To have success as a blogger and in life, you have to take time to work on yourself. This includes your mind, body, family, and friends. The more developed these are, the easier it becomes to find success in everything that you do.
Over the last twenty years, I have read or listened to over 1000 non-fiction books. The authors have included some of the greatest personal development authors of all time… Tony Robbins, Dale Carnegie, Stephen Covey, Norman Vincent Peale, Brian Tracey, Napoleon Hill, Og Mandino, and many more.
From these great books, I found 21 personal development strategies that most successful people abide by.
#1. Learn something new every day.
There’s always something to new learn in the world today. By pursuing more knowledge, you’re creating future opportunities for yourself. Books are especially important to the learning process. They have wisdom in a format that can be easily consumed. New languages, classes, or hobbies are also ways that you can keep learning everyday.
Everyday I take a walk outside for forty minutes, and I always listen to a new podcast episode that teaches me something new. When I was younger, I always listened to audiobooks while I walked or drove. Today, it is all podcasts. Most of the authors that I have read have there own podcasts, and every podcast episode is completely free.
#2. Love your neighbor, but remember to love yourself.
It’s easy to feel like we need to help others who are in need. You must also remember that there are times when you are the person who is in need. Don’t be afraid to take time for yourself. Sign up for yoga lessons. Be fearless with your hobbies. Take a road trip. Have a day where you binge-watch your favorite shows or movies.
This helps you restore the internal “you” that can help others.
#3. Find your vision.
It’s easier to find success when you’ve created a plan to follow. When we see what it takes to be successful and what it will take to get there, then we can create the necessary plans to take the steps forward to that goal. Think about what you want to achieve. If you’re looking back at the past, then there’s a good chance you’re going to feel stuck in life.
My initial vision as a blogger was to create a residual income that gave my family financial security just in case my health problems came back. This kept me driven during the six month research process, while I was reverse engineering over 70 of the most successful blogs in the world.
This vision was tied to a goal that I have been fortunate enough to achieve. Today, my vision is to help bloggers across the world achieve their goals through my podcast and my course.
#4. Create your own happy place.
The environments that surround us have just as much influence on our success as the decisions we make. If you are constantly in a room that stresses you out, then you’ll be coping with that cortisol overload instead of chasing your dreams.
Consider creating your own happy place at home. Go beyond the “man/woman cave” to create a place where you can be productive as well as relax.
I turned a storage room into a superhero lair that inspires me to go the extra mile in everything I do. This is where I do all of my writing, and it is where I record all of my podcasts. From floor to ceiling, it is covered in superheroes and villains.
#5. Get some exercise every day.
Your target should be 30 minutes of exercise, 5 days per week. If you can do more than that – awesome! If not, then do what you can. A little bit of exercise is better than none at all. Not only will exercise help you cope with stress effectively, but the time can be used to start creating that vision toward success you are going to want to have.
When I first started blogging, I found that I was sitting down for way too long. My productivity and my creativity would hit the wall after I had been sitting for 50 minutes. I did a little research and made a simple adjustment that stimulated my mind and body.
Every fifty minutes, I hit the floor and do a round of push ups until failure. This stimulates my metabolism, and it gets the blood flowing. No matter how busy I am, I always have enough time to either do a set of push ups or squats.
#6. Don’t forget about your diet.
When you eat better, you feel better. It’s a positive cycle which always repeats itself. So get rid of the sodas, energy drinks, and high-sugar juices that may be in your refrigerator right now.
Substitute coconut water, plain tap water, low-sugar juice, or low-calorie sugar-free beverages instead. Add fiber to your diet. Reduce desserts if you need to do so. Eat meals in proper portions. This will all help to give you the energy you need to pursue success.
#7. Have a real bedtime routine.
A majority of smartphone owners keep their mobile device by their bed. It’s the last thing they check before going to sleep and the first thing they pick up in the morning. That needs to change. You need to have a real bedtime routine to get a proper amount of rest.
Spend 30-60 minutes before your bedtime to wind down. No screens permitted. Relax. Have a cup of non-caffeinated tea or warm milk. Maybe read a book. When you get the right amount of sleep, the other personal development strategies are a lot easier to complete.
#8. Be decisive.
Stop being on the fence. Make a decision. Take a risk. Then hold onto your decision, whether it was right or wrong. The goal here is to assume responsibility for your own life and take responsibility for the decisions that you make.
Everyone is going to have an opinion about what you should do and who you should be. To produce real success, you need to be your own person. That means being decisive about every aspect of life.
#9. Take the fight to fear.
Fear can be a very negative emotion. It often engages our “fight or flight” mechanism. Many people decide to run away when they are afraid.
“It’s better to fight another day.”
Except that it is not. If you want to be successful, then sometimes you have to stand up and fight. You must defend your choices, positions, and ideas. Running away gives you the best case scenario of maintaining the status quo.
If you’re not happy now, then the status quo is continuing unhappiness. How is that even logical to pursue if you want success?
It’s not. So have courage when fear comes around. Overcome that fear by standing up to fight for what you believe is right. You may have people agree with you or you may find yourself standing alone. When you take a stand, you will begin to grow as a person. And that will help you find more success in life.
#10. Make extra time for yourself.
Most people have their peak energy levels right away in the morning. That means it is to your benefit to wake up a little earlier to make some time for yourself.
If you get up just 30 minutes before work, then your peak energy levels are dealing with getting dressed, dealing with the morning commute, and maybe responding to a few emails once you get to work. If you get up 90 minutes before work, then you have time to pursue your personal development strategies.
#11. Change your routine from time to time.
Humans are creatures of habit. We crave our routines. If something unusual happens, then it feels like a whole day gets wasted.
The only problem is that the same routine every day turns us into lazy people. We become so dependent on the routine that we no longer desire the pursuit of success.
That’s why it becomes necessary to change your routine every so often.
Changing your routine can be uncomfortable. It can also encourage you to think on your feet.
Sometimes a small shift in a personal perspective can pay long-term dividends in the stock of success. That’s why a change in routine can be a good thing.
#12. Set realistic, achievable goals for yourself.
The best strategy is using the S.M.A.R.T. goal method..
S = Specific
The more detailed the goal is, the better.
M = Measurable
How much? How many?
A = Attainable
You need to be able to achieve it, or it is going to work against you.
R = Relevant
Your goals should be in line with your overall vision of what you want to accomplish and who you want to be.
T = Timely
You need to set a specific time frame to create a sense of urgency.
I will create 90 blog posts that have at least 750 words within the next 90 days.
#13. Contact your future self.
It’s something many of us did in school. Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Or 5 years? And what would you tell your future self if you had the chance?
This exercise helps us be able to sort out the goals we feel are the most important to achieve. It allows us to reflect on who we are and what we want to be.
For this strategy to work, don’t just pretend to write the letter. Actually write one. Seal it in an envelope. Then open it up once the required amount of time has passed.
There was a variation of this technique that Tony Robbins used at one of his seminars, which I attended. He had us close our eyes and fast forward to ten years from now. It is your birthday, and you are standing in front of a mirror. How do you look? How do you feel? What have you accomplished in the last ten years? How has that changed you?
#14. Restore your confidence.
When things aren’t going your way, then it can feel like the world is against you. You’re having more than just a bad day. You can’t get anything right.
To be successful, you must be able to have confidence in yourself.
I reached my lowest moment when I was hospitalized for over a week. The doctors could not find out what was causing my body to gradually fail. I had a code blue and almost died while my fiance stood helplessly watching. In addition, my final business entity had been officially dissolved a week before.
Even with all of this happening, I still believed in myself. I thought to myself… “Being in the hospital is probably the best place I could be right now. I need the doctors to be able to run every possible test so that they can find out the root of the problem.”
Through almost a decade of failing health, I continued to believe that I would eventually overcome my struggles and find success again.
#15. Spend time on things that really matter.
How much time did you just spend trying to comment on someone’s Facebook post? Or how long have you been reading updates on Twitter? What about TV?
We often classify these activities as mindless fun. Sometimes it feels good to have some entertainment without needing to worry about anything. The danger in these time wasters is that they can begin to dominate your life so that you spend less time being productive.
So what are the things that truly matter in life? Surprisingly enough, it’s usually not work or business. Real success comes from our relationships. Time spent with our family and friends.
When my children are at school I work hard at my blog and my business. I make a point everyday to be home to greet them when they walk in the door. Whether they had a good day or a bad day, I always want to be the first to hear about it.
This is one of the great advantages of running your own business or having a successful blog. It allows you to always put your family first and never miss an important moment in life.
#16. Create an environment of accountability.
When you have to prove that you’re getting something done, then you naturally work harder to meet a deadline.
This personal development strategy works to create success in all facets of life. From weight loss to spiritual improvement to career progress, the need to report to someone and be held accountable for the results achieved encourages better results.
I have found that mastermind groups are a great way to hold yourself accountable. If you can not find a mastermind group, then try to find an accountability partner in a Facebook group.
#17. Make gratefulness happen.
I start everyday and end everyday with a prayer. I take five minutes during my prayers to visualize what I am grateful for.
As a pray for my wife, my son Grayson, and my son Branson, I visualize the moments of the past day that I am grateful for. This includes the hugs, the laughs, high fives, and the “I love yous.” By the time I am done with my prayer, I am smiling ear to ear and am filled with pure happiness.
There was a moment seven years ago, when the best doctors in the world told me that I might lose my wife and my first child, who was still four months away from the seeing the world for the very first time.
That moment taught me to be grateful for every second that I have with my family.
#18. Find a mentor.
There’s no reason to find success on your own. One of the best personal development strategies will always be to find a mentor who can be by your side.
Your mentor should be experienced. They should be positive. They must also push you to step outside of your comfort zone.
#19. Get rid of the toxic people in your life.
Sometimes people just want to tear you down. They put up roadblocks to your success because they can’t find their own strategy to be successful. You don’t need that kind of person giving you advice. Get rid of it.
The problem here comes when that toxic person is someone in your family. A mother, a father, a spouse – they can be toxic as well. You cannot really sever those connections completely. What you can do is lay down some ground rules for these people to follow.
You can also set firm boundaries and not listen to their toxic advice should it come your way.
#20. Strategically Plan Out Your Week and Save New Ideas for the Next Week
I keep two small journals with me at all times. One is for my weekly to do list and the other is for logging all the ideas I come up with.
There are many tools to help plan your week. You can use Google calender, an old school planner, or an app on your phone. You have to find the one that works best for you through trial and error.
I tried them all, and I decided to keep it simple. Every Sunday I sit down, and I use only a single page of my journal to list the action items for the upcoming week. The page has 28 lines, so it keeps me from overwhelming myself with too many tasks. It also allows me to focus on the things that will have the biggest impact in my life.
My idea journal has no lines. I jot down any idea, no matter how big or small. This allows me to stay focused on my current to do list and not get distracted by the new shiny items that I come across while I am working. I review my ideas from the last seven days right before I schedule my to do list for the next week. If it is something that has potential and is in line with my goals, then I add it as an action item.
#21. Accept feedback.
It is important to keep an open mind at all times. We can be confident in our decisions, but someone else might be able to develop a better way. By accepting feedback, both good and bad, we can make the adjustments that are necessary to improve our own positions.
Tony Robbins once told me something that has always stuck with me.
He says he asks this same question to everyone that applies to work with them…
How would you rate yourself on a scale from zero to ten in regards to knowing everything there is to know about ________?
The higher the number was, the harder it would be for that person to continue to grow and learn. The bottom line is that the most successful people in the world are continuously reaching out for feedback on how to become better.
Whether you are at the lowest or highest point of your life, I implore you to invest your time in personal development.
I will leave you with one more piece of wisdom from Tony Robbins…