5 Things Experts Say You Must Stop Doing in 2017
A recipe for personal success in the New Year
The end of another year is upon us and this is a great time to evaluate what can we improve upon to make 2017 a successful one. Many pundits talk about new year’s resolutions, setting new goals, or adding new skills; they are important but not the emphasis here. This post focuses on five things that you must stop doing in order to improve yourself. By stopping these “bad habits” or negative traits, it will free you to focus on skill development that will drive greater productivity and success in 2017.
1. Stop negativity
It is time to stop feeling sorry for yourself whenever you face a hiccup along your journey. Life is full of unexpected surprises, both good and bad. It is important to realize that negative surprises will occur. More important, is how to handle these negative surprises. One technique that psychologist Gary Winch, PhD suggests in his book Emotional First Aid: Practical Strategies for Treating Failure, Rejection, Guilt and Other Everyday Psychological Injuries is to visualize yourself shopping in a grocery store.
This act of visualization requires concentration to recall all items on one shelf of a store. Even more, visualization can be something closer to home, such as the track list of your favorite music album. This activity does not require more than thirty seconds but serves as a mental reset on negative thinking.
2. Stop saying yes to activities not supporting your goals
Almost all successful entrepreneurs practice this rule; they constantly determine what is important for completion of their next goal. They realize that saying no to certain tasks, activities and interactions is necessary. It is important to realize that saying no will de clutter your life and improve concentration. Saying no helps to focus each decision on one simple formula – value over effort. Simply stated, is the value of completing any task worth the effort that must be spent? Therefore, the next time someone asks you for a favor, apply the value over effort formula to help make the decision to say no, or yes.
3. Stop reacting to life
Raji Lukkoor is the author of Inner Pilgrimage: Ten Days to a Mindful Me
Stephen Covey is the author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
Recall that reactions tend to be reflections of our past and are emotions-based. Unfortunately, these emotional reflections increase the risk of repeating the same faults of prior decisions. More important is the act of responding. This requires thought, consideration and taking account of the current situation and combining that with past memories. Ultimately, the act of responding requires reasoning. In fact, one highly effective solution to change the mind from reacting to responding is the practice of meditation. Likewise, studies show that as little as ten minutes of mindful meditation per day is enough to rewire the brain to improve decision-making. On the other hand, daily exercise can be equally effective like going for a 30-minute walk. Similarly, walking can provide added benefits of improving health and lowering risks for high blood pressure and obesity.
4. Stop multitasking
Gary Keller is author of The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results
Nearly every successful individual learns to stop multitasking early in his or her career. Many believe the ability to multitask is a “badge of honor” but in reality, multitasking is only useful and appreciated in the kitchen. To illustrate, the prefrontal cortex of the brain is called to action and is comprised of left and right sides. The prefrontal cortex controls mental attention and is involved in regulating motivation.
Moreover, the left and right sides of the brain work together when focused on a single task. But each side can work independently, when more than one task is being performed simultaneously. Even more interesting is that scientists at the Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM) in Paris found that adding a third task made participants much less productive. These participants were more likely to forget at least one of these tasks and error rates were three-fold higher compared to participants working on two simultaneous tasks. In summary, multitasking is detrimental to mental focus and will certainly hinder your path to personal success.
5. Stop believing in overnight success
Most important is recognize that overnight success is a myth. Sure, people have won a lottery, but the odds of winning can be more than 200 million to one!
The solution to personal success is hustle; struggle each day to get 1% better. Similar to compounding interest, small daily incremental improvements will grow your personal success exponentially.
Most important is the determination and persistence required. Setting short-term and long-term goals with associated rewards is beneficial; a recent blog post shares more details and this topic.
In closing, these stopping these five activities will not only help improve your focus and eliminate clutter in your life but will help pave a smoother path to attaining personal success in 2017.
The Success Trinity is passionate about nurturing others to find their personal success. Above all, the foundation of our philosophy is to attain greater mindfulness and compliment it through positive motivation techniques. Therefore, the start of a mindfulness practice is no different; one must be continually motivated to commit to a mindfulness practice. Moreover, that commitment must continue until the practice becomes automatic.
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