I’ve been doing a lot of research lately into the habits of successful people. There are certain things that successful people do though they may not all do the same things in the same way. There’s some wisdom to learn from this not only if you want to be a writer but also in whatever it is that you want to do. For me as a writer, it’s important that I cultivate these habits in order to see success which would lead me to writing full-time.
I had to sit down over this Labor Day weekend and do some thinking in terms of my life, where it’s going, and what direction that it’s heading. I had to evaluate how I was going to achieve those things that I wanted to achieve. That is why I was looking at these habits of successful people. Some people call this self-discipline. People just call it plain old discipline. Being single-minded and focused on what it is you want to accomplish. Some people like that accomplish bad things. But the habits themselves aren’t bad. It is the motive that is. Cultivating the habits is a universal law. If people would take the time to order their life and shore up the bulwark of their daily routine, I believe they will find they can accomplish way more than they ever imagined. That calls for a few things.
The first thing that it calls for is a different mindset. You can’t think like you were thinking before. The same thinking that you had before got you where you are no. The goal is to go beyond that which means you have to change your thinking in order to accomplish those things that you want to accomplish. Sitting around all day, doing nothing, and indulging ourselves in entertainment or whatever useless endeavor that we take our time and invest it in does nothing for the individual and certainly doesn’t do anything for anyone that individual is trying to influence, if they try and influence anybody at all. If we want to be game changers then we have to change the game when it comes to our own personal sphere.
So just as an accountability thing, I’m going to list three things that I’ve done to change my habits to get done with the things that I need to get done with or that I want to accomplish.
1. Get up earlier. For some people, this is a hard thing to do. For my wife it is very hard to do. She is not a morning person. She stays in bed, hits the snooze button two to three times every morning. But for me, it is not a hard. As matter fact, my body is already trained to begin the get tired at around 9:00 p.m./9:30 p.m. I don’t need a lot of sleep. 6 1/2 to 7 hours asleep for me is great because if I sleep longer than that then I can’t sleep later on that night. It is fascinating that the myth of eight hours worth of sleep for everybody still persists. Listen to this podcast at the Self-Publishing Formula where they interview a sleep specialist who debunks the myth that everybody needs eight hours of sleep.
As I have been doing this, I find my day starts off fresh. I’m ready to go. That’s a time also when I can get some creative things done as far as writing. Very quiet in the house, I don’t have any distractions, and I can just get right into my writing. So I wake up about 4:30 a.m./ 5:00 a.m. in the morning. That works out really well for me.
2. The next thing is having that daily word count. Now for me, I’m trying to bust out between 4000 and 5000 words a day. I know for some people they think that is a lot but I don’t think it is because I’m writing, not editing, and to just write that much isn’t all that difficult once you have yourself a pretty solid outline going. The pressing into that daily word count and making that a priority of my day has helped me tremendously. I have finished projects at a pretty good clip and I’m looking forward to continuing on a consistent basis. Been getting a lot done.
3. Last, I need to take some time to exercise in the morning. I used to do this and then I stopped doing it. You know how it goes. I need to get back into the swing of things doing it again. This is just healthy for me because I sleep a lot better when I exercise.
So all of these things—plus there are couple more— are things that I’m doing to cultivate habits of success so that this publishing endeavor will be the influence that I want it to be. What is the point of writing if you can’t influence somebody? Whether it be to make them escape this world for little bit and make them think about things that they normally would think about. That is a powerful tool for those of us who are serious. When we make it a priority we simply get better and better. That means doing what ever it takes to make that happen. It’s not how we feel as writers about our writing. It’s how others feel about our writing and how it affects them.
Well it’s time for me to sign off. Until next time I friends, see you in the tapestry.