A common question people often ask is how those who make it to the top attain their success. One of the many answers to this question could be hidden in what they adopt as their daily rituals — but what exactly are rituals, and how do they relate to success?
A ritual is any practice or pattern of behavior regularly performed in a set manner. In this context, it must mean that successful people have adopted daily practices that make it possible for them to bring their dreams to life. This could be because rituals help you develop healthy habits as well as the discipline you need to succeed.
Introducing new rituals into your daily life can seem intimidating at first, but it is something that you can achieve. It starts with deciding what daily ritual or rituals you want to adopt, committing to them for at least thirty days, and then tweaking them if necessary. The process won’t always be an easy or consistent one, but the potential benefits that come with it are innumerable.
Here’re 15 daily rituals of highly successful people:
1. Wake up Early
Waking up early can be challenging, especially if you don’t see yourself as a morning person. However, waking up before the sun rises could give you a great head start and get your day on the right track.
One highly successful person that wakes up before 6 a.m. is Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, who starts his day at 3:45 a.m.
There are also the likes of Michelle Obama and Bill McNabb (Chairman of the Vanguard group) that are known to rise before the crack of dawn.
These all being incredibly successful people, it’s easy to wonder if waking up early is truly the source of their success. How beneficial can it be, really, when some mornings it’s more painful than anything?
One answer would be that when you wake up early, you have enough time to get the ball rolling on your morning rituals. It also gives you the chance to dedicate your first conscious hours to personal development in the form of journaling or another creative project, like mentioned in a previous section.
When you’re early to rise, you’re more likely to feel in control of your day as opposed to racing against the clock because you slept in until noon.
Learn how to wake up earlier like the successful people do: How to Become an Early Riser and Stay Energetic
2. Meditate Every Morning
You’ve likely heard so much buzz about meditation that if you didn’t care about it before, you’re curious to see what all the hype is about now.
Meditation is a practice where you use techniques to train your attention and awareness. The ultimate goal of meditation should be to make yourself mentally calm and emotionally stable
It may interest you to know that Oprah, who is one of the most successful media executives, actresses, and talk show hosts in the world meditates in the morning. She apparently meditates each day, and finds it gives her a sense of contentment as well as joy. Both of these things could certainly be a good foundation for starting your day and executing your goals — especially if you want to end up like Oprah. And don’t we all?
According to Healthline, meditation is even a way to lengthen your attention span and reduce stress, which would allow you to become more efficient and make getting things done throughout the day easier.
For those that are new to meditation, start by getting comfortable and preparing to sit still for a few minutes. You’ll then focus your attention on your inhale and exhale and follow your breath for at least two minutes.
Here’s a guide for you too: The Guided Morning Meditation for Beginners (That Will Change Your Day)
3. Have a Healthy Breakfast
What you eat matters when it comes to success. Perhaps this is why some highly successful individuals include having a healthy breakfast in their daily ritual.
Simon Cowell, the popular X-Factor creator and judge says he starts his day by having papaya juice with lime, oatmeal, and two smoothies. He also has a cup of tea which is a ritual that could change your life as the practice forces you to slow down and focus, even if only for a few minutes — especially when combined with meditation, as mentioned earlier.
Not to mention, if you’re up early enough to eat breakfast, it probably means you didn’t sleep in too late, either — unless you enjoy pancakes at 3 p.m., in which case, more power to you.
Get inspired by these 31 Healthy Breakfast Recipes That Will Super Boost Your Energy .
4. Plan Your Day
Planning your day early should help you better manage your time as you’ll know exactly what your objectives for the day are, and you won’t get lost in all the fluffiness surrounding you (like watching TV, unless that was one of your determined goals).
Get a notebook and write down the things you want to accomplish, while also using that time to brainstorm your tasks like the pros. It’s a great way to get your creative juices flowing, jumpstart your brain, and prepare for amazing things.
5. Follow the 80/20 Rule
There is an 80/20 rule , also known as the “Pareto Principle,” which states that 80% of outcomes are a result of 20% of activities. In this scenario, prioritizing your tasks and focusing on the most important things should give you a better outcome.
You’ll spend less time on the small things, giving all of your energy to the big things the first time around, and accomplishing those things the first time, as well.
You don’t have to worry about going back and fixing errors where you weren’t focused, or not feeling confident about the work you produced, because you were totally engaged in it the entire time without question.
You save time, emotional energy, and more when you purposefully put in that 20% with everything you have.
When you focus on less, or on just one big thing at a time, it could also help minimize procrastination as you may not feel as overwhelmed.
6. Schedule Tasks on Your Calendar
Some successful people have decided to do away with traditional to-do lists and schedule everything ahead of time instead.
Co-founder of The Art Charm, Jordan Harbinger, suggests using a calendar to schedule your entire day into 15-minute blocks. It could take away from the stress and anxiety that can come when you see all of the things on your list that haven’t been done yet. You have a set schedule to finish everything up — and adding the things to your list, every morning can be a form of meditation, especially if done in a calm environment with a warm cup of tea to keep you company.
It may be worth a try, as only 41% of things on to-do lists are ever actually done, according to a survey done by LinkedIn in May 2012.
7. Allocate Time for Email
Each day, the average office worker is said to receive 121 emails. So that your day isn’t spent checking and replying to emails, allocate a specific time for it, and stick to that time in the schedule.
While some choose to check it in the morning, others may prefer to do so in the afternoon, or perhaps break it up into digestible pieces throughout the day. The main point is that refreshing and scrolling your email every 10 minutes isn’t productive for anyone. Doing this could help you boost productivity levels and focus on more important tasks.
Watching where your time goes is essential if you want to see progress and succeed. After all, as you want to be the most effective and most efficient in what you have your hands on, whether it’s spreadsheets at your office job or the ropes in your macrame wall hanging.
8. Make Time for Things you Value
Getting so caught up in your desire to succeed can keep you from living a balanced life. To stay grounded, don’t forget to connect with the people and things that you love, introducing a little more self-care and mindfulness into your daily routine.
A failure to do so could result in you neglecting your support system or the things that make you who you are, and before you know it, you aren’t sure how you got to the place you did. You might not even be unhappy — but you might not feel totally all there emotionally or spiritually, either.
For some, they value family time, while for others giving back is a must. Whatever it is, add it to your daily ritual and touch base with it regularly.
9. Unplug Periodically
It’s so easy to lose touch with yourself, especially in this technological age where there are a million and one distractions coming at you daily.
Some of the ways that successful people unplug include forfeiting the need to instantly reply to messages, simplifying fun time, and simply doing absolutely nothing.
You could decide that your way of personalizing this ritual is to turn off all of your tech devices an hour before bed, or perhaps have dedicated time in the morning for journaling, writing, drawing, reading, or something else creative and not based on tech.
Some people may even choose to go on tech-fasts, meaning they use their laptops, phones, TVs, and so on, only when necessary — no mindless scrolling allowed. No matter how you unplug, just ensure you create time for yourself so you can mentally rest and approach your goals with a clear mind.
You may also want to try these 5 Simple Ways to Unplug and Be More Mindful In Your Life.
There are endless benefits of exercise, and this may be why so many successful people have it on their list of daily rituals. Barack Obama, former president of the United States, said he would start his day early so that he could prioritize exercise.
Exercise could be a key to success because it is said to improve your cognitive functioning. Additionally, working out can help build your mental strength, which is something you’ll need to overcome the obstacles you may face. This goes to say that although exercise has many benefits for your body, it does a great deal for your mind, too.
Anyone who works out regularly can likely attest to the confidence boost they get when able to push their body beyond what they thought was their limit, too. It acts as a confidence booster while, at the same time, nourishing the body with endorphins and everything else that comes with increasing one’s heart rate.
This ability to push yourself and persist even when things are hard is necessary if you want to be successful in any career. Training yourself to do that daily will only help in your endeavors.
11. Read Often
Adult life can be so hectic that you seldom find time to read books. One famous person that takes reading seriously is Warren Buffet, who dedicates 80% of each day to reading. His philosophy is that when you read, your knowledge builds up like compound interest.
With this in mind, be selective about the books you read, as highly successful individuals tend to choose education over entertainment — though indulging in fantasy, fiction, and all other kinds of genres probably won’t really hurt you, either.
Here’re some recommendations for you: 25 Best Self Improvement Books to Read No Matter How Old You Are
12. Engage in a Hobby
When thinking about daily rituals, creativity may not come to mind as a form of self-care or something important to you, emotionally. In fact, sometimes people are so hung up on things like reading and working out that they forget letting their hair down is important, too.
Creative hobbies that you add to daily rituals could be anything that get your blood pumping and prepares your mind for creativity.
If you aren’t sure what hobby you should pick up, use the activities that you enjoy most as a guide and take it from there, allowing your ideas and your interests to evolve as you explore new hobby territories. Enjoy knitting? Try macrame. Like playing video games? Try reading more graphic novels.
Keeping track of your thoughts and feelings is another daily ritual worth trying. One of the simplest ways to do this would be by journaling at least once a day.
Journaling can help improve your emotional intelligence, as you’re forced to be more reflective and make sense of your emotions by writing them down. This means you’d be more self-aware and mindful and, as a result, better able to interact with others.
It’s also worth noting that journaling can be used for other purposes, such as tracking progress on personal or career goals.
What’s more, there are so many ways to journal, and they don’t all have to happen in a physical notebook. Research mobile apps, browser extensions, or something else you can write in at any moment. Some people also journal in the way of scrapbooking or photo-books — do what feels right for you. Don’t squish yourself into a box that doesn’t quite fit!
14. Motivate Yourself
Steve Jobs had a simple morning routine which consisted of him looking at himself in the mirror and asking:
“…if today were the last day of my life, what would I want to do, and am I about to do it today?”
This question is one that was enough to motivate him. So think about how you can motivate yourself, too.
Motivation is both an external and an internal feeling — and if you’re only ever seeking external motivation, once that pool dries up, you’ll be stuck on a raft without a paddle.
This ability to regularly self-motivate might not come naturally for everyone, and many people have probably never done it before — and because of that, it’s important to understand that to be able to successfully self-motivate is a learned skill, not a natural one. It just takes practice, practice, practice, and sometimes a little “fake it til you make it.”
Cultivating the habit of asking yourself questions about your purpose is one way of motivating yourself. You could also try positive affirmations as a means of creating positive energy and helping you stay focused — whatever you choose, make sure it works for you, specifically, even if it doesn’t work for everyone else!
15. Carry a Notebook
You never know when inspiration will strike, so always carry a notebook around with you. This gives you a chance to jot down notes and ideas that you’d otherwise forget.
You can have a number of notebooks and place them in your daily bag, office, and anywhere else you are regularly. When everything is written down, you know that your best ideas are kept in a safe place.
Some people may choose to keep this idea notebook separate from their daily journal, and others might be happier combining all of their experiences and ideas into one singular place — find what works best for you.
You might choose to not even use a physical notebook, too, just like how you don’t want a physical journal — and that’s okay! The app store is chock full of apps for note-taking and other ways of jotting down thoughts when they come to you.
There are easily more than 15 rituals that will put you on the path to success — however, the ones mentioned in this list are a good place to start.
With consistency, you should begin to see yourself blossoming into the successful person you’ve always envisioned yourself to be.
Try a lot of different things, and be honest with yourself about what works and what doesn’t. In no time, you’ll have your own rituals that help push you into being what you consider a successful person — even if that’s not the same as what it is for everyone else. Just don’t give up. Good luck!
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Featured photo credit: Luke Porter via unsplash.com