10 little things to start doing now to be ahead of everyone else in 5 years

You’re scrolling through your feed, right?

Everybody’s talking about “hustle culture,” the 5 a.m. club, or some complicated 10-step morning routine to make you a millionaire.

But let’s get real: big wins come from small, consistent actions.

So forget the exhausting grind for a minute.

Here are 10 little things you can start doing now to actually be ahead of the pack in 5 years.

Trust me, future you will high-five you for this!

1) Invest in continuous learning

Did you know that Warren Buffett, one of the world’s most successful investors, spends about 80% of his day reading?

Now, you don’t have to be Buffett, but the lesson is clear:

Never stop learning.

The thing is that the world is changing faster than ever—what’s relevant today might be outdated tomorrow.

But guess what?

Investing in continuous learning doesn’t mean going back to school or getting another degree.

Here’s how to do it without breaking the bank or your schedule:

  • Podcasts on the go: Listen to industry experts during your commute or gym time.
  • Online courses: Tons of free or low-cost options are available to sharpen your skills.
  • Networking: Learn from others in your field. Attend webinars, and workshops, or just grab a coffee with a colleague.

See? No need to overhaul your life.

Just small shifts can make a huge difference in how you grow and succeed.

Go ahead — pick up that book or click on that podcast. Your smarter, future self will thank you.

2) Practice mindfulness

I have to be honest with this one: 

Amid the hustle and bustle of daily life, it’s easy for me to lose sight of the present moment.

That’s why I make it a point to practice mindfulness every day.

Whether it’s through meditation, yoga, or simply taking a few minutes to breathe and focus on the now, mindfulness helps me stay centered and balanced.

How so?

Well, it reduces stress, increases my focus, and brings clarity to my thoughts.

Plus, it keeps me tuned into my goals and the steps I need to take to achieve them.

Of course, it’s important to practice mindfulness in a way that makes you more generous. I wouldn’t do it the following way:

YouTube video

3) Accept failure

Failure sucks. There, I said it.

It’s embarrassing, disheartening, and can totally mess with your confidence.

But here’s the kicker:

It’s also one of the best teachers you’ll ever have.

Look, nobody posts their failures on social media, but that doesn’t mean they’re not happening.

Every successful person you admire?

They’ve failed. A lot.

Honestly, knowing this helped me realize that failure is a crucial part of my journey to success.

Instead of seeing it as a setback, my approach is to view each failure as a learning opportunity.

It’s a chance for me to understand what didn’t work, refine my strategies, and come back stronger.

And you know what?

The more I fail, the more resilient I become. How?

Simple: I don’t shy away from taking risks or stepping out of my comfort zone. After all, without failure, there would be no innovation or growth.

4) Prioritize health

In the pursuit of success, it’s easy to forget about our health.

But I’ve learned that without good health, everything else becomes meaningless.

That’s why I make it a point to prioritize my health above everything else.

What does it mean?

  • Eating a balanced diet
  • Exercising regularly
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Taking time out for self-care.

Sounds impressive, right?

Well, when I’m healthy and energetic, I’m more productive, focused, and able to handle the challenges that come my way.

The best part is that prioritizing your health doesn’t have to mean spending hours at the gym or cooking elaborate meals every day.

It’s about making conscious choices that add up over time.

Yes, simple things like a 20-minute walk, a home-cooked meal, or an extra hour of sleep can do wonders for your well-being.

5) Cultivate strong relationships

How many times have I caught myself thinking, “I wish I had more time for my friends and family”?

Probably more times than I’d like to admit.

But here’s the thing:

Relationships are like plants — they need time and attention to grow.

I’ve learned that no amount of success is worth it if you have nobody to share it with.

The result?

I make it a point to cultivate strong relationships, both personally and professionally.

These connections offer emotional support, open doors to new opportunities, and provide a sense of community that you can’t find elsewhere.

And let’s face it, we all need a cheerleading squad to celebrate our wins and help us through the losses.

Yes, life is hectic, but a quick call or even a text can go a long way.

It shows that you care, and believe me, that never goes unnoticed.

6) Limit distractions

Distractions are productivity’s worst enemy. Period.

Look, we all get the same 24 hours in a day. How you choose to spend them sets the stage for where you’ll be in 5 years.

I can’t count how many times I’ve found myself aimlessly scrolling on social media or falling down a YouTube rabbit hole.

But here’s the reality check: time is non-refundable.

Once it’s gone, you can’t get it back.

To truly get ahead, you need to be in control of your focus.

Yes — limiting distractions is non-negotiable.

Now you’re probably wondering how it’s possible.

Well, that means putting your phone on “Do Not Disturb” mode when you’re working on important tasks or even using apps that block distracting websites.

At least, that’s what I regularly do (yes, I pause notifications even from my closest friends).

The goal is to create an environment where you can give your undivided attention to what truly matters.

7) Give back to the community

Giving back to the community is hands down my favorite strategy for staying ahead in life, and here’s why:

Success isn’t just about climbing the ladder. It’s also about lifting others as you rise.

When you contribute to the well-being of others, you’re investing in a cycle of goodwill that often comes back to you in unexpected ways.

Now, let me ask you a question:

Have you ever been actively involved in the community?

If so, think about it.

Because whether it’s through volunteering, mentorship, or even just random acts of kindness, enriching the lives of those around you has a way of enriching your own.

It puts everything in perspective.

I’ve personally found that the act of giving creates a ripple effect.

This means that the goodwill you put out into the world doesn’t just stop at one person — it continues to spread, impacting more lives than you can imagine.

8) Face your fears

Fear can be a significant roadblock on the path to success.

It can hold us back, keeping us from taking risks or making important decisions.

But trust me, facing fears is a necessary step towards growth.

Why?

Because when you confront what scares you, you’re pushing your boundaries and stepping out of your comfort zone.

That’s where real growth happens.

It’s like ripping off a band-aid — the anticipation is often worse than the actual event.

But let’s be clear:

Facing your fears doesn’t mean you won’t feel scared.

You will.

But it’s about taking action despite that fear.

It’s about saying, “You know what? I’m scared, but I’m doing it anyway.”

The more you practice this, the more you’ll realize that fear is more of a mental barrier than an actual one.

9) Set clear goals

When it comes to setting goals, we often hear the same advice:

Aim high, shoot for the stars, go big, or go home.

While ambition is great, here’s a counter-intuitive take—sometimes the best way to achieve big goals is to start small. Really small.

The simple truth is that grand ambitions can be paralyzing. You’re staring at this towering mountain and the climb feels impossible.

But what if you break that mountain into manageable hills?

Believe it or not, that way suddenly it won’t seem so daunting.

This means that by setting smaller, achievable goals, you’re more likely to take action, and each small win fuels your motivation to tackle the next challenge.

Before you know it, you’ve built a momentum that makes reaching that ultimate goal feel not just possible, but inevitable.

So, remember:

It’s okay to adjust these goals as circumstances and priorities change.

10) Embrace change

Here’s a hard pill to swallow: the only constant in life is change.

Whether you like it or not, change is going to happen.

Your industry could evolve, your job might not exist in a few years, or your personal circumstances could take an unexpected turn.

Instead of fighting it, your best bet is to embrace it.

What’s the reason?

It’s that resisting change is like trying to swim against a rip current — you’ll exhaust yourself and make little progress.

But if you learn to ride the waves of change, you’ll not only survive, you’ll thrive.

Being adaptable means you’re better equipped to handle new opportunities and challenges that come your way.

So instead of dreading change, look at it as a new adventure.

A chance to learn, evolve, and maybe even discover a new path you hadn’t considered before.

Just try to master it, and you’ll be miles ahead of those who remain stuck in the comfort of the familiar.

Final thoughts

Now you know that these 11 strategies are your toolkit for leapfrogging ahead in the next five years.

The beauty is in the simplicity—no magic tricks or silver bullets, just daily, actionable steps.

They pave the road not only to professional triumph but to personal growth and happiness as well.

And let’s be honest, isn’t that the real goal?

Success is great, but it’s the journey—the growth, the relationships, and the personal development—that truly enriches our lives.

Feeling Adrift? Pinpointing Your Values Guides You Home

Do you sometimes question what really matters most in life? Feel unclear on the principles that should steer your decisions and path ahead?

It’s so easy to lose sight of our core values. Those essential truths that align our outer world with profound inner purpose.

That’s why life coach Jeanette Brown designed this simple yet illuminating values exercise. To help you define the 5 values most central to who you are.

In just a few minutes, this free download leads you to:

  • Discover what matters to you more than money or status
  • Clarify the ideals your choices should reflect
  • Create a guiding light to inform major life decisions

With your values crystallized, you’ll move through the world with intention, confidence, and meaning.

Stop drifting and download the Free PDF to anchor yourself to purpose. Let your values direct you home.

 

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