Continuous self-improvement is a habit widely practiced by highly successful people. And a big part of getting better involves cleaning up your thinking. Here are three good places to start, according to experts.

1. Stop going with the flow

In Mastering the Game: Strategies for Career Success, Sharon Jones makes the excellent point that success is intentional, meaning your actions make a difference when it comes to how much you achieve in life. "Begin to develop an internal attitude of control and realize just how much autonomy you have in many areas of your life," she writes. "Instead of just letting life happen to you and playing the role of a victim who is at the mercy of everyone and everything around you, begin to make the types of decisions that increase the quality of your life and get you closer to achieving your vision of success." Need help figuring out what that looks like? Jones recommends reading How Will You Measure Your Life? by Clayton M. Christensen.

2. Remind yourself what kind of person you aspire to be

Dave Asprey, in his book Game Changers: What Leaders, Innovators, and Mavericks do to Win at Life, suggests a strategy made popular by best-selling author Brendon Burchard: record three words on your phone which describe the best version of who you want to be. Then, set an alarm to go off three times a day which remind you of this aspirational view of yourself. "When you act without intention, you will experience self-doubt," he writes. "But when you are reminded of who you want to be throughout the day, you are more likely to act in accordance with your highest goals."

3. In every area of your life you should be 70 percent happy

Deirdre Maloney researched happiness for her book Tough Truths: The Ten Happiness Lessons We Don't Talk About and determined that while nothing will make a person happy 100 percent of the time, every aspect of your life should make you happy at least 70 percent of the time. If it doesn't, you need to make a change. "If you're extremely unhappy with your business the day you have to do your taxes or fire someone, then that's a blip," she writes. "If you often drive to work cringing about most of the things you have to do (or people you have to see) that day, then that's no blip. That's a problem."

Published on: Dec 12, 2018