The 12 Habits of the Truly Successful

Most people define success by the dollar amount in their bank account. And while money provides a certain amount of security and peace of mind, we often confuse that feeling of safety for success. From an evolutionary standpoint, the absence of financial fear is tied to our instinct to survive. Since we unconsciously view money as the factor that determines whether we live or die, it’s no wonder we’re unhappy, stressed, and constantly focusing on what we don’t have. The good news is that we’ve evolved far beyond our lizard brain. If you’re looking to thrive instead of survive, it’s time to redefine the term, “success” on your own terms.

I’ve been coaching clients for years and I’ve noticed that those who define success on their own terms are not only the happiest people I know, they are the wealthiest across all dimensions (finances included!) If you’re ready to create more joy, success, and abundance in your life, check out how the truly successful incorporate these 12 habits:

1. The truly successful have a positive mental attitude. This doesn’t mean they sugarcoat or deny their problems. Instead, they habitually focus on what they want, not what they’re trying to avoid. It’s the difference between “I take steps to create a thriving business which energizes me and serves others” and “I work so I don’t lose my home.”

Try it: When you notice yourself focusing on lack, reframe your internal dialogue to focus on what you want. Ultimately, what you say is what you’ll see.


2. The successful take steps to create sound physical and mental health. While illness and disease impact us to varying degrees, the successful don’t define themselves by their limitations. Instead, they take action to change what they can. After all, your health is your wealth and can’t be bought.

Try it: Incorporate daily self-care practices that sustain health (ex. drinking water, exercising, connecting with yourself, etc.)


3. The quality of our lives is a direct reflection of the quality of our relationships. The happiest and most successful individuals actively work to create harmony in their relationships by learning to be the best friend, partner, and family member they can be.

Try it: Take responsibility for what you bring to the relationship. You can’t change others, but you can change yourself. Click here to get your free cheat sheet.


4. Moments of transition, change, and discomfort give rise to our greatest growth. The successful embrace these times rather than avoiding them. While fear and doubt may continue to exist, the successful adapt and stretch their limits to create more freedom.

Try it: Don’t wait until you’re “in the mood” or “ready” for change. Acknowledge your fear and act anyway.


5. The truly successful look ahead, not behind. They focus on what they’ll create, not on the circumstances that brought them to this point. 

Try it: Identify and focus on one goal. Whether it’s a project, vacation, or a skill you want to hone, focus your thoughts, energy, and actions on how it feels to get closer to something that matters to you.


6. The successful have an internal belief that they are capable of accomplishing any goal. They have faith that if they set their mind to something, they’ll find a way. It’s the reason I love Marie Forleo’s phrase, “Everything is figureoutable.” This shift in mindset is the key difference between dreamers and do-ers.

Try it: Create a fearlessness list: List the times you’ve felt you couldn’t achieve something, but persevered anyway. Then, ask yourself if what you’re feeling now resembles how you felt in those moments. If so, remind yourself that you conquered self-doubt in challenging situations before and you can do it again. Take action and then add your new win to the list.


7. Abundance is less about what you have, and more about what you give. The successful are willing to share their gifts and talents with others. Whether it’s by volunteering, mentoring, or supporting loved ones, you can always give even when you don’t have money.

Try it: Cultivate an attitude of gratitude by sharing your abundance with those around you. Not only will you feel good, your mindset will shift, helping you to create more of what you do want and less of what you don’t.


8. One-third of my coaching practice focuses on helping clients find a labor of love, a way to simultaneously make a difference in the world, their lives, (and their bank account). The reason most people stay stuck in this area is because they don’t know what’s possible. Most accept the unwritten “rule” that work=unhappiness. The truly successful are willing to challenge their preconceived notions, creating space for creativity and resourcefulness.

Try it: If you already love what you do, great! Find a project or hobby you truly enjoy putting your time and energy into. If you’re still trying to figure it out, it’s time to get out of your head. Write down what your ideal day would look like. Ignore any preconceived notions: Would you work outside? Would you wake up at noon? What kind of people would you interact with? The first step to create what you want is to figure out what you want. Brainstorm with a friend or coach to help you get outside your head and into your heart (as cheesy as that sounds!)


9. Only the young and foolish think they know everything. The smartest and most successful know there is always more to learn. They have an open mind on all subjects. The successful are willing to hear others’ opinions even if they don’t agree.

Try it: When listening to someone you disagree with, most of us zone out and mentally prepare our rebuttal. Instead, ask yourself what you can learn from the interaction. Appreciating another’s worldview opens us up to new ideas. After all, if we continued to put more effort into rigidity than flexibility, we’d still think the world is flat.


10. The truly successful are motivated by pleasure, not pain. They are tapped into what lights them up, no matter the goal. It's the difference between being taking action to feel the joy of achieving your goal and taking action to avoid the pain of a missed deadline. Many people think that being motivated by discomfort or their inner critic propels them forward. That type of motivation may temporarily push you, but it prevents you from taking the actions that make you a game-changer. Resourcefulness, creativity, and aligned action come easier to those who are moving toward what they want instead of running away from what they don’t.

Try it: The next time you’re struggling to take action, focus on how good you’ll feel once you achieve your goal. Use this free worksheet to guide you.


11. Empathy is what separates leaders from dictators. The successful know that their greatest source of strength is their ability to tap into their human side and relate to others in an honest, genuine, and vulnerable way. Simply put, the successful look to connect & commend rather than compare & compete.

Try it: In moments when you feel compelled to compare, look for opportunities to serve others. Not only will this help you to focus on your strengths, it will shift your mindset to gratitude and abundance. This, in turn, will lead to greater success.


12. The truly successful don’t find time, they make time. They know that the key to having more success, freedom, and energy lies in their ability to create systems that work for them, not against them. Rather than putting out one fire after another, they learn from their mistakes and anticipate challenges moving forward. Whether it’s procrastination, home organization, or go-to strategies to avoid distractions, the successful are proactive, not reactive.

Try it: None of us were taught time-management skills in school. It’s time to learn and create these systems now. Rather than being at the mercy of your ever-growing “To-do” list, take one hour each week to plan, organize, and prioritize. This may seem like a lot when you’re already crunched for time, but investing one hour each week will save you thousands of hours (and dollars) each year.


Want to learn the step-by-step system the truly successful use to stop procrastinating, start prioritizing, and create extra hours each day? Download the newest system - it's free!


How To Create An Action Plan To Achieve Your Goal (Even if you failed in the past!)

Change sucks. Whether you’re trying to build in more balance, boost your business, or stop binging on brownies, we can always find reasons NOT to take action. In my work with clients (especially women), I find that activities relating to self-care and prioritizing one’s own needs are often the most challenging. For most, we’ve been conditioned to put others’ needs ahead of our own. Carving out time for ourselves can feel scary or like we’re a selfish slacker.

It’s easy to find a million reasons not to take care of ourselves. Our excuses often outweigh our motivation to create change. So today, I’m going to walk you through a common self-care goal and show you the exact system I use to create any type of lifestyle change. This system not only addresses the obstacles that held you back, it also helps you to create a motivating plan for change. So, let’s get to it.


Step 1. Get clear on the benefits of your goal and what you’ll achieve.

This step is all about your “What & Why.” In other words, why is this change important to you? What do you want to achieve and what will that feel like? It’s not enough to focus on the textbook benefits, you need to go deeper and find what it means to you. For example, meditation has A TON of well-documented benefits including:

  • less stress
  • better sleep
  • improved physical & mental health
  • more energy
  • better memory

But that’s not going to get you to meditate. Why? Because it doesn’t create a clear visual of what you’ll achieve and how you’ll feel. Take it one step further and tap into what you’ll use those benefits for. For example, “Adding in 5 minutes of mediation each day will help me to (decrease my stress which will help me to) not flip out when my boss asks for a project update.”

Step 2. Address your personal obstacles.

These are the internal reasons that held you back in the past.

  • I stopped meditating because it’s frustrating. I couldn’t get my mind to stop wandering, so I gave up.
  • I don’t like being still. Feeling my feelings makes me want to reach for my phone and distract myself.

Writing out what previously held you back will stop the amorphous, unnamed fears from sabotaging you. And, it will help you to create a plan that addresses these challenges moving forward.

Step 3. Block out time to take action.

This step is crucial. It isn’t enough to focus on the internal obstacles that keep you stuck, you need to focus on the external. Why? Because we tend to procrastinate the things that are new and uncomfortable. We wait until we magically “find time,” rather than actively making time.

When a client tells me “I want to meditate, but I’m too busy,” I know their time management skills don’t support the life they want to create. The key to making a habit stick is to determine when and where it will happen in your routine. For example, if you’re committing to adding 5 minutes of meditation in the morning, visualize how it fits in with your current routine: “Every morning I brush my teeth, wash my face, meditate for 5 minutes, eat breakfast, etc.”

Step 4. Create your action plan.

To do this, draw on step #1 to get clear on your EXACT goal and why it matters to you. Look at the obstacles from step #2 and figure out how you’ll respond to each. Block out time and space (using your calendar or alarms as necessary) to incorporate it into your current routine. Go into as much detail as possible to ensure that when the time comes to take action, you aren’t scratching your head.


Step 5. Track Your Accomplishments.

Whether it’s creating a chart or using an app, celebrate each win. Be sure to acknowledge your progress and how far you’ve come!


To Review:

  1. List the benefits, how you’ll feel, and what you’ll achieve.
  2. Get clear on the personal obstacles that previously held you back
  3. Mange your time
  4. Create a detailed action plan
  5. Track and celebrate your success

The Takeaway:

To achieve new goals, you must be willing to try new things. Rather than using the same methods you used before and then beating yourself up for getting the same results, create a plan that draws on what didn’t work to propel you forward. Remember: how we do anything is how we do everything. Use these steps to troubleshoot the changes you struggle to make. And if you need support, I’ve got these 3 options for you. So go out there and take action!

The Real Cost of Procrastination (and A Special Announcement!)

Behind The Scenes of the "Take Back Your Time" Video Training Series. Thank you  Mark Thompson  for your amazing video work!

Behind The Scenes of the "Take Back Your Time" Video Training Series. Thank you Mark Thompson for your amazing video work!

I fully own the irony of this post. So, in the spirit of self-disclosure, I freely admit that I engaged in some fear-based procrastination.

How is that ironic? Because I procrastinated the final piece of a Free Video Training Series on: 

  • Time Management Systems & Tools
  • The Secrets to Prioritizing
  • guessed it...How to Stop Procrastinating.

Sure, there a million reasons (excuses) why I waited:

  1. My life was insanely busy between clients, LMSW training & clinical hours, and a heartfelt attempt as a social life.
  2. I wanted more time and energy to put toward creating the most valuable training for my readers and clients that I possibly could.
  3. I was terrified. What if things didn't turn out how I planned? What if there were tech glitches? What if people saw how awkward, nervous, and human I really am?

As my thoughts spiraled, I took a deep breath and asked myself: "What would I tell a client in this situation to do?"

Thankfully, I didn't have to stretch my imagination too far. I'm lucky enough to work with smart, motivated, and incredibly talented people. And since I created this training to help them take back their time, shift their mindset, and bust through their roadblocks, I took my own advice and recommitted to the tools and systems that helped me manage my ADD, deal with Depression, overcome obstacles, and ultimately, create a life I love. 

Sometimes, we all get off track. And seeing how these systems helped me to overcome my fears and excuses in such a short time, I became even more excited to stop procrastinating so I could share this training with you.

So last week, after Mark graciously (and patiently) spent 10.5 hours recording/rerecording/assuring me that I don't have lipstick on my teeth, I wondered why on earth I waited so long. 

It felt amazing to create something I love. So why did I wait? And what did all that waiting cost me? 

Time is a commodity much like money. And that got me thinking:

How much money do we lose by not living and working to our full potential?

I started doing some digging and number-crunching to figure out the cost of my procrastination. The results were astounding.

The average person admits to wasting 2.09 hours each workday on non-job-related activities (according to CNBC). Even with a boss, even in the structure of a work environment, that’s close to 30% of the workday gone! And, if you work from home or you're an entrepreneur you can double or triple that.

So let's be honest, how much time and money do you waste each day? 

Let’s say you’re an office worker who earns $60K per year. Let’s also assume you're like most people and your procrastination, Facebook addiction, and general socializing add up to the average 2.09 hours per day:

The Cost of Your Procrastination is $15,642.40!

Now let’s say you work for yourself and you don’t have the structure of a boss and work environment:

The Cost to Your Business: $31,284.80 (Double)
or Even $46,927.20 (Triple!)

The solution is that none of us can do it on our own. We need the tools, systems, and structure to ensure that we're spending our time doing the things we need to do and want to do (It doesn't have to be a sacrifice!)

Why This Matters For You:

You need the tools to stop procrastinating and the systems to help you manage your time effectively. Don't worry, it's not just you. We all need it!

Free training to ‪Take Back Your Time‬ begins May 10th. 

To get Free VIP Access, click here.

At the end of the day, you’re going to spend a certain amount of money either wasting time or ensuring that you don’t waste time.

The choice is yours.