About That One Powerful Habit of Successful People

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There are a bazillion internet articles that claim this one thing will morph you into a seven-figure making, Ted Talking, jet setting influencer.

What is it, you ask? Becoming a morning person. (Yes, insert eye roll here.)

This key to success dictates that sleep is for losers—the short version of the common theme.

That people who wake up before 6 a.m. are the real MVPs (not whiny little pillow huggers who want to wake up after the roosters).

Now don’t get me wrong: as a member of the “I Love My Warm Pillow” association, I’ve more than once wished upon a genie that I could be an early riser.

But despite my commands, I don’t wake up to an internal alarm clock at 6 a.m., woosah in bed for 10 minutes, and glide into the kitchen to make a cup of ginger chai tea. (All while not opening email because I will first write in my gratitude journal before thinking about work.)

Does that remove my nomination to be on the Most Likely to Succeed list? I hope not.

We can’t dispute that good habits lead to productivity and an overall feeling of “Oh yeah, I’m killing it,” but exclusively connecting them to a time of day isn’t inspirational.

In fact, it does the opposite. Nothing like comparing yourself to a famous millionaire to make you feel like a winner.

There has to be a routine that’s somewhere between being a Monk or Ferris Bueller.

It’s great to look at people we admire for motivation. But at the same time, be good with creating your own version of how you want to strive for success.

The ONE focus should be on routines that include small steps towards changing for the better (whether it’s in the morning, afternoon, or evening).

It could be as simple as:

  • Scheduling two hours of no-internet time once a week to write a chapter for your book.
  • Switching to two small cups of coffee a day instead of your regular large cups in the morning and afternoon.
  • Reaching out to five potential clients a week to see how your services can help them.
  • Committing to spending more time reading and less time on Facebook or Instagram.

Your progress doesn’t stop if you’re not into six-mile jogs at 5:30 a.m. like Richard Branson or mediating daily like Oprah—although maaaaybe being more like Oprah is the secret sauce.

The point is this: There’s no one way to go from where you are today and where you want to be tomorrow.

Instead of looking for a jumbo solution for reaching your goals, make it a habit to color outside the predawn lines.

How about that for a routine?

Marietta Gentles Crawford
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Marietta Gentles Crawford

Marietta Gentles Crawford is a writer, personal brand strategist, and author of "From Nine to Thrive: A Guide to Building Your Personal Brand and Elevating Your Career." With over 15 years' experience climbing through top corporate brands, she helps small businesses and freelancers communicate their brand message and stand out from the crowd.

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