We’ve got less than two months left before we say goodbye to 2019 and now is a great time to take stock of the 10 months behind us and the 14 ahead.
One of the best things you can do for yourself to get ahead in 2020 is to finally break the bad habits that have been holding you back.
1. Quit feeling so damn powerless.
The most successful people accept that there are some things within their control and some things outside of their control. And yet? They choose to focus on the things they can control — namely, themselves.
A big part of this is developing an internal locus of control. You’ve got to quit believing that life just happens to you. Instead of walking around as if you have zero power over your circumstances, it’s time to do whatever you can do.
None of us can do everything, but we can all do something.
2. Nip your negativity in the bud.
You don’t have to walk around like Pollyanna or some Stepford version of yourself to take on a more positive mindset.
Most people are hardwired to see the negative, make complaints, and look for problems. But do you know what will make you more successful in 2020?
Seeing solutions instead of simply pointing out the problems.
3. Don’t be a dick.
Maybe you think this doesn’t apply to you. And hey, maybe it doesn’t. But it applies to more people than those who care to admit it.
Don’t step on others as you climb to the top. Don’t use them to get what you want. Don’t leave people high and dry, and don’t try to tear anybody down in an effort to get ahead.
Sure, some successful folks are known for being jerks and treating other people like crap. But those people are either not as successful as they think they are, or they’re pretty damn unhappy.
4. Stop making excuses.
Time, money, other people, unforeseen circumstances. It all happens and it’s all easy to use as an excuse.
It’s one thing to postpone a goal when life gets hectic. But you can’t keep postponing your plans. Eventually, you need to decide if you’re going to take action… or not.
Successful people know when to quit making excuses and get shit done. You need the same sort of clarity.
5. Focus less on what everybody else is doing.
When you’re so worried about everybody else, it’s pretty tough to stay in your lane. Don’t waste your energy watching what everybody else is doing and worrying about how it might affect you.
You need to deal with your bad habit of rubbernecking and turn inward instead. Focus on what you can do — that’s what you actually get to control. Whether or not you move.
And if you’re going to pay attention to what anyone else is doing at all, use that energy to encourage them or get inspired. Anything else is a waste.
6. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
There’s one good piece of advice my father gave me when I was young. He told me that you can get through anything as long as you know it’s temporary.
And do you know what? It’s true. This is all part of seeing the big picture and refusing to get worked up about the stuff that won’t even matter a year or two from now.
So many people shoot themselves and their success in the foot because they’re tangled up in the weeds. The same weeds that aren’t even going to be there later down the road.
7. Quit worrying about getting your dues.
It sucks to feel like you deserve some sort of success that has yet to come. Nobody wants to feel unappreciated.
And yet? Truly successful people don’t get caught up in what they think the world owes them. They just don’t.
When people start worrying about getting whatever they think the world owes them, they put their success on the line. Seriously. Entitlement serves no one, not even you.
Instead, focus on where you’re going and what you can do to use your gifts to help others and thrive at the same time.
8. Don’t be so impatient.
Surely, this is among the first lessons every kid learns in school and yet? Even as adults, we still struggle to be patient.
Longterm succes is just that. Longterm. Impatience is no virtue when you’re aiming for lasting success.
You’ve likely heard people say that there are no overnight success stories and they’re right. Even the supposedly quick and most inspiring tales happen after plenty of blood, sweat, and tears.
Sure, it’s cliche but that doesn’t make it a myth. Timing matters. Waiting matters. The process matters. Impatience is just another way to be greedy. Don’t be greedy!
9. Stop shirking responsibility.
There are so many ways that people shirk responsibility and it’s really easy to do it ourselves.
Maybe you’ve dropped the ball but refuse to admit it. Maybe you were stupid, not thinking, or even threw somebody under the bus.
Everybody and their mother screws up somewhere along the way. But taking full responsibility for a fuck up is actually rare. In the long run, it’s easier to be honest with yourself and others when you mess up instead of shirking responsibility and trying to blame someone or something else.
Yeah, in the moment it sucks. Nobody wants to have to own up to those kinds of mistakes that could cost everything. But no one is immune to those sorts of missteps either. The best folks make mistakes like everybody else. The difference is that they know how to face their errors with grace, humility, and honesty.
10. Quit trying to do it all on your own.
So, there’s taking responsibility (yay), and then there’s the inability to accept when you need help (boo). Don’t be that person who shoots themself in the foot because they’re trying to do everything alone.
Nobody can do it all. Nobody.
You’re going to run into obstacles that you personally are unequipped to jump. There are roadblocks in life that you can’t just push through.
That means you’ve got to learn how and when to ask for (and hire) help.
And your need for assistance may only grow as you do. Don’t be put out by needing help, be grateful to be growing.
And remember, growth takes plenty of effort under the right conditions. Breaking bad habits will help set you up for the success of a lifetime.