Whether it is in the personal or the professional life, everyone seeks to achieve excellence. It takes hard work, determination, and persistence to achieve it. People often spend years to turn their ideas into a success. In other words, there is no shortcut to excellence.
The meaning of excellence varies from person to person. To some people, it is about getting the most out of their lives. To others, excellence is about turning their passion into a successful full-time career. Whatever your idea of excellence is, the following timeless tips will help you accomplish excellence in all areas of life.
1. Set Realistic Goals
Goals provide us with a purpose; without goals life will be meaningless. You can have all the skills and potential in the world, but without a goal, your life will be a pointless waste of energy and time.
Goals also allow you to measure your progress. For example, if you set a goal of losing five pounds in three weeks, you can measure the number of pounds you lose every week. Further, having a goal keeps you away from distractions. As your mind will be focused on losing five pounds in three weeks, you will automatically stay away from junk food. Plus, your goal will bring you motivation and help you overcome procrastination as well.
However, your goals must be realistic. You can’t set a goal of reducing five pounds in three days. An audacious goal such as this will demoralize you from the beginning, resulting in dire physical and mental consequences.
2. Commit Yourself to Your Goals
As it happens, setting goals is the easy part; the tough part is achieving them successfully. According to recent data published by the Statistic Brain Research Institute, a staggering 90 percent of people that set New Year’s goals never actually achieve them. That’s why you need to commit yourself to your goals completely.
Try to keep yourself away from distractions. Figure out ways to overcome the possible obstacles. Above all, keep yourself motivated throughout the process. Break your large-scale goals into smaller and more manageable chunks to avoid a huge setback. You can also surround yourself with positive people who can help you stay committed to your goals.
3. Create Detailed Plan
Whether big or small, every goal needs to be supported by a concrete plan. As mentioned in the above point, you will encounter several obstacles until you reach your goal. Creating a plan will allow you to visualize the entire process and the steps involved. This visualization will help you stay focused on your end goal.
In general, your plan should include a list of obstacles or distractions and the strategies to overcome them. Careful planning will also help you find the best and the least time-consuming methods to achieve your goals. You can also include the people who have already done this as they can provide you with valuable advice on how to tip the scale in your favor.
4. Develop Your Skills and Strengths
If you want to succeed, you will need to keep upgrading your skills and strengths. In fact, sometimes a combination of skills can result in you gaining a unique advantage. Remember, you are in the driver’s seat. This means no one else is going to care about your personal development. So, you need to start paying attention to improving your strengths and adding new skills. Some of the common skills include self-discipline, self-confidence, interpersonal communication, writing, time management, and organization.
You also need to figure out your inherent strengths and the ones you would like to acquire. However, avoid comparing your strengths with those of others. Get in touch with competitive people who have achieved excellence in their lives. Allow yourself to explore the unknown sides of your personality. Concentrating on your strengths instead of weaknesses will bring a sense of fulfillment and positivity in you.
5. Step out of Your Comfort Zone
As long as you keep stepping out of your comfort zone, you keep growing. Unfortunately, most cultures do not allow one to do so. If you stay in the comfort zone, you are more likely to set an easily achievable goal. This is one of the reasons why most people fail to reach their true potential. You should leave no stone unturned that might take you to your goal. So, buckle up and step out of your comfort zone.
One of the common reasons why people don’t push themselves to their limits is fear. So, the first thing you need to do is to learn how to overcome your worst fears. It doesn’t mean you have to start big. You can start with small steps such as overcoming fears and uncertainties related to your daily routine, clothing, travel, and diet.
6. Get Ready to Break a Sweat
Hard work is the key to success! There is no other route to success or excellence. You may have heard these statements over and over again in your lifetime. Though hard work is crucial to achieving your goals, you need both, hard work and smart work. They are the two sides of the same coin.
Smart work comprises planning your tasks well in advance to avoid unexpected delays. Hard work, on the other hand, involves following your work plan. Hard work never gets wasted if supported by a well-thought-out plan. It all boils down to how hard you have worked on the right thing.
7. Perform Regular Exercise
To achieve excellence, you must have a fresh and invigorated mind. How can a poorly-maintained body inhabit a highly-energized mind? The path to a healthy mind begins with a healthy body. So, make sure to exercise regularly. Regular exercise will release certain brain chemicals called endorphins, which makes one feel good.
You don’t have to spend hours shaping your muscles in the gym every day. According to Dr. John Grohol, Founder and CEO of Psych Central, people sometimes stress about the need to exercise and build it into something huge and daunting, when actually it should be nothing of the sort. It’s just an activity that you should try and build into your daily (or every other day) routine, just as you’ve automated brushing your teeth and getting dressed.
This simple activity can be anything, such as fifteen minutes of yoga, cycling, running, brisk walking or even strolling after lunch or dinner. Whatever exercise you pick, start small and gradually work your way up.
8. Connect to the Experts in Your Field
Try to build a personal learning network with the experts or even the upcoming talents in your field. Instead of doing all the legwork by yourself, you can learn a trick or two from these people. Though it may be a bit difficult to find the people striving for excellence, once connected, you can learn a lot from them. So, fire your laptop and start searching for people engaged in similar activities.
You can connect with them through their work such as books, interviews, TED talks, workshops, and lectures. Most successful people also have blogs and websites which you can regularly follow.
9. Be Flexible
There is a saying, ‘change is the only constant.’ In other words, life is a series of changes. Some of these changes are natural, while others may come as a surprise. Being flexible allows you to embrace the change readily. In the light of upcoming events, you may also need to change or modify your plans from time to time. If some of your methods fail to produce the desired effect, you either need to drop them or improvise them.
10. Never Stop Believing in Yourself
None of the above is possible if you don’t believe in yourself. No one will believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself. Self-belief leads to self-confidence, which is a powerful tool. Almost every successful person became who they are because they never stopped believing in themselves. Take Richard Branson for example. Richard dropped out of school when he was 16 to start a magazine. Soon, he had opened mail-order stores selling records with just 300 pounds in his bank account.
In 1971, the authorities arrested him for selling records that were already declared as export stock. His mother was forced to remortgage their house as he wasn’t able to pay the debts and fees for the legal proceedings. However, even such a huge setback didn’t stop Branson from believing in himself. Today, he is the proud owner of The Virgin Group, one of the most respected businesses in the world.
Everyone strives for excellence because for centuries people have admired those who have achieved excellence in life. Although just a handful people achieve excellence, everyone has the potential to get the most out of their lives. With hard work, dedication, and self-discipline, you can accomplish your dreams. These ten timeless tips will help you achieve excellence in life.