Conscientiousness is a personality trait of being thorough, careful and attentive. People who exhibit this trait are efficient and organized, aim for achievement and possess self-discipline.
According to research, people who are conscientious live longer, earn more, have more influence, are happier at work and have better relationships than those who don’t display this characteristic. They also tend to purposefully avoid behaviors that will be detrimental to their long-term happiness and their overall success. Instead they focus on what will contribute to their achievements and contentment.
Consider their purchases
Conscientious people stick to a budget. They don’t make impulsive and unnecessary purchases. Instead, they take time to consider if they really need or want something and how that might impact their finances. They also pay their bills on time and stay within their credit limits, all things that benefit their long-term financial stability.
Write things down
Rather than trying to keep mental notes, conscientious people write things down. This enables them to manage their time, keep commitments as well as make important decisions by writing down pros and cons.
Writing it down will make you act upon it. If you don’t write it down, you will forget. That is a million dollar lesson they don’t teach in business school. ~Aristotle Onassis
Highly successful people like Virgin’s Richard Branson, carries a notebook with him at all times. Others rely on their tech devices to jot down ideas as well as to keep them accountable. Harvard Medical School suggests making daily plans and using reminder tool or smartphone apps to keep you on track.
Have good posture
Our posture is a reflection of our attitude about ourselves and the world in which we live. Research has shown that our actions directly affect how we feel. Bad posture can increase our stressed, sad and afraid while standing up straight promotes self-esteem, a positive outlook and productivity.
Focus on healthy habits
Those who are conscientious take better care of their bodies. They engage in activities and behaviors that benefit their overall health rather than engaging in activities that are detrimental. Conscientious people eat better, exercise, get enough sleep and are much less likely to smoke or drink heavily.
Conscientious people are dependable. They are true to their word, keep appointments and commitments and rarely arrive late. They also tend to be honest and have high integrity. Conscientious men and women take time to fully comprehend commitments before they make any promises.
Conscientious people don’t give up easily. They don’t see failure as a stopping point or excuse to quit, but rather find other ways to approach the solution to a problem. They may not execute better than anyone else but their passion and determination will drive them to persevere long after others have walked away.
Conscientious people cultivate the four components of persistence:
- Desire to understand
- Capacity to deliver a consistent practice (make something a habit)
- Purpose-conviction that what you do is meaningful and beneficial
Those who are conscientious take responsibility for what goes wrong in life and fix it. They also tend to anticipate problems before they arise, allowing them to avoid unnecessary stress. This equates to higher levels of life satisfaction as well as better performance in their careers.
Though some people seem to be conscientious from the get-go, this is a behavior all of us can develop. Start with small changes: writing down important dates and ideas, focusing on being on time, or getting more sleep. As we tackle and master each small thing, we can build upon that success and cultivate our conscientiousness.