3 mental habits that can lead to success
Updated: Jan 28
Here are some powerful habits that can help you gain greater success in your work, relationships and self.
As much as we can plan, schedule and organise our lives, sometimes it just doesn’t go to plan, and at times it feels impossible to keep up with the demands of everyday life. And that’s completely normal – It’s all a part of being human.
I’ve made a big effort lately to create more positive habits. So I can more confidently navigate challenges, and overcome whatever frustrations or setbacks my day, week or month has in store.
I've found some of these mental health habits by being a "student of the game" – I watch those around me who operate well under pressure and radiate positivity, and then I try to apply their routines or behaviours to my own life.
I’ve found I feel calmer, stronger and more connected to the people around me when I’m using them. Here are a few simple but powerful mental health habits that have worked well for me.
Own your start to the day
Being a working mum balancing family and work life, my day can feel really thrown off if it doesn’t start smoothly – and because my daughter is not a morning person, that can happen quite easily! Even though she’s young, I had a conversation with her about it, and together we brainstormed some ideas that would help us both get off to a better start each day. Not only did that chat validate both our feelings, it helped me come up with a great new approach myself. I call it ‘owning my start to the day’.
To me, owning my start to the day means carving out a little bit of ‘me time’ in the morning. This means getting up before everyone else and doing what I need to do to feel good. It could be drinking lemon tea, taking ten minutes to meditate, exercising or doing a quick planning session. Whatever shape it takes, owning the morning is a chance to clarify what’s most important about the day ahead in peace and quiet. Then, when the rest of the family wakes up, I feel calm, connected and ready to launch into whatever comes next.
A close friend of mine runs large-scale, week-long international events. They’re absolutely massive – just thinking about the scope of what she does makes my heart beat double time. But my friend handles it beautifully because she prepares and gets organised ahead of time.
In the lead up to each event, she writes down every possible stressor that might come up and makes a plan of how she's going to tackle them. It's a combination of scenario planning and creating ‘plan Bs’ to mitigate risks and put plans around anything beyond her control. She uses this strategy for the actual event, the event team, and the business generally. And she also uses it in her personal life.
To take care of herself in the midst of those immense work demands, she preps all her meals a week in advance so she doesn't have to worry about any food or cooking. She preplans everything she’s going to wear, she gets her hair professionally straightened to cut down on grooming time, and sometimes she even books herself into a hotel to be close to the event (which has the added benefit of giving her a healthy short breather from family life).
So now I’ve adopted this technique and kinda made it my own. Planning to manage a potentially stressful situation in advance is a very powerful way to prepare, both practically and mentally. It’s a bit of an old ‘stitch in time saves nine’ situation – an exercise in self care that allows you to focus your time and energy where it’s really needed, so you can still enjoy the process of what you do.
Do one thing at a time
Studies have indicated that a high degree of constant multitasking can impair overall performance, especially when accurate or complex judgements are needed. If you’re increasing the number of things your brain has to pay attention to, you reduce your ability to make quality decisions. From a relationship perspective, if you’re toggling between demands – whether that be your phone, a conversation or doing housework – then you’re not fully present, which can lead to shallower, less authentic connection with the people you care about.
For me, I’m combating the pull of “more more more”, in an effort to cultivate greater focus and stronger relationships. I’m doing this by being present in every moment. As someone who collaborates a lot with others, and wears many different professional hats, I’m now trying to give each person and each task my full attention. In this way I’m respecting the people that I am with, experiencing each moment more fully and not sabotaging my chances of achieving quality outcomes.
I’m also doing the same thing at home. I’ve stopped doing the washing while trying to engage with my husband, and I turn off my phone when I walk in the front door so I can spend real, quality time with my children. Doing one thing at a time has made a massive difference to my life. I’m calmer, more focused and there is more authenticity in everything that I do now.
Originally published on www.onelife.aiavitality.com.au on July 20, 2018.
Alisa Camplin is an Olympic Gold Medalist, in-demand Keynote Speaker, Corporate Ambassador, and Human Performance Consultant who delivers results-driven Resilience and Human Performance Training and Development Programs. Connect with Alisa.