly coexist. I know a lot of people who have a hard time getting organized and being disciplined. And maybe you are one them. Do not despair! Yes, success is about discipline, endurance, efforts and also about stepping outside of one’s comfort zone. But here is the magic solution….Your brain is a neutral object that you can train in order to get the results you want to achieve! It is – almost – as simple as that. What you need to do is to get the right attitude towards success. This means setting up a routine and sticking to it for at least 3 weeks until it becomes natural to you. Keep this in mind: 21 days is what you need to set up a new habit/routine in your life.
So, let’s be concrete now and take an example. You have decided it is high time to exercise again. Excellent initiative! But here comes the “but”. You haven’t exercised for a long time. Your brain isn’t used to the effort linked to exercising. So, what happens is that you’ll start finding excuses. “The fitness center is too far away from your home or from your office.” “You have forgotten your sport outfit at home”….etc.….See what I mean? This will lead to you – yes, you! – sabotaging your attempt to going back to exercising even before giving it a try!!!
How to avoid this? Here is the sucess psychology recipe: establish a routine, book a time slot in your agenda for this routine and stick to it for at least 21 days until it becomes a healthy habit of yours! If you succeed in establishing this first routine, you’ll train your brain to persevere even in tough times. Success is not only about great times and victories. There are high points and low points. The most important is to hold on tight particularly during bad times.
More benefits to establishing a pre-task routine include: it helps motivate you to accomplish other difficult personal or professional goals. Healthy habits or routines help people accomplish more, feel more confident and less stressed, get the right attitude and mindset to achieve what they want and make it easier to become more financially stable.
As a professional Coach, I have been helping numerous clients getting the right attitude towards success and the right mindset. Don’t give up! Try and establish your new routine and share with me your setbacks, challenges and successes. Remember: first step is always the hardest!