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5 things successful people do that make them more successful than you
Why is it that some people achieve so much more than others? Are they blessed with "golden child" genes or is it something more common than that? - photo by Drew Schroeder
Everyone wants to know the secret to success. Hundreds of authors have written books on their idea of what the secret is, and millions have purchased those books looking for the answer. However, many people look at the big successes of people but dont really delve into the little successes and actions that got them there.

Benjamin Franklin wrote out and planned every hour of his day from waking up and bathing to putting things in order. It is the daily actions of successful people, the little things that most people overlook, that get them to the top. The good news is that these habits can be encouraged at an early age.

Many successful people are creatures of habit when it comes to how they plan their day, and the choices they make with their time makes all the difference in the level of success they achieve. If you aspire for a more productive day and desire a higher level of opportunties for your children in their lives, here are five habits many successful people do on a daily basis.

1. Have a morning routine

This seems like a tedious and minuscule aspect of someones day, but the truth is, a morning routine has a positive effect on your day. That feeling encourages you to cross something off your list and leaves you feeling accomplished. The purpose of your routine should be to prepare for the day as well as to get started on accomplishing tasks. Not everything you do will be something you enjoy, but you can mix it up with things that get the dopamine flowing, like having your favorite muffin for breakfast.

By adapting a morning routine for your children, they have an opportunity to mentally prepare for the demands of the day. An organized morning eliminates misplaced homework, wasted time chasing down a lost shoe, and allows your child time to concentrate on the demands of the day.

2. Have a to-do list

Many people overlook the value of having a to-do list. Yet, it provides a localized place where everything you need to do is written down. One of the simple pleasures of the day is being able to cross off a task when completed. By keeping up with your list, you tend to automatically fall into a mode of productivity, which keeps running throughout the day. Put the things you absolutely need to accomplish at the top, followed by the things you need to complete soon, ending with the things that do not have a close deadline. But start the list with something easy to complete, giving yourself a little dose of accomplishment that gets you a head start on your list.

Many schools now encourage the use of a daily planner for their students to keep track of upcoming assignments and test schedules. By utilizing a to-do list, and reviewing it regularly, your child won't be caught unprepared for an upcoming midterm or research paper.

3. Do the things you hate first

"Do your chores, then you can play with your friends." This childhood motto still holds true for adults. Try getting the tedious and most disliked tasks out of the way. Youll feel the weight come off your shoulders, and you will be able to enjoy the tasks you like even more when you know you dont have the unpleasant ones hanging over your head. On top of that, the day will seem to go by much faster after youve eliminated the not-so-fun tasks.

4. Focus on the positives

So often in life we are prepared to perform our best, yet things don't go our way. Despite our efforts, we still took second in debate, we didn't make the basketball team, we didn't get accepted to the school of our choice. Life is filled with disappointments and setbacks. If you focus on the things you are good at and the positive aspects of the day it will alter your mood to reflect your positive thinking, and things will begin to change.

An important lesson for your children is to realize that life will require a need to adapt. Yet, you can continue forward by focusing on the successes you have had. Dont let negativity consume your thinking. Remember, a ship (you) can be sunk by a single puncture if it continues to let in more water (negativity).

5. Visualize

Jack Nicklaus is often referred to as the greatest golfer of all time. Throughout a 25-year professional career that included winning 18 major golf championships, Nicklaus practiced visualization with every shot. He mentally played the hole before he ever picked up his club to swing.

"Sometimes the biggest problem is in your head. You've got to believe you can play a shot instead of wondering where your next bad shot is coming from," he said.

Envisioning your success is vital. It enables you to focus on your goals and get your mind thinking positively. The man who thinks he can, and the man who thinks he cant, are both usually right. Athletes in all sports are instructed to visualize their next at-bat or their next goal because it truly does have a significant effect on the outcome.

For many of us, the pathway to success may seem out of reach or reserved for those of extraordinary talent. But history is filled with extraordinary leaders whose beginnings were less than ideal. By incorporating a morning routine, organizing tasks, focusing on our abilities and keeping a clear vision in mind of what we hope to accomplish, we can enjoy a life filled with productivity, achievement and success.
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