Each day we are dreaming about our goals. Each day we are moving forward, step closer to the success. Sometimes we are so focused on our objectives that we don’t have time to think why we desire success. What is the reason? Do we really need it? Is it coming from the conscious or unconscious part of our mind?

I have a simple exercise for you, my friends. Don’t worry; it doesn’t require you to move away from screen and it will take no more than few minutes. Just relax and focus thoughts on your latest success you have achieved. It doesn’t have to be something really big and outstanding. A small success that you have recently experienced is absolutely enough. Okay, got it?

Imagine that achieving success is like a journey; sometimes it can be quite easy, sometimes really tough, can be also short or very long. Let’s figure out why you took this journey and what helped you to accomplish it.

Jump in your memories to the point where your journey began. Recall feelings and emotions connected to this moment. What was the reason you decided to set yourself this goal? How did you take your first step? While moving your thoughts on the path toward your goal, try to identify factors that motivated you and increased your energy to go forward. Look also for those who obstructed your journey. How did you cope with them? Finally, arrive to your destination point. What did you feel when you succeed? Were you truly happy or maybe disappointed as the goal didn’t bring you satisfaction and fulfillment?

Don’t worry if above questions was difficult for you. To help you answering them, I share with you the six main reasons, which I identify why we want to achieve success.

1. We want to achieve success because it is a part of our life plans.

Success is strongly related with our life plans. We can distinguish certain milestones in our plans, like graduating, getting a desired job, starting own business or new relationship. Achieving these milestones are successes for us. Each of these goals brings us positive feelings and emotions because we know that our life plans are fulfilling and that we are making visible progress.

2. We want the output related with certain success.

In many cases we want to experience benefits related with the achievement of a certain goal. In our minds, we have a strong association between these benefits and a state when we are successful. This association causes our success to be desirable and enjoyable.

3. We love the taste of winning.

Achieving success is a very positive experience also because it adds value to us and pumps our egos. Achieving success is like personal victory. People love winning. It is very natural. When two children play a game, each of them want to win. It is not important if there is any material prize. They don’t need any additional purpose. It is deep in our nature that we love the taste of winning.

4. We need stimulation.

Knowing that there is a purpose, a goal we want to achieve, it stimulates us to act. The more challenging goal, the stronger success feeling is related to it. This way, we can get a better motivation to achieve bigger goals and we get additional stimulus to self-improve, grow personally and learn to handle challenging goal.

5. We want to compensate lacks and failures from the past.

We all make mistakes. Failures are definitely not nice, but they are unavoidable in our lives and they should always provide valuable feedback. They also raise a strong force that will push us toward further goals. We lost, but in the end we want to win. This victory, preceded by many failures, can compensate all previous unpleasant experiences. This pattern is very often responsible for a reason why we want to achieve success.

6. We find success as a solution for our problems.

Enjoying success is a very positive experience. It can weaken influence of other, bad experiences in our life. We often find it easier to act in one direction, when we expect success, while we avoid handling different, unpleasant problems in our life. What is important is that we are often unaware of this mechanism as it mostly works on unconscious level.

Now, one more time ask yourself questions from the first part of this article. Is it easier now to answer them and identify your reasons?

I’m sure you have just achieved higher level of consciousness, as far as achieving success is concerned.



You want to get rid the negativity and be brave in facing challenges in life, but you are not strong enough in spirituality and no one want to listen? If you are looking for a Life Coach to help and guide you, then you come to right place. My mission is to help my clients attain transformative change their lives and careers in order to achieve greater success, fulfilment and well-being. CLICK HERE and fill the form to book your slot for life coaching consultation.

The program can be conducted face-to-face or 100% online for those who are far from Kuala Lumpur. I am looking forward for the opportunity to work with you. You may visit my website at: www.shahalghazali.com

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There’s a reason that most so-called primitive cultures have avoided the depression epidemic afflicting industrialized nations. In a provocative book, a clinical psychologist suggests that adopting more hunter-gatherer habits can help us escape the blues.

According to the latest research, about one in four human in this world, more than 70 million people will meet the criteria for major depression at some point in their lives. The rate of depression in industrialized societies has been on the rise for decades, it’s roughly 10 times higher today than it was just two generations ago. How can people possibly be so much more vulnerable to depression now? And how do you make sense of the fact that even though antidepressant use has skyrocketed in recent years, the rate of depression in the world hasn’t declined, but rather increased?

As a Life Coach, I believe the answer is rooted in our way of life. I say this because researchers have assessed modern-day hunter-gatherer bands, such as the Kaluli people of the New Guinea highlands, for the presence of mental illness, and they found that clinical depression is almost completely nonexistent among such groups.

Despite being much more likely to experience tragic events like the death of a child or a crippling illness, and living with none of the material comforts or medical advances we take for granted, they’re largely immune to the plague of depressive illness.

But how are hunter-gatherers able to weather life’s storms so effectively? Based on the available research, it seems that the hunter-gatherer lifestyle is profoundly antidepressant. As they go about their daily lives, they naturally wind up doing things that keep them from getting depressed, things that change the brain more powerfully than any medication. These range from exercising regularly and eating plenty of omega-3 fats to belonging to active social networks and getting enough sleep.

For most of human history, everyone benefited from the antidepressant effect of these ancient lifestyle elements. But over the past few hundred years, technological evolution has proceeded at a relentless pace. And as many protective features of that way of life have gradually disappeared, the rate of depression has begun to spiral out of control.

Our Stone Age brains just weren’t designed to handle the sedentary, isolated, indoor, sleep-deprived, fast-food laden, stressed-out pace of 21st-century life.

Based on this information that shows lifestyle might be the most important factor in producing (and beating) depressive symptoms, experts from University of Kansas have developed a treatment called “Therapeutic Lifestyle Change,” or TLC. It incorporates six major protective lifestyle elements we need to reclaim from our ancestors: dietary omega-3 fatty acids, mentally engaging activity, physical exercise, sunlight exposure, social support and adequate sleep.

TLC has yielded exceptional results in our clinical trials; the rate of favorable response has been more than three times higher than that of conventional antidepressant treatments.

When you consider the far-reaching effects of the lifestyle changes below, it’s easy to understand why this approach is so effective and why for anyone struggling with depression, it is almost certainly worth trying.

1. Feed Your Brain
The hunter-gatherer diet typically includes wild game that feed on grass, and fish that feed on algae, both abundant sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Conversely, the extraordinary rise in depression rates over the last century has closely mirrored the disappearance of omega-3 fats from the human diet, which has come to rely more on grains (and grain-fed livestock) than wild game and plants. In countries where people still get a better dietary balance of omega-6s from seeds and omega-3s from grasses, leaves and algae, depression tends to be substantially less common.

But how, exactly, does an imbalance of the fats we eat make us more vulnerable to depression? Neuroscientists have identified three mechanisms that play a role:

Serotonin: Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps turn off the brain’s stress response. But when brain cells don’t have enough omega-3 fats, they have trouble understanding the message of serotonin, increasing a person’s vulnerability to the kind of out-of-control stress response that leads to the onset of depression.

Dopamine: Lack of omega-3s also scrambles the messages of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that activates the left frontal cortex — the part of the brain that puts us in a good mood and pushes us to go after the things we want.

Inflammation: When unchecked by a balance of omega-3s, omega-6 fats promote inflammation throughout the body. Over time, chronic inflammation triggers a reduction in the production of tryptophan, the primary building block of serotonin. It also impairs the hippocampus, which is critical to memory function. And it triggers the stress hormone cortisol, which has its own set of depressive effects on the brain.

A key element of the TLC protocol is to begin taking a daily omega-3 supplement. The easiest source is fish-oil capsules. Fish oil is the richest natural source of both EPA and DHA, the two omega-3 molecules that play an important role in the brain. I recommend starting a daily dose of 1,000 milligrams of EPA and 500 milligrams of DHA.

If you currently have symptoms of depression, or if you want to help prevent the onset of illness in the future, this is the dose I suggest you begin with, as well. (If you are taking any medications, particularly blood thinners, check with your doctor first.)

2. Don’t Think — Do
Unlike hunter-gatherer societies, where people are usually busy either chasing dinner or lingering with the community after the meal, people in industrialized societies often find themselves alone, without any kind of activity that absorbs their full attention conditions ripe for rumination.

Rumination appears to be an instinctive human response when something goes wrong. It’s as if we’re hardwired to replay our trials and tribulations over and over, perhaps to figure out what might help us prevent similar negative outcomes in the future. But after a brief period of intense pondering, we usually hit a point of diminishing returns, when any more dwelling is a waste of time and a real source of stress.

If you find yourself locked in the vise grip of rumination, I can offer some words of reassurance, breaking the habit may sound difficult, but the process is surprisingly straightforward. The first step involves learning to notice when it’s happening.

One helpful strategy is to start monitoring your thought process every hour or so, just to see where your attention is. Set an alarm on your watch or phone to remind you to take note of your state of mind. Then, when it goes off, jot down any worries or negative thoughts you were entertaining at the time.

As you become increasingly tuned in to your mental life, you’ll notice that some situations are particularly risk-prone. The research on this point is clear: People typically ruminate when they have nothing else to occupy their attention.

This leads to the second step: Learn to redirect your attention. In most cases, it just takes a few minutes of immersion in a good alternative activity before the spell is broken.

While there’s no one-size-fits-all formula when it comes to finding engaging activities, some things turn out to be anti-ruminative for just about everybody. These include participating in shared activities, whether it’s building a fence or playing a game of pickup basketball, or getting involved in an active conversation, especially if it’s about something other than what’s bothering you.

If you’re engaged in a mindless activity that itself leads to rumination, listening to upbeat music or books on tape can give your mind somewhere else to go.

3. Move Your Body, Shift Your Brain
Even though everyone knows that exercise is a key to maintaining physical health, few realize that it’s equally important for preserving mental health. Like an antidepressant medication, exercise increases the activity of brain chemicals like serotonin and dopamine. It also stimulates the brain’s release of a key growth hormone (BDNF) that helps reverse the toxic, brain-damaging effects of depression. It even sharpens memory and concentration, and helps us think more clearly.

That said, motivation to exercise can be hard to come by. One reason might be that our hunter-gatherer forebears got so much physical activity in the flow of daily life that they actually avoided extra exertion whenever possible. They followed a simple rule: Spend your energy only on activities that have a clear purpose or offer immediate reward. This rule was so important to people’s survival that it became part of our genetic legacy.

Many people discover this when they approach a treadmill or stationary bike and feel as if a part of their brain is screaming out, “Don’t do it! You’re not actually going anywhere on that thing! Conserve the calories!”

Fortunately, there’s a way out of this dilemma. Yes, we’re genetically wired to avoid extraneous exertion, but what about necessary or pleasure-producing activity? As it turns out, whenever we’re caught up in enjoyable, meaningful activity, our tolerance for exercise goes up dramatically. So when you make activity purposeful or pleasant (riding your bike to work, dancing, playing a team sport, walking to the store instead of driving), you’re much more likely to do it.

When it comes to hitting the gym, it can really help to work out with someone else. Spending time with others tends to be highly absorbing, so it makes the workout pass quickly; it also gives you the mood-elevating benefits of social support. Finally, a workout partner can provide the initiative that depression steals away.

How much exercise is necessary for an antidepressant effect? Incredibly, a Duke University study found that a brisk half-hour walk three times a week proved to be more effective than the antidepressant medication Zoloft. So 90 minutes of heart-rate-elevating exercise is enough to feel a difference. As one personal trainer told me, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone leave the gym in a worse mood than when they arrived.”

4. Let There Be Light
Our hunter-gatherer ancestors were outside all day, every day. As a result, our eyes have special light receptors that respond only to the brightness of natural outdoor light, which is 100 times brighter than typical indoor lighting. If you’re like most people who spend most of their time inside, your eyes’ light receptors simply aren’t getting the stimulation they need. And that can have a major effect on both your brain chemistry and your body clock.

Bright light stimulates the brain’s production of serotonin, that crucial chemical emissary that boosts feelings of well-being. According to the latest research, people usually feel some elevation of mood within an hour or two of exposure to bright light. One recent study showed that people under the influence of bright light are less likely to argue or fight with others.

When we’re deprived of ample light, however, serotonin can fall and the light-sensitive body clock falters: Hormone levels get out of whack, sleep grows erratic, and energy ebbs and flows at all the wrong times. So resetting the body clock each day is important, and it all hinges on those specialized light sensors at the back of the eyes.

How much bright light is required to keep the clock running on time? Fortunately, it’s not that much. For people suffering from depression, 30 minutes of light exposure each day is all it takes to provide an antidepressant effect. However, the light needs to match the brightness of a sunny day; an intensity of at least 10,000 lux, in order for the 30 minutes’ worth of exposure to do the trick.

Getting your bright light exposure by spending some time outside has some clear advantages. Mere exposure to a natural setting can lower stress hormones and reduce feelings of anxiety; this holds true even when we’re enjoying an urban park or suburban backyard. We can also easily combine time outside with other antidepressant lifestyle elements, like exercise and social interaction.

For those in less-than-hospitable climes, however, using a 10,000-lux light box during the winter months has advantages of its own. As long as you have access to a power supply, it will give you all the light you need with the flick of a switch.

5. Get Connected
For hundreds of thousands of years, our ancestors lived in small, intimate social bands, facing together the relentless threat of predators, the forces of nature and hostile neighboring clans. Such a clannish sensibility is still keenly present among modern-day foraging bands and other traditional, pre-agrarian societies. According to anthropologists, “alone time” is virtually unknown among such groups.

In the industrialized, on the other hand, we’ve strayed far from this sensibility. According to the latest research, 25 percent of people on earth have no intimate social connection at all, and countless others spend the bulk of their time by themselves. One recent study found that half of all American adults lack even a single close friend they can rely on.

Isolation is a major risk factor for depression. Those who lack the benefit of a meaningful social connection are highly prone to becoming depressed, especially in the face of severe life stress. And, sadly, once people start experiencing severe depressive symptoms, they tend to withdraw even further from the world around them. In large part, this is because the brain responds to depression as it does any other serious illness, directing us to avoid any activity, especially social activity, so the body can focus on getting well.

Depression can also take an enormous toll on friendships, because the depressed person feels as if he’s doing his friends a favor by pulling away, and his friends, in turn, feel rejected.

It can be helpful to start by disclosing your struggles: Honest disclosure is essential to maintaining the health of any friendship. It can also be helpful to do a little educating. When your friends understand that depression is an illness and withdrawal is a symptom, it’s easier to take your disappearance less personally.

The most useful thing for treating depression, by far, is to spend regular time together in shared activities: walking, working out, playing games, going to a concert, attending a play and so on. Such activities are especially effective in combating depressive rumination, and they promote activity in the brain’s left frontal cortex, which itself provides a direct antidepressant effect.

6. Sleep Well
It’s hard to imagine a hunter-gatherer chasing a lion deep into the night; most traditional societies sleep when it’s dark and work when it’s light. Meanwhile, the average people in this world stays up well past dark and gets only 6.7 hours of sleep a night.

Because sleep is so essential to our well-being, it takes only a few nights of deprivation before adverse effects start piling up: Memory and concentration wane, mood turns irritable, judgment grows poor, coordination deteriorates, and immune function declines.

Sleep disturbance and depression go hand in hand. The loss of slow-wave sleep, the most restorative type of slumber, can directly account for many of depression’s most debilitating features.

Several elements of the TLC program are aimed at enhancing sleep. Physical exercise leads to more restorative slow-wave sleep. Daytime bright-light exposure strengthens the body clock, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. But if you find you’re still not getting quality sleep because of insomnia, here are some suggestions:

• Use your bed only for sleeping (not reading, working or watching TV).

• Get up and go to bed at the same time every day. This helps keep your body clock on track. Avoid napping during depressive episodes. It can reduce your sleep drive, and evidence suggests it can cause a reduction in slow-wave sleep.

• Avoid drinking alcohol before bed. Using alcohol (even a drink or two) to relax and fall asleep can produce frequent awakenings throughout the night.

• Turn down your thermostat at night. Our remote ancestors always slept outside or in open huts, where it got noticeably colder around bedtime. A nighttime dip in temperature sends a primal signal that it’s time to sleep.

If you are currently being treated for depression, consult with your health professional before adjusting your regimen or treatment plan. But don’t underestimate the positive impact that lifestyle shifts like these can have. Beating depression may begin with recognizing that we were simply never designed for the frenetic pace of modern life. By reclaiming the protective features of the past and integrating them into the present, I believe we can overcome depression, once and for all.



You want to get rid the negativity and be brave in facing challenges in life, but you are not strong enough in spirituality and no one want to listen? If you are looking for a Life Coach to help and guide you, then you come to right place. My mission is to help my clients attain transformative change their lives and careers in order to achieve greater success, fulfilment and well-being. CLICK HERE and fill the form to book your slot for life coaching consultation.

The program can be conducted face-to-face or 100% online for those who are far from Kuala Lumpur. I am looking forward for the opportunity to work with you. You may visit my website at: www.shahalghazali.com

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Most people want to be happy. But they also want to be successful. And, while each person might have an individualized definition of just what each of those things means to them specifically, the overall desire to lead a life that’s free of stress, worry, anxiety and fear, while being replete with happiness and success, is constant.

Still, although we might want to be happy and successful in life, that’s often far from the case. Usually, we spend more of our time steeped in negative emotions than we do in the positive ones. From our relationships, to our finances, our careers, our health, and our goals, we often can’t seem to overcome the stress associated with everyday concerns.

Couple all of that with our hopes and our dreams for the future, and the constant failures that we face along the way while trying to achieve anything notable, and it’s no wonder we spend much of our time unhappy and feeling unsuccessful. So how do we go about doing the opposite? What are the keys to happiness and success? And is that something that’s actually attainable in life?

If you’re reading these words right now, then there’s no doubt that you’ve been disappointed in some aspect of your life. You’ve likely been through the ringer, had your world turned upside down, and suffered through an immense amount of pain and failure. I have too. And by no means does it feel good whatsoever.

But there is a pathway to happiness. There’s a highway to success. It’s just that many people choose not to travel along those roads. They’re less traveled because they’re harder to navigate. The beginning is always rocky and steep, enough to make most people turn back. And parts of the road are downright impassable.

But for those willing to put in the work, those seemingly impassable roads eventually lead to easier streets. But navigating along them at the outset might feel treacherous at best. But with the right amount of focus and grit, it happens, one step at a time, and one day at a time. Happiness and success are there for the taking as long as we’re willing to do some work at the outset.

What does it mean to be happy and successful?

When we talk about happiness and success, we’re talking about two different things. What makes a person feel happy and what makes a person feel successful don’t always coincide with one another. But sometimes they do. The thing about happiness and success is that, in order to achieve either of them, you first need a definition in place on what they actually mean to you.

Some people will say, “Sure that’s easy, to be successful I need a lot of money.” And, that wouldn’t hurt in the happiness department either. But, what people don’t always realize is that money doesn’t always bring happiness. Sometimes money brings more problems. It all just depends who you ask and what your experiences have been like that have shaped your beliefs.

Either way, you need to define what they both mean to you. Want to be happy? No problem. You could actually be happy in this very moment. Right here and right now, happiness is attainable, no matter what’s going on in your life. Whether you believe that statement or not, you’ve likely heard it before more times than not. And for good reason.

Consider what will make you happy, and write it down. Consider what will make you feel successful, and right it down. This is a prerequisite for achieving either. Without writing it down, they’ll remain in the abstract. And goals that remain in the abstract are always unattainable. So, put some definition behind them both.

Once you figure out what both of those mean to you, you’re already a step ahead. But then you need to put some fuel into that fire. You need to institute a few actions and create a few habits that will help to get you there. Overall, there are 7 essential keys to happiness and success that will help to materialize both those things in your life.

1) Gratitude.

Happiness and success are preceded by gratitude. We need to happily succeed rather than try to succeed to be happy. Success should not breed happiness. Happiness should bread success. Once we’re happy, and we’re doing something we love in life, success becomes a byproduct. However, when our happiness hinges on our success, good things never come.

It’s also a matter of focus. What are we focused on in life? What do we want the most? And what are the reasons for focusing on and wanting those things? When we focus on what we don’t have, we live in a state of lack. We realize just how much we’re missing out on or how much we lack the resources to do the things that we really want.

Living in a state of lack is a huge disservice to us. Everything about our focus shifts to a state of lack. We only see the negative that comes from not having what we want in life. Alternatively, when we focus on abundance, and being grateful for what we have, even when we have to go through pain and failure, we live in an abundant state.

Happiness and success will never come until we’re completely grateful for what we have. Even if we think that all we have are problems, we have to be grateful for them. Because, if we were to throw our problems into the ring with those of others from around the world, I can assure you that we would take our problems back.

There are always others that are living in a far worse alternative to life than we are. There are unspeakable atrocities occurring at this very moment in places where people don’t have the same opportunities as you and I do. But, regardless of that, we always have to be grateful for what we’ve been given, no matter what hand we’ve been dealt. Without that, we have nothing.

When we can live in a state of abundance and gratitude, happiness and success will eventually transpire. But if we can’t emerge from that state of lack, happiness and success will forever be fleeting. Even if we achieve them, it will only be a momentary state of bliss or success, and it will disappear as soon as the next want or desire sets in.

In order to institute the habit of gratitude, take a piece of paper and jot down everything you’re grateful for in your life. Do it for at least 15 minutes each day. And be sure to write it down. Don’t just think about it in the mind. Why? Writing things out takes them from the abstract into reality. It sets off a chain of commands in the neurons in the brain that lend itself to experiencing something in an entirely different way than just thinking about it.

Even if you say you have nothing to be grateful for, find something. You can be grateful for being 6 feet above ground. You can be grateful for the ability to read and write, have reason and logic. You can be grateful for friends, family members, pets, food on your plate, clothes on your back, roof over your head and so on.

2) Be Present.

There’s nothing like getting caught up in the past or constantly worrying about the future that more than ruins the present moment. But, then again, many of us have trouble simple being present. We’re unable to appreciate the here-and-now. Usually, we’re more worried about what will happen tomorrow or what happened yesterday rather than stopping and being present.

But what does it mean to be present? And why is this one of the keys to happiness and success? Well, similar to the simple act of gratitude, being present grounds us in the moment. We stop to appreciate the miracles that exist in every direction we look, the beauty of all the things around us, and the journey that we call life. It helps us transcend the fears of tomorrow and the regrets of yesterday.

There’s an inherent appreciation for life that sets in when we’re present. It doesn’t mean that we get to ignore our problems. Problems are a sign of life. And we will always have problems. If you’re thinking that you’ll be happy or achieve success when your problems will disappear, think again. We will never be problem free. Ever.

And while problems might cause us some pain, great or small, those same problems allow us to grow as humans, learn, understand, become more empathetic, and reach new epiphanies about life. Being present acknowledges that we have problems, but it doesn’t allow those problems to interfere with our peace-of-mind.

3) Manage Time Effectively.

One habit that will influence both your happiness and your overall success in life, is the ability to manage time effectively. Effective time managers have a handle on their obligations in life, and know just how to juggle things in order to get ahead. They focus on their long-term goals and prioritize the activities that will help move them forward instead of leaving them behind.

When we don’t effectively manage our time, we increase our likelihood for stress, anxiety, fear, and worry. We get so caught up in the day-to-day act of responding to life’s stressors, that we’re unable to preemptively tackle the things that will help to avoid crises and emergencies in the future. We miss bill payments, forget about meetings, and fail to organize our activities to pursue our long-term goals.

We also tend to do things like procrastinate, over-socialize, and binge-watch television when we don’t manage our time. Those time-wasters take precious moments away from our bigger, longer term goals. In turn, we become unhappier when the things that we really want in life aren’t fulfilled, and even begin to wallow in misery when we take several steps back rather than moving forward and advancing towards our goals.

Everyone in this world has the same amount of time. We have just 24 hours a day, which equates to 1,440 minutes or 86,400 seconds. Not one person, no matter how rich or poor, tall or short, the color of their skin, their religion, or their geographic location, has more time than the other. It’s the greatest equalizer in life.

So it’s clearly not about how much time we have that breeds unhappiness or offers up a deterrent towards our goals, it’s what we do with the precious little time that we do have. Find a good system to manage your time and make it habitual. Don’t allow life to knock you down. Focus your energy and your enthusiasm, find a system that works for you and work it.

4) Set SMARTER Goals.

Often, what holds us back from achieving success in life, whatever we might define that as, is our inability to set goals the right way. In a recent study, it was determined that only 8% of people who set goals on New Year’s Eve actually achieve them. But beyond just those New Year’s goals, we all know that many people often set goals but don’t achieve them.

Surely, you’ve set a goal in the past and you gave up on it. All of us have. But, it’s the goal-setting process that got in the way. When we set passive goals, in that we don’t actually set the goals on paper and don’t define them out in detail, nor create a plan for their attainment, we tend to either fail or give up on it. But for people who set goals the right way, the SMARTER way, success is far more attainable.

When you set SMARTER goals, you’re setting Specific (S), Meaningful (M), Achievable (A), Relevant (R), and Time-Based (T) goals that are Evaluated (E), and the approach is Re-Adjusted (R) until you succeed. This is an important process in the success recipe and people who don’t follow along find goal achievement far more difficult.

If you want to set SMARTER goals, grab a sheet of paper and start writing. It won’t work without writing it out. What do you want? Specifically, what do you want? Describe it in great detail. Don’t leave any stone unturned. Don’t just say you want millions of dollars or to be skinny. Say an exact number of dollars and an exact amount of pounds or kilos that you want to lose, with a specific date for its achievement.

As long as these goals are meaningful, in that they aren’t just superficial goals, and you have some driving force behind them that’s bigger than you, then you’re part of the way there. And, by achievable, we’re not trying to discourage lofty goals. But you also don’t want to set yourself up for disappointment by saying you want to make a billion dollars in 12 months, especially if you’re currently heavily in debt, for example.

5) Embody an Empowering Morning Routine.

Everything begins and ends with an empowering morning routine. What you do in the morning, sets the pace for the rest of the day. In turn, it dictates the outcome of your life. If you want to be happy and successful, create a set of habits in the morning to help foster that in your life. The right combination of habits executed day-in and day-out can make all the difference.

We’re such creatures of habit, that we forget to do the things that will benefit of our lives because we get caught up doing the things that we’re so used to. We’re steeped in habit and routine, and not necessarily ones that serve us. Usually, we’re too busy responding to life and its overwhelming demands on us, in order to take the bulls by the horn, so to speak.

But if we want to get ahead, succeed, and feel mentally at peace with ourselves, we need an empowering morning routine. These good morning habits need to be front-loaded at the start of the day because that’s when our minds are so fresh and we have so much clarity. And, by waking up early enough to tackle a list of good habits, we’re setting ourselves up for success and happiness.

Create a routine that will help empower your life rather than hinder it. Wake up early, eat a good breakfast, work out for 20 minutes, do yoga or meditate, write out a set of daily goals, and so on. Don’t live life in neutral. Take control, grab the reins, and be inspired and motivated to do and achieve something while helping others and yourself in the process.

6) Tackle the MITs.

MITs, also known as the most important tasks of the day, are an integral part of success. They offer one of the most crucial keys to achieving our goals in life over the long term. It’s not always easy to go after the MITs, especially when we feel so stressed out or overwhelmed by life. But it’s a necessary act if we’re going to get where we need to go.

Going about identifying your MITs is a crucial part of this process. In time management, we call these quadrant-two activities — the important but not urgent things necessary to achieve your long-term goals. Once you’ve identified your MITs, chase after them first thing in the morning. Once your empowering morning routine is completed, get to these first.

Every single day, there’s some action, big or small, that we can take to help advance us towards our goals. As long as you can identify those, and you can implement those actions day after day, you can succeed in time. The biggest problem? It won’t happen overnight. And that’s where most people get frustrated with things.

Make a list the night before of your MITs that you want to tackle the next day. Then, when you wake up the following day, ensure that you get after that list. Keep the list handy with you throughout your morning routine and focus on the MITs once that’s complete. Don’t start your “busy work” that day until you get the MITs out of the way.

7) Focus on Health and Well-being.

Health and wellbeing are an important part of the happiness-and-success formula, and one of the biggest keys to achieving them both. When we do things to harm ourselves by overeating, over-drinking alcohol, taking recreational drugs, and the like, not only does it have an adverse effect on our bodies, but also on our minds.

The chemical makeup and neurochemistry of the brain, which will excrete stress hormones when we tax the body with substance abuse or don’t take care of the way we look by indulging in a variety of hedonistic pleasures, can alter our motivation and desire to improve our lives. While it’s okay to indulge every now and then in certain pleasures, for the most part, people have difficulty quitting while they’re ahead.

The overall focus has to be on health. The day needs to start and end healthy. It doesn’t mean that life has to be boring. But if you want to get ahead, be happy and successful, you need to ensure that you’re putting the right things into your body. Clean body, clean mind. That’s how it goes. From lean proteins to reduced caloric intakes, non-alcoholic and non-carbonated drinks, and less-fatty foods, we need to focus on what goes in, whether it’s solid or liquid.

We also need to get grounded mentally. We need to do things like meditate and relax the mind. Take up a yoga class or institute an exercise regimen so that you have something that starts incorporating healthy habits into your life. It isn’t easy. But it does get easier over time as long you continue to repeat the right behaviors.

One study found that habit formation takes anywhere from 18 to 254 days to form with an average of 66 days to solidify, so keep that in mind. Whether you’re trying to quit a bad habit or institute a new one, it’s going to take time. Don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t happen right away.



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