“Don’t Do” Habits of Successful People

Don't Do HabitsThe principles of this article are taken from Elite Strength coach Ben Bergeron’s Top 10 Habits of Successful Entrepreneurs.  I have added my spin to this concept because it is my belief that these habits are applicable to everybody.  You don’t need to be an entrepreneur or a world-class athlete.  Adopt sound, purposeful habits, apply them daily, and watch as your life improves.

Habit #1:  Don’t Hit the Snooze Button

B.Bergeron – “When we watch those at the top of their game perform on game day, it’s easier to say they are “talented” than it is to acknowledge that they have spent thousands and thousands of hours beating on their craft, lungs burning, exhausted, all when no one is watching. The bright lights don’t make you shine—they only reveal the work you did in the dark.”

  1. Gardner – Have you ever heard of Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours of practice concept?  This is the point.  It doesn’t matter what you want to become – a great pianist or chess player or chef or swimmer…..you have to put in the hours.  Stop making excuses, get out of bed, and get to work.

Habit #2:  Don’t Get Mad at Traffic

B.Bergeron – “Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.”

  1. Gardner – This is spot on and exactly the principle that I used to talk about when I coached youth sports.  Losing is ok, so long as you learn from it and get better.  

Habit #3:  Don’t Be Late

B.Gardner – Live up to your commitments.  That means showing up on time or early.  Don’t make others wait on you.  That’s weak.  This applies to everything in your life.

Habit #4:  Don’t Tolerate Gossip

  1. Gardner – So obvious, but hard to apply for many people.  I don’t think you necessarily have to speak up, but it’s dependent on the circumstance.  At a minimum, just walk away.  Gossip does nothing to improve any situation and is a sign of weakness.

Habit #5:  Don’t Watch the News

B.Bergeron – “The right details are the ones that are within your control and over which you have power.”

  1. Gardner – I absolutely love this principle, because I absolutely detest “the news.”  To me, the news is all negative, politically polarizing and just plain awful.  Honestly, how does keeping current with what is going on in the world make your life better?  Be honest with yourself.  

Rather, focus on what is within your control, focus on the details, and work hard to be the very best human being you can be.  This is far more empowering than getting worked up over crazy political bullshit.

Habit #6:  Don’t Pass Judgement

B.Bergeron – “We don’t have much control over the end-state of our goals. We do have control over what we do every single day in pursuit of them.”

B.Gardner – This applies so well to health and fitness.  Rather than talking about wanting to get to some “goal” weight, and then constantly complaining about how you can’t lose weight, focus instead on small daily habit changes.

Make a commitment to stop drinking soda.  Take it 1 day at a time.  Once you have conquered that, commit to drinking 1 extra cup of water every day.  Small, positive incremental changes over time work great.  Stop the complaining, which is negative, and start making positive changes.  Health and wellness are “marathon” goals; not “sprint” goals.

Habit #7:  Don’t Eat and Scroll

B.Gardner – Distracted eating will absolutely have a negative impact on your weight and body composition.  Eat mindfully with purpose.  Chew your food well before swallowing.  Slow the “F” down!  Learn to love your food – savor the taste and texture, etc…

Habit #8:  Don’t Check Email Before Noon

B.Bergeron – “You don’t become a champion, and then start acting like a champion.”

B.Gardner – Said differently, if you want to reach your goals, you need to start with small habit changes today.  Apply these new habits ruthlessly EVERY DAMN DAY.  And that means prioritizing what is most important, which is likely not facebook, Instagram and taking selfies at the gym.  

Habit #9:  Don’t Leave Dishes in the  Sink

B.Bergeron – “You are the sum of your habits.”

B.Gardner – Ever wonder why the military makes soldiers make their bed so precisely?  To instill good daily habits.  This concept applies to every one of us.  Make your bed every day.  Brush your teeth every day.  Floss your teeth every day.  Clean up the kitchen every evening and don’t leave dishes in the sink.  The list could go on.   Be principled and disciplined.

Habit #10:  Don’t Wait for Perfect

B.Gardner – Stop making excuses and get started today on whatever your goals are.  The key is to stop the negative self-talk and take action.  Any action.  The smallest of actions.  Like making your bed.  Just do it.

How many of these apply to you?  What can you do better?  Comment below. 

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