Habits are tricky things. They can fuel higher levels of performance or act like kryptonite, suppressing your potential. Fortunately, we have control over habits, although some may be more difficult to form or change than others.
Here are seven simple habits you should embrace in 2018 to achieve more in your career:
Accept responsibility, reject passivity.
If there is only one habit you implement or change, make it this one. I have yet to meet one successful person in my life who doesn't accept responsibility for the things happening in their life. By accepting this mindset, they don't allow events to dictate outcomes. Accepting the responsibility for the things happening in your life isn't enough though, you have to reject the urge to sit passively on the sidelines by putting your talents to use.
Stay in your lane.
This sounds counterintuitive, but I have yet to see anyone who makes a big leap in their career without being laser-focused on what they are trying to achieve. Spreading yourself between three different buckets will lead to an average performance in all three. Early in my career was trying to execute 3 or 4 different business ideas which led to not being great at any of them.
Focus intently on a lane and pursue it with a relentlessness that others cannot match. If you are starting a business in 2018, focus on solving a problem and don't stop until you find a solution.
Find time to be healthy.
If your schedule is anything like mine, it's difficult to find time to take your health seriously. While I could focus on the consequences of being unhealthy, it's the confidence gained that gives you a leg up in your career. You walk with a little more swagger and speak with a touch more confidence when you have healthy habits like working out and eating clean.
When Dr. Sean Pastuch of Active Life RX was on the Follow My Lead Podcast, he said, "Sitting is the new smoking. If you sit for 30-60 minutes at a time, you're doing your body an enormous disservice." If you can't make major health changes like going to a gym, at the very minimum, get up out of your chair and be active every 30-60 minutes.
Do the things your boss doesn't like to do.
Jimmy Collins, the third corporate employee at Chick-fil-A and author of Creative Followership says, "Doing the things your boss doesn't like to do, makes you instantly invaluable." Instead of thinking any job is below you or only focusing on your job responsibilities, look for opportunities to proactively do the things your boss doesn't like to do.
Turn off Netflix and open a book.
Netflix has exploded in popularity in the last three years, so much so that an average household is watching 28 hours of Netflix a month. While there is nothing inherently wrong with watching Netflix, imagine using those 28 hours reading books by successful entrepreneurs or industry experts. If reading isn't your thing, turn off the next binge-worthy show and watch the documentary about Henry Ford. You will learn lessons you can use to positively impact your career.
Don't complain about problems, solve them.
One of the most powerful habits you can put into practice is focusing on solving problems in your workplace. Instead of huddling at the water cooler or lunch table complaining about negative things happening in your work environment, spend time trying to solve them.
At LearnLoft, no one can bring up a problem without at least an idea for a solution. This practice has allowed each team member the freedom to solve problems or come up with solutions that could move the business forward versus spending time complaining.
Make networking an everyday practice.
When you begin to make networking an everyday habit, you will see that the purpose should not be meeting an immediate personal need. The best part about making networking an everyday habit is that it's easier than ever to build a professional network that matters. Thanks to powerful platforms like LinkedIn, apps like Shapr and Meetup, and industry conferences in every city, there are endless opportunities to meet others and create real value-based relationships.