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When it comes to “success,” everyone and their mother has a different definition of the word (and rightly so). We’re all different people with totally unique life experiences, goals, personalities and dreams – obviously. BUT, when we look at some universally “successful” chicas, they’ve got a few traits in common. What’s an “it girl,” you ask? I’m calling an “it girl” someone who just seems to have IT together. She knows who she is, she knows what she wants, and she’s well-rounded – not just nailing one thing and drowning at another (ie: not a workaholic who ignores family for the sake of money or prestige, etc). They’re the Audrey Hepburns, Kate Middletons, Lauren Conrads and Sophia Amorusos of the world. They’ve got sass and class, and they’re admirable for a multiplicity of reasons.
By no means do I have it all together myself, but I like to think that in my 22 years of life thus far, I’ve at least heard and witnessed enough other admirable female powerhouses doin’ their thaaaaang to pick up on what it takes to get from Point A to Point B with grace and gumption. So without further adieu, let’s chat 17 habits that all highly successful “it girls” have in common.
To be the IT girl you were always born to be…
Lately, because I’ve had a super specific goal + deliverables in mind, it’s been – don’t hate me – easy to hop outta bed at 6 am every day to get to early work. But even on days when I don’t have a secret project in the works (sign up to be the first to know about it!), there’s a STARK difference between how I am if I pre-plan and know exactly what I have to do and when, versus leaving everything up in the open to figure out on the spot. The former means I can basically get out of bed on time-ish and get crankin’. The latter means I sleep in an hour and end up unproductive and grumpy.
Going all out on tackling mornings does not mean at the expense of all else! Being successful and being an “it girl” doesn’t mean never resting. It doesn’t mean embracing “the hustle,” or sacrificing one thing you lovelovelove in exchange for another. I firmly believe that you CAN be a success story while choosing rest sometimes. Actually, I believe rest is ESSENTIAL to becoming your best self. Avoid burnout. Choose rest.
As someone with the attention span of half a goldfish sometimes, distractions are the bane of my productivity. It girls, though, are hella good at nixing distractions altogether and staying focused on the specific goals and objectives at hand. If that means your phone needs to be in another room and you’ve gotta put a child lock on the fridge, do it.
Know when to say “no.”
I can honestly look back at my own experiences thus far and say the most overwhelming, exhaustive, and general I’m-headed-straight-to-burn-out times were when I just had waaaaay too much on my plate. And unless my plate is full of yummy carbs, ain’t nobody got time for that. 😉 Knowing when to say “no” to opportunities, experiences, or things that don’t bring you closer to your overall goals or your happiness in life is just as important (if not moreso) than being able to say YES. It’s okay – and perfectly respectable – to say NO. Try it.
Get mentally organized.
I say “mentally,” because there was a study done somewhere that suggested that the higher your IQ, the more hectic and seemingly DIS-organized your desk space is – apparently geniuses let it all loose on the outside because it’s all v. smart and put together on the inside. And I hope that’s true, cos my life feels like a constant sh*tshow of stuff sometimes. HA. 😉 But really, It girls are *mentally* organized. You know what you have to do, you’ve prioritized it in yo’ brain, and your head is clutter-free to allow you to really go all out and shine in a strategic succession.
Point blank period.
Be specific and strategic with time.
Feeding right off of knowing when to say “no,” your time is VALUABLE. It’s arguably one of your most precious assets. Protect it at all costs, girlfriend! Once you’ve said “no” to the stuff that won’t fulfill or progress you, you have some time to say “yes” – make sure you’re smart with that. Keep it specific. “Write a book” doesn’t belong on your to-do list – it belongs on your bucket list. “Write and edit 3 pages of Chapter 7” is much more doable and reasonable – specific and strategic. Planning means nothing if you don’t actively take CONTROL of yo’ time. So be smart, be specific, be strategic, and own it.
Practice active gratitude.
This one is HUGE. It girls are grateful – point blank period. It’s been scientifically proven time and time again that you yourself are genuinely uplifted when giving thanks. Not only that, but it makes major impact for those being thanked! Whether you’re thanking someone for helping out, thanking a friend for a gift, your boss for the coffee chat or your parents for raising ya right, sending a big fat “THANK YOU!” someone’s way is significant. My current obsession for active gratitude is Bond.co. This app + website lets you send completely personalized notes to those ya wanna thank, sans stationery (or stamps, bless up). Don’t get me wrong – I’m ALL for handwritten cards, and I love me the stationery section at TJMaxx. But Bond takes it a step further.
This app lets you create and customize your own “signature stationery” or select their own pre-set options for the occasion, type out your perfect note of gratitude, and then THEY print it out on yo’ stationary and physically mail the finished product to the recipient. (Check out these brand videos – such a cool company!) While you can choose from their preset artwork, you also have the option to upload your own photography as the backside of your stationery. I have roses from my original branded CUR photoshoot as mine, and I’m lowkey obsessed with the fact that I can have “lovelovelove, E” as a pre-written signature on errrrry’thang.
I cannot adequately explain how much I love this app. (Which you can also use via your computer in website form!)
I’m a total SUCKER for thank you notes, but I’m also totally guilty of not picking up enough stamps from the post office, or just delaying altogether because #life. Bond lets you send something immediately, so you could literally be on the train back from a fabulous dinner with your mentor and shoot him/her a personal “thank you” on the spot. You pay for a subscription depending on how many notes you want per month (doesn’t have to be just thank you – you’ve got the option to make your note whatever you want it to be!), and at first glance it might look pricey. But the process could not be more user friendly and the final result could not be more perfect. Think about eliminating the paper goods and postage costs in your life, and presto – worth it.
Easy, peasy, effortless – and majorly important as an aspiring It girl. 😉 See more of Bond here!
I’ll admit – not my strongest suit. I’m known amongst fam/friends for being the one who sometimes forgets meals if I’m too invested in my work. V BAD. But really tho, when you take care of yourself, you’re bettering your ability to take care of other people and other things. Do you, THEN do others.
Have a mentor. Maybe five.
Find people in your life who you genuinely respect and admire, and figure out why that is. Soak up all that you can from them. My tip: Don’t think of mentorship as this uber-professional, stuffy, formal relationship. Ideally, you can give back to your mentor in some way, too. Focus on finding mentors who you can be REAL with. Because life is real and life isn’t always coming up roses ALL the time, and having people to be REAL with about those less-than-rosy times is just as important as basking in the glory of a promotion or new gig.
Embrace uncertainties and risks.
“No risk, No reward” is an it girl’s favorite mantra. You KNOW – no matter how deep in your soul – that the next step likely involves some unknown. It takes some uncertainty, some guessing, some uncomfy choice, and some risk. But you don’t shy away from that, because you also KNOW it will bring you closer to who you were always meant to be. And that’s worth it.
Practice, because practice makes perfect. If you don’t have confidence, fake it ’til you make it, baby! And read this.
Consistency trumps all, really. Whether you’re consistently good or consistently bad, it’s the consistency part that earns you the label. Your consistency (or lack thereof) determines your reputation, the quality of your work, and the degree to your commitment.
Refer to point Numero Uno (that’s #1) right here and knock it the heck off stat.
Batching work isn’t just something you do as a blogger. It’s a proven tactic to increase productivity and efficiency across the board. If there are multiple things required to get to one end result, see how many “Task Two’s” you can fit into one hour, finishing task two for multiple end results. Without switching tasks, you’re avoiding context switching – the term that defines how long it takes your brain to truly switch mindsets once you’ve already gone from one thing to the next.
Actively review + assess.
It girls are constantly evaluating. Evaluate and review what you did after the fact, and honestly assess what went well, what could’ve gone better, and what needs to change/improve/increase/decrease in the future to yield even more badass results.
Be prompt, polite, and proactive.
These 3 P’s aren’t just for it girls – they’re for everyone and their mother, and their brother, too. Be on time, be nice to people, and always look for the next opportunity to perform.
What habits do you think all It girls have? And will you be trying Bond?
I’d lovelovelove to hear your thoughts. And while you’re at it leaving yo’ thoughts in a comment below, if you haven’t already, wouldja do me a solid and take this quick CUR fall reader survey? I’m reading every single one, and your opinion literally defines the direction of the blog + biz for the new season, because I really truly give a hoot about what you think. Pleaseandthankyou.
P.S. There are TWO giveaways to enter as a thank you for doing it, so please…do it. 😉
P.P.S. If ya lovelovelove my outfit, I gotta letcha know…I found these pants while on a romantic solo stroll through the aisles of Target (story of my life), in the GIRLS DEPARTMENT. I outgrew size 14/16 kids in, like, the 6th grade, but kids are apparently a lot bigger now, because these fit me perfectly. Fo yo’ reference, I’m wearing a size XL girls (14/16), and typically I’m a size US 4. HA. They’re under $20 and they’re lined like leggings inside, so they’re comfy AND epic. Go get yo’self some and TGIF.
*This post is in partnership with Bond. As always, all thoughts and opinions presented are entirely my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Coming Up Roses!